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Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2011
Dillard College of Business Administration
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 11 – 11:50 PM Dillard 345

Dr. Peter Fields (view Profile)


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Broadview Press 2005 Trans. James Winny
The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales & the GP
Norton Critical Edition 2nd edition 2005 Ed. V. A. Kolve & Glending Olson
The Showings of Julian of Norwich
Norton Critical Edition 2005. Ed. Denise N. Baker
Edmund Spenser's Poetry
Norton Critical Edition 3rd edition 1993. Ed. Hugh Maclean & Anne Lake Prescott
Evans Shakespeare Editions: The Tempest
Wadsworth 2012. Ed. Grace Tiffany
John Milton: Paradise Lost
Norton Critical Edition. 2005. Ed. Gordon Teskey
Broadview Press 2000 Trans. R. M. Liuzza
Course Objectives

 English Department Goals

GOAL 1. Critical Inquiry

Objective 1.1:  Student engages in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrates aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.

Objective 1.2:  Student evaluates secondary sources and applies skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.

GOAL 2.  Knowledge of Language and Literature

Objective 2.1:  Student understands the usage and structure of the English language.

Objective 2.2:  Student recognizes the stylistic techniques that distinguish key literary texts relevant to subject and genre.

Objective 2.3:  Student is familiar with the legacy of important ideas and contexts associated with literary periods.

Objective 2.4:  Student is introduced to academic and professional publications in the field.

GOAL 3.  Writing as Process

Objective 3.1:  Student reflects on his or her arguments over multiple stages of development.

Objective 3.2:  Using traditional resources and emerging technologies, the student references and formats primary and secondary sources in MLA style.

GOAL 4.  Engagement

Objective 4.1:  Student is aware of a cultural context for his or her own values and those of his or her sources.

Course Expectations

 Bullet point summary of the writing requirements of English Literature I

  • Participate in discussion by presenting an early draft (Block Quote, pars. 2-4) of a seven paragraph essay in class.
  • Write two seven paragraph essays (on different works in our reading list).
  • The first thing is to pick a Block Quote (a sustained verbatim passage) from the primary text.
  • Write the second paragraph first: this paragraph mines the Block Quote for ideas.
  • Paragraph three is in regard to character and utilizes 4 Short Quotes.
  • Paragraph four is in regard to irony and relies on 4 more Short Quotes.
  • Both seven paragraphs essays require a critical review (pars. 5-6).
  • Paragraph five of the critical review should make a point from the editorial or supplemental material of a given critical edition and then come back to the primary text.
  • Paragraph six of the critical review draws on an outside source (not found in our books) in a sustained manner and then once again comes back to the primary text.
  • Paragraph seven should offer a position, offer a concession, then reinforce the position with multiple sub-points.
  • The first paragraph is best attempted last, after writing paragraph seven.
  • The first paragraph is in two parts: first, a clear argument (thesis and sub-points); second, it provides context for the Block Quote which immediately follows the first paragraph. This context summarizes the relevant plot points and anticipates a key idea in the Block Quote.
  • Write in class a four paragraph Blue Book essay on Julian of Norwich.
  • Students must write clearly with standard punctuation and grammar. Grammar and phrasing problems will affect the grade.

 Final Exam

The Final Exam is multiple choice and cumulative. The Final is anticipated by two earlier multiple choice tests, the Medieval test and the Early Modern test. These two tests can serve as study guides for the Final Exam.

 Proper Format for Writing About English Literature (using MLA citing standards)

The first paragraph, or introduction, begins with the clearest possible explanation (3-5 sentences) of the student’s argument (and, for that reason, the first paragraph is best composed last). The first paragraph should end with a context that explains the relevant plotline and anticipates a key idea in the Block Quote that immediately follows (the first paragraph ends on a colon, followed by the Block Quote).

