Fall 2023, Section 1 (CRN 83779)
Fully Online | 3 credit hours
Office: Arts and Letters (SoAL) 239
The MGA Undergraduate Catalog indicates that English 2122 is "a survey of important works of British literature from the Romantic era to the present." My fundamental aim is to lead you through close exploration of selected major works in British literature to improve your abilities in critical reading and thinking and effective writing.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors, 10th ed., vol 2, ISBN 978-0-393-60309-3
Participation: While this online class is "asynchronous," allowing some freedom in the timing of student participation, due dates apply and diligent, engaged participation in discussions is crucial to your success.
Late work: Threaded discussions and critical responses are not accepted late. All other late work loses 5% per calendar day. To reiterate particularly, threaded discussions must be posted prior to the deadline to receive credit.
Minimum course requirements: Regardless of overall grade average, to pass the course you must turn in the formal paper and all corrections assignments, submit at least five critical responses, and take the midterm and final exams.Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own. I submit cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Student Conduct Officer. The penalty for plagiarism in this class is an "F" for the entire course, not just the assignment in question. See the definition of plagiarism in the English 2XXX syllabus supplement; also see "On Plagiarism."
Content advisory: This is a college class, at a State University, and even though some students may legally be minors, I will consider all students adults. We may read and discuss material that makes you uncomfortable or that some deem offensive or counter to their personal beliefs, including matters relating to religion, race, sex, and sexuality. If you are uncomfortable with any of the material we cover in the class, I encourage you to let me know about it.Instruments of Evaluation
Threaded discussions: The participation component of your grade is determined primarily by the frequency and quality of your contributions to the threaded discussions. You should make thoughtful, meaningful contributions each unit. Threaded discussions must be posted prior to the deadline to receive credit. Ideally, you should post discussion contributions early and late in each unit, and it is essential that you read the vast majority of posts by your classmates (and me) each unit. Threaded discussions approximate class discussion in a face-to-face class, and much as students in traditional classrooms cannot just share their contributions and leave the classroom without hearing and benefiting from what others say in discussion, you will gain little by offering your discussion posts without attending to what others have to say. Students who post only on the last day of any unit will receive no higher grade for that unit's discussion than a B; students who fail to read at least half of classmates' postings each unit will receive no higher grade than C.
Critical responses: You will submit a minimum of five informal writings as "critical responses" to the readings. I will post critical response topics and requirements for each unit as we proceed. Note that you are required to submit only five of these responses. There will be at least fifteen critical response assignments posted over the course of the semester, so you could do the first five and have them out of the way; or you could do one response every third unit; or, if you think you "work better under pressure," you might do the last five responsesI do not recommend this last approach! These informal writings will be graded with an emphasis on content, but they should reflect greater care in writing style and mechanics than with your threaded discussion contributions. You may do up to two extra critical responses to replace the lowest two grades among the first five responses you submit.
The Writing Matters test covers a variety of rules, conventions, and matters of mechanics outlined in several web pages from my site: the Golden Rules are important rules of grammar and style; the Nuggets cover a variety of conventions and problems, especially in the handling of quotations; a number of common problems in spelling and diction are described in Word Problems; the Quotations page presents basic conventions in MLA-style citation and documentation of sources.
Terminology test: assesses mastery of literary terminology which we will cover early in the semester.
Exams: Both the midterm and the final will consist of two parts: 1) "short answers," or brief paragraph-length commentary on the significance of specific passages from our readings, and 2) essays on central themes and literary features of the works we cover. There will be one essay on the midterm and two on the final. You will have some choice in the short answer and essay portions of each exam: you might on one exam, for instance, select 7 of 10 short answer questions and 1 of 3 essay options.
The paper: In a carefully constructed and thoroughly developed essay of 6-8 typed pages (1800 word minimum), you will explore in some depth a subject you choose from a list of paper topics I will post on the web at the appropriate time. You will turn in a topic sentence outline (a paper proposal) before the paper is due as indicated on the schedule of readings and assignments. The paper must be submitted in digital form to the Brightspace (D2L) online learning management system.
Corrections: For the first two critical responses you submit and the formal paper, after your work is graded you will hand in corrected drafts with all changes highlighted. For specifics, see corrections instructions.
Conferences: Conferences are not mandatory, particularly in an online course, but I strongly recommend them if you struggle with any aspect of the readings and at any stage of the paper-writing processexploring topics, drafting, revising, or editing. My typical aim in paper conferences is to head off potential problems in your essays and to offer helpful, critical feedback on your work before you submit it for grading. Meeting face to face in my office is the first and best option, but for those not within easy driving distance of the Macon campus, we can do conferences through video or telephone.Paper "Rewrites": Time permitting, you may rewrite and resubmit the formal paper for re-grading. Rewrite grades replace original grades completely. Note that rewriting involves far more substantial revision than correcting grammatical errors (which you do in corrections): rewrites should also address larger problems in focus, structure, content, and style. The starting point for revision is my typed comments on your graded papers; rewrites should also address comments and questions written in the margins of the original graded papers. The deadline for all rewrites is the date of the final exam.
Final grade breakdown
The extra mile—doing your best: Tutoring, in person and online, is available in the Writing Center and in Student Success Centers (SSC) on all campuses. The Macon campus Writing Center is in TEB 226 and the SSC is in the lower level of the Library building.
For subjects tutored and appointments, visit the SSC website at http://www.mga.edu/student-success-center/. On the Macon campus or fully online, you can book tutoring sessions by visiting mga.mywconline.com/. The SSC website also posts tutoring schedules for other centers across the five campuses, including the Writing Center (in Macon, TEB 226: 478-471-3542). All tutoring centers across the five campuses are free of charge. Other services at the SSC include online academic workshops and a robust website with resources for academic assistance. The centers also have computer workstations, free printing, and Internet access.
The Bottom Line: I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do all I can to make this happen. Don't get me wrongthe standards for "A" work are high. The number-one key to succeeding in this class is that you take responsibility for your own success, meaning that you attend to all assignments with careful, earnest diligence, that you respond positively to any setbacks and heed my feedback on all assignments, and that you seek my help as much and as often as you need it. I guarantee you have one of the most accessible professors at Middle Georgia State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver.