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American Literature Research Paper Syllabus

Great Basin College

English 451A

American Literature I:  Beginnings to 1865 

Course Syllabus

Spring Semester 2015, Online

Instructor: Professor Susanne Bentley

Office: MCML 126 Hours: M: 10 – 12:30 a.m., Tues: 10 – 11 and 1 – 3 p.m., TH: 10 – 11 a.m., and by appointment.

Phone:  775-753-2358

FAX: 775- 753-2131

E-mail: Use Web Campus e-mail for all correspondence

If you are unable to contact me through Web Campus, you may use my office e-mail at: susanneb@gwmail.gbcnv.

Course Description: Reading and discussion of major American authors from the beginnings to 1865.

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: A 200-level literature course or instructor’s approval

Required Texts and Materials

These must be obtained by the end of the first week of class:

  • WebCampus login
  • Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Shorter Eight Edition. Volume I . W.W. Norton: 2012. ISBN: 978-0-393-91886-1.

    In addition to selections from your book, you will read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and chapters from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.  I have these books linked to Americanliterature.com. You may read the books on an electronic device or download them and read them as PDFs. You will see the links in the reading assignments.

  • Norton Anthology of American Literature Online Website: http://wwnorton.com/college/english/naal7/
  • A college dictionary (an online dictionary will be fine)
  • A storage device for storing your work

Additional Required Reading: Literature Websites linked to the learning modules.  


  • To present the chronological study of American literature from around 1865 through the present.To introduce the student to the various genres, movements, and styles of literature found within the chronological period
  • To acquaint the student with the historical, political, social, intellectual, and economic influences affecting American literature and the English language.
  • To develop the rhetorical skills taught in an upper-division English course,
  • To build on the student’s skills in argument development and critical analysis
  • To help students recognize form and pattern in literary works as a means of understanding their meanings.
  • To help students understand the influence of race, class, and gender on literature and interpretation.

Learner Outcome


1.     Know the chronology of each literary period covered by the course and be familiar with the historical, political, literary, and economic forces occurring in those periods.   

  • Evaluation of communication with instructor and other students in discussion postings
  • Evaluation of weekly writing assignments
  • Quizzes and exams

2.     Demonstrate comprehension of basic historical, political, social, intellectual, and economic influences on American literature.

  • Formal Essays evaluated by rubric
  • Evaluation of communication with instructor and other students in discussion postings
  • Evaluation of weekly writing assignments
  • Quizzes and exams

3.     Recognize and evaluate form and pattern in literary works and identify their contribution to the work and its meaning.

  • Formal Essays evaluated by rubric
  • Evaluation of communication with instructor and other students in discussion postings
  • Evaluation of weekly writing assignments
  • Quizzes and exams

4.   Demonstrate rhetorical skills appropriate for an upper-division English course.

  • Formal Essays evaluated by rubric
  • Evaluation of communication with instructor and other students in discussion postings
  • Evaluation of weekly writing assignments
  • Quizzes and exams

5.   Demonstrate skill in argument development and critical analysis of literature

  • Formal Essays evaluated by rubric
  • Exams
  • Discussions

6.   Evaluate and demonstrate understanding of the influence of race, class, and gender on literature and ideas in a given period, especially in terms of the society and culture.

7.    Integrate knowledge of various literary periods and synthesize ideas from different literary works to form original interpretations.

  • Formal Essays evaluated by rubric
  • Discussions, Quizzes, and Exams
  • Formal Essays evaluated by rubric
  • Discussions, Quizzes, and Exams

Methods Instruction: This class will take place in a variety of ways including online lecture, online discussions, cooperative group activities, student-led discussions and presentations, tutor feedback, instructor feedback, and student question/answer. Assignments are submitted via WebCampus and through the companion Website to our text, Norton Anthology of American Literature Online.

Class Activities:  Our class revolves around reading, discussing, and writing about literature. Contributing to class discussions is essential. As a student in this class, you should be prepared to spend at least 9 hours a week reading, preparing assignments and participating in class discussions.  It is essential that you commit yourself to this degree of involvement to be successful in this course. The class transfers to major universities, such as the University of Nevada and the University of California, so you should be prepared for a workload and a level of intellectual engagement comparable to these systems. The specific assignments and requirements for the class are explained in detail in the “Assignments” section of WebCampus.

