Reverse detail from Kakelbont MS 1, a fifteenth-century French Psalter. This image is in the public domain. Daniel Paul O'Donnell

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English 1900C: Introduction to English Language and Literature (Fall 2010)

Posted: Jun 22, 2010 11:06;
Last Modified: Jan 12, 2011 08:01



Times and location

Office and Office Hours

Office hours for Fall 2010 are:

Mon 10:30-12:00
Tues 10:50-12:05
Wed 14:00-15:00
Thur 15:00-16:00
Fri 11:00-12:00

About this course

English 1900 is the required introductory course in the department. The calendar description is as follows:

An introduction to the study of English language and literature, involving an exploration of various genres of literature and non-literary texts and requiring a series of critical assignments designed to encourage analytical reading, thinking and writing.

Within this broad rubric instructors are free to set their own themes and texts. In this section, our focus will be on learning to write about literature.

High school language arts curricula concentrate on developing students’ ability to read and enjoy literature: students are taught to recognise genres, understand common types of literary language, and do basic fact-oriented research. University literary programmes, on the other hand, assume that students have already developed these basic skills and concentrate instead on developing students’ ability to contribute to literary debate: to develop original theses and hypotheses, identify and marshal original evidence, accommodate or refute opposing arguments, and present their work in a variety of formats, including essays, lectures, and class discussion.

This section of English 1900 will concentrate on developing these skills. Students will be given a variety of exercises intended to help them reflect on and improve their skills in generating interesting and original literary arguments, evaluation of sources, research, and meeting the expectations of University-Level assignments.

Learning goals

By the end of the course students should have an understanding of the conventions, processes, and skills required for University-level literary research. This involves the ability to


Note: all texts are required.


The evaluation scheme presented here should be considered tentative and open to change until the beginning of the last class before the Add/Drop deadline.

Assignment Value
Participation (attendance, participation, drafts) 15%
Testing Centre Essay 10%
Final Exam 20%
Best Essay 25%
Other essays 15% each


The following policies will be followed in all my classes unless otherwise announced. You are expected to be familiar with the policies reproduced here and in the more general section on my website. These additional web pages are to be considered part of this syllabus for the purposes of this course. Failure to conform to any of these policies may result in your grade being lowered.

Grade scale

The University of Lethbridge keeps track of student performance using a letter and grade point system (See section 4 of the University Calendar). Instructors assign students a letter grade at the end of each course (the University does not issue or record mid-term grades). These letter grades are converted to a numerical value (a Grade Point) for assessing overall academic performance (a Grade Point Average or GPA). The University does not record percentage-type grades and does not have a fixed scale for conversion from percentage scores to letter grades and grade points. Each instructor is responsible for determining their own methodology for determining students’ final letter grade.

In my classes, I use the following letter-grade to percentage correspondences:

  Excellent Good Satisfactory Poor Minimal pass Failing
Letter A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
Percent range 100-94 93-90 89-86 85-82 81-78 77-74 73-70 69-66 65-62 61-58 57-50 49-0
Conventional value 100 92 88 84 80 76 72 68 64 60 56 49-0
Grade point 4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0

How your grade is determined depends on the type of work being assessed. Tests of specific skills or knowledge (such as identification questions in literature classes, or fact-oriented tests in my grammar and language classes) are usually assigned a numeric score which is easily converted to a percentage. Essays, presentations, and other performance-oriented tests are usually graded by letter. I convert letter grades to percentages by taking the median value in each grade-range, and rounding up to the nearest whole percent. The only exceptions are A+ (which is converted to 100%), and F (which is converted to an arbitrary percentage between 0% and 49% based on my estimation of the work’s quality). These scores can be found in the conventional value row of the above table.

In marking work I try to keep the University’s official description of these grades in mind (a description can be found in the University Calendar, Part IV.3.a). If you get an A it means your work is excellent; a B means your work is good; a C means it is satisfactory; a D that it is barely acceptable (minimal pass); and an F that it is failing to meet University-level standards.

I have prepared rubrics for most types of qualitative assignments (assignments that do not expect the student simply to provide a correct factual answer). These can be found in my Academic Policies section:

Submitting Work

Tests, Exams, and Quizzes

Tests and Exams will be written in the University’s Testing Centre on Moodle. Quizzes may be presented on Moodle.

Essays and Reports

Essays and reports will normally be collected using Turnitin. Information on our account (URL, ID number, and Password) will be made available in our class space on Moodle:


This course uses plagiarism detection software. Any plagiarism will be treated very seriously: you can expect to receive a grade of 0 on the assignment as well as other penalties depending on the seriousness of the offence. In most cases, the penalty for plagiarism is an F on the course.

Class schedule

Week Date Topic
1 Tue. 7/9 No class
Thur. 9/9
  • Syllabus and assessment
2 Tue. 14/9
  • “The Day I Sat with Jesus”
Last day to add/drop
Thur. 16/9
  • “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
3 Tue. 21/9
  • Compare and Contrast Exercise
  • Finding Literary Evidence
Thur. 23/9
  • Essay Topic Development
4 Sunday 26/9 Essay 1 Draft Due on Turnitin (Midnight)
Tue. 28/9
  • Introduction to Peer Review
  • Sample Peer Review
Thur. 30/9
  • Peer Editing Groups
5 Sunday 3/10 Essay 1 Due on Turnitin (Midnight)
Tue. 5/10
  • Note Taking the Digital Age
Thur. 7/10
  • What is Poetry? Exercise and Discussion
6 Tue. 12/10
  • Romantic Poetry Exercise and discussion
  • “Advertisement” to Lyrical Ballads
Thur. 14/10
  • High Poetry in Lyrical Ballads
7 Tue. 19/10
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Thur. 21/10
  • Essay Topic Carousel
8 Tue. 26/10
  • Mechanics and Style
Essay 2 Draft on Turnitin (Midnight)
Thur. 28/10 Essay 2 Peer review (3 Essays) (7am): You must also bring printouts of the essays you reviewed to class.
  • Peer Editing Groups
9 Tue. 2/11
  • Understanding Bibliography and Citation
Essay 2 Final Draft Due Due on Turnitin (Midnight)
Thur. 4/11
  • What is a Play? Exercise and Discussion
  Tue. 9/11 No class: Instructor Absence
Thur. 11/11 No class (Remembrance Day)
Friday 12/11 Last day to withdraw
10 Tue. 16/11
  • Long Day’s Journey into Night Discussion
Thur. 18/11
  • Essay Topic Development
11 Sunday 21/11-Sunday 28/11 Testing Centre Essay (Moodle)
Tue. 23/11
  • What is a Novel? Exercise and Discussion
Thur. 25/11    
12 Tue. 30/11
  • Pride and Prejudice
Thur. 2/12
  • Pride and Prejudice
13 Tue. 7/12
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
Thur. 9/12
  • Conclusion
14 Sunday 13/12 Essay 3 Due on Turnitin (Midnight)
Tue. 13-21/12 Final Exam (Moodle)




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