Introduction to English Literature


ENGLISH 146 — SECTION A01 (slot 2, MWF 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.)




Dr. Rosanne Gasse                                             office hours: I have an open door policy.

CHO 107                                                                If  the door is open you are most

204-727-9795                                                                  welcome to come in. (no attachments accepted)



Greenblatt, ed., The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Major Authors, 9th edition

Warren, Cool Water



Engkent and Engkent, Essay Do’s and Don’ts: A Practical Guide to Essay Writing



  1. Chaucer:     “The Miller’s Prologue and Tale” from The Canterbury Tales
  2. A sampling of Renaissance poems on the good (and the bad) of love:           

                            Howard,              “Love, that doth reign and live within my thought”

                            Sidney,                Astrophil and Stella # 31

                            Spenser,               Amoretti Sonnet #64    

                            Shakespeare,        Sonnet #130

                            Marlowe,             “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love”

                            Ralegh,                “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”

  1. Shakespeare:        Othello
  2. Donne:       “The Flea”             “Holy Sonnet #1”

                “The Sun Rising”        “Holy Sonnet #14”

                 “Love’s Alchemy”   Meditation #17 from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

                 “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”                                        

  1. Wroth: “Song #74” from Pamphilia & Amphilantus  “Sonnet #77” from A Crown        
  2. Milton:       “Lycidas”                          selection from “Areopagitica”
  3. Swift:                  “A Modest Proposal”
  4. Montagu:             “Epistle from Mrs. Yonge to her Husband”
  5. Collins:                “Ode to Evening”



  1. Wordsworth:       “We Are Seven”           “Surprised by Joy”

                                      “Resolution and Independence”                                               

  1. Shelley:                “Ozymandias”                “Ode to the West Wind”
  2. Barrett Browning:         “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point”
  3. Tennyson:            “The Passing of Arthur” from The Idylls of the King


  1. Gaskell:               “The Old Nurse’s Story”                                    
  2. Hopkins:              “The Windhover”               “Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord”

                                      “Carrion Comfort”

  1. Eliot:                    “The Wasteland”             “Journey of the Magi”
  2. Mansfield:           “The Garden Party”
  3. Munro:                 “Walker Brothers Cowboy”
  4. Heaney:               “Digging”                                   “Clearances”

                                      “Punishment”                               “The Sharping Stone”

    10.   Rushdie:              “The Prophet’s Hair”

     11.   Nottage:              “Poof!”

     12.    Warren:                Cool Water



          1 short writing assignment (due September 12) — 5%

          5 full essays — best 4 out of 5 worth 10% each (due October 24, November 28,

                                               February 2, March 6, and April 1)

          2 tests (worth 5% each) — to be held in class on Monday, September 22 and

                                               Friday, December 5

          on-line discussion group — 5% participation; 10% content (begins September 8)

          Final Examination — 30% — to be held on April 17, 2015


Course Objectives:

English 146 section A01 is an historical survey course. It introduces you to the study of English literature through examination of works and genres written at different historical periods, from the late Middle Ages through the early twenty-first century. It also introduces you to literary terms and concepts, sharpening your ability to read, think, and write critically about literature and the subjects which literary works consider. Note that this course is both reading and writing intensive.


Pace of the Course:

This is a ‘sample survey’ course that covers more than 600 years of English literature so the pace is brisk. Nonetheless we will linger where the class indicates it wants to spend more time on an author and we will go faster through material the class finds less interesting. Remember, however, that you have to let me know to speed up or to slow down. Asking or answering questions in class is a good way to indicate that you would like to linger.


Attendance and Participation in Lectures:

I do not ‘take attendance’ at lectures. On the other hand, my assumption is that you will be attending and participating in every class, because missing lectures on a regular basis will affect your grade for the worse. Your grade will suffer in this (or any) course if you skip classes too often, because you will not be well prepared for tests, essays, or the final exam. Always being prepared for class can favourably influence your grade at the end of the course. Being prepared includes bringing your textbook to class and reading and thinking about the day’s material before the lecture so that you can ask or answer questions about it in class. Class participation is different from attendance. You can attend every lecture and still not be participating in class. Participation means speaking up in class to ask questions of me or to answer my questions. One way to think of it is that you will get out of this class only as much as you yourself are willing to put into it.