Web Campus : This is an online course. Assignments are due each week through the Web Campus platform. Become familiar with these tools and plan to check them regularly:

  • Learning Modules: Your assignments are outlined in detail on Web Campus. The best way to stay organized with this course is to always check each week’s Learning Module early in the week.

Go to the homepage and click on the appropriate Learning Module (This is an icon that looks like a backpack titled Week 1, Week 2, etc.) to find each week’s lecture and assignments. You should begin each week by reading the lecture.

  • Calendar: Also refer to the “Calendar” tool in Web Campus to keep track of assignments each week.
  • Assignments: Your assignments are explained here, and this is where you will submit assignments. Be sure to open each assignment and read it several times before you begin working on it.
  • Web Campus E-mail: I frequently use e-mail to send updates and correspondence that will help you with your assignments. Plan to check your e-mail at least twice each week.
  • To Check Your Grades: Go to “Assignments” and click on “Graded.” You will see your grade for each assignment that has been graded. On some assignments, I will give you feedback directly on your paper. To see my comments, click on the attachment. Essays and major assignments also have a grading form, which you will be able to access through the graded assignments tab.

Course Policies and Expectations

Assignment due dates:

  • I adhere to a “no late papers” policy.
  • Each assignment has a due date. If you experience an emergency and miss the due date, you may submit your assignment within 48 hours of the due date for a twenty percent reduction in credit. The assignment will be marked as “late.”
  • No more than two late assignments will be accepted during the semester.
  • After the 48-hour period, you cannot submit your assignment. Only assignments submitted through the correct assignment drop box will be accepted.

No assignments will be accepted through e-mail.

  • We may have peer reviews for some assignments. Missed peer reviews cannot be made up.

Satisfactory Progress on Written Assignments:

  • In order to pass this class, students must receive a passing grade (60 percent or higher) on the following written assignments:

Syllabus Quiz

Thought Papers

Written Essays


Discussion participation

  • Within a week of receiving grades, a student who does not receive a passing grade on any of these assignments, excluding the final paper, must contact me to attend a mandatory conference to discuss his or her progress in this class. Students out of the Elko area need to contact me to arrange a telephone conference. It is always the student’s responsibility to make an appointment for a conference. Any student who does not comply with this requirement within a week of receiving a failing grade will earn a failing grade for the assignment and will likely need to drop the course.

Assignment Submission Guidelines:  All work must be typed and be formatted according to current MLA guidelines. Your work must be saved as a Microsoft Word document. This means the file extension will say either “.doc” or .docx.”  If you do not have Microsoft Word, you need to save your document as a PDF in order for me to read it and make comments on your paper. It is your responsibility to understand this process. Microsoft Works is not the same as Microsoft Word.  If I can’t open your document, you will not receive a grade for the assignment. Ask the Help Desk for assistance if you do not understand how to save your work in the correct format.

Computer Problems: Every semester, at least four or five students experience some kind of computer problem. It usually occurs after students have written a substantial paper, which subsequently vanishes. Then, students have to recreate weeks of research and writing, and sometimes they have to drop the course and start all over again. Do not let this happen to you.

Computers crash, flash drives get lost, students go out of town and do not have Internet access, dogs eat memory sticks, and your Internet service provider may not work. It is your responsibility as a college student to plan ahead to avoid these problems. Save your work often to avoid losing it. Computer or Internet problems are not valid excuses for not submitting your assignments.

***One easy way to save your work is to e-mail it to yourself through WebCampus. Plan on doing this before you close whatever you are working on each day.***

Format for Papers: All essays must be submitted in proper MLA format. If you have been away from college for over a year, the new MLA format is different from what you previously learned.

Refer to the “Related Websites” folder on the course homepage for links to using MLA style or use a new edition of a handbook. I expect that all work students in upper-division classes present is carefully proofread and written according to academic standards.  NOTE:  Failure to follow these format guidelines may result in your paper being returned without an evaluation.

Your assignments are outlined in detail on Web Campus. Go to the homepage and click on the appropriate learning module for assignments.

 Professionalism in Writing: This course is a professional setting, and every message you send in such a setting needs to be clear, concise, and checked for spelling and grammar. Do not assume that because email and discussion postings can be written quickly that they can be sloppy. An infrequent mistake is understandable, but if your email messages and postings are continually difficult to read, this will affect your final grade. Use correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation for all of your e-mail correspondence and discussion postings. Use the HTML editor on all of your email messages and check them for spelling using the “ABC” icon before you send your message. I will not respond to e-mail messages that do not meet the standards of correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax.

