English 200s: American, English, or World Literature
Department of English
Professor: Dr. Whitton
Office: DVickers 231
Office Hours: See the Faculty Information section of Blackboard
Phone: 549-2413 (no calls returned off-campus)
Turn It In: http://www.turnitin.com/
Faculty Website: http://www.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/nwhitton/
Facebook: Dr. Whitton’s Online Office Hours (Group)
Teacher Contract: I will get to know you as an individual and care about you as a person. I will address your interests in some way (either outside or inside the classroom). I will assist you to learn and will work hard to make sure you have learned. I will be passionate about this subject and about my teaching.
Placement: Students must have completed English 102 or 122H with a P or have a minimum combined ACT English and Composite score of 65 and an advanced-standing examination. For an internet course, students are required to be self-starters because you will have to cover a lot of material on your own. I would not consider taking this course unless you have above a 24 on the verbal section of the ACT and received an “A” or “B” in English 101 and 102.
Course Description: The English 200s are designed to advance the students= skills in writing critical essays and to improve their analytical reading skills, including, but not limited to, training in some basic literary devices (i.e. genre, plot, characterization, etc.). Class discussion in the online environment is intended to raise important themes and issuesBthose basic to a broad and liberal educationBconnecting many of these works, showing that thematic issues, while they may change on the surface, often remain basic in depth. This course will acquaint students with the major prose, poetry and drama of literature in a particular area of the world and with the historical context from which that literature emerged.
Teacher Expectations: When you finish this class, I hope that you will have a better appreciation for reading and literature. All the writers that we will cover this semester wrote because they wanted to change your life. They wanted to communicate what they were feeling in hopes that it would reach other people, not so that they would be required reading in a college literature class. You will not like all of them, but I hope that you can find at least several that interest you. We will focus on your reading and interpretation skills this semester with only one major writing assignment. I will want each of you to relate what we do in this course to your daily lives.
Required Materials: Rental Anthology
High Speed Internet Access
Turnitin.com Account for Essay
Check Email and Blackboard Daily
Attendance: Attendance will be based on your participation in virtual classroom activities. I will not drop you for non-attendance or non-participation. It is your responsibility to withdraw. Last day to drop this class with a “W” is listed on the calendar. Please see or email me before dropping. All students who drop internet classes are placed on file in the English Department. Because space in internet classes is limited, I take dropping this course very seriously. There is always a waiting list, so please think carefully before giving up the spot that you have taken away from another student.
Grading: Your grade will be based on the following:
Discussion Board 20%
Make sure that you pay attention to these weighted grades. Blackboard will weight them for you, but you will not have a total until the end of the semester. If you add up your grades and divide, you will not have an accurate average. See the handout on figuring your weighted average in the information section of Blackboard.
Grading Scale: Ten point grading scale; under a 60 is an “F.”
Extra Credit: I want to encourage you to attend cultural events held at SLU. If you attend an approved event, write a one page description of what you saw and turn it in you will receive one extra credit point added to your final average. You may turn in as many assignments as you would like, but extra credit can only raise your grade by one letter, so doing more than 10 assignments will not change your grade further. Send your completed extra credit assignments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Late Work: Late work will not be accepted and will result in a zero. For special circumstances, contact the instructor.
Plagiarism: Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Behavior that violates these standards is not acceptable. Examples are the use of unauthorized material, communication with fellow students during an examination, attempting to benefit from the work of another student and similar behavior that defeats the intent of an examination or other class work. Cheating on examinations, plagiarism, improper acknowledgement of sources in essays and the use of a single essay or paper in more than one course without permission are considered very serious offenses and shall be grounds for disciplinary action as outlined in the current General Catalogue. In taking this course, students understand that all required papers may be submitted to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the Turnitin.com service is subject to the "Terms and Conditions of Use" posted on the Turnitin.com website.
Classroom Decorum: Free discussion, inquiry, and expression are encouraged in this class. When responding to your classmates and your professor electronically, please be polite. If you violate the University’s decorum policies, your email/posting will be sent to the Office of Judicial Affairs.
Email Policy: E-mail is considered one of the official forms of communication at the University. Requests to substitute non-Southeastern e-mail addresses for purposes of official communication will not be honored. With an internet course, you will be expected to check email and Blackboard every day. I cannot answer emails sent from non-SLU email addresses. Most email will be answered within 48 hours with the exception of weekends.
On-Campus Involvement: You are not required to come to campus this semester, but I encourage you to meet with me to go over your paper and any concerns that you have with the course. I also encourage you to get help from the Writing Center in person. If you take a quiz that freezes before the Wednesday night deadline, then I will reset it for you online. If you are past the deadline, I may have to ask you to come to campus to make up work. When a quiz freezes, it generally indicates that you have opened another browser window while working on the quiz which is not allowed.
