English 2613
Introduction to Literature
Spring 2007
Section 002

Dr. Chip Rogers
Phone: 341-8908
Email: chip@chipspage.com
Web address: www.chipspage.com

Office: Baird Hall 104
Office phone: 343-7748
Office hours: MW 10:00-12:00, 1:30-2:00,
   TuTh 11:30-12:30, 1:45-2:30, and by


The 2006-2007 RSU Bulletin describes English 2613 as the "Introduction of various genres of prose (fiction, drama/film) and poetry. Includes literary terms, verse, image, and language of poetry. Also includes research techniques, critical writing exercises, and discussion" (116). My aim in the course is to lead you through close exploration of significant literary works in prose, poetry, and drama to facilitate the development of your abilities in critical thinking, reading, and writing. Additionally I hope to foster your understanding of literature as not merely "matter for scholastic study," or a hoop that you must negotiate on your way to a college diploma, but as truly meaningful beyond the classroom because literature speaks directly to and about us all in the most fundamental ways as human beings, offering intelligent and thinking people a valuable and inexhaustible life resource throughout their lives. 

None, though successful completion of English 1113 and 1213 (Composition I and II) is strongly advised.

Texts and Materials

Booth, Hunter, and Mays, The Norton Introduction to Literature. 9th edition.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Barnes and Noble Classics Edition (2003).
"Handouts" from my website.

Core Requirements

Participation in class discussion.
Reading quizzes.  
Quizzes and exams or exercises on grammar, convention, diction, and mechanics.
8 informal critical response writings (200 word minimum each).
2 midterm exams and a final exam.
2 formal papers of 1000-1500 words (4-5 pages).
Corrections of graded critical responses and formal papers.


Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day. I record attendance daily, and absences will affect your grade. For this course there are no distinctions between "excused" and "unexcused" absences. Students with more than four absences cannot pass the class—regardless of the reasons for any of the absences. I understand that "stuff happens," and not every student will be able to attend every class meeting. I will try to work with you on any major assignments you happen to miss (i.e. any assignments other than reading quizzes), especially when you let me know about the absence before missing class: feel free to call me at home or send email anytime you know you will not be in class.

Late work: Late work will be penalized one letter grade for each class day the assignment is late. Work turned in more than three class days late will receive no higher grade than F, and I accept no work more than two weeks late.

Bare minimum course requirements: Regardless of your overall grade average, to be eligible to pass the course you must turn in both formal papers, submit at least five critical responses, complete corrections assignments for both formal papers and at least two critical responses, and take both midterms and the final exam.

Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own. Any unacknowledged borrowing from the writings of others will be considered plagiarism, a serious breach of academic integrity. I will submit any cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Penalties for plagiarism are severe, ranging from an F for the course to expulsion from the college. For more on plagiarism, follow the "On Plagiarism" link on my website.

ADA Statement: Rogers State University is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to educational programs and services.  Any student who has a disability that he or she believes will require some form of academic accommodation must inform the professor of such need during or immediately following the first class attended.  Before any educational accommodation can be provided, it is the responsibility of each student to prove eligibility for assistance by registering for services through Student Affairs. Students needing more information about Student Disability Services should contact the Office of Student Affairs at (918) 343-7579.

Course Methodology

Class discussion: Most class periods will involve open discussion of the readings with very little lecture, so your participation in discussion is essential. I will call on reticent or "quiet" students frequently, and class participation does factor into your semester grade.

Reading quizzes: unannounced quizzes testing your close attention to the readings.

Grammar and mechanics quizzes and exams: on basic concepts in grammar, convention, diction, and mechanics following discussion of my "Golden Rules," "Nuggets," "Word Problems," and "Quotes and Documentation" web pages. 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 variety of common problems in diction are described in Word Problems. The Quotes and Documentation page presents basic conventions for citing and documenting sources according to MLA guidelines. 

Critical response writings: informal typed writings of at least 200 words responding to the readings before we discuss them in class.  Note that each critical response assignment is valid for one class period only, and that critical responses are accepted only by the beginning of the period for which they are assigned.  I will post critical response questions on the web and announce them in class the meeting before each reading assignment is due. 