In this class, as in any professional setting, your writing reflects your thought processes. Every message you send has the potential to influence your reader’s opinion of you. How do you want to be perceived? Make a conscious decision to show readers that you are a careful thinker and that your ideas are worth considering.

Point of View and Use of Contractions: In academic writing, use the third-person point of view (he, she, it, or they). For writing about a personal experience, it is permissible to use first-person point of view (I), but use this sparingly and only when it adds to a paper. Do not use second-person point of view (you) in academic writing. Also, avoid using contractions in academic papers. For discussions, the use of first- and second-person point of view is fine, as discussions are really a conversation with other students.

Attendance: My recommendation is that students regularly log on to the course Website a minimum of three days per week and spend time actually reading the lectures, assignments, and background information. I track how much time students spend on the class, and students who log in fewer than seven or eight hours per week usually are not very successful in my classes. Make a commitment now to keep up with reading and assignments if you expect to do well in this class.

Tutors: As a student in a 400-level class, you will likely not find a need to meet with a tutor. However, the GBC Elko campus has an Academic Success Center with skilled writing tutors, and branch campuses also have writing tutors. You can make an appointment with the GBC tutors in the Academic Success Center by calling 753-2149.

Student Responsibility for dropping courses: If you are missing assignments, it is your responsibility to drop the course at the Admissions and Records Office before 60 percent of the course is finished. Consult the GBC Calendar for dates. Students who have incomplete or late assignments who do not drop the course will receive a failing grade.


Academic dishonesty is defined as an act of deception in which a student claims credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. Academic dishonesty is a violation of the GBC Student Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated in this class. Any evidence of academic dishonesty/plagiarism in this course will result in a failing grade on the assignment and/or a failing grade for the course. You should be aware that at other schools you will risk failing courses and potential suspension/expulsion for academic dishonesty, which is considered a very serious offense. If you are ever uncertain about using material form a source, please ask me about it. GBC tutors can also assist you with questions about documentation. Acts of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • CHEATING--unauthorized copying or collaborating on a test or assignment, or the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials;
  • TAMPERING--altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents;
  • FABRICATION--falsifying experimental data or results, inventing research or laboratory data or results for work not done, or falsely claiming sources not used;
  • PLAGIARISM--representing someone else's words, ideas, artistry, or data as one's own, including copying another person's work (including published and unpublished material, and material from the Internet) without appropriate referencing, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, or working jointly on a project, then submitting it as one's own;
  • ASSISTING--assisting another student in an act of academic dishonesty, such as taking a test or doing an assignment for someone else, changing someone's grades or academic records, or inappropriately distributing exams to other students.

With online research, it can be tempting to use others' ideas and words from the vast resources on the available online. Do not give in to this temptation unless you are willing to cite your sources completely. Remember, if you found something on the Internet, chances are I can find it too.

Turnitin.com:  Most assignments will automatically be submitted through a plagiarism prevention Website called Turnitin.com.If any portion of a paper or assignment is found to be plagiarized, it will result in failure of the course. 

Student Conduct Policy

Students are expected to follow the Student Conduct Policy for students in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) outlined in the Great Basin College Catalog. Students will specifically be held accountable for behaving in a civil and respectful manner toward other students and the professor in their classroom and online communications such as e-mail messages, discussion postings, and written assignments.

 The college catalog states, “Messages, attitudes, or any other form of communication deemed to be outside the bounds of common decency/civility as judged by common standards of classroom behavior (determined, as they would be in a regular classroom, by the instructor) will not be tolerated” (29).

Pay particular attention to those last four words. Any student who behaves rudely to another student or to me will be dropped immediately. During the first week of class, students will be required to sign an acknowledgement that they have read the Academic Integrity Policy and Student Conduct Policy and understand that they will be dropped from the class for violating it.

Confidentiality:  The English Department respects the policy that your grades are your and your instructor’s business only.  However, during the semester, student writing will be shared with peers and/or Writing Center tutors for revision purposes and may be publicly displayed.  This is an integral part of the college writing program.  If you have comments concerning this policy, please make them known to me during the first week of the course.