 Each essay features a Block Quote (BQ), a long passage from the play cited word for word exactly the way it appears in our text (don’t turn poetry into prose). Instead of quotation marks, students set the BQ off an extra 10 spaces on the left all the way down. A good length for a BQ would be approximately EIGHT to TEN lines. The following example is from Beowulf:

                                                                       […] He said

who was able to tell of the origin of men

that the Almighty created the earth,

a bright and shining plain, by seas embraced,

and set, triumphantly, the sun and moon

to light their beams for those who dwell on land,

adorned the distant corners of the world

with leaves and branches, and made life also,

all manner of creatures that live and move. (90-98)

The bracketed ellipses—[…]—indicates that line 90 is missing except for the last two words, “He <span class="scayt-misspell" data-scayt_word="said." "="" data-scaytid="1">said.” The line numbers are indicated in parentheses (90-98).

If you’re citing Short Quotes (SQs), integrate them surgically in your language. Make sure you lead with your own words—never lead with a quote. Make sure longer SQs are fully anticipated by your own thought. The line numbers are in parentheses immediately following the quotes:

 Grendel is a diabolical, supernatural adversary of humankind, a “grim spirit” (102) and “fiend from hell” (101). His grievance with his brothers (i.e., his fellow human beings) is older than himself, a hatred and war perpetuated by God’s curse on his ancient forbear, Cain, the first killer of kin and destroyer of brotherhood: “No joy in that feud—the Maker forced him / far from mankind for his foul crime” (109-11).

 Notice that we use a forward slash between lines of poetry if we’re citing longer SQs. 

 Citing from a Play (Act, scene, and line):

At the close of the BQ (e.g., from Shakespeare’s The Tempest), students should provide parentheses with act, scene, and line numbers. Be sure to set up the BQ exactly as you find it on the page in your text:

                                 I must eat my dinner.

This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother,

Which thou tak’st from me. When thou cam’st first,

Thou strok’st me and made much of me; wouldst give me

Water with berries in’t; and teach me how

To name the bigger light, and how the less,

That burn by day and night; and then I loved thee

And showed thee all the qualities o’th’isle,

The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place and fertile.

Cursèd be I that did so! […] (1.2.331-339)

NOTE: MLA stipulates that we simply use numbers: e.g., the parenthetical reference (1.2.331-339) means act one, scene two, lines 331-339. Once we know the act and scene, we simply use the line numbers in parentheses. ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW A QUOTE WITH THE PARENTHETICAL REFERENCE:

Miranda reminds Caliban that she was his teacher and mentor. Before her tutelage, he not only spoke gibberish, but he also lacked any sense of who he was: “[…] thou didst not, savage, / Know thine own meaning” (355-356). Like a creator she took him from rough matter and gave him clear and distinct form: “I endowed thy purposes / With words that made them known” (357-358).

The second paragraph comes AFTER the BQ and mines the BQ for ideas. The second paragraph does NOT have any quotes, either from the Block Quote or from elsewhere in the poem or story.

The third paragraph—which begins In regard to character—address the motivation of an important character in the primary text. Par. three utilizes four Short Quotes (SQs) that were not part of the BQ.

 he fourth paragraph—which begins In regard to irony—address irony in the primary text (when the opposite of what we expect proves to be true) and utilizes four more (never before used) SQs. NOTE: Think of this paragraph as an opportunity to acknowledge your hypothetical opposition. For instance, if you are arguing (in regard to The Tempest) that Prospero is the natural ruler of the island, offer concessions in paragraph four where you admit there are valid arguments in favor of Caliban. The 4th paragraph should begin In regard to irony.

