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PRIOR SYLLABUS. SUBJECT TO CHANGE. CONTACT INSTRUCTOR FOR FURTHER
QUESTIONS.
University of Vermont
Fall 2008
British Literature
(ENGS 021A)
M/W/F 10:10-11:00AM
Marsh Life 105

Rebecca A. McLaughlin
Rebecca.McLaughlin@uvm.edu
Office: 323 Old Mill
Office Hours: T/R 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
and by appointment

Required Textbooks
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vols. A, B, & C packaged FREE with Reading
Chaucer and Norton Critical Edition of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, (5 books in 1 package)
Special ISBN#0-393-18062-X
Shakespeare, William.Hamlet, Pelican Shakespeare - Penguin Classics, 2001,
ISBN#9780140714548
Course Description

This course surveys British literature from the 8th through the 18th century. We will examine a variety of works and consider how literature reflects the social and cultural attitudes within which it was written while simultaneouslyc on tri bu ti n g to the construction of the period\u201fs

\u201ehistory\u201f as we understand it. While the course focuses on surviving literary traces of British

society, we will move more fully toward an awareness of a complex, indistinct past by looking at historical objects, art, and architecture; by viewing select videos; and by listening to readings, music, and songs.

Course Methods:

This course mainly relies on a lecture/discussion format; I always invite students to express
their thoughts on various aspects of the reading(s) and strongly encourage everyone to
participate. Also, I will be integrating brief historical lectures and audio-visuals when
appropriate to further encourage open class discussion. If you have a question or something to
add to the topic under consideration, please raise your hand!

Course Requirements and Grading:

Participation (meet 40 times, 4 points each = 160 points)
Participation in discussions is mandatory to get the full benefit from this course; I expect
everyone to speak and participate in class. Your participation in classroom discussions does
make a difference in your success, as well as that of the other students in the course.

2

Participation requires that you come to class, that you arrive on time, that you are prepared
with your book and thoughts (and reading response if due) on all of the day\u201fs material, that you
listen with civil attention to comments made by others, and that you constructively add to the
discussions with your own comments.
Reading Responses (9 of them, 20 points each = 180 points)
Since academic thinking is rooted in questioning, exploring, and imagining, these written
responses enable you to interact with the course material on paper while also expressing your
individuality as a reader. For each text (or group of poems), I will hand out a list of questions
for you to think about as you read the material. You will choose ONE of these questions and
write a response of approximately 250-500 words, (1-2 pages double-spaced). These responses
will be collected for evaluation on the day in which we discuss the question NOT after the
entire text has been discussed\u2013 so you will not all be passing in responses on the same day,
depending on which question you choose to answer and how many days we take to discuss a
given text. Do not simply summarize the reading or list its content in response to the question.
Think about what the text is saying/doing and how it does so. Think about the influences of an
author\u201fs biographical history, the original audience, and/or the cultural context of the work.
An excellent response will offer no or minimal summary and illustrate you have been critically
and creatively thinking about the course material. If you miss class and answered a question for
that day, you must submit your response assignment at the next class or by email attachment
(use a Word formatted attachment, Plain Text, Rich Text, or PDF File) to my UVM email
account at Rebecca.McLaughlin@uvm.edu. Please write \u201cEnglish 21\u201d in the subject line of your
email. NOTE: If you do not receive an email from me stating that I have received your
assignment, something has gone wrong with the system; please bring a copy of your work to
the following class for credit. NO late responses will be accepted, so keep up with the reading!

Analysis or Research Essay (200 points)
You will write a 5-page, double-spaced analysis or research essay. Your essay topic will develop
from and expand upon your previous responses to the material. It may focus solely on an
analysis of the work(s) in question or it may involve further research into the context of the

work, the author\u201fs life, etc. All sources must be cited in-text and in a Works Cited using MLA
format. You must discuss your topic with me and gain approval before beginning. NO late
papers will be accepted unless authorized by me beforehand.

Mid-Term Exam (200 points)
The mid-term will be a brief, in-class exam covering the material from the first half of the
semester. This exam will consist of matching, multiple choice, and short answer questions.

Final Exam (260 points)
The final exam will be a two-hour exam consisting of matching, multiple choice, and short
answer questions pertaining to the second half of the semester as well as several longer
questions and/or a cumulative essay question.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is essential to your success in this class. Students are expected to attend ALL
regularly scheduled classes. If you are not in class, you cannot participate and I expect everyone
to participate (see grading above). You will lose participation points for every absence no matter
what your reason for missing class with the exception of athletic and religious conflicts.
Students with athletic or religious conflicts must submit in writing by the end of the second week of

3
classes their documented athletic or religious schedule to me. Finally, if you do miss class, it is

your responsibility to find out what you missed and to obtain any additional assignments or
changes in assignment for the next class (feel free to email me). If you miss the mid-term or final
exam due to documented illness or an event beyond your control, you must notify me no later
than 24 hours after the missed exam, via email or in person, to arrange for a make-up time.

Academic Honesty:

Academic integrity is an essential part of learning at UVM. Students are expected to conduct
themselves in an ethical manner while at the University and abide by the Code of Academic
Integrity. Offenses against the Code of Academic Integrity (plagiarism, fabrication, collusion, or
cheating) are deemed serious and insult the integrity of the entire academic community. Any
suspected violations of the Code will not be tolerated and all allegations will be forwarded to
the Center for Student Ethics & Standards. For a copy of the Code of Academic Integrity go to
http://www.uvm.edu/cses and click on Academic Integrity Programs.

In this course, you will receive no credit for work that contains minor offenses against
academic honesty, such as inadequate citation of sources. However, misrepresenting substantial
and significant portions of written work or cheating constitutes a major offense and may result
in harsher disciplinary action, including failure in the course, and suspension or dismissal from
UVM. All work submitted must be your own. If your work uses material from outside sources,
those sources must be properly acknowledged.

Violations of academic integrity include:
using the work or ideas of another writer as your own (including another
student\u201fs writing). This includes paraphrasing and summarizing other\u201fs ideas
when you do not give them credit as the source of the ideas or writing.
allowing another student to use your writing as their own
using work from one of your classes to fulfill an assignment in another class
allowing a tutor or other person to write part or all of your paper (or to provide
so much correction that the writing is far beyond what you could have done on
your own)
providing or accepting information about an exam

UVM Writing Center:

If you feel you need extra help with your writing, you should either come see me or make an
appointment at the Writing Center. At the Writing Center, you will work on your writing with
students from a variety of academic disciplines who are experienced writers and well-trained
tutors.
Schedule an Appointment: call 656-4075 (on campus 6-4075) or stop by the Learning

Cooperative, 244 Commons Living/Learning.
Web: www.uvm.edu/~wrtngctr
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, you must contact
UVM ACCESS (Office of Accommodation, Consultation, Collaboration, & Educational Support
Services), whose staff will recommend reasonable and appropriate accommodations in light of
your disability and the academic requirements of this course. ACCESS is located at A-170
Living/Learning Center (http://www.uvm.edu/access/ or 656-7753).

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