Grading Policy: The final grade for the course is based on completion of all assignments.  If you do not complete all writing requirements, you will not pass the class! No exceptions!  Assignments that are turned in past the due date will not be accepted, and you will receive a grade of “0” for that assignment. 

Your final grade is based on the following assignments:            



Syllabus Quiz


Discussions (9)

20 each

Thought Papers (3)

60 each

Essays (2)





10 - 15

Pluses and minuses may be figured into the final grade.

 In order to receive full credit, an assignment must:

  1. be turned in on time and follow proper format
  2. be complete and well thought out and meet minimum word requirements
  3. reflect academic, college-level writing
  4. incorporate critical thinking skills
  5. follow MLA standards for formatting and documentation (discussion postings that refer to passages from our text do not need a Works Cited page, but do use quotation marks and page numbers).

Assignments (see Assignment Dropbox and Calendar for due dates):

During most weeks, unless a major paper is due, we will have discussions on the reading for the week. “Discussions Guidelines” appear in the Week 1 Learning Module and in the “Assignment Information” folder on the homepage. Read the appropriate lecture and discussion questions each week. Links to discussions will appear in the weekly Learning Module, and you can also find discussions by using the drop-down menu on WebCampus.

Your initial discussion posting is due no later than Thursday, and you need to respond to two students by Saturday of the week discussions are due.

Discussions will usually be open for one week.

These are short written assignments on particular works or topics. You will find more about Thought Papers in the “Assignment Information” folder.

Each essay must meet the minimum word requirement on the assignment sheet. Essay format will follow 2009 MLA guidelines. At times, we may also be sharing parts of these papers with our peers for critique and assistance.  

Quizzes are designed to help you review and remember the reading material. You will have two opportunities to take each quiz, and the quiz grades are not a major portion of the overall grade. Please save each answer as you progress through the quiz.Sometimes your Internet provider will interrupt your service, and you can lose the connection, as well as your answers. That is why it is important to save each answer after you complete the quiz question. 

We will have a mid-term exam covering literary terms and the readings we will have covered up to that point. Details will appear in the WebCampus assignments section.

How to Succeed in this Class:

  • Purchase and read the required texts. Then, read, read, and read some more.
  • Stay current with all reading assignments. We have a great deal of reading to do each week. Be prepared to spend any spare time you have reading.
  • Annotate your text. Underline passages, write in the margins, ask questions, and talk back to the authors.
  • Keep a notebook with you each time you read to record your thoughts, reactions to the author’s language, themes of the readings, and literary devices.
  • Anticipate that you will read each piece more than once.
  • Before you start working on a paper, read the assignment several times. Do not assume that you understand an assignment until you have gone over the assignment sheet thoroughly.
  • Complete all assigned writing and reading on time.
  • Post thoughtful ideas to discussions and respond to your classmates’ postings within the allotted time. 

My personal goal is to see you succeed in this class while enjoying a challenging and exciting learning experience.  I am very excited about teaching American Literature, and I want our class to enjoy making discoveries together about some exceptional writing.

Accommodations:  GBC supports providing equal access for students with disabilities.  An advisor is available to discuss appropriate accommodations with students.  Please contact the Student Services Office in Elko at 753-2271 at your earliest convenience to request timely and appropriate accommodations. 

This is your class.  If you have any concerns, academic problems, or need special assistance, please discuss all matters with me as soon as you can. If you have further concerns, see the current GBC Catalog. 

ENG 451A, American Literature, Beginnings to 1865

Reading Schedule, Spring 2015

Some assignments may change, depending on the needs of our class

Unless otherwise noted, readings are from The Norton Anthologyof American Literature:Beginnings to 1865,Shorter Eighth Edition, Vol. 1. Nina Baym, editor.

ISBN: 978-0-393-91886-1.

In addition to selections from your book, you will read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and chapters from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.  I have these books linked to Americanliterature.com. You may read the books on an electronic device or download them and read them as PDFs. You will see the links in the reading assignments.


First, read the lecture for the week in the Learning Module for the appropriate week.

Read all works by the author, unless specific works are listed. Read each assignment closely, unless it is marked (skim), which means you can read the selection for background information.

