2006E Introduction to the Study of Literature
Office: EC 119
Hours: MWF 2:30 3:30; TuTh 2:30 4:30
In this course we will look at a selection of poetry, drama, and prose
texts from Old English to contemporary with a view to examining their
forms, conventions, techniques, and concerns. With so vast a field to
traverse, the course can hardly aim at complete coverage: Instead of
surveying at breakneck speed, we will glean selectively. That is, the
course will proceed primarily by close readings of individual works,
attempting to discover both what they mean and (more importantly) how
they mean, providing students with the skills, insights, and analytical
tools they need to read and discuss virtually any work on their own.
In short, the aim of the course is to provide students with a general
knowledge of some of the ways literature works, and with specific knowledge
of historical periods and critical methods in other words, to
prepare them for advanced study in the discipline of English.
Students should plan to attend all classes, and to have read and be
prepared to discuss the material assigned for that day. You
won't get much out of class if you haven't read the material, and chronic
absenteeism is grounds for an automatic failure. While diligent attendance
and keeping up with the reading are key components of the learning process,
participation in class discussions can also be invaluable, and is strongly
encouraged. Since some students may find it extremely difficult to speak
in front of others, though, it is not mandatory; however, because they
make the class better for everyone, students who make significant contributions
to class discussions may receive bonus marks.
mode for class will be discussion: For the most part, I already know
what I think; I want to know what YOU think.
Quizzes (best 5 of 6) 10%
Three essays 60%
Final exam 30%
All essays are to be typed (CG Times or Roman font, 12 points in size
most of this outline is in 12pt Times New Roman), double-spaced,
on one side only, with pages numbered, and paper-clipped (not stapled)
together. Be sure to include a "Works Cited" (even if you
quote only the class text). (Needless to say, be sure to have an informative
title, and include your name, my name, and the course number on the
Students who, for legitimate reasons, cannot complete their essays by
the deadline should see me at least a day before the deadline
to obtain an extension form, and avoid penalty.
Students should make and retain at least one extra (backup) copy of
all essays ideally both a hard copy (printout) and on disk.
Plagiarism means passing off another person's work or ideas as one's
own (including the internet, other students' essays, or purchased essays).
Debts to others must always be indicated, preferably using
parenthetical documentation (MLA format). You must acknowledge such
debts if you quote someone else's exact words, if you paraphrase
someone else's words, or if you make use of someone else's original
idea. The minimum penalty for substantial plagiarism
is a zero for the assignment; you could even be dismissed from the University.
(See the Academic Calendar, section E, pp. 244-246.) If you have any
questions or doubts, please consult me.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature Major Authors Edition
(2 volumes, paperback), Ed M. H. Abrams et al. (Norton)
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Broadview)
Sylvan Barnet & Reid Gilbert, A Short Guide to Writing about
Literature (Addison Wesley)
A good dictionary, such as the Gage Canadian
Don LePan, The Broadview Book of Common Errors in English (Broadview)
Remember to buy
your books early: The Bookstore returns unsold texts rather quickly.
Do read ahead if you can you'll get a lot more out of a piece
of literature if you can read it more than once
If you ever have a problem (with me, with anyone else in the class,
with anything that happens in the class, or with any other part of the
course), please see me. It's part of my job, and I enjoy helping students.
Please don't let things fester: a small problem at the beginning
of the year might be easy to solve, but can turn into a nasty one if
you leave it. Email is generally better than phoning I should
be able to get back to you within one school day (and I hate playing
telephone tag). Seeing me in person is likely the best I'm almost
always in during my office hours, and many others, too. Please
try to avoid coming to see me just before I teach a class, though
(I'm usually madly preparing, and might not be able to give you the
attention I otherwise would and that you deserve). The "good"
and "bad" hours are posted on my office door. Finally, be
prepared to work hard, have fun, and learn a good deal. Let's have a