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Introduction to Literature

Ms. Anna Kavalauskas

Course Description
This 9th Grade English course introduces students to some of the foundational texts of
Western Civilization. Class discussions are designed to demonstrate the greatness of these
works through an analysis of their major themes and characters. A heavy emphasis is
placed on the development of the students writing skills along with grammar and
vocabulary. The goal is to ensure that every student is capable of writing multiple, clear,
persuasive paragraphs by the end of the course. Major literary works studied in the course
include Sophocles Oedipus Rex, Homers The Odyssey, and Shakespeares Julius
Caesar. Students also read selections of Greek myths and Bible stories.

Ackerman, James S., and Thayer S. Warshaw. The Bible as Literature. 2nd ed. Glenview:
ScottForesman, 1995. Print.
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York:
Little, Brown and Company, 2013. Print.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
Inc., 1998. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Print.
Sophocles. The Three Theban Plays. Trans. E.F. Watling. London: Penguin,
1974. Print.

Course Expectations and Guidelines
Reading and Discussion: You are expected to keep up with the assigned readings as this will
help you to prepare for class discussions. Highlighting text, noting questions or observations,
and keeping a notebook will help you to make thoughtful and detailed contributions.

Writing: You must keep a notebook for class discussions and homework assignments. All
assigned written work is due at the beginning of class on the assigned day, and tardiness will
result in a lowering of the grade. I encourage you to set up meeting times with me throughout
the year to discuss drafts of your writing assignments.

Vocabulary: In addition to any new vocabulary that appears in our readings, we will be
studying vocabulary cumulatively, and you will be quizzed periodically. You will also be
expected to use new vocabulary in your writing and discussion.

Grammar: We will also be studying grammar cumulatively, and there will be quizzes
periodically. You are also expected to edit your own writing carefully for grammar.

Communication: Check Veracross each day so that you know which assignments to complete.
Failure to bring the required assignments to class will negatively impact your grade. If you are
unsure about anything, either email me your question or arrange a time to meet with me. You
should also check your school email at least once a day.

Missing class: If you miss a class, you are responsible for the material covered in and for that
class. You should contact me as soon as possible to get the homework assignment. If you miss
a quiz, test, or paper, you should be prepared to complete it the day after the missed class
unless we have made other arrangements.

Supplies: In addition to the text we are working on at any given time, you will need a
notebook (spiral or composition book) and a binder with separate sections for drafts of your
writing, class handouts, and grammar materials. You must always have your English
homework and handouts with you every day.

Honesty and Integrity
From the Student and Parent Handbook:
Honesty is a core value and an attribute of personal integrity. It applies to all aspects of
life at TASIS, including academics. Incidents of academic cheating or plagiarism are
example of dishonest conduct and are taken very seriously. Academic dishonesty
includes, but is not limited to:
copying another students work
cheating on a test
helping another student to cheat
claiming any material from another source as ones own work (plagiarism)
In all cases of academic dishonesty, the student will:
receive a failing grade for the assessment or assignment.
be required to re-do/complete the assignment in question.
be recorded in the students school record.
will engage in a reflective exercise.
Academic dishonesty is a serious matter. If a student continues to disregard the Schools
policy on academic honesty, the School may ask the student to separate from the
community for a set amount of time or permanently.

The Special Case of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a violation that strikes to the heart of the academic enterprise since in one
act it contains actions of lying, cheating, and stealing. Plagiarism is presenting work as
original when it is not. This includes using another persons phrasing, ideas, computation,
or editing. We spend a good deal of time working with students on how to ensure they do
not plagiarize. Students are expected to give adequate credit to all sources of information.

You may find yourself with questions as you write papers about how to cite a reference or
acknowledge the help you have received. When in doubt, cite your sources. Formal citation
guidelines can be found on this website:
document_mla_lh.html. If you are unsure about what or how to cite, ask!

Course Expectations and Grading Policy
Quizzes, class participation, homework, and other 40%
All writing 60%

Late homework will not be accepted.
You will be notified of due dates for papers and most quizzes in advance. If you anticipate
difficulty completing a major assignment by the due date, you must let me know 24 hours in
advance in order for me to consider granting an extension.
A draft of a paper is due at the beginning of class. Submission of a paper after its due date and
without an extension will be penalized. I drop one grade (A to A-) for each day that an
assignment is late.
Be on time for class.