Highlighted Readings Are Required. Others are suggested, but these may be skimmed. (a PDF that shows the highlighting will be attached within the Week 1 Learning Module)


Week 1 (1-20– 1/24)


  • “What is Early American Literature?” linked to Course Readings Folder.
  • “Beginnings to 1700,” pp. 3-19
  • “The Iroquois Creation Story,” 20 - 23
  • Christopher Columbus, “Letter to Luis de Santangel Regarding the First Voyage” (1493) and
  • “Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella Regarding the Fourth Voyage” (1503), pp. 25-28

Early Settlement and Puritan Literature

  • John Smith, from “The General History of Virginia (1624),” pp. 57-69
  • John Smith, “A Description of New England” (1616), pp. 69-72
  • Thomas Harriot, from “A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1588).” You can access the text online at http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/hariot/hariot.html. Read a few selections from “The First Part: Of Merchantable Commodities,” then scroll to the bottom and study the pictures.

Early American Poetry

  • Anne Bradstreet, “The Author to Her Book,” “Before the Birth of One of Her Children,” “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” and  “To My Dear Children,” pp. 119-126.
  •  “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment,” “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666”
  • Phillis Wheatley, “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” “To the University of Cambridge, in New England,” and “To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works,” pp. 403-404, 409-410.
  • Edward Taylor, “Huswifery,” p. 149.

Week 2 (1/26 – 1/31)


  • Jonathan Edwards
         “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” 209 – 220 (Skim to get an idea of the Puritan philosophy)
  • Mather, “The Trial of Martha Carrier,” pp. 153-55.

“American Literature, 1700 – 1820,”  pp. 157 – 169.

  • Cluster: “Native Americans: Contact and Conflict,” 221 – 223. Read “Pontiac,” (222-24) and “Tecumseh, Speech to the Osages” (231-33).

Week 3 (2/2 – 2/7)


  • Benjamin Franklin, “The Autobiography [Part One],” pp. 248−271
  • Benjamin Franklin, “The Autobiography [Part Two],” pp. 293-308. Read 301 – 308.
  • St. John de Crevecoeur, “Letters from an American Farmer,” 309-23.
  • Thomas Paine, “Common Sense,” 323 – 31.
  • Thomas Jefferson, “Autobiography,” 337-344.

“Slavery, Race, and the Making of American Literature,” 761-62.

  • Thomas Jefferson, “Notes”  762-65
  • Sojourner Truth, “Speech” 775-78.

Weeks 4 and 5 (2/9– 2/21)

Abolitionist Literature and Slave Narratives

  • Olaudah Equiano, from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, 355-366.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Chapters TBD from Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 779 – 818
  • Harriet Jacobs, from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 818-39
  • American Literature, 1820 – 1865 (445 – 63)

Weeks 6 and 7 (2/23 – 2/28, 3/2 – 3/7)


  • William Cullen Bryant, “The Prairies,” 495 – 98.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne,  The Scarlet Letter, linked here and in the “Course Readings” folder.
  • Henry Wadsworth  Longfellow, all poems 656-664.

Paper Due

Week 8 (3/9 – 3/14)

American Transcendentalism

  • “American Literature 1820-1865,” pp. 445-463
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson,” Nature,” Intro and Ch. 1, 508-11)
  • “The American Scholar,”  536-549 or “Self-Reliance,” 549-566.
  • “Each and All,” and “Brahma,” 581- 82.

Weeks 9 and 10 (3/16 – 4/4)


Herman Melville from Moby-Dick, linked here and in the “Course Readings” folder.


     Chapter 1. “Loomings,”

     Chapter 28. “Ahab”

     Chapter 36. “The Quarter-Deck”

     Chapter 41. “Moby Dick”

     Chapter 42. “The Whiteness of the Whale”

     Chapter 47. “The Mat-Maker”

     Chapter 87. “The Grand Armada”

     Chapter 96. “The Tryworks”

     Chapter 98. “Stowing Down  and Clearing Up” 

     Chapter 132. “The Symphony”


  • Henry David Thoreau, from Walden: “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” “Solitude,” “Spring,”  901-926


Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven,” “The Black Cat,” “Annabel Lee” 688-724.