Exams: The midterm and final exams 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 of the works we read and discuss.  There will be one essay on each 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 midterm, for instance, select 5 of 7 short answer questions and 1 of 3 essay options.

Papers: In two essays of 4-5 typed pages (1000 word minimum), you will explore in some depth a subject you choose from a list of paper topics I will post on the web.  You are required to turn in a topic sentence outline or paper proposal before the paper is due as indicated on the schedule of readings and assignments. Papers must be turned in printed on paper in "hard copy" and also electronically, either as email attachments or on PC-compatible floppy disks. 

Corrections: For at least two critical responses and for both formal essays, after your work is graded you will 1) record all marked errors on corrections worksheets, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes highlighted.  Since corrections require a freshly printed draft after the paper has been graded, you should save all your work on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts.  For specifics, see corrections instructions

Conferences: Conferences are not mandatory, but I strongly recommend them if you struggle with any aspect of the readings and at any stage of the paper-writing process—exploring 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 response to your work before you submit it for grading.

"Rewrites": You may rewrite and resubmit graded formal papers for re-grading. Rewrite grades replace original grades completely.  Note that rewriting involves far more substantial revision than correcting grammatical errors: 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. 


As you will see, I believe in using the Internet as a teaching tool. Most handouts and all out-of-class assignments will be posted on my website rather than being distributed as "hard copy" in class—you are responsible for printing and reading these web-page "handouts" before we discuss them in class. Most handouts are indicated as linked pages on the schedule of readings and assignments. I may occasionally contact you through email also, and I encourage you to email me with questions on any course matters large or small. 

Final grade breakdown

 Class participation
 Reading quizzes
 Simple stuff exercise
 Golden rules exam
 Nuggets exam
 Quotes and documentation exam
 Word problems quiz
 Critical responses
 Midterm 1
 Midterm 2
 Paper proposals 
 Paper 1 
 Paper 2 
 Critical response corrections
 Paper corrections
 Final exam

You should track your grades throughout the semester by keeping a "Scorecard." You can also track grades and see your cumulative average (overall course grade) by downloading and filling in the "grade calculator" for this class from my website. Feel free to see me any time throughout the semester to check your cumulative grade—I keep grades on computer spreadsheets that are updated weekly.

A note on note-taking: Although this course involves little lecture, you will have a much easier time on the midterm and final exams and in writing effective papers if you take notes during every class period. Even in discussions where your classmates do more "discussing" than the professor, you would do well to take notes on any significant points made by anyone in the discussion. You would also do well to underline, highlight, or otherwise make note of all passages from the readings that we take special notice of in class.

The Bottom Line:
I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do everything I can to make this happen. Don't get me wrong—the standards for "A" work are high, and I make no exceptions in course policies on absences, missed assignments, plagiarism, or late work. But I guarantee you have one of the most accessible instructors at Rogers State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver. 

CFA Intro to Lit common syllabus

The following items are included in the syllabus for this course every semester at RSU to ensure consistency through a "common syllabus":

Library Materials: Materials relating to this course, including the textbooks, are on reserve in the Stratton Taylor Library.

Communications and Fine Arts policy on plagiarism: Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Simply put, plagiarism is representing someone else's ideas or work as your own. To avoid plagiarism, when you use someone else's data, arguments, designs, words, ideas, projects, etc., you must make it clear that the work originated with someone else by citing the source. Please review the Student Code of Responsibilities and Conduct published by Rogers State University for a full discussion of the "Code of Academic Conduct" and plagiarism penalties.

Learning Objectives:
In accordance with the Rogers State University mission and the mission of the Department of Communications and Fine Arts, Introduction to Literature leads to the following outcomes:

1. Introduction to Literature is required for those students aspiring to baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, and some certificate and associate of applied science programs.
2. Introduction to Literature is designed to build and display effective communication skills and creative and critical thinking in an atmosphere of academic freedom which encourages interaction in a positive academic climate.
3. This course is designed to create opportunities for cultural, intellectual, and personal enrichment for students.

The student should be able to demonstrate ability to—

     In accordance with the Rogers State University mission and the mission of the Department of Communications and Fine Arts, this course is intended to provide the opportunity for students to develop and display effective communication skills, both written and oral; critical and creative thinking; multicultural exposure; global perspective, and appreciation for diverse views of art, knowledge, culture, and the world.