Involvement: The University system in
Writing Center: Students are invited to make use of services provided by the SLU Writing Center at 383 DVickers, where trained student writing consultants offer individual help and tutoring on a full range of writing topics and issues.
Writing Assignment: Your major writing assignment this semester will be to choose one author or work from the syllabus to explore in depth. This paper will be a short analysis of a specific area of the author’s work or life. You are not to write a biography of the writer or an encyclopedia-type description; instead, you are expected to analyze a specific topic and write an argumentative essay. See your handout on the critical essay for more information. All papers must be in MLA format as covered in English 102. See your handout on MLA from the Writing Center for more information. The paper must have at least three print-based sources (not internet). Papers should be 3-5 pages, not including Works Cited. You will be required to turn in a complete rough draft of at least 2 full pages in 12 pt Times New Roman font. If your rough draft is incomplete, you will be docked one letter grade. If you do not turn in a rough draft then your final grade will be dropped two letter grades. The rough draft is very important for getting a good grade on the essay because we will be able to improve it before the final is due. You will also be required to submit your essay to http://www.turnitin.com/. If you are guilty of plagiarism, see academic integrity statement above. We will use the English Department grading rubric to determine your grade for this essay via your self-assessment. You will turn in your self-assessment after you complete your essay. For this assignment, you are to use the grading rubric to justify a specific letter grade. Read the rubric, and then write about where in your paper you demonstrate the requirements for that letter grade.
Weekly Assignments: Weekly assignments will be submitted through Blackboard. If you have problems with an assignment or need help, feel free to email me or set up an appointment in my office or in the Blackboard chat space. Quizzes and tests will be posted in the assignment section. We will use the discussion board to interpret each reading. You should check back to the discussion board to see the answers to your questions. Remember that you can sort posts by author. Make sure that you have read the Blackboard user manual and know how to use the discussion board. It is very important that you understand how to use Blackboard in order to take an online course.
Weekly Quizzes: The weekly quizzes are short fact-based quizzes on the selections for that week, author biographies and author selections. They must be completed by Wednesday of each week. After that time, they will expire. If you have technical issues with a quiz, you will need to email me or come by my office during office hours. All quizzes are closed book. You should take them without any notes, help from the internet, or help for classmates. The quiz will shut down immediately if you try to access the internet with another window. Please note that the quizzes make up 25% of your final grade, meaning that each quiz is worth only about 1% of your average. Doing poorly on one or two quizzes with not hurt your grade. These quizzes have also been tested by other students for over ten years, so please check your book carefully before reporting that an answer that was marked incorrect should be correct.
Discussion Board: Since we do not have the luxury of in-class discussion, we will use online resources to make sure that we understand the readings each week. You will be expected to check-in with your classmates on a daily basis during the semester. Your discussion board entries will be graded on their content, length, and care. After you finish the reading, you should post a response entry on the discussion board for that author. In your response, you should raise issues about the author’s life and their work. Do not summarize what you read. We all did the reading, so we know what it is about. You will receive no credit for these posts. You should also point out how the piece of writing does/does not relate to your own life and current situation. Finally, you should offer several questions for discussion with classmates. You will not receive credit for entries that amount to, “It was great. I liked it.” or “That was the worst thing that I have ever read. I hated it.” Neither of these entries tells us anything about the piece or why the reader has made this assessment. Make sure that you spell check each entry before posting (note that Blackboard includes this option on the discussion board). Once you have posted your first entry, you should check back to read what your classmates have to say and to see if you can answer their discussion questions. Your conversation and continued postings improve your Blackboard grade as long as they are substantive and add to the discussion. You must post a minimum of three responses for each author to receive full credit. For the most part, I will let you hash things out without interfering, but will offer guiding questions if we get off track. When you check back, answer a minimum of 3 different posts by 3 different classmates. Answer at least one question for each classmate that you answer. Give your opinion based on your reading. If your interpretation is incorrect, I will post a response.
Midterm and Final Exam: Your midterm and final exam will also be taken online in Blackboard. Like the quizzes, these exams are to be closed book. Instead of going into detail, as the quizzes do, these tests will be designed to check your overall recall of authors and their work. You will be asked to identify key quotes from the selections that we have read and write an essay that summarizes your learning. The final exam will not be cumulative. If will cover only the works from the second half of the semester.
Help: Finally, if you need any help with anything this semester, please do not hesitate to ask. I am here to help you do well in this course. I love being a teacher and will do whatever I can to help you to succeed. I depend on you to tell me when you need help, so please do not hesitate to contact me.