Paper Due

Week 11 (4/6 – 4/11)

American Poetry

  • Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” pp. 1024-1067. Focus on Sections: 1, 2, 3, 15, 21, 22, 24, 30, 31, 32, 43, 51, 52.
  • "Out of the Cradle," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed,” “A Noiseless Patient Spider”
  •  “Beat! Beat! Drums!” “Cavalry Crossing a Ford,” and “The Wound-Dresser,” 1079-1082
  • Explore The Walt Whitman Archive: http://www.whitmanarchive.org/

Week 12 (4/13 – 4/18)

  • Emily Dickinson, Poems #112, 124, 202, 340, 355, 359, 373, 409, 479, 519, 591, 656, 764, 1096, and 1263.

Week 13 (4/20 – 4/25)

The Emergence of Realism

  • Rebecca Harding Davis, Chapters from Life in the Iron Mills, (TBD)1219-1246

Week 14 (4/27 – 5/2) Work on final paper and exam preparation

Week 15 (5/4 – 5/9) Paper Due

Week 16 – Final reflection

The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.

To add some comments, click the "Edit" link at the top.

Course Summary:


Grades 10 American Literature Syllabus


"Everything can be taken from a man but ...the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

~Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 Course Texts/Resources:

 ·        myPerspectives by Pearson Realize and various supplemental texts.

·         Fitzgerald, F. Scott.  The Great Gatsby.  New York: Scribners, 1999.

·         Twain, Mark.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  New York: Bantam, 2003.

·         Miller, Arthur.  The Crucible.

·         Various other works

·         Independent books (teacher-approved; to be determined for each quarter)

·         Nonfiction supplements

·         MLA and research resources

·         Internet and library resources

·         Multimedia selections

 Most literature units will be accompanied by ancillary texts or materials that may include but are not limited to: film literature, essays and short stories written by the authors and related readings that parallel and augment the unit of study.

~ All students are to have a notebook for this class only. 

~ Please bring a hard, marble copybook for journals and Collins writing prompts.  This will be kept in the classroom.

Procedures for Evaluation:

 Tests and quizzes, Standardized rubrics, Writing assignments: essays and creative writing,

Oral presentations, Journal keeping, Projects, Knowledge and Application of literary terms, Homework assignments, Class participation, Midterm and final examinations, Research paper, Summer reading.

 You will also be expected to further develop your skills relative to improving writing through revision, understanding the difference between formal and informal writing, and recognizing common errors in grammar, conventions and style.

  • Grading will be done via a straight graded system (total points).

 General Course Guidelines:

1.)  Organization:  Organization is vitally important.  You will need a three ring binder.  Materials will be three-hole punched.  You should create sections for each novel and have additional subdivisions for writing and short fiction.  Have loose leaf paper readily available so that you can take notes.  Journal entries/Collins Writing will be periodically collected and graded as a quiz.  Anything you do in the course should be readily retrievable.  Come to class prepared each day:  binder, a writing utensil and the novel we are studying.

 2.)  Late Work and Absences:  Generally, late work will not be accepted.  Students are responsible for all missed work, even with legitimate, excused absence.  Computer problems are not a legitimate excuse for late work or tardiness to class.  Students receive no credit for in-class work or essays missed to invalid absence.

  • In accordance with Sun Valley’s attendance policy there will be a one-day grace period for a one-day absence; two days for a two-day absence.  Arrangements can be made for long-term absences.

 3.)  INTEGRITY:  Notice it is not posed as a question.  You are expected to have it.  Unless an assignment is designated as a collaborative one, you are required to work on it individually.  Relying solely on summaries from Cliff’s Notes, Sparknotes, Wikipedia and using other shortcuts are dead ends and much more likely to get you in trouble than help you.  They will not get you through this course.  Remember, if you can find it on the internet, so can I.  Plagiarism (see student handbook) will be dealt with result in an automatic zero on the assignment. 

 4.)  Keys to success:  The primary goal of this course is to broaden and deepen your knowledge of literature and your critical and analytical thinking and writing skills. 

  • Keep up with your reading and plan. 
  • Communicate with me after school or via email about problems and concerns. 
  • Actively think about and react to literature each day in class and in your own reading.  Consciously work on your writing skills by learning from your mistakes and successes. 

 This class will require you to work, but I hope it will be enjoyable in the short term and meaningful for the duration.

 5.)  In-class behavior expectations:  All members of the school community are expected to be respectful of each other.  Negative comments about anyone’s race, nationality, religion, physical appearance or ability, intellectual capacity, gender identity, sexual orientation, work ethic, or character are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  Students are encouraged to discuss any concerns with me or a preferred school official.  In short, follow the Golden Rule. 


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