Course Policies: English 50

Professor: Michael Gamer
Teaching Fellow and WATU Tutor: Leslie Delauter
Day/Time/Location: Tues/Thurs, 3-4:30, 222 Bennett Hall
Office and Phone: 203 Bennett Hall, (215) 482-2156
Office Hours: Tues/Thurs, 12:00-1:00; Wednesday by appt.
Leslie Delauter's Office/Hours: 414 Bennett, TTh 1:15-3:00 pm.


1) Log into your e-mail account.
2) At the %MAIN MENU prompt, type "lynx."
3) Once in Lynx, type "g" (which stands for "go to").
4) type the address to my home page:
5) You can do the same thing in Mosaic. Simply select the "Open URL" command under "File," and then type in my www address.
6) Once you're in, use up and down arrow keys to move in the document; use the left arrow to go back the way you came; use the right arrow to select various choices in the document. Have fun!

Administrative Calendar:

Classes Begin 1/16.
Add period ends 1/27.
Drop period ends 2/17.
Spring Break 3/6 - 3/10.
Last day of class 4/28.
Final Exams 5/4 - 5/12.

Course Description:

The first half of this course will aim to provide you with adequate historical and cultural context to read romantic poetry with pleasure; its second half will focus on reading the poets of the Romantic Period as they were received by their contemporaries. Consequently, we will spend half reading full books of poetry, published in the form that the poets chose to print them. We will also, then, spend some time looking at how these poets were received in their own time, as a way of getting at assumptions about aesthetics, appropriateness, and politics in the period. Many of the supplemental materials will be available electronically on the Dept.English gopher, and so an e-mail account and a willingness to use electronic mail is required for this class.


--Participation: This class will conduct itself as a discussion rather than a lecture. This means that class meetings will be places where you can bring your own questions and agendas. When we begin reading volumes of poetry, I will often ask you to suggest poems for us to examine in these volumes.

You can expect me to come in every class with 50-60 minutes of my own agenda planned; in turn, I will expect the 20 of you to have at least 25 minutes of questions, observations, