ENG 104.08: Approaches to Literature

ENG 104.08: Approaches to Literature

ENG 104.08: Approaches to Literature

“Rebels and Revolutionaries”

Instructor: Ms. Meghan McGuireEmail:

Office: MHRA 3210C(mailbox MHRA 3317)Class Time: TR 12:30—1:45

Office Hours: TR 10:00—11:00 Classroom: BRYN 132

------Course Goals and Materials------

Course Description: While this course serves as a general introduction to literature and its primary genres (poetry, drama, and fiction), we will focus specifically on authors and texts who push the limits and conventions of each genre, often times rebelling against their contemporary society’s view of culture, gender, race, or class. Some of these authors are social and political revolutionaries—fighting for causes like women’s rights, racial and class equality, or political independence; others are rebelling against literary tradition through their subject matter, form, or style—transforming the way we think about poetry, drama, and fiction today. Throughout the semester, we will study the formal elements of each genre, but we will also strive to understand the historical, political, and cultural context of each text we read—investigating how literature has the power to both reflect and shape our reality.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for the GLT marker:

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the reading skill required for the student of literary texts. (LG3)
  2. Identify and/or describe some of the varied characteristics of literary texts. (LG3)
  3. Demonstrate orally, in writing, or by some other means, a fundamental ability to use some of the techniques and/or methods of literary analysis. (LG 1 and LG 3)
  4. Identify and/or describe some of the various social, historical, cultural, and/or theoretical

contexts in which literary texts have been written and interpreted. (LG3)

Those SLOs labeled (LG3) relate to UNCG’s Learning Goal #3 for General Education, which says students will “Describe, interpret, and evaluate the ideas, events, and expressive traditions that have shaped collective and individual human experience through inquiry and analysis in the diverse disciplines of the humanities, religions, languages, histories, and the arts.” (

Those SLOs labeled (LG1) relate to UNCG’s Learning Goal #1 for General Education. This is the ability to “think critically, communicate effectively, and develop appropriate fundamental skills in quantitative and information literacies.” (

Required Texts: (Available for purchase at the University Bookstore and online)

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. New York: Grove Press, 2011. Print. ISBN: 978-0802144423

Browning, Abigail, and Melissa Ridley Elmes, eds. Lenses: Perspectives on Literature. 2nd ed. Plymouth, MI: Hayden-McNeil, 2015. Print. ISBN: 978-0738070070

Delaney, Shelagh. A Taste of Honey. New York: Grove Press, 1994. Print. ISBN: 978-0802131850

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Trans. Susan Bernofsky. New York: Norton, 2014. Print.

ISBN: 978-0393347098

Wells, H.G. Time Machine. New York: Dover, 1995. Print. ISBN: 978-0486284729

Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest. New York: Dover, 1990. Print. ISBN: 978-0486264783

*In order to keep the cost of books low, a number of additional course readings will be posted on Canvas as PDFs. I prefer that you print these readings, but you may utilize electronic copies of the texts if necessary. Either way, please read and annotate the text carefully, bring the text to class, and come prepared to discuss your questions and observations. Periodic, unannounced text quizzes will be given and failure to bring texts to class will result in a zero.


Grading Scale: I utilize the full range of grades from A to F (including plusses and minuses), in keeping with university grading policies. Your final course grade will be based on the following components that make up our work for the semester. UNCG defines an A as excellent; a B as good; a C as average; a D as lowest passing grade; and an F as failure. In adherence to this scale, you should understand that a C means you successfully met the requirements of the course, not that you did poorly, which would be indicated by either a D or an F. Likewise, an A or B indicate that you met and exceeded course requirements.

A93-100 / B-80-82 / D+67-69
A-90-92 / C+77-79 / D63-66
B+87-89 / C73-76 / D-60-62
B83-86 / C-70-72 / F59 and below



Quizzes & Responses (SLOs 1-4): 10% of final course grade

Announced quizzes will be given periodically, and most of these quizzes are already posted on the syllabus. If a quiz is added, you will be notified at least one class period in advance. Unannounced reading quizzes will only be given when it is obvious that students are not reading or are coming to class unprepared to discuss the texts. Unannounced “text quizzes” may also occur. These quizzes are very simple. If you have your text with you, then you receive an automatic 100; if you do not have your text in class, then you receive an automatic zero. Keeping up with the readings is absolutely essential if you plan to succeed in this course.

Two types of quizzes will be given: short answer and in-class essay. If a short answer quiz is given, you may not use the text or your notes. However, if an in-class essay quiz is given, you will be allowed to use the text and your notes. The type of quiz given will not be announced in advance, so it benefits you to take careful notes while reading.

Missed quizzes cannot be made up. For quizzes, informal writing assignments, and discussion question responses, you will receive a grade between 0-10, given in half-point increments. For example, you may receive a returned quiz with a grade of 8.5. This corresponds to an 85. At the end of the semester, these graded assignments will be averaged and that average will comprise your “Quizzes/Responses” score and percentage.

*Each student is also responsible for submitting 3 separate discussion question responses throughout the semester. For each class period, two discussion questions will be posted on Canvas. Students should respond to each question in approximately 5-7 sentences and submit these responses in class on the day that we discuss the readings. Students may complete these responses at any point in the semester.

Literary Analysis Essay (SLOs 1-4): 20% of final course grade

This 5-6 page literary analysis essay will require you to engage closely with a text and its historical and cultural context. This essay will be an argumentative, thesis-driven paper grounded in your own close reading of a text and supported by primary and/or secondary sources. A detailed prompt will be available on Canvas.

Midterm Exam (SLOs 2-4): 20% of final course grade

The in-class midterm exam will be composed of an identification/matching section, a short answer section, and two brief essay-like questions—I will draw heavily on class notes, weekly quizzes, 3-2-1 assignments, and weekly discussion questions.

Final Exam (SLOs 2-4): 30% of final course grade

The format for the final exam will be similar to that of the midterm except the essay section will be more extensive, requiring longer and more developed responses. The final exam will be cumulative—covering material discussed before and after the midterm—but will focus primarily on texts discussed during the second half of the semester.

3-2-1 Close Readings (SLOs 1-3): 10% of final course grade

Each student will submit two 3-2-1 close reading assignments, one before the midterm break and one after the break. Each assignment asks the student to develop three discussion questions, identify two important passages, and provide a one-page close reading analysis of one of those chosen passages. The close reading should be grounded in an analysis of the text, and it should incorporate specific quotations from the text. A detailed prompt for this assignment will be available on Canvas.

On days when the student submits his/her 3-2-1 assignment, that student is also expected to serve as a discussion leader in class. No additional preparation beyond the 3-2-1 assignment is necessary for this role.

Participation (SLOs 1-4): 10% of final course grade

Since this is a discussion based course, participation in class activities/workshops and regular participation in class discussion is essential. Students should come to class prepared and ready to share ideas and ask questions. (This includes bringing your books or texts to class.) Class participation is especially important on days when you are serving as a discussion leader.

In order to effectively participate in class discussion, it is imperative that you read the material closely. If you haven’t already, you should learn to annotate a text, taking notes in the margins and jotting down questions and observations as you read. This is especially important when studying poetry. Quickly reading an assigned poem does not mean that you are prepared for class. Critical engagement with each text is necessary in order to do well in this course.

------Course Policies------

Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is founded upon and encompasses the following five values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Violations include, for example, cheating, plagiarism, misuse of academic resources, falsification, and facilitating academic dishonesty. If knowledge is to be gained and properly evaluated, it must be pursued under conditions free from dishonesty. Deceit and misrepresentations are incompatible with the fundamental activity of this academic institution and shall not be tolerated” (from UNCG’s Academic Integrity Policy). To ensure that you understand the university’s policy on academic integrity, review the guidelines and list of violations at http://academicintegrity.uncg.edu. I expect you to abide by the Academic Integrity Policy. Incidents of cheating and plagiarism are reported to the Dean of Students and sanctions are aligned with the policies at http://sa.uncg.edu/dean/academic-integrity/violation/plagiarism/. If I find evidence of plagiarism, you will receive an automatic zero on the assignment. A second offense will result in a failing grade for the course.

Behavior Tied to This Course: Respect for others and their ideas is expected in this course. Therefore, disruptive and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated, and action to deter it will be taken. The UNCG Disruptive Behavior Policy describes words and deeds as follows:

“Disruptive is behavior which the UNCG regards as speech or action which 1) is disrespectful, offensive, and/or threatening, 2) impedes or interferes with the learning activities of other students, 3) impedes the delivery of university services, and/or 4) has a negative impact in any learning environment.

Disruptive behavior includes physically, verbally, or psychologically harassing, threatening, or acting abusively toward an instructor, staff member, or toward other students in any activity authorized by the University. Disruptive behavior also includes any other behavior covered by the Student Conduct Code.”

For the entire policy, do to http://sa.uncg.edu/handbook/wp-content/uploads/disruptive_policy.pdf

Attendance: Because this is a discussion-based course, students are expected to attend every class, to arrive on time, and to be prepared for full participation. Attending class unprepared and without participation is not acceptable. Your mere presence in class will not earn you a passing grade; careful reading and thoughtful work are mandatory.

For classes meeting twice a week, students are allowed a maximum of three absences without a grade penalty. For every absence beyond those allowed, students will be penalized one-half letter grade. Students who miss six classes (three weeks of instruction) on a two-day schedule will fail the course. This attendance policy does not differentiate between "excused" and "unexcused" absences; thus, it is the student's responsibility to plan for absences within the policy concerning program fieldtrips, athletic events, work-related absences, advising sessions, minor illnesses, family and/or friend events, etc.

You are, by state law, allowed two excused absences due to religious holidays, which do not count toward your total allowed three absences. If you plan to miss class because of your faith, you must notify me in advance of your absence. Please notify me via email at least 48 hours prior to the absence. Also, if a personal or medical crisis arises that prevents you from attending a class or multiple class sessions, please contact me as soon as possible.

*If you have extenuating circumstances such as a death in the family, chronic illness/injury requiring prolonged medical treatment, prolonged psychological issues, etc., then you should immediately contact the Dean of Students Office for advocacy (http://sa.uncg.edu/dean/). You can use that department email, () and provide your name, your UNCG ID number, a telephone number that you can be reached, and a general description of why you would like to meet with a staff member. If your situation is urgent, you may opt for a walk-in appointment (Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm), and the staff will connect you with the appropriate person as soon as possible. The Dean of Students office is located on the second floor of the Elliott University Center (EUC).

Also, please make every effort to arrive to class on time. Arriving late is disrespectful and disruptive. Each tardy will be considered 1/3 of an absence: (3 tardies will equal 1 absence). Frequent tardies (more than 3) will also negatively impact the student’s participation grade.

*You will be considered absent if you are more than 15 minutes late to any class.

*Leaving early will count as a tardy, and leaving more than 15 minutes early will count as an absence.

Late Work Policy: I do not accept late work, and you will not be allowed to make-up missed quizzes.

All assignments are due on their due date regardless of your attendance. If you are absent from a class, it is still your responsibility to turn in any work due for that day. A hard copy of the assignment is preferable, but you can also email the assignment as a Microsoft Word attachment. You should also communicate with your instructor or a fellow classmate about newly assigned work.

*Computer and/or printer problems will occur, but these are not legitimate excuses for late work. All work should be printed and stapled before class begins. Assignments are due at the beginning of class.

MLA Citation and Format: All essays and submitted work should adhere to MLA guidelines. Essays should be double spaced using 12 pt. Times New Roman font and all source material (primary and secondary) should be professionally cited using correct MLA format. OWL at Purdue is an excellent online resource for MLA formatting (see link on Canvas).

Electronics: Before each class begins, please turn off and put away all cell phones, smart phones, and iPods. If you foresee an emergency that will require you to access your cell phone, you must notify me at the beginning of class and I will use my discretion. The first time the electronics policy is violated (such as a phone ringing during class or a student is caught text messaging or surfing the web), that student will be given a warning. The second and subsequent times, the student will be asked to leave the class and will be counted absent for the day.

In order to cut down on textbook costs for students, laptops, tablets, or other internet-enabled devices (not phones) may be used in class to take notes pertaining to our class, to view documents on our Canvas website or other electronic versions of a text, or to engage in class-related activities as approved by the instructor. Any student who uses a laptop for any activity not relevant to this course during class time will not be allowed to use a laptop in class again. To be perfectly clear: one violation means no laptop use.

*If I find that a number of students are using these devices for activities that do not pertain to our class work, I reserve the right to ban all laptop and tablet usage for the duration of the semester.

Accommodations: Students with documentation of special needs should arrange to see me about accommodations as soon as possible. If you believe you could benefit from such accommodations, you must first register with the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services on campus before such accommodations can be made. The office is located on the second floor of the Elliott University Center (EUC) in Suite 215, and the office is open 8am to 5pm, Monday - Friday. Telephone: 334-5440; e-mail: .

Writing Center: The purpose of the Writing Center is to enhance the confidence and competence of student writers by providing free, individual assistance at any stage of any writing project. Staff consultants are experienced writers and alert readers, prepared to offer feedback and suggestions on drafts of papers, help students find answers to their questions about writing, and provide one-on-one instruction as needed. Located in the Moore Humanities and Research Building, room 3211.

Instructor Availability: My job, as your instructor, is to provide you with the necessary tools and techniques needed to become strong critical thinkers and writers as well as active participants in your own education. I’m here to help, and I’m always happy to meet with you and hear your questions and concerns. However, I can’t help you unless you make me aware of your problem. Feel free to stop by my office during office hours, or e-mail me and we will set up an appointment. I will do my best to work around your schedule; however, please be aware that I also have a very busy schedule, and I am not on campus every day.