ENGLISH 513:  Milton


MW, 5:00-6:15, Owens 208; 3 credit hours


Professor's Information


Dr. Fike

Office:  Bancroft 258; 803-323-4575

E-mail:  fikem@winthrop.edu

Website:  http://faculty.winthrop.edu/fikem


Course Description and Goals


Catalog description:  "Milton's poetry and representative prose, his life and the background of the 17th century."


The main purpose of this course is to understand Paradise Lost in the context of Milton’s prose, minor poetry, life, and times.  Thus readings in the epic are interspersed with related material.  The course requirements include response papers, a development of one of these into a longer researched essay, a midterm writing experience, a final exam, and class presence.  In other words, we will foster critical thinking, speaking, and writing through regular readings, class discussions, and papers. Our main mode will be discussion because what you think about Milton is the centerpiece of the course; therefore, active engagement on your part—including small group work in class—is essential. 

This course meets the following General Education Goals: 

Learning Outcomes


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





Roy Flannagan, The Riverside Milton


On Reserve:


Francis C. Blessington, Paradise Lost:  Ideal and Tragic Epic (A Student's Companion to the Poem)

Stanley Fish, Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost

Lieb & Shawcross, Achievements of the Left Hand:  Essays on the Prose of John Milton


In Reference Collection:


The Milton Encyclopedia, 9 vols.


 Course Requirements


20 - Response Papers:  4 are required @ 5 points (revisable by specific due dates); minimum:  2-4 pages apiece

20 - Longer paper (revisable until a specific due date); minimums:  8 pages minimum for undergraduates (5 critical sources minimum), 12 pages minimum for graduate students (10 critical sources


20 – Midterm

20 - Final Exam

20 - Class presence (active participation in discussion)


You will be graded on a 100-point scale as follows:

Notes on requirements:










Other Course Policies


Late work:  Under normal circumstances, the grade for your written work will be reduced by 1 point per day late.  In the event of paper-documented illness or death in the in the family, extensions will be given.  If no arrangements are made within one week of the due date, it is unlikely that I will allow an extension.  I do not accept submissions over e-mail.


Such policies as appear in this paragraph should not be necessary in a graduate course; nevertheless, here they are in case we need them.  You should attend all class sessions and be a few minutes early so that we can start right on time.  If you miss more than two weeks of class, your participation grade will go down 5% per absence.  If you miss four weeks of class (nearly 30% of the class meetings) or plagiarize a paper, the result will be an automatic F for the course.  Regarding the final examination, there will be no accommodations for travel plans.


Format for written work: 


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).

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.  

Touchstone/General Education Goals:  This course meets General Education goals #s 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7; and counts toward the Humanities and Arts General Education requirement.

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 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.

E-mail List Serves: Winthrop automatically generates a listserv for each class using the Winthrop e-mail addresses of all students enrolled in a class on the first day of instruction. If you add the class late or if you prefer to use an alternate e-mail address, you must personally enroll in the listserv. You can find the instructions for doing so at http://www.winthrop.edu/acc/imailsrv.asp.

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 as 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 check e-mail on weekends, however), I do not necessarily check them more than once a day or late in the evenings. 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.

Student Conduct Code: As noted in the Student Conduct Code:  “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). 

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 Conduct Code (http://www.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/Judicial/judcode.htm). The English Department has prepared The Correct Use of Borrowed Information to explain plagiarism (see www.winthrop.edu/english/plagiarism.htm .) 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 has established a Rubric for Freshman Writing Courses that is found at www.winthrop.edu/english/rubric.htm.  A formal description of letter grades used by Winthrop instructors can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Grading Policy: This class will/will not use the plus/minus grading system. In this class, the following numerical equivalents for grades are used:

Minimum Grades in Classes: In order to pass this class, you must receive a minimum of D- (60%).

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/recandreg/calendars/default.htm. 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. Turn off all electronic devices.

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.

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.

Duplicate Submission of Papers: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of your English 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://www.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/Judicial/judcode.htm )

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.