EN317 Earlier American Literature

for FA 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EN 317 Earlier American Literature


FA 2007 HO


Brackett, Mary Virginia


Assistant Professor of English


Ph.D. and M.A., English
BSMT (Medical Technology)
BSBA, Marketing & Management

Office Location

210 Copley

Office Hours

MW 10:00A.M. - 12:00 P.M.; TTH 9AM - 10AM; and by appointment

Daytime Phone




Web Page


Semester Dates

21 August - 06 Dec 2007

Class Days

T & H

Class Time

10:10 -11:25 AM

Credit Hours



The Bedford Anthology of American LiteratureVol. I  by Belasco and Johnson  ISBN: 0-312-46370-7
Additional materials: loose-leaf paper for in-class quizzes

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

The Purdue University On-line Writing Lab:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
This site offers exercises for grammar, punctuation and mechanics and guidance for essay development and format. It also offers proper MLA format guidance.
The Park University Academic Success Center: http://www.park.edu/support/
Visit this site to learn of the many services offered through Park's ASC, located on campus across the hall from the library.
Students should work with tutors prior to submission of essays assigned for this course.
Use your library to access electronic databases for resource material, as well as to find literature discussion series in print.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
 Study of significant American writers from the colonial period to the Civil War with attention to the historical and cultural contexts of their works. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

My educational philosophy begins with a strong belief in the interactive nature of learning. While I will lead discussions and emphasize various points, I will also want students to participate in that discussion. In that way, all in the class room learn from one another. The magic of literature is its differing appeals to readers, depending upon each reader's background, personal value system, and points of reference. Those differences in ideas, as well as similarities, will emerge through lively classroom interaction, based on each day's reading. I concur with C.S. Lewis who believed that we read in order to know we are not alone. Because writers project concern for the basic human condition into their writing, we as readers may identify with their works. Reading and writing are at once both highly personal and highly political acts.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate what is uniquely “American” about certain texts in literature
  2. Evaluate features of earlier American literature
  3. Identify and analyze American cultural issues presented in a variety of texts

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core Learning Outcomes listed above. The Core Assessment in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and MLA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.

 The rubric for this assignment is published so the student can see the expectations.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:


Assessment will be based on:

1) Essay 1: 750 –1000 words in length, the first essay will focus on one or more works read in class and related to a cultural or historical circumstance. One critical source is required; MLA format knowledge is expected for students in this class. Prewriting will be due; note due dates on schedule. 
2) Essay 2: 1250-2000 words in length, the second essay may focus on work in addition to that read in class and requires the correct use of multiple sources.  Prewriting will be due; note due dates on schedule. This represents your core assessment.
3) Frequent quizzes or group work will be administered at the beginning of class throughout the semester to measure student comprehension of reading assigned for that day. No makeup of quizzes allowed.

4) A mid-term exam will be administered.

5) A final exam will be administered.

6)One reading journals with a total of ten (10) typed entries on readings from class of your choice is required. Please check your schedule for due dates. Please access the journal instructions and form attached below.



Please study the course rubric closely to gain a thorough understanding of evaluation of your assignments.

Essay 1 (25 prewriting)                    75
Essay 2 (25 prewriting)                  125                                         
15 Quizzes (10 points each)           150 
Mid-term exam                              100                                        
Reading journal (10 points ea)        100   (see electronic form and instructions at link below)                                    
Final Exam                                     100 

TOTAL POINTS                           650 



Late Submission of Course Materials:

  • Due dates for all written, graded assignments and their components appear on the attached schedule. 
  • Adherence to the schedule is required to facilitate student progress and to complement instructor work load. 
  • Assignments may be turned in early if so approved by the instructor. 
  • No excuse for late assignments accepted, other than for medical emergency. 
  • Late assignments will earn grades lowered by 5 points for each day (not class day) they are late. 
  • No assignment will be accepted after one week past its due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Arrive on time for class.
  • Late arrival interrupts the class and shows lack of respect for the professor and your fellow students.
  • Participation in class room discussion is expected.
  • If you are an athlete who anticipates multiple absences, please notify the professor prior to each absence with a note from your coach. Athletic participation does not affect dates due for all assignments.
  • If a student's cell phone rings during class, that student will be dismissed for the day. 
  • No use of phones or text messaging allowed during class.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

See attachment
Please note that reading will be extensive, as in any literature course structured to survey a particular time period.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Plagiarism is a serious offense gaining no tolerance in this class.  Acts of plagiarism will result in serious consequences.  There is no such thing as “minor” plagiarism--all cases are serious and will be viewed as an act of theft on the part of the student.  Please consult with your instructor prior to submitting an assignment if you need guidance regarding plagiarism additional to that received in class.  Many essays featuring the short stories and the novel we will read in class may be found on the Internet. Please avoid the temptation to submit another's work as your own.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
All students are allowed 2 days (one week) of missed classes. If a student misses 4 classes (two weeks of class),25 points will be deducted from the total points earned in class. If a student misses more than two weeks of class meetings, 50 points will be deducted from the total points earned. Exceptions may be allowed on an individual basis, depending upon circumstances leading to the absences.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:

Essay Format: All essays written outside of the classroom must be typed/word processed.  Lack of proper format will result in a 5 point grade reduction for the assignment, beginning with the second essay.  Format as follows:

1)  Your Name, Assignment name (i.e., Essay 1), and course number on single-spaced lines in upper left corner on page one. No title page required.

2)  Essay title centered above essay - do not italicize or use bold print or quotation marks with the title (Remember: do not use the title of the story or novel as your own title)

3)  1-1.5 in. margins left, right, upper and lower

4)  Double space between each line

5) 12-point font

6) Each page numbered

7) No illustrations, scrollwork, border or other designs unless assigned.  Such “art” work lacks professionalism.

Tentative Schedule for EN317 fall 2007

Journal Entry Form and Instructions for EN317


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Offers clearly stated personal and critical insights to interpretation of readings throughout the essay. Makes occasional personal and critical statements, which are relevant and interpretive. Provides only plot summary, biographical information, or fails to retain focus on literature. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style perceptively and creatively in ways that provide new insights while still retaining personal voice. Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style adequately without particularly fresh insights, but still retains personal voice. Primary and secondary sources used rarely if at all and without adequate MLA documentation. Insights are predictable. Lacks an appropriate personal voice. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Provides convincing and innovative connections between texts through careful close reading of poem(s). Provides connections between texts that are obvious but nonetheless plausible and interesting. Connections between texts remain vague and undeveloped. Critique not supported by close readings. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Literary and critical terminology used appropriately and with ease throughout paper. Literary and critical terminology used adequately throughout much of the paper. Rarely employs appropriate literary and critical terminology, misuses it, or omits it altogether. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Skillfully interweaves appropriate passages from literary and critical texts and makes strong personal statements that illustrate main point of essay. Adequately incorporates  passages from literary and critical texts as well as some personal statements to prove thesis. Rarely provides specific passages from literary or critical texts, or does so without making connections clear. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style in a well organized, fully developed essay. Employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately in a reasonably well organized and developed essay. Writing shows persistent problems with the use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical, incomprehensible; organization and development of ideas do not support thesis. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Interdisciplinary and Contemporary Components                                                                                                                                                                                                              
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Analysis makes full use of historical, cultural, and/or other perspectives as interpretive tools. Analysis includes some consideration of historical, cultural, and/or other perspectives. Historical, cultural, and/or other perspectives are not used in any meaningful way. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Multicultural Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Analysis includes ample discussion of multicultural perspectives. Multicultural perspectives are mentioned appropriately but without depth. Multicultural perspectives are omitted from consideration. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 


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Last Updated:7/13/2007 12:30:38 PM