EN232 Introduction to Poetry

for F1T 2009

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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 232 Introduction to Poetry


F1T 2009 DL


Renuard, Lindsey A.


Adjunst Professor


MA English University of Central Oklahoma
BA English University of Oklahoma

Office Location





Web Page


Semester Dates

8/17/09 - 10/11/2009

Class Days

Consistent with Park policy, students should be in the class 4 times per week.

Class Time

Online continually


None – However, an interest in poetry and in writing is recommended.

Credit Hours



An Introduction 5th ed.

by Michael Myer

Paper Text, 864pgs.

ISBN-10: 0-312-46140-2

Estimated U.S. Price: $56.25

The textbook comes with a link to a companion website and CD.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

You will need software to play the audio portions of this course. If you do not have any multimedia software installed on you computer you can get free downloads by following these steps going to Help and Resources > Software and Multimedi

Multimedia Instructions:
Most multimedia applications will open directly from the classroom by clicking on the appropriate link. If you have difficulties opening directly, try to save to your computer and open from the saved file. If you are still having problems with the applications, please contact the Helpdesk for assistance.

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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
EN232 Introduction to Poetry (MGE): A study of approaches to reading, understanding, and analyzing lyric poetry in English and American literature. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's constructivist educational philosophy is one of encouraging students' interaction with lectures, readings, dialogues, examinations, websites, journals, business communication, research papers, including exchanges with other students. The instructor will engage students in socratic thinking and learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues, and contradictions. The instructor expects that students learn independence in the online classroom and take responsibility for their learning. The instructor is available to answer questions and give guidance as needed.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the definitive features of poetry as a literary genre
  2. Discuss a representative range of poetic texts
  3. Articulate a response/ interpretation of a single text or body of related texts

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core LearningOutcomes 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:
Course Learning Objectives:

The following learning objectives have been set by the Park University Department of English for En 232: Introduction to Poetry, and approved by the University Assessment Committee:

  1. Identify the definitive features of poetry as a literary genre.
  2. Discuss a representative range of poetic texts.
  3. Articulate a response/interpretation of a single text or body of related texts.

Core Assessment: Critical Paper

The Core Assessment for this course is a critical paper consisting of 5-8 pages. The paper will include research in addition to personal statements; internal MLA documentation; Works Cited page.

A draft will be due in week 7. The final, polished paper will due in week 8. The due date for this paper will be Sunday night at midnight of week 8.

**NOTE: A DRAFT of the final paper must be submitted no later than SATURDAY at midnight of WEEK 7.

Students who do not submit a DRAFT of the final paper will earn 0 points for the critical paper, and may not submit a final draft paper. This means a grade of “F” will be assigned to the core assessment, which is 30% of the final grade.

What is a draft? As you no doubt learned in your Freshman writing courses, a draft is a rough exploration of your project. A draft is not perfect; it does not include everything. However, it should be focused enough, and include enough detail to illustrate to your reader your topic, your point of view, and how you I intend to develop the paper. It should include the Works Cited page, and the quotations you intend to examine.

Why do I ask for a draft? I require a draft so that I can see what you intend to do, and can offer suggestions and advice. You will receive feedback on your draft by Sunday evening. You will then have a week to revise the draft and submit it the following week.

Click on the link below to go to the Syllabus site to select and view the Core Assessment Rubric for this course:

Core Assessment Rubric

Weekly Learning Activities and Assessments: Discussion Threads, Response Papers, and Quizzes

Students will be asked to respond to course readings, prompts, and materials by posting weekly Discussion Threads, by writing Response Papers, and by taking occasional quizzes and exams. Each of these assignments is described below, and more detail is provided for each specific weekly assignment.

a. Discussion Threads: Due Wednesday and Friday of each week.

Each week, each of you will post a response to a prompt or question based on the week’s reading. Your first posting is due no later than Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.; the second posting is due no later than Friday at 4:00 p.m.

