English 203, section 002:  Major British Authors

Spring 2010; 3 hours

TR, 9:30-10:45, Owens 109

Professor's Information


Course Description

As the title suggests, English 203 surveys major authors from the main periods of British literature (beginnings through postmodernism).  Our emphasis will be on "periodicity," which means the ways in which a literary work reflects and reinforces the historical period in which it appears.  Although counting toward the English major, English 203 is appropriate for non-English majors who want a course that partially fulfills the Historical Perspectives or Humanities & Arts requirements.  As befits a course at the 200-level, course requirements include participation, [quizzes,] midterm and final examinations, and three short linked papers.

Gourse Goals

Here is my personal list of goals:

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the semester, students will be able to

University-Level Competencies (ULCs)

Winthrop’s University-Level Competencies (ULCs) identify learning outcomes that apply across all undergraduate programs and that all Winthrop graduates attain.  These capacities are essential preparation for working productively and living meaningfully in the contemporary and emerging world.   The ULCs were approved by Faculty Conference in October 2010.

Competency 1: Winthrop graduates think critically and solve problems. 

Winthrop University graduates reason logically, evaluate and use evidence, and solve problems.  They seek out and assess relevant information from multiple viewpoints to form well-reasoned conclusions.  Winthrop graduates consider the full context and consequences of their decisions and continually reexamine their own critical thinking process, including the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments. [ENGL 305's term project, daily discussions of text, and in-class exercises fulfill this ULC.]

Competency 2: Winthrop graduates are personally and socially responsible. 

Winthrop University graduates value integrity, perceive moral dimensions, and achieve excellence.  They take seriously the perspectives of others, practice ethical reasoning, and reflect on experiences.  Winthrop graduates have a sense of responsibility to the broader community and contribute to the greater good. [ENGL 305's emphasis on the proper incorporation of borrowed information fulfills this ULC.]

Competency 3: Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live. 

Winthrop University graduates comprehend the historical, social, and global contexts of their disciplines and their lives. They also recognize how their chosen area of study is inextricably linked to other fields.  Winthrop graduates collaborate with members of diverse academic, professional, and cultural communities as informed and engaged citizens. [ENGL's emphasis on historical context and incorporation of other disciplines' points of view fulfill this ULC.]

Competency 4: Winthrop graduates communicate effectively. 

Winthrop University graduates communicate in a manner appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience. They create texts – including but not limited to written, oral, and visual presentations – that convey content effectively. Mindful of their voice and the impact of their communication, Winthrop graduates successfully express and exchange ideas. [ENGL 305's term project fulfills this ULC.]

Program Goals

English majors analyze and synthesize various forms of traditional, digital, and non-print texts. Our students read the works of authors from a broad range of cultural, ethnic, racial, and gendered backgrounds, and they develop a nuanced understanding of how historical and cultural context affect literary/textual production. Majors learn to engage in literary and rhetorical analysis, as well as demonstrate knowledge of theory, criticism, research methods, and documentation techniques.

English majors gain knowledge of the English language arts. Majors explore topics such as the teaching of literature and the structure and historical development of the English language. They become familiar with various approaches to grammar, gaining recognition of dialects and patterns of usage, the digital humanities, and the purposes of language from theoretical and technological approaches.

English majors compose carefully crafted texts and construct persuasive arguments based on analysis and deliberation. Their writings may take the form of critical essays, fictional or poetic works, and professional documents. All majors learn to write sustained texts that contain the following: researched material, appropriate awareness of audience and purpose, and mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Students [ethical tied to ULCs] provide proper documentation of primary and secondary sources and demonstrate effective use of existing technologies to research, prepare, and present information.

Departmental SLOs: http://www.winthrop.edu/cas/english/default.aspx?id=20748

BA in English Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

SLO 1: English majors think critically by evaluating and using evidence.  They seek out and assess relevant information from multiple viewpoints to form well-reasoned conclusions. 

SLO 2: English majors are personally and socially responsible.  They practice ethical reasoning and demonstrate an understanding of the moral dimensions of English Studies through well-documented research. 

SLO 3: English majors comprehend the historical, social, and global contexts of their disciplines and their lives.

SLO 4: English majors are able to construct persuasive arguments based on careful analysis and deliberation and use a voice and format suitable for the intended audience.

SLO 5: English majors are able to read and interpret a wide range of texts and demonstrate comprehension of their content and relevant textual characteristics. 

SLO 6: English majors demonstrate familiarity with the concepts and pertinent applications of major critical theories and schools of criticism within the discipline.

General Education: ENGL 203 meets two categories of General Education--Historical Perspectives or Humanities & Arts. the Humantities--by addressing the following: human diversity (both past and present), the diversity/history of ideas, institutions, philosophies, moral codes, and ethical principles; aesthetic values, the creative process, and the interconnectedness of the literary, visual, and performing arts; and values, attitudes, beliefs, and habits that define the nature and quality of life.


Available at the bookstore:


Course Requirements (a.k.a. Student Learning Activities):  Evaluation and Grading


Grading Scale:  You will be graded on a 100-point scale as follows:  A, 95-100; A-, 90-94; B+, 87-89; B, 83-86; B-, 80-82; C+, 77-79; C, 73-76; C-, 70-72; D+, 67-69; D, 63-66; D-, 60-62; F, 0-59.  Here is the distribution:

Notes on Course Requirements

Class Presence and Participation: 


Regarding presence: Seven full days' absences (25% of the course) will result in an an automatic F.  One tardy of more than 10 minutes  (or leaving more than 10 minutes early) will count as a day's absence.  Three tardies of less than 10 minutes also equal a day's absence.  You may have 4 absences without affecting your course grade; after that, each absence over 4 will lower your class presence grade by 3 points, and each tardy will lower it by 1 point.


Note:  If you come in late, you must see me after class so that I change your absence mark to a tardy mark.  If you do not see me after class, your tardiness will count as a full absence.


Note: There is no such thing as an "excused" absence in this class. Things like medical excuses are for days when we have an exam, quiz, or assignment due. If you are not in class, that is an absence, period.


Regarding participation, you need to speak up often enough` to leave me with the impression that you participated actively.  I will grade your contributions to large-group discussion as follows:  frequent contributions will be worth 9-10 points (A); regular contributions, 8 points (B); occasional contributions, 7 points (C); few contributions, 6 points (D); none, 0 points (F).  By "contributions," I mean thoughtful and constructive remarks that add to full-class discussion:  the content of your remarks does count in my evaluation of your class participation.  You have the option of keeping a log of your daily comments in full-class discussions (not group work) and submitting it to me at the end of the semester to demonstrate the nature and extent of your contributions.  If you choose to do so, organize your document by day/date and use bullet points to list your comments.  It should NOT devote bullet points to class notes or to things you said in small groups.  It is solely for your own contributions to full-class discussions.

Midterm and Final Examinations
:  Because I will be off campus on February 18th, we have only 27 class days instead of the normal 28. Therefore, we will  have a take-home midterm and an in-class final during exam week. The midterm will be available to you on Blackboard on the Friday before Spring Break. The final (no books or notes) will have three sections:  factual identification (terms, details from the literature), identification and analysis of quotations, and a short essay or essays.  There will be choices within some sections; therefore, if you do not remember or recognize something, you will not necessarily lose credit.  Please bring two large blue books (8.5x11") to the final exam.  You must take the final examination at the regularly scheduled time.  I will not provide accommodations for vacation plans.

Quizzes: The purpose of quizzes is to make sure that you keep up with the reading and to reward you for doing so.  Each quiz will consist of ten items, of which nine will be fact-oriented multiple choice questions.  The tenth question will require a short written response and is likely to require more than factual recollection.  In addition, I reserve the right to put a small number of quotations on the quizzes.  Quizzes may not be made up except in the event of your illness, a serious automobile accident, a university-sanctioned absence such as an athletic event, a death in your family, or some other legitimate and paper-documentable occurrence.  In any of these cases, I will require an official paper excuse (a doctor's note, an accident report, a letter from the athletic department, intervention by the Dean of Students, an obituary, etc.).  The make-up will then consist of a 2-3 page response paper on an approved topic and will be due not more than one week after your return to class.  Note:  If you come in late, I may not allow you to take a quiz.  I will NOT drop your lowest quiz grade when I calculate your final course grade.

Response Papers:  I have designed a series of assignments that should have a very fruitful cumulative effect.