 The fifth paragraph begins In regard to my critical review. Here students need to express a sustained idea and quote at least once from their critical edition’s editorial or supplemental material. Connect the editorial or supplemental point back to the primary text we’re studying (and quote from it as well):

 In regard to my critical review, I want to cite Peter Holland’s introduction to The Tempest, where he remarks that Gonzalo’s idealistic hope for a return to paradise seems reminiscent of an essay by Montaigne that presumed that primitive people lived in an idyllic state: “Montaigne saw the perfect existence of the native peoples—as he heard about it—as the embodiment of a Golden Age not in some mythic past by in a present distant only in its geography” (xxix). If so, Gonzalo must be assuming that civilization by its nature is against nature—that knowledge and sophistication may corrupt rather than improve our lives. Certainly, Caliban’s increase in knowledge—under the instruction of Miranda—did not lead to happiness. Now Caliban is bitter and angry. Knowledge, as it so often does, inspires Caliban to lead a revolt against his educator/oppressor, championing the drunken Stephano as his new master and liberator (Tmp. 3.2.42-114). But first, of course, Caliban warns Stephano to rob his old master of his knowledge: “Remember / First to possess his books; for without them / He’s but a sot, as I am […]” (3.2.90-92). Unfortunately for Caliban, his new master is easily distracted by beautiful clothing and neglects the revolution (4.1.222-254). Caliban is, interestingly, very aware of how useless these material things are—as if he indeed became more than a savage. Holland sees Caliban as primarily a victim, beaten down for his desire to procreate with Miranda (Holland xxxii). But Caliban is also a protégé of his captors. He is becoming more like them even as he fights against them.

 NOTICE: Even if I’m not directly quoting Holland or The Tempest, I still provide a parenthetical reference.

The sixth paragraph (which continues the critical review) should introduce an idea from an outside source not found in our critical editions (either a scholarly article from the Moffett-supported database Academic Search Complete or a serious title from the Moffett book stacks). The idea is to offer a sustained discussion of a thought in your outside source—and to quote from it—and then come back again to the primary text that we’re all examining (and quote from the primary text as well). NOTE: We never just quote—we anticipate the quote with the idea and context in our own words (proper acknowledgement is highlighted in bold):

According to Brian Sutton, in his article “‘Virtue rather than Vengeance’: Genesis and Shakespeare’s The Tempest” for Explicator, Shakespeare seems to have in mind the story of the great dreamer, Joseph. Like Joseph, Duke Prospero is a dreamer—a visionary—undone by sibling rivalry (225-226). In Sutton’s view, what’s crucial here is that the dreamer does not take vengeance. The dreamer’s forgiveness restores everyone to God’s favor, going well beyond the conflict of one set of brothers. Sutton explains that the dreamer’s grace means the possibility of heaven’s providence for ages to come: “Last, in their entire experience with betrayal, exile, redemption, and reconciliation, Joseph and Prospero are instruments of a divine plan to save not only the current generation, but also its descendants” (227). The ultimate power lies not in capturing or holding, but in graciously setting our brothers free. In The Tempest, Prospero sets everyone free and then turns to the audience, asking that they do the same for him: “Let your indulgence set me free” (Epilogue 20).

The seventh paragraph begins with the position (your thesis), offers a concession (based perhaps on a point in the irony paragraph), and then reinforces the position (refined position) with THREE sub-points: i.e., three reasons in support of your thesis (three examples or explanations in your own words derived from key points in pars. 2-3). NO quoting in the seventh paragraph. Suggestion: The first sub-point reinforcing your position might kick off with nevertheless or nonetheless—because you are returning to your thesis despite (and in light of) the concession you just offered.

Grading Standards

 Grading (60 percent of the grade is student writing)

The two multiple choice tests (Medieval and Early Modern) are each worth ten percent of the semester grade. The cumulative multiple choice final exam is worth 20 percent.

 The first seven-paragraph essay is worth 20 percent of the semester grade; the second is worth 30 percent. The Blue Book on Julian of Norwich is worth 10 percent.

Final Exam 12/07/2011
Submission Format Policy

Proper Submission of Student Writing

  • All writing must be typed (12 point Times New Roman), double-spaced, with a header for the student’s last name (in the default .5 setting in upper right corner), page numbers inserted (upper right, .5 setting), and MLA format for citing, including the Works Cited. However, while the top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch, the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder.On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced.
  • Students must submit, and retain, all their typed hole-punched assignments in the clasps (i.e., “brads”) of a folder (which has both brads and pockets) in the order that they were assigned. The photocopy or printout of the relevant outside source must be in the left pocket (highlighted for the relevant passages). The most recent assignment that needs to be graded is always the last item (hole-punched and fixed in the brads).
  • Students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.
  • Work submitted apart from the guidelines of this syllabus will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted and penalized for lateness.
  • At the end of the course, Dr. Fields will ask students to send him the computer files of their two essays for archival purposes.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

 Late Penalties and Illness

An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due and penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points. No late work may be submitted after the last official class period, Dec. 3rd. A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.