Points possible for Discussion Threads: 10 points are rewarded for discussion postings that are fully developed with detail according to the Rubric for Discussion Threads. (See Rubric under “Discussion Threads” button for each week.)

b. Response Papers: Due on Sunday evenings no later than midnight.

A total of 3 short Response Papers will be submitted throughout the term. These papers will explore one or more of the poems in the assigned reading. Each will be progressively longer as we progress through the term.

Although response papers analyze the poetry with attention to specific features of poetry addressed in that week’s reading assignment, these papers are not “research papers.” They are your reactions to a question provided by the professor, or to an assigned “Considerations” question following the poem in your textbook. They should be written in your own voice (using “I”), not in the voice of an unidentifiable “research persona.” Poetry is personal; your reactions are personal. Therefore, your writing will be personal. At the same time, you are learning in this course how to analyze poetry.

Being personal in this course does not mean you are writing to your best friend. It means that you are writing as a real student of poetry to another reader of poetry (in this case, yes, your professor). Audience and purpose are important; pretending to be an unidentifiable (and perhaps pompous) academic is not the goal. Learning to analyze what is important to you is the goal, as is learning to document specific lines from the poem(s) you are analyzing.

More detail for each Response Paper is provided with each specific assignment.

c. Quizzes: Submitted no later than Sunday at midnight.

When you are not asked to write a Response Paper, you will be asked to take a short-answer quiz over the readings for that week. (These are planned for Weeks 2, 4, and 6). These will be short-answer quizzes, or based on the readings for that week.

Points for these exams may vary from week to week depending on the demands of the quiz/exam.

d. Final Exam:

A final, written exam worth 60 points will be given during Finals Week. You should be prepared to write a short critical essay, which will include some personal response (just as you have done in the response papers), based on a question and a poem you will be given at the time of the exam.

If you keep up with the work in the course, including the Discussion Threads, the Response Papers, the critical paper, and all the reading, this exam should actually present you with work that will be intellectually stimulating and rewarding. You might even enjoy it!


Students are expected to participate in all class activities. This includes checking in weekly and responding to discussion thread questions; keeping up with the reading; submitting assignments; etc. If you conscientiously keep up with weekly reading and writing assignments, the question of participation will not even arise as a problem.

You must realize that passing this course is impossible unless you keep up with weekly reading and writing assignments. Participation is a given: you must submit postings to Discussion Threads, and submit all other work on time in order to earn enough points to pass this course. Grades on all these assignments indicate participation, the most significant indicator being your timely presence, and depth of response, in class Discussion Threads.

We will move quickly through the term; don’t stop or hesitate. Just do the best you can do, and keep up with the work.


The following student projects will be assessed:

  • Discussion Threads
  • Response Papers
  • Quizzes
  • Critical Paper (Core Assessment)
  • Final Essay Exam

Grading Scale:




Final Grading Scale

Discussion Threads
10pts and 5pts



A  360 – 400

3 Response Papers
20, 25, and 35pts.



B  320 - 359

3 Quizzes
20pts. ea.



C  280 - 319

Critical Paper*
Draft 10pts Final 70 pts



D  240 - 279

Final Essay Exam**



F 239 and below




*Failure to turn both draft and final draft of the critical paper will result in a failing grade for the course.
**Failure to take the final essay exam will result in a failing grade for the course.

Proctored Final Examination -

A final proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.

Other Information on proctored exams:

  • It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who is accepted and approved by the course instructor.
  • Approval of proctors is the discretion of the Online instructor.
  • A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.
  • Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Because of the nature of this online, 8-week course, late assignments are not an option. Discussion Threads may not be posted late for obvious reasons: your lack of participation directly affects the entire class, since you will not be responding to the questions of the week, or to the comments of your classmates.

The best advice about submitting assignments is this: never wait until the deadline to submit your work. Things happen: computers break down; internet connections don’t work or are interrupted; you get sick. So: Plan Ahead. Manage your time. Even if you can’t do it all, do what you can. Submit something rather than nothing. Don’t panic, and don’t give up. You are smart, and you can do this.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
All students are expected to observe rules of civility and respect with one another and the instructor in the classroom and in all email correspondence. Please address students by name and sign your own name when posting or emailing. If you have urgent questions that may be of interest to all students, post them in the office or use the class email list to send an email to the professor with the question. Students can find our class email list under Email along the top tabs on the class page. Do not hesitate to contact me with your questions. I am available to you.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1:           Getting Started: how do we read poetry?

                        Introduction: “Reading Imaginative Literature”

                        Chapter 1, “Reading Poetry”

                        Chapter 2, “Writing about Poetry”

                        Discussion Thread (15pts)

                        Response Paper on assigned poem (20pts)


Week 2:           Chapter 3, “Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone”

                        Chapter 4, “Images”

                        Chapter 5, “Figures of Speech”

                        Discussion Thread (15pts)

                        Quiz on tone, imagery, and figures of speech (20pts)


Week 3:           Chapters 6, “Symbol, Allegory, and Irony”

                        Chapter 7, “Sounds”

                        Chapter 12: “A Study of Emily Dickinson”

                        Discussion Thread (15 pts)

                        Response Paper on Dickinson (25pts)


Week 4:           Chapters 8, “Patterns of Rhythm”

                        Chapter 9, “Poetic Forms”

                        Chapter 10, “Open Form”

                        Discussion Thread (15pts)

                        Quiz on poetic forms (20pts)


Week 5:           Chapter 11, “Combining the Elements of Poetry:

                        A Writing Process”

                        Chapter 16, “Critical Case Study: T.S. Eliot’s

                        ‘The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prurock’”

                        Discussion Thread (15pts)

                        Response Paper on J. Alfred Prufrock (35pts)


Week 6:           Chapter 26, “Reading and Writing”

                        Chapter 18, “Thematic Case Study: Love and Longing”

                        Discussion Thread (15pts)

                        Quiz on poems from Chapter 18 (20pts)


Week 7:           Preparing the critical paper.

                        Chapter 27, “The Literary Research Paper”

                        Chapter 15, “A Study of Julia Alvarez: Five Poems”

                        Discussion Thread on Julia Alvarez (15pts)

                        DRAFT OF CRITICAL PAPER DUE (10pts)


Week 8:           Chapter 14, “A Study of Langston Hughes”

                        Discussion Thread on Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance (15pts)

                        FINAL DRAFT OF CRITICAL PAPER DUE (70­pts)

Proctored Final Essay Exam (60pts)


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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 "F".
  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.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Offers clearly stated personal and critical insights to interpretation of poem or poems. Makes adequate personal and critical statements, which are relevant and interpretive. Provides only plot summary, biographical information, or fails to retain focus on poem or poems. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style perceptively and creatively in ways that provide new insights into the poem or poems. 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. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
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. 
Poetic and critical terminology applied skillfully throughout paper. Poetic and critical terminology used adequately throughout much of the paper. Rarely employs appropriate poetic and critical terminology, misuses it, or omits it altogether. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Skillfully interweaves passages from poem(s) and critical texts as well as strong personal statements that illustrate main point of essay. Adequately incorporates passages from poem(s) and passages from critical texts as well as some personal statements to prove thesis. Rarely provides specific passages from poem(s) or critical theory for analysis, 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. 
Multicultural Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Gracefully incorporates discussion of the work of one or more multicultural issue and shows relevance to theme of paper. Incorporates discussion of the work of at least one multicultural issue and provides relevant analysis. May mention work of a multicultural issue, but not in any meaningful way. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Provides links among a range of poetic texts                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Analysis includes full discussion of a range of poetic texts. An attempt is made to include discussion of a range of texts. Paper does not address a range of texts. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 


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Last Updated:8/4/2009 12:05:16 AM