English Department Syllabus, College English II


 The department syllabus is designed to help instructors put together their own syllabi for ENGL 1202 College English II.  It includes specific guidelines for teaching the course, model syllabi, suggested writing assignments, and web sites for supplemental materials.   This syllabus is available on-line (on both the 1202 Website and the Writing Faculty Blackboard Course), so faculty can save it to their computers and use it as a template for creating their own syllabi.   If you are, in fact, reading this syllabus on line, it is also available in hard copy from the Director of First Year Writing, Dr. Nancy Enright.

The proficiency of Reading and Writing will be addressed in this course in the following ways:

  1. The course consists of a large amount of reading and writing.   Students must complete 15-20 pages of formal writing during the semester (three papers, two shorter papers and one research paper).   Students also typically read at least two to four selections from the literature text, DiYanni’s Literature by McGraw-Hill, per week. These readings include poetry, short fiction, and drama, supplemented by three to five essays, either from DiYanni’s text or, more often made available through Blackboard by the instructor. These supplementary materials, like all the other readings for 1202, are geared to the specific version of 1202 being offered (Humanities, Human Psyche, Nature, or Public Life).
  2. The quality of the students’ formal papers is expected to reflect both the Outcomes Statements and the Primary Traits Rubric attached to this document, and their writing is evaluated accordingly.  Students’ reading skills are evaluated through their ability to discuss texts in class, in online and other informal writing, and in the formal papers. Students are required to learn and use the Elements of Poetry, Elements of Fiction, and Elements of Drama, as outlined in the text, in their discussion of the works representing these genres in class discussion, informal writing (both online and hand-written), and in their formal papers.
  3. All papers will be evaluated, along with grading for class participation, journal writing, and tests.  All students take a final exam, which may be a take-home or in-class writing.  Many instructors also use quizzes.  See attachment from the 120 website on specific strategies for Critical Reading.  Since 1202 builds on the skills learned in 1201, these strategies will be expected to be used in this course as well.
  4. Reading and Writing Assignments throughout the semester; see below:


The Bedford Handbook , latest edition, required for fall 2012 classes, except EOP sections;
The Little Seagull Handbook, Norton, required in all 1202 sections, including fall 2012 EOP sections.
Literature. Ed. Robert DiYanni..McGraw-Hill, required for all 1202 sections.


Writing Requirements

1.  All 1202 sections assign three papers (two shorter papers and one research paper), following the guidelines below:

a.   Drafting process takes place for all formal, graded writing assignments.  All three formal paper assignments are handed in as rough drafts and then revised into final drafts.  Students also use outlining or preliminary organizing for all papers and participate in peer review. ONE session (minimum) at the Writing Center is required.

b. One formal writing assignment (the Research paper) involves research, referencing, use of outside sources, and/or citations.  MLA citation practices are taught in connection with this essay.   Students have a library orientation as well to help them in their research strategies.

2.  At least 50% of course grade is based on formal writing (including graded essays, essay exams, quizzes, writing for traditional and multimedia presentations).

3.  Regular, informal (nongraded) writing assignments – possibly weekly – take place both in and out of class.  Informal writing should be used in the course as appropriate and could include a variety of journal formats (free writing, double-entry, writing prompts), blogs, discussion board, quick-writes, question responses, and collaborative writing.

4.  Some time is spent in class every week, teaching and/or discussing thprocesses of writing.

Reading requirements

1.  Besides textbook reading, supplementary materials are used by almost all instructors through their Blackboard courses.  Three to five essays, normally from beyond the text (though there are some essays in the literature texts that may be used) must be assigned to supplement the literature.

2.  Readings are assigned each week, with the three genres of poetry, fiction, and drama, represented throughout the semester.  See the attached sample syllabus for a sense of how the readings are assigned on a weekly basis.  Reading for the research paper and other supplementary readings would go beyond this.  Students also must read each other’s papers in peer review.

3.  Readings are closely linked to writing assignments, for example, journals, double-entry journals, reflections, in-class writing, formal papers, and/or essay exams. The formal papers normally require referencing and analysis of the readings.

4.  Some time is spent in class teaching and/or discussing the processes, strategies, and modes of analysis of reading in the discipline (specifically, the genres of Poetry, Fiction, and Drama).  The Bedford Handbook has a section on critical reading. The class discussions of the literature and supplementary essays also model and encourage critical reading of texts.


College English II is the second semester of the First Year Writing requirement.  Four different versions or tracks of the course are offered each semester, each one designed linked thematically with readings in other disciplines:
Literature and Public Life
Literature and the Natural World
Literature and the Human Psyche
Literature and the Humanities

Instructors may choose which version of 1202 they wish to teach, unless there is a special need for a particular version.  In that case, they may be requested to teach a particular version.  (However, this kind of request would not be typical.)

Students will achieve the following in a context that includes readings from many disciplines and that emphasizes skills that are relevant across the curriculum:

  • further development of writing skills initiated in 1201, such as explication, argumentation, close reading, and textual analysis
  • understanding and ability to use theoretical perspectives in both reading and writing
  • understanding of research methodologies, including e valuation and use of online and print resources, citation formats, and ways to avoid plagiarism through proper paraphrasing, summarizing, and referencing
  • ability to integrate perspectives by focusing on one general theme through the lenses of different disciplines.

The double tasks of introducing three literary genres and guiding the writing of the research paper are the primary concerns of College English II.  The course should provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the short story, poetry, and drama.  Since ENGL 1201 focuses on the essay, College English II will concentrate on other literary forms (although expository prose will probably be the primary form for the interdisciplinary readings).  You may organize the course thematically, chronologically, or by genre.  Literature and the handbook both contain instructive material to help guide students toward sound writing and strengthen reading, writing, and research skills.  The Handbook includes sections on writing the research paper.


Di Yanni, Robert.  Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama.  6th ed. New York:   McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Hacker, Diana.  The Bedford Handbook.  (for fall 2012, except for EOP sections, who will be using The Little Seagull Handbook)

Bullock, Richard and Francine Weinberg. The Little Seagull Handbook. Norton, latest edition, required for EOP sections of 1202 in fall of 2012, and ALL sections of 1202 thereafter.

On-line course inter-disciplinary course materials.


The American Heritage College Dictionary. Latest edition


Readings will be taken from a wide variety of texts, both literary (poetry, drama, and fiction) and non-fiction.

Students must read a selection of short stories and poetry, and plays, including at least one pre-20th century drama.

4-7 interdisciplinary texts (such as essays, reviews, visual texts, music, film, editorials) from the selected on-line materials available through Blackboard.


There should be a mix of both formal (marked up and graded) and informal writing assignments:


  • Research paper – can be either a traditional literary analysis or a paper that examines the literature or literary issues from an interdisciplinary perspective based on the topic of the course.  Even if you assign three (instead of two, which we normally have done) short papers, you must also assign one lengthier research paper of at least 6 pages, using at least three secondary sources, besides the text(s) from the course.
  • 2 -3 short papers: at least one should be a literary analysis, but the other might be a literature review, a paper proposal, a response essay, or an explication.
  • Weekly informal writing: these may include on-line discussion board entries, double-entry journal responses, response essay, in-class writing, peer review, or presentation evaluations.
  • Exams and quizzes as needed; a final exam, including one or more essay questions, is required in 1202 (the final exam can be included as part of a portfolio assessment).
  • By the end of the semester, students should have produced 15-20 pages of formal writing that has gone through the writing process and been critiqued, revised and graded.


  • The writing process (drafting, peer review, revision, editing)
  • Review of MLA documentation
  • Review of research techniques
  • Plagiarism
  • Grammar, structure, and mechanics reviews

Each progressive element of the research paper must be taught, from its preliminary stages to the finished product.  These include library skills–searching and researching– note-taking, outlining, documenting sources, paraphrasing, eliminating plagiarism, drafting, editing, and typing the paper according to the required format.  You should collect each of these steps from students as they do them, and have them resubmit this material with the final paper.  Students are expected to adhere to the MLA format for documentation and presentation of all papers.

Important information about the course—both for instructors and students—is available through the 1202 Website.  Here you will find guidelines about teaching the course, grading criteria, and useful links.  If you are using this syllabus on line, click on this link: http://blogs.shu.edu/english/.  Otherwise, type this url into your web browser.  You will find information on the following topics, as well as guidelines for writing assignments and a link to the University Writing Center: http://www.shu.edu/academics/artsci/writing-center/.