During the semester, you will study these literary genres: non-fiction, short story, drama, poetry, and film. You will

1. learn literary terms
2. learn some facts about works of literature
3. learn to analyze a work of literature
4. learn to evaluate literature in a number of ways
5. learn to write about evaluation of a literary work
6. learn to respond to questions about literature, especially in realms of synthesis and evaluation

Assessment Tools
By the end of the semester students will have—

By the end of the semester students will have Fulfilled Objective
1. passed tests on the reading and study material 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
2. written and handed in critiques/analyses/interpretations 3, 4, 5, and 6
3. written an acceptable, short, documented paper(s) using MLA format 1, 2, 3, and 5
4. created/submitted an creative endeavor responding to text 3, 4, 5, and 6

Mid-Level (Class Assessment): Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the literary terms, criticism, analysis, and evaluation.

Exit Assessment: Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the literary terms, criticism, analysis, and evaluation.

Standards of Achievement:
All student work will be held to the following academic criteria:

Accuracy of information Acceptable writing mechanics
Organization and clarity of thoughts Fidelity of work (no plagiarism, cheating, etc.)
Depth of critical thinking and observation Evidence of creative or innovative thinking

Satisfaction of defined requirements (deadlines, etc.)

Effective cooperative learning

Grade Composition
Grades will be based on the following:

Grading Scale and Academic Profiles
The Communications and Fine Arts Division has adopted a standard grading scale:
A 90-100% B 80-89% C 70-79% D 60-69% F 59% and below. [Academic profiles are included in the 2000-4000 grades and grading criteria handout].

Computer Writing Labs
Computers are available in the UPA, Stratton Taylor Library, and Student Support Services. Computers are available for class use in BH 207.

Closure Statement
The schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.

An Open Letter to Students

     Attending college is analogous to being employed. Success on the job is achieved only with hard work and effort. This is also true of college.
     Your employer expects you to be on the job every day, on time, and prepared to work. You are allowed only a specific number of sick days each year after which your pay is "docked." This is also true in [college] classes. Regular and prompt attendance is essential.
     Meetings are an essential part of the workplace culture, and everyone is expected to attend regularly and to contribute to the discussion. If you miss an excessive number of meetings and/or do not share information, your employment success is in jeopardy. The same holds true for this class. You are not only expected to attend all of our "meetings," but you are expected to contribute to the discussion. This requires that you come to each class prepared to discuss the assigned material. Failure to do so will put your success in jeopardy.
     Your employer requires you to submit all reports on time. Failure to do so will endanger your employer's business and your success. The same is true for this class. All "reports" (papers, etc.) are due at the scheduled time (see syllabus). If, for a justified reason, you will not be able to meet the time schedule, you must notify me, just as you would contact your employer if you needed an extension. However, as in the workplace, such extensions do not come without a cost. Extensions result in a decrease in your "salary" (grade).
     Performance reviews occur periodically in the workplace, and your employer determines the degree of your success during these reviews. Such is the case in this class. The "performance reviews" for this class are papers and other assignments. These reviews require you to show not only your knowledge of the material, but also your ability to use this knowledge. Your "pay" (grade) depends on the quality of your performance.
     If you attend class regularly, participate in class discussions, and submit all materials, well prepared and in a timely fashion, you have the potential to excel in this class. I am looking forward to working with you and to learning with you. I am always available if you need assistance.
     Good luck! Good writing!

—adapted, with permission, from Bremer, Joyce C. "The Responsible Student." Innovation Abstracts 20.17 (4 Sept. 1998): 1.

Student Contract for Introduction to Literature (hard copy will be distributed in class):

Name: ___________________________
Date: ___________________________

Initial each statement and turn this contract in. This contract must be on file for you to attend the class.
_____ I have read and understood the guidelines and requirements in the syllabus.
_____ I understand what plagiarism is and what penalties it will incur; I will not plagiarize.
_____ I understand that this class is for three hours college credit; this implies three hours of class meeting.
_____ I understand that each hour of college credit usually requires two or more hours per week study time outside of class.
_____ I understand that attendance is required.
_____ I understand literary selections for this class may contain controversial or "offensive" material; this is the nature of some academic works.