RP 1 (5 points, 2 full pages minimum + works cited list in MLA format):  Select a work from the Romantic, Victorian, or Modern period of our course (see calendar of assignments:  yes, I do want you to pick something that we will be discussing in class).  Here are some guidelines for the paper:


RP 2 (5 points, 2 full pages minimum + works cited list):  Now find two articles that take different positions on (the same thing within) your selected text from RP 1.  I would ideally like the total of printed pages for your two sources to be 10 pages minimum.  Here is what you should turn in for step 2:  a file folder containing 1) a two-page explanation of how the two articles take different positions on the text that you selected; 2) a works cited list that includes your primary text and your two articles; and 3) photocopies of the two articles.  Here are some guidelines for finding articles:


RP 3 (10 points, 4 full pages minimum + works cited list):  The final step requires that you mediate between the contrasting critical views that you established in step 2.  Which one seems stronger to you--and why?  Or do both have strengths and weaknesses?  What is your own position on the primary text?


Here is how RPs 1 and 2 will be graded on a 5-point scale (double the amounts for RP 3):


Obviously, point values will be doubled for RP 3.


Format for Papers:  

Note:  These format requirements are NOT an excuse for poor work.  If you find that they are interfering with your idea creation, defer them until the your paper has been written. 


Other Policies

Late assignments:  Written work is due in class on the days designated in the Calendar.  Late work will be penalized 1 point for each 24-hour period it is late.  I am willing to give brief extensions for written work if you are ill or have some other kind of emergency, provided that you provide official written documentation when you turn in your work.  If you are responsible and well organized, I will be flexible.  I especially appreciate advanced notice.  If you will be absent on a due date or a test date because of university business, you must submit your work in advance.  All make-up work is due not later than one week from your return to class, and you must include your official written excuse with your submission. 

Various policies on electronics:  I do not accept papers submitted over e-mail.  I will not print your papers for you.  All papers must be submitted to turnitin.com, but I do not grade online.  Give me a properly formatted hardcopy in class on the due dates. You may not use laptops or any other devices in class on any occasion.  Turn your cell phones off during class and put them away.  No texting.  Silence your watch so that it does not go off on the hour or half hour. You must submit all three papers to turnitin.com.  I will check e-mail every morning, M-F.  I do not guarantee that I will check it at other times, and I do not do e-mail on the weekends.


Eating and Drinking in Class:  You may drink clear water with no ice or additives. Otherwise, you may not eat or drink anything before, during, or after class. Help keep the classroom clean for later classes.


Sleeping and Illness:  If you fall asleep in class, you will receive a full absence for the day (regular semester).  If you are that tired, please stay home.  If you are contagious and/or have a bad cough, please stay home.  Also, please do not come to my office when you are sick.  The university wants those who are sick to "self-isolate."


Departmental Policies and Procedures

"Unless your professor specifies otherwise on her or his syllabus, the following policies and procedures apply for all courses offered by the Department of English (CRTW, ENGL, ENGE, and WRIT)."  --Department of English

Goals: Goals for all courses in the Department of English, including those that meet requirements for NCATE certification, are described at http://www.winthrop.edu/english/goals.htm.  

Syllabus Change Policy: The version of your instructor's policy posted on her/his website, WebCT site, or www.turnitin.com site is the official policy statement for your class. This page may change during the semester, so make sure you check it frequently to keep up with changes.

Resources: The English Department’s home page is http://www.winthrop.edu/english.  Please check there for links to instructors' webpages, course materials, and The English Major's Handbook http://www.winthrop.edu/cas/english/default.aspx?id=20804 of useful links.

Office Hours: My office hours this semester are MTWR, 3:30-4:30. I will make every effort to be available during these hours or to notify you if I cannot be available.  If you want to have a conference with me, please make an appointment. I will NOT be available under any circumstances on Fridays:  this is my own dedicated research time. 

Contacting Your Instructor: All instructors in the Department have voice mail in their offices and Winthrop e-mail addresses. Make sure you write down your instructor’s phone number and e-mail address where you will not lose it. You can leave messages for your instructor in the department mailroom, 248 Bancroft, which is open from 8:30-5:00 each day.

Instructor Accessibility: You can expect me to be available as a resource from which to draw and to obtain feedback. I am very responsive to email questions as long as I know who the email is from and have all information necessary to provide a complete answer. Please be sure to “sign” your emails because oftentimes email names are confusing at best (e.g., brownb1@winthrop.edu could be Bob Brown or Beth Brown). Please make sure to speak slowly and comprehensibly if leaving a voicemail so that I can decipher the name, message, and return phone number as well.

What you cannot expect of me is to be available 24/7. While I do check my email and voicemail regularly, I do not necessarily check them more than once a day or late in the evenings. I never check e-mail or voice mail on weekends.  Therefore, if you procrastinate on an assignment, you may not have the information you need to complete the assignment appropriately. Please plan your time accordingly to maximize the probability that you will receive a response in time for it to be useful.  If you want help, it is really more fruitful to come see me in person.

Student Conduct Code: As noted in the Student Code of Conduct:  “Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.” The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy” in the online Student Handbook (http://www2.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/handbook/StudentHandbook.pdf). 

Handheld Devices:  You may not use any electronic devices in class unless I give you specific permission or unless you have official accommodations from Services for Students with Disabilities.  See the College of Arts and Sciences' policy on handheld devices at http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/artscience/AppropriateUseOfHandHeldWirelessTechnologyApprovedPolicyMar2010.pdf. Turn off all electronic devices before class starts and put them away.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")–whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not. It is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct (http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/studentconduct/StudentHandbook.pdf). The English Department has prepared The Correct Use of Borrowed Information to explain plagiarism (see http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/cas/english/CorrectUseBorrowedInfo.pdf). You may be required to print out this statement, sign the last page, and bring it to class when required by your instructor. Ignorance or failure to consult this material is no excuse.

Grades: The Department of English has established a Rubric for Freshman Writing Courses that is found at http://www2.winthrop.edu/english/WritingProgram/rubric.htm.  A formal description of letter grades used by Winthrop instructors can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Attendance: The official Winthrop attendance policy is found on p. 8 of The Undergraduate Catalog 2009-2010 "Academic Regulations" section (http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/recandreg/Catalogs/09-10/2009_10_catalog_Acad_Regs.pdf). The policy for attendance at final examinations is also found on page 8.

Final Examinations: Winthrop University policy requires that all classes meet during their scheduled final examination period. This schedule can be found on the Records and Registration website at http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/recandreg/Calendars/Exams.pdf. Winthrop University policy specifies that personal conflicts such as travel plans and work schedules do not warrant a change in examination time. You are responsible for checking the time of your final examination and for making arrangements to be there.

Expectations for Classroom Behavior: The classroom environment should provide a safe environment for exploring ideas and challenging assumptions. Students are expected to listen respectfully to the voices of other individuals and to share their own opinions and values in a positive, respectful manner. Students and the instructor are expected to treat each member of the class with respect and civility. Classroom behavior that a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interfering with the conduct of the class will not be tolerated in this course. Students who engage in disruptive behavior will be subject to sanctions as specified in the Student Conduct Code.

Students with Disabilities: Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education.  If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact Gena Smith, Coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities, at 323-3290, as soon as possible.  Once you have your Professor Notification Form, please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first assignment, test, or paper.

Winthrop’s Academic Success Center is a free resource for all undergraduate students seeking to perform their best academically.  The ASC offers a variety of personalized and structured resources that help students achieve academic excellence, such as tutoring, academic skill development (test taking strategies, time management counseling, and study techniques), group and individual study spaces, and academic coaching.  The ASC is located on the first floor of Dinkins, Suite 106.  Please contact the ASC at 803-323-3929 or success@winthrop.edu.  For more information on ASC services, please visit www.winthrop.edu/success.

Safe Zones Statement: The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.  Note:  I have been through SZ training, and I display a SZ decal on my office door.

Duplicate Submission of Papers: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted, in whole or in part, for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of your instructor and the other instructor involved in advance. This is to conform to the Student Code of Conduct, §V, which states: "Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to … presenting the same or substantially the same papers or projects in two or more courses without the explicit permission of the professors involved" (Student Code of Conduct §V: http://www2.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/handbook/StudentHandbook.pdf). 

Writing Center: The Writing Center provides support for all students in all Winthrop classes free of charge. It is located in 242 Bancroft (x-2138). Check its web page (http://www.winthrop.edu/wcenter) for current hours. I will provide extra credit if you visit the Writing Center: .5 point for every 30-minute visit up to 5 points. No, you do not have to give me the yellow slips; however, you should keep them until the end of the semester in case there is a problem.