Seton Hall University has made a commitment to mobile computing.  As a result, incoming freshman are equipped with laptop computers and instructors are expected to incorporate elements of information technology (IT) into their courses.  The Blackboard learning suite can be used for peer editing, group projects, discussion boards, journals, and submission of papers.  Faculty will likely also make use of email, on-line databases offered through the library, internet research, power point presentations, and computer editing.  Streaming video and audio are also available through the Teaching Learning Technology Center.

All writing faculty receive an IBM laptop computer as part of the university’s mobile computing initiative.  All 1202 sections have a corresponding section in Blackboard, the course management system used by the university.  Training in Blackboard is offered by the English Department as part of summer orientation in August and by the university in its Computer Training Center.

Faculty should make use of Blackboard for course information (such as posting the syllabus), for class discussions and assignments, for announcements, and for external links to additional course materials.  Encourage your students to check their Blackboard course daily.

Use of information technology in class requires vigilance.  The instructor must be aware at all times what students are doing.  This means walking around the room, having students close laptops when they are not specifically in use, and giving students a specific assignment and deadline.  Students should not be checking e-mail, using Instant Messenger, or surfing the net while the rest of the class is otherwise engaged

The Writing Faculty Blackboard Community should be used regularly by all writing faculty.   Post your syllabus, assignments, and any other helpful materials (PowerPoint presentations, external links) to share with your colleagues.  In the Discussion Board of this course you will find the appropriate forums to post your materials.  Take a few moments each week to check out the entries of your colleagues.  This course can be put under “Community” in Blackboard (not Courses).

Anyone teaching in the Writing Program will be automatically added to the Writing Faculty Blackboard Community.


The research component of English 1202 requires that students develop fluency in searching, selecting, analyzing and integrating source materials into the coursework. In particular, students will develop competence in accessing library resources—both print and electronic– such as book catalogues, electronic databases and journals so they are not only able to distinguish between different type of resources but also successfully incorporate outside materials into a research paper with at least 4-6 cited sources.

Students will be graded both on the writing process and the quality of the final research paper. The writing process will be tracked in a Research Log which will include the following:

  • Identifying a relevant topic for the research paper
  • Recognizing the difference between scholarly, academic sources and un-reliable internet sources.
  • Identifying literature databases that have literary criticism on the selected topic.
  • Searching databases for relevant articles by developing key terms.
  • Identifying books and journals that have literary criticism on the selected topic.
  • Creating a list of sources that may contribute to the research.
  • Developing a set of criteria to determine which sources are most useful and relevant for the research.
  • Close reading selected sources for information pertinent to the research.
  • Integrating sources into research paper by summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting from source materials.
  • Creating a Works Cited list in the MLA format.


All sections of ENGL 1202 will include an advanced library orientation, building on the material the students learned in ENGL 1201.  Schedule library orientation for your class by contacting Dr. Maura Harrington, the English Department’s liaison to the library, who will enter your selected date and assignment into  the database created for this purpose. This orientation will introduce students to a wide range of research resources, print and electronic, and familiarize them with the search and research procedures necessary for college papers.  Your library orientation should be tied to the research paper, and your assignments should be made available to the librarians when scheduling your orientation.   Sample assignments are available.  You must give a copy of your assignment, as well as the date and hour of the session, to Maura Harrington by the date specified in the e-mail you receive early in the semester.


The prerequisite for College English II is College English I (some students receive AP credit for 1201 and enroll immediately in 1202).  At the beginning of the semester you will receive a list of those students who have not passed College English I.  If any of these students are registered in your class, send them immediately to the Chairperson, Dr. Mary Balkun, Fahy 362, to drop the course.

You should administer a diagnostic essay (the assignment sent to you prior to the semester’s start)  to your students during the first class meeting to determine their writing strengths and weaknesses.  Return the essay with comments (but not a grade) and suggestions for improvement.


Because students receive tutoring and other outside assistance, it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly what progress they are making.  Each instructor is required to administer an in-class writing assignment at the mid-term in order to get a first-hand sample of students’ writing.  One option is to have a required paper done in class.  Students can come prepared with prewriting and an outline; they can then draft the paper in class.  Once the instructor has read this draft, students should be allowed to revise the essay for a final grade.  Another option is to administer a mid-term exam that includes at least one response in the form of an essay.


Students should be encouraged to use the Writing Center for all phases of the writing process.   Attendance should count no more than 5% of the student’s final grade, or incorporated into another grade (as in a paper or class participation grade). College English II students are required to attend the Writing Center at least ONCE although individual students may be required to attend more often as needed; they will find the feedback beneficial.  The Writing Center is staffed with English faculty, peer tutors, and professional adjuncts.  It is located in A&S Hall, second floor, room 205.  The Writing Center is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It will open on the Monday after add/drop period ends.

Please also remind your students that you will be receiving reports from the Academic Resource Center on their Writing Center sessions.  Remind them that they can go on-line and access the session notes that are written each time they meet with a tutor in the Writing Center. These session notes can help them plan and revise their writing projects.  To access their session notes, they should follow the link called “View/Create My ARC Visit” on the Writing Center homepage and login.  Then, they will click on “Tutorials” and choose the records they want to review.

For more information, contact the Center Director, Dr. Kelly Shea, 973-275-2183, or sheakell@shu.edu or Kelly.Shea@shu.edu.


The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center provides support for instructors using information technology in their courses.  The English Department’s liaisons are instructional designer Danielle Mirliss.  The TLTC offers several grant programs for faculty interested in the innovative use of technology, access to an ITV room, and support for Blackboard.


Seton Hall is fortunate to sponsor an annual readings series, Poetry-in-the-Round, currently directed by Dr. Nathan Oates of the English Department.   In the past, readings have been given by the late James Merrill, Geoffrey Hill, Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, and many others.  These readings allow students the opportunity to see literature in action

Students should be strongly encouraged to attend one of these readings since Poetry-in-the-Round offers cultural experiences that can enhance their studies. Each year’s schedule of poets and authors is posted in the fall.  You will also receive announcements for upcoming events in your mailbox.  Upcoming events are posted at the start of each semester.  Many of the speakers also offer smaller seminars in order to have greater interaction with students; please arrange attendance at these through Dr.Oates.


Writing Process Overview:

It is essential to continue to stress the writing process in ENGL 1202 to reinforce students’ proficiency.

There are useful readings in each of the required texts for ENGL 1202.  The Bedford Handbook

Covers the basics of the process in Part I: “The Writing Process,” including information on prewriting, drafting, audience, topic selection, development, and revision.  Part IX: “Critical Thinking” provides a helpful discussion of writing about texts, including suggestions for how to read secondary sources.  Part X: “Researched Writing” includes an extensive discussion of citation and documentation as well as considering how to conduct research, evaluate sources, and avoid plagiarism.  It also has a specific section on writing about literature.

The course’s primary text, Literature, also includes valuable discussions of writing.  There are sections on “writing about fiction,” “writing about poetry,” and “writing about drama” in each unit.  In addition, the book begins with a chapter on “Reading (and writing about) Literature” and concludes with a chapter on “Critical Perspectives and Research” which is more extensive than the similar chapter in the handbook.  These are written effectively and are accessible to students; they include many samples and examples for students to follow.

Supplemental Skills

Information Literacy: It is essential that students understand that college-level research cannot begin or end with Google.  The library orientation will reinforce students’ work on electronic and print databases, but class time should also be given to evaluating sources, using sources, reading sources, and incorporating research into their writing, as well as avoiding plagiarism.

Notetaking:  Methods of note taking beyond computer “cut and paste” and “Xerox and underline” should be discussed.  While you may no longer want to require note cards (or you may), it is important to stress that students need to engage actively with the texts they read through note taking.  You may want to introduce students to several possible methods of documenting their research, such as note cards, note pages, flagging, or a research journal and allow them to choose between them.  However, some notetaking component must be required.

Documentation and Bibliography: Students must be familiar with and make use of a citation system.  For the purposes of ENGL 1201-1202, students are required to use MLA in-text and Works Cited format.  They should, however, understand that this is one of many available formats, and different disciplines will require different systems.  Therefore, they should be comfortable following guidelines and examples.  They should be familiar with the citation of books, journal articles, chapters in books, and online sources.

In addition, faculty may want to require an annotated bibliography, in which students list their research in the correct format and provide a two- or three-sentence description of the work, its approach, and its potential for use in their research essay.

Grammar, structure, and mechanics reviews:  Students should be able to write correctly using the conventions of English Literary Standard.  This may require some reviews of grammar, structure, and mechanics.  These can take place in class or can be assigned for homework (the sections in the handbook are useful and do provide exercises); they can simply be a review, or they can be assessed in class with exercises or quizzes.  If individual students have difficulties not shared by the rest of the group, they can be requested to work on these in the Writing Center with a tutor.


As you approach the literature in ENGL 1202 through the lens of your particular focus (Nature, Humanities, Public Life, or the Human Psyche), you may choose to work generically, thematically, or chronologically.  That is, you may divide the literature into genres—poetry, prose, and drama—and focus on each one separately, you may work through the material chronologically and consider various periods/movements, or you may choose to work thematically, addressing elements of your topic through a variety of literary approaches.  For instance, a unit in a “Human Psyche” class on Courtship might read Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss,” and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” and Karen Horney’s “The Distrust between the Sexes” from World of Ideas, while a Nature section might choose instead to consider “Fiction about Nature,” “The Poetry of Nature,” and “Nature and Drama.”  Supplemental readings from the on-line course materials should be chosen to work with the particular topic under consideration and should be discussed in concert with the literature.

In designing the reading list, instructors may decide to take a comprehensive approach to the larger topic, examining a variety of issues under the heading of Humanities, Public Life, Nature, or the Human Psyche, or they may focus more particularly on a single, rich topic (such as “Work” in the Public Life sections, or “The Family” in a Human Psyche course, for instance).  See the supplemental syllabi for examples.  You may also consult the director of First-Year writing for suggestions and additional sample syllabi.

However, it is essential that each section cover all three genres in some way in order to provide an introduction to literature and expose students to its range.  While the course may favor one or the other, it should include at least two plays, one classic (written before 1660) and one contemporary.  While supplemental readings may be posted in Blackboard, try to make as much use as possible of the books required for the course.

The two major components of the course–the research paper and literature–must be interwoven to form the syllabus. There is additional information about the writing of the research paper in Literature and The Bedford Handbook including some sample critical essays and student examples.

In addition students must do several short pieces of writing, formal or informal, beyond the research paper that deal directly with the literature and the supplemental readings.


The research paper can be either a traditional literary analysis or a paper that examines the literature or literary issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The advantages of having the class treat the same literary piece are significant: the opportunity to have classroom discussions of the literature, common interests in research, accessible library and source material (many instructors put material on reserve), and teacher expertise.  Many faculty select sustained works in the text such as plays, or several short stories or poems by the same author.  Some also choose to have the students read a novel with a thematic connection to other works covered during the semester.

The advantages of having students treat individual and varied subjects from any field are equally significant: motivation and interest are high; research may already be started.  For this approach, it would be a good idea to look at the articles on Writing Across the Curriculum in “Professional Resources for Instructors.”

The textbook suggests a third approach to a topic–the thematic.  Although this is valid, it is highly comprehensive.

Once you have decided upon a method, be sure to adapt your syllabus to that of the department.

The department guidelines for the research paper are flexible, but these are the basic requirements:

  • 7 – 10 pages of double-spaced text
  • Citing approximately 4-6 sources
  • Full heading
  • Last name and page number on each page following the first
  • MLA in-text documentation
  • Works Cited page(s)

The following may not be used as sources: Cliffs Notes, Monarch Notes, Barrons, Wikipedia, or the like.  Use of on-line sources should be restricted to full-text databases in most cases.  Evaluating on-line sources should be part of the teaching of the research paper.


Plagiarism is a serious problem.  It undermines the scholarly enterprise; it can also cause students to fail the assignment and possibly the course.  The English Department has a detailed plagiarism policy.  You must distribute this policy with your syllabus on the first day of class and review it with your students.  (Copies will be available in the department by the first day of classes.)  You should also have a statement about the consequences of plagiarizing on your syllabus.  Research has demonstrated that instructors who address the consequences of plagiarism head-on and discuss the ramifications with their students have fewer incidents overall.  Please see the excellent Writing Program Administrator’s Statement on Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: http://wpacouncil.org/files/wpa-plagiarism-statement.pdf.

What appears to be plagiarism is often students’ inability to paraphrase and summarize correctly.  Reviewing these two skills in class can help alleviate the problem.  Having students practice paraphrasing and summarizing before the paper is due will teach them how to use their research validly.

To help students during the entire research process, collect all preliminary pieces–notecards, outline, bibliography, drafts–in stages, as they are written. Providing feedback at each step will also help students focus their writing, will reveal potential problems at an early stage, and will eliminate the last-minute or eleventh hour crisis. Collecting all the materials again at the end with the final paper will also help prevent plagiarism and give you a sense of the students’ overall work on the research project.

Plagiarism Policy for Rough Drafts

Since some of us grade rough drafts separately while others incorporate drafts into a final grade, we offer two possible ways to penalize a plagiarized rough draft:

  1. if you grade the rough draft separately, the plagiarized draft receives a grade of zero;
  2. if you incorporate the rough draft into a final paper grade, a plagiarized rough draft results in a final grade lowered by one full letter grade.
  3. If a student plagiarizes on TWO rough drafts, the second offense will receive the same penalty (failure for the course) as ANY second offense of plagiarism.

Plagiarism Resources

The English Department has two resources to help you prevent and deal with plagiarism and cheating.  SafeAssign is a web-based database which allows you to check a student paper against papers on line and the turnitin.com database of papers.  Some faculty members require all students to hand in papers through SafeAssign.  Others use it on an as-needed basis.  If you choose the latter approach, be sure to have your students hand in all papers in both hard copy and electronic format, so they are available for checking through SafeAssign, if necessary.   SecureExam allows you to administer tests on the students’ lap tops in class in a secure environment.

Note:   Students are expected to write new material for their work in both 1201 and 1202.  Therefore, papers done in high school or for another, prior class are NOT acceptable in fulfillment of an assignment in 1202, even if the paper “fits” the assignment in other ways.   A statement to this effect should be included within each syllabus.


All students must submit a portfolio of their work in first-year writing classes.  This portfolio is used for departmental assessment purposes; instructors are free to use it as part of their own grading system or not.   Instructions for doing the portfolio may be found at http://artsci.shu.edu/english/e-portfolio/directions_for_creating_your_e-portfolio.htm However, while we do not require instructors to use the portfolio as part of their grading, the self-assessment must be included at part of the final exam.  (See below.)  Most instructors have found that it works best to assign students the self-assessment as a take-home exam, and to reserve the in-class portion of the exam for questions about literature.


A final exam is required in College English II.  This may be an in-class exam, a take-home exam, or final piece of writing that students submit.  If you choose one of the latter options, you are still required to be available during the scheduled final exam period to meet with students.  Many instructors have students submit the final piece of work at the exam period.


Be sure to include your policies on grading, attendance, participation, late papers, missed tests/quizzes, and whatever else you think is important for your students to know in your course syllabus in the Course Requirements section of your Blackboard syllabus. You cannot make or change your policies midstream.  Please follow the departmental policies as outlined above.

All teaching assistants and adjuncts must give the Director of Freshman English, Dr. Nancy Enright, a copy of their syllabi and have them approved before the semester begins.   TAs must submit their Fall syllabi for approval one month prior to the start of the semester, and their Spring syllabi by January 5.  Adjuncts must submit their fall syllabi for approval at least two weeks before the semester begins.  All other faculty should provide copies of their syllabi to the Director, either in electronic (preferred) or paper copy, during the first week of classes each semester.  Although changes to accommodate individual classes are expected, the University requires that each faculty member distribute a syllabus during the first week of classes.

Note: During the course of the semester, teaching assistants must also provide the Director with a copy of all hand-outs–whether assignments, tests, quizzes, or informational hand-outs–before distributing them to the class. This should be done early enough for the Director to review them for approval or to make suggestions for change.  Your College English II plans must reflect the use of Literature and the supplemental on-line readings (3-5 of them), along with the departmental requirements for the course.  Although it is tempting to let the literature become prominent, please don’t forget that this is a writing course.  Schedule time for the discussion of writing, particularly the components of the research paper.

In designing your syllabus, be sure to cite specific works, chapters, and writing assignments. If you wish to make a daily syllabus with readings for each date your class meets, be sure to note that the readings are “subject to change,” as you will likely need to adapt your list as the term wears on—whether because you get behind or because the semester is interrupted due to weather or other emergency conditions.  By using units or weeks instead, you can slow down the pace when your students need reinforcement and attention, and speed it up when they master the work easily.

Your submitted syllabus must include formal and informal writing assignments, a scheduled library orientation, and a final exam.  Quizzes, tests, in-class writing, and exercises need not be dated, but be sure to indicate that they are a part of the course.  A mid-term exam is optional.

If you have any questions about your syllabus, please feel free to contact the Director at any time:

Director: Dr. Nancy Enright
Office: Fahy 359     |
Ext.: 2545
Email: nancy.enright@shu.edu

Please contact Dr. Enright if you have any questions, concerns, or problems during the semester.  She is available to help you with any difficulties you may be having with your teaching or with individual students.



(Note: Page number shows where the selection begins.  Ending page number is not given.)

Week I : Introduction.  Literature: “Introduction” (1) ; Langston Hughes, “Harlem” and selected poems (994); “Langston Hughes in Context” (989); Handbook– Part IX: “Critical Thinking,” Chapter 46 (skim).

Week II :  Walker “Everyday Use” (743); Part 1, Chapter 1,“Reading Stories” (27); Chapter 3, “Elements of Fiction” (49) – “Plot and Structure”(49), “Character” (59); “Setting” (66).   Part 4, Chapter 32, Writing with Sources:  “Selecting a Topic” (2120) and “Developing a Thesis” (2127).  Cisneros (238-240), “Barbie-Q” (243) and “Eleven” (241); on-line reading — Copeland.   Topics for Paper 1 due on Thursday.  You must find a musical piece that connects with the work of literature you will be discussing for your paper, dealing with the topic of ethnic identity.   You may deal with the ethnicity described in the text, or you may focus on your own ethnicity and link it with the depiction in the story or poem you have chosen, as well as the musical piece.   Lyrics posted in Blackboard also due on Thursday.

Week III :  – Literature: Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” (433); Part 2, Poetry, Chapter 11, “Reading Poems” (762);  Kinnell, “Blackberry Eating” (1148); Yeats, “When You Are Old” (1223); Part 1, Chapter 4, “Writing about Fiction” (111) and Part 2, Chapter 14, “Writing about Poetry” (843).  On-line reading: King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail.  Handbook: Part X: “Writing Arguments” and “Writing About Literature,” Part XI: “Document Design,” Outlines for Paper 1 due Thursday.

Week IV : Literature:  Joyce, “The Dead”(584);  Jen, Gish. “Who’s Irish?” (340);  Part 2, Chapter 9,  “Elements of Poetry,” “Voice, Speaker and Tone” (779),  “Diction” (787), “Imagery” (793); Lee, “I Ask My Mother to Sing” (1153); Rough Drafts of Paper 2 due on Thursday.

UNIT 2: LITERATURE AND THE BIBLE (and the Study of Art)

Week V :  Literature: “The Prodigal Son” (27); Bishop, “The Prodigal” and Rembrandt van  Rijn “The Return of the Prodigal (art section of the text, between pages 906 and 907; this poem and image are on p. 9 of this section);  Topics for Paper 2 due on Thursday; Paper 2 must examine a work of literature in connection with a work of art, both dealing with a Biblical subject.  You may choose one of the readings in this unit, or find another one on your own (if it’s approved by me).   The reading may be from the Bible itself or inspired by it in terms of subject and theme.   Examine the museum databases in the External Links of our course and select and image and post it in Blackboard, along with the work of literature with which you want to link it.  Be prepared to share your choice with the class.

Week VI: Literature: John Donne, Holy Sonnets “Death Be Not Proud” and “Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God”; Hopkins, “The Wind Hover”; Part 2, Chapter 9, “Elements of Poetry,” “Figures of Speech: Simile and Metaphor” and “Symbolism and Allegory.” On-line reading: Sermon on the Mount.  Outline for Paper 2 due on Thursday.

Week VII: Literature: Flannery O’Connor, “Everything that Rises Must Converge” and “Revelation” (on-line); readings on Flannery O’Connor.  On-line reading: selections from Genesis. Rough Drafts of Paper 2 due on Thursday.

Week VIII: Literature:  Herbert, “Love III” (hand-out), “The Altar” (950); Part 2, Chapter 9, “Elements of Poetry,” “Syntax,” “Sound: Rhyme, Alliteration, and Assonance,” “Rhythm and Meter,” and “Structure.” On-line reading: Weil. Paper 2 due on Thursday.


Week IX :  Tuesday – Mid-term Exam.   Thursday – Introduction to Drama. Literature: Part 3, Drama, Chapter 22, “Reading Plays” (1247-1249) and Chapter 23, “Types of Drama,” Chapter 27, “The Elizabethan Theatre: Shakespeare in Context” (1387-1391); Midsummer Night’s Dream(1391), Act I . Topics for Paper 3 due on Thursday.

Week X: Literature: Part 3, Chapter 24, “Elements of Drama,” “Plot,” “Character,” “Dialogue,” “Staging,” “Symbolism and Irony,” and “Theme”;  Midsummer Night’s Dream, cont’d., Acts II and  III.   Outlines for Paper 3 due on Thursday.

Week XI :  Literature:  Midsummer Night’s Dream, cont’d., Acts IV and V . Sample Notecards for Paper 3 due on Thursday.  View excerpts from Film of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Week XII: Literature: Part 3, Chapter 26, “The Greek Theatre: Sophocles in Context” (1302-1307); Antigone (1347); Prologue and Parodos, Scene I, Ode I, Scene II, Ode II,. Rough Drafts for Paper 3 due on Tuesday.

Week XIII: Literature: Antigone, cont’d., Scene III, Ode III;  View excerpts from  Film of Antigone.

Week XIV: Paper 3 (6 full pages, min.; 4 sources, min.) due on Tuesday. Literature:  Antigone, cont’d. Scene IV, Ode IV, Scene V, Paean, Exodos..

Week XV: Students’ choice of reading. Review.

This syllabus may be changed.  Any such changes will be announced in class or by e-mail.  It is your responsibility to find out about changes in readings or assignments.

Journal: Students will post journal entries each week.  These postings will be part of your class participation grade.

Blackboard Discussion: Students, in groups and individually, will post answers to questions in Blackboard on a regular basis.  This will count as part of class participation.

Late papers will be down-graded one half letter grade for each class day late and not accepted at all after two weeks.

Grading is as follows:

Two shorter papers           (30%)
OR three shorter papers (either continuing as  30% or perhaps increasing in value 10%,      15%, 20%, with the research paper as 25%)
One research paper           (30%)
OR if doing three shorter papers, instead of two, you might make this 25% — see above.
Class participation            15%
Mid-term exam                  10%
Final exam                         10%
Writing Center                     5%

Notes:  Materials for the on-line inter-disciplinary portion of 1202 are available in the TPP Community and the Writing Faculty Blackboard course; faculty members are also free to use their own source materials, so long as they fit their theme and fall into the required number of sources (3-5).

The sample syllabus is from a Humanities version of the course.   Obviously, another version would use different inter-disciplinary focuses, but the basic idea will be the same.  The largest portion of the readings, by far, is from the literature text.  The on-line accompanying readings are supplemental and linked closely to the literary focus of the course.

Note that the film portion of the last third of the course involves showing only excerpts of films, not entire class meetings devoted to watching a film.  Students can be directed to view films on their own.  Small portions of film, however, may be shown and discussed in class.

If you have any questions about creating your syllabus, please contact Dr. Nancy Enright, Director of First Year Writing,

Outcomes for 1202:

1.      Critically analyze and question a text (explicate, evaluate, factor in contexts, consider genre, audience, purpose, tone, language)—and do so with confidence

2.      Create thesis for coherent extended argument; desire and ability to engage and work through evolving and complex ideas

3.      Integrate several texts—both literary and critical sources—into an argument that is at least 5 pages long

4.      Appreciate nonfiction and fiction and know difference; see relevance and importance of literature to life (see that literature may have something to say to them)

5.      Approach differing writing assignments by recognizing the rhetorical expectations created by differing purposes, audiences, and genres

6.      Know how and when to revise and get feedback with out external stimulus

7.      Conduct research based on pursuit of a question/problem (not just to collect a bunch information on a topic), and generate material that supports an original idea or reading of a text.

8.      Follow MLA style (formal, academic) in formatting text and citing sources

9.      Conduct research both in the library and online with a critical eye for the nature of source

10.  Create meaningful connections among myriad disciplines (e.g., analysis of Iago using the language of drama and the language of psychology)

11.  Choose language and form appropriate to a chosen genre; this would mean awareness of rhetorical and grammatical conventions

To come to an idea or conclusion about a text which starts from an initial response and proceeds towards an investigation of how the text works on them to make them feel that way. This first step, ideally, should be followed by a study of how other people who have read the text have felt about, responded to, and investigated the text in much the same way. Then, just as in 1201, I would like them to be able to take their place in the conversation of informed critics.

To learn all the above in such a way that students can transfer this knowledge to other disciplines and courses