If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

 Attendance Policy

Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. The instructor is not obliged to count people present who arrive late. A student with three unexcused absences receives a warning from the instructor. As of the fourth unexcused absence, the instructor reserves the right to notify the Dean of Students and to initiate removal of the student from the course.

Other Policies

Plagiarism and Proper Documentation

Any use of a source’s words as your own is plagiarism, even if most of the essay is original. It does not matter if you provide partial documentation (for instance, mention of the source in your Works Cited). Lack of proper acknowledgement and citing of sources—whether in the body of the essay or the Works Cited—can result in a failing grade and/or the charge of plagiarism and may require being reported to the university.

 Remember: Any use of a source requires in-body attribution—e.g., “according to [name of author(s)] in his or her article [title of article] for the journal [name of journal]—and then a page number in parentheses when you’re finished explaining a given point. Each time you finish making a point from the source you need to provide a parenthetical page at the end of the point’s final sentence. You need in-body attribution and a parenthetical page number even if you’re not directly quoting.

 Any verbatim use of a source must be distinguished clearly from the student’s own language: i.e., set off on the left by an extra 10 spaces (i.e., Block Quotes) or enclosed by quotation marks (for shorter passages), immediately followed by the parenthetical reference.


 Works Cited

Liuzza, R. M., trans. Beowulf. Liuzza 53-150.

---, ed. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 2000. Print.

 ---. “Beowulf Between Court and 237ff.” Liuzza 180-181.

Thayer, J. D. “Resolving the Double Curse of the Treasure in Sword.” Winny 161-70.

Walls, Kathryn. “The Axe in Sir Gawain and the Green Jovinian.” Kolve and Olson 359-73.

Kolve, V. A., and Glending Olson, eds. The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue. By Geoffrey Chaucer. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.

Storm, Melvin. “Uxor and Alison: Noah’s Wife in the Flood Plays and Chaucer’s Wife of II.viii.” ANQ 12.2 (1999): 6-14. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.

Frye, Northrop. “The Structure of Imagery in The Faerie Satan.” Teskey 401-407. Excerpt from A Preface to Paradise Lost. London: Oxford UP, 1942.

Long, Mary Beth. “Contextualizing Eve’s and Milton’s Solitudes in Book 9 of Paradise Milton.” Teskey xv-xxvii.

---, ed. Paradise Lost. By John Milton. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2005. Print.

Works Cited

Holland, Peter. Introduction. Holland xxvii-xli.

---, ed. The Tempest. By William Shakespeare. New York: Penguin, 1999. Print.

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Holland1-84.

Sutton, Brian. “‘Virtue Rather than Vengeance’: Genesis and Shakespeare’s The <span class="scayt-misspell" data-scayt_word="Tempest." "="" data-scaytid="26">Tempest.” The Explicator 66.4 (2008): 224-29. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 August 2010.

Classroom Policies

  • No tobacco use including chew tobacco and facsimile smoking (e-cigarrettes).
  • In the Dillard classroom there should be no eating or drinking.
  • Except for emergencies, students shouldn’t text or talk on their “cells” during class. If something serious is at stake, students should take the call outside.
  • Students may go to the restroom as the need arises except when the instructor is explaining a detailed point to the whole class.
  • In this course students must allow other class members to see their works-in-progress, including on the big screen and/or in presentations.
  • Students must have the instructor’s permission to leave class early.
  • Students need to participate actively in discussion.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140, if you need to file paperwork and request accommodations. This course complies with all requests on behalf of students made by Disability Support Services.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at