You are responsible for getting notes for any class that you miss.


On-line Discussion Group:

You are required to participate in an on-line discussion group (bulletin board) in this course. It can be intimidating to speak up in a large class, and so the on-line discussion group is your opportunity to voice your thoughts and questions about what you are reading in a more anonymous setting. I hope that you will find the discussion group particularly helpful for the essays, because you will not get good grades by repeating my lectures back to me. Use the on-line discussion group to hone your critical thinking about literature. For instance, do not simply say ‘I hate Shakespeare’. Instead, explain the source of your dislike — is it only because you find his language difficult? Are you offended by his treatment of women in the play?

You are required to make at least two on-line entries per week. Entries can be as long or as short as you like, but they must always demonstrate that you are thinking about the course material. Your grade for the on-line discussion group is based on participation (5%) and content (10%).

Disrespectful and disruptive behaviour in the on-line discussion group will not be tolerated. Such behaviour can result in de-registration from the group. I am the moderator of the bulletin board.

To participate in the group you will require access to a computer with a relatively up-to-date browser. You may use either your own computer at home or one of the computers located in various sites on campus (e.g. the Library). If you are using your home computer, please note that its cookies must be enabled. 

Before you can participate in the on-line discussion group you must first claim your Novell account. See the Help Desk in the Library if you have not already done so. Once you have an active Novell account, then go to the Brandon University website Look for the section labeled Student Resources under which you will find Moodle login. Click on Moodle and follow the instructions to register. The entry key for this course is chaucer.

If you experience problems with login or registration on the Bulletin Board, contact the Help Desk in the Library (ext 500) for assistance.

If for any reason you seem to be experiencing chronic technical difficulties with the Bulletin Board, come and see me in my office. I cannot help you if I do not know you are having a problem.

The on-line discussion group begins Monday, September 8. It will break for the December holiday, but will remain active during the Study Week in February.


Essays, Tests, and the Final Exam:

There are two 50 minute tests (in-class essays) in the first term, the first on Monday, September 22 and the second on Friday, December 5. There is also a 3 hour final examination at the end of the course on April 17. The tests and the final exam are designed to gauge how well you comprehend and synthesize the material you have read in the course.

There are 6 take-home writing assignments — three in each term — although the first writing assignment is short and not a full-fledged essay. With the exception of the first assignment, you will be given about 4 weeks to write each essay. Four weeks might seem like a long time, but it is important that you use all of this time wisely. Do not leave your essay to the last minute. Writing an essay takes time, because essay writing does not mean repeating my lectures back to me or telling me what other people have written or retelling the story in your own words. Your essays are on topics which are not directly covered in class, and so to write a good essay you need to think about the subject and come up with your own arguments to support your point of view. All of this work requires time and effort. Good essay writing demands careful attention to the basic mechanics of composition: correct format, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style.

Essays should be handed in to me personally in class or to the Arts General Office (CHO 100) on the due date. If you choose to slide it under my door, you do so at your own risk. Always keep a copy of all your assignments and rough work until you have received your final grade in the course.

Note that I DO NOT accept essays in electronic form.



Correct documentation is an important part of academic writing. Keep in mind, however, that there are many different formats for documentation out there, each particular to its own discipline. You must always use the one which is correct for the discipline in which you are writing. If you do not know which format to use, ask your professor.

In this class, you may use either the MLA style or the Chicago style of documentation. MLA style is the more common format for English literary studies so when in doubt, if you are writing an English essay, always use MLA style. See pages 108-13 of Essay Do’s and Don’ts for information on the MLA style of documentation and in-text citation.

Below is the MLA format to follow for a simple ‘Works Cited’ page entry when you are citing a novel or a single selection from an anthology. Note that the order is alphabetical by the last name of the author, and that the second and all subsequent lines of each entry are indented so that the author’s last name is easy to find. The page numbers are included for the selection from an anthology. Each citation ends with a period.

Shakespeare, William. Othello. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Major Authors Edition. Vol. 1. 9th ed. Ed. S. Greenblatt. New York: Norton, 2013. 512-572. Print.

Warren, Dianne. Cool Water. Toronto: HarperCollins, 2010. Print.

For some further help with citation, check out the W.W. Norton website below. Norton has many free resources that you can access for help with this course.


Academic Integrity:

According to 4.2.2 of the 2014-2015 Brandon University General Calendar,

Academic integrity is an essential part of University life. Academic dishonesty and misconduct will not be tolerated. Brandon University supports students, instructors, and administrators in their efforts to preserve this institution as a community of scholars. Actions which constitute academic dishonesty and/or misconduct are considered an offence within Brandon University and include:

Plagiarism, Cheating, Falsifying Records, and Research Misconduct.

Plagiarism is essentially stealing someone else’s work and trying to pass it off as your own. It includes word-for-word copying from another text or paraphrasing the information from another text in your own words, if either of these is done without proper and full credit being given to the original source. All material — AND THIS INCLUDES INTERNET SOURCES LIKE WIKIPEDIA — used in the preparation of your essay must be properly documented in the body of your essay AND in its Bibliography or Works Cited page. It is your responsibility to keep track of all materials used in the preparation of your essay and to document them properly in the body of your essay and in your bibliography. It is insufficient to include secondary sources in your Works Cited page without also indicating in the body of your essay each and every place where you are borrowing an idea from them.

The student who plagiarizes will receive for a first offence at the very least a grade of zero for that assignment with no opportunity for rewriting for credit. This grade also will not be dropped as the lowest grade of the 5 full-length essay assignments. The student’s name will go on file in the Dean of Arts Office. Read 4.2.2 of the General Calendar for further information on the penalties for academic dishonesty.


Late Penalty for Essays:

Late essays are penalized at the rate of 3 marks per day, and no essay is accepted seven calendar days after the due date without serious medical or compassionate grounds (eg. hospitalization for several days) for doing so.

Assignments in first year come thick and fast, and it is far too easy to let things slide. The late penalty is as much about encouraging you to keep up with your work as it is helping me to mark and return essays to the class in a timely fashion.

You can use your (limited) Days of Grace to avoid late penalties on essays.


Days of Grace:

To help you out when all you need is a little extra time to get an essay done or when something happens unexpectedly at the very last minute like your car breaking down, you begin the course with 4 ‘Days of Grace’. Each Day of Grace entitles you to ONE extra day to hand in your essay without incurring a late penalty, no questions asked. You can use as many as you want for any essay; however, a Day of Grace can be used one time only. Once your 4 Days of Grace are used up they are gone forever and will not be replaced under any circumstance. Use them with care.

To apply a Day of Grace, simply include a note with the essay that you are using one of your Days of Grace. You do not require my permission to use a Day of Grace. I will take note and write on your essay in turn how many Days of Grace you have remaining.

Note that YOU MUST instruct me in writing to apply a Day of Grace on your behalf. I do NOT automatically apply one for you if an essay is late. You must choose when to use them.

Days of Grace can only be used for essays.

If you need an extra long extension because of serious health or personal problems, come and see me well in advance of the due date to arrange it. You will need to hand in with your essay a letter from one of the counsellors in Student Services or from your family doctor to receive a special extension under these exceptional circumstances.


Classroom Etiquette:

Classroom etiquette is a straightforward matter of respect, respect for your professor and respect for your fellow students who have paid a lot of money to be here. You are expected to arrive in class on time. Your late arrival disturbs everyone else. Turn off your cell phone before class begins. If you feel like chatting with your friends or updating your Facebook status, do so before class or wait until class is over. It is rude to be talking or texting during class, unless you have something to say for the whole class to hear. And remember that your profs can see what you are doing fiddling under the desk!


Human Rights Compliance:

Brandon University is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. If you need such accommodation, please contact Michelle Magnusson, Disability Services Coordinator, Student Services (MCK 106). Students are responsible for registering with the Special Needs Coordinator and for requesting the appropriate accommodation with reasonable advance notice.


Statement of Fair Warning:

Literature deals with subjects central to the human condition. Works covered in this course can include (but are not limited to) themes of sexuality, religious expression, violence, suicide, racism, and negative views of women. Students may on occasion find some of the worldviews and/or topics discussed in class personally offensive, disturbing, or otherwise troubling.


Contact Me:

My door is always open to you. If I am in my office, you are most welcome to pop in. Or you can make an appointment for a time that works for both of us.

If you contact me by e-mail, be careful to include reference to ‘English 146’ in the subject line — you don’t want me to delete your message unread as suspect spam! You can also contact me by phone or by a general message posted on the Bulletin Board.

Please remember that your professors do not come equipped with special telepathic powers. If you are having problems in a course, talk to your professor. If you do not understand something I said in class, ask to have it explained again. If you want me to speed up or to slow down, tell me in person, by e-mail, or through the on-line discussion group. If you are not sure what the essay question is all about, if you have a complaint about the course, if you need an extra long extension because you are having serious health or personal problems, if you want to vent about life in general, or if you’d just like to say hello, stop in and see me. You are always welcome.


Grading Equivalents for This Course.

letter grade          g.p.a.          numerical grade

A+                       4.3              95 – 100

A                         4.0              85 – 94                 Exceptional

A-                        3.7              80 – 84

B+                       3.3              77 – 79

B                          3.0              73 – 76                 Above Average

B-                        2.7              70 – 72

C+                       2.3              67 – 69

C                          2.0              63 – 66                 Average

C-                        1.7              60 – 62

D                         1.0              50 – 59                 Needs Improvement

F                          0.0              0 – 49                             Failure


What the Letter Grades Mean

The ‘A’ Paper


.         A clearly stated central idea (thesis) that illuminates an interpretation of the text.

.         The response creates an original framework for understanding the literature.

.         The response is developed with depth and complexity. It addresses the topic in an insightful, perceptive and carefully considered manner. It may be unique or creative.



.         The response is confidently, skillfully, and effectively constructed, controlled, and focused.

.         The response is consistently clear, well organized, precise and accurate.

.         The essay is free of errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.

.         Quotations from the text are elegantly integrated into the essay.


The ‘B’ Paper


.         A clearly stated central idea (thesis) is present, but without originality of thought.

.         The response is fully developed and addresses the topic in a considered, thoughtful, and     specific manner.

.         The writing demonstrates marked competence and occasional stylistic flair, but without thefull command of style and language that characterizes the ‘A’ paper.



.         The response is generally clear, focused, and organized.

.         The paper is essentially free of common errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.

.         The thesis is supported throughout the essay, but quotations from the text are sometimes clumsily incorporated.


The ‘C’ Paper


.         The response is somewhat developed and addresses the topic in an appropriate, purposeful, and straightforward manner, although ideas may be general, conventional, or predictable.

.         A reasonably clear thesis is stated. The paper generally attempts to support the thesis, but is blurred in places. Most paragraphs have a central idea, but development is vague at times and transitions between paragraphs often lack smoothness.



.         The response is coherent, but lacks focus or organization at times.

.         Although the paper is generally free of serious errors, there are mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or mechanics. A sense of style is present, but not strongly developed.

.         The response is sometimes overly reliant upon lecture notes or secondary sources.

.         Quotations from the text to support ideas are sometimes missing or not relevant to the point.


The ‘D’ Paper


.         A thesis is not clearly stated, substantiated, or supported.

.         The response is underdeveloped, repetitive, and weakly related to the topic of the assignment. The paper is overall suggestive of a rough draft rather than a finished work.

.         Awkward sentences occur frequently, incorrect ones occasionally. The sense of style is weak.



.         There is some sense of organization, but it frequently breaks down or is hard to follow.

.         Not all paragraphs exhibit a central idea and development is vague and lacking in specifics.

.         Errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics occur with frequency.

.         There is frequent substitution of plot summary or lecture notes for analysis.

.         Little use is made of quotations from the text to support ideas.


The ‘F’ Paper


.         The response is poorly developed, inappropriate, or off topic.



.         The response is unfocused and disorganized.

.         The writing is loose, imprecise, ambiguous, and characterized by many errors.

.         No organization is evident. The paper exhibits either no paragraphing or consistently improper paragraphing.

.         There are many serious errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.

.         There is complete reliance upon plot summary or lecture notes or secondary sources.

.         There are no quotations from the text to support ideas.


The ‘0’ Paper

.         Plagiarism with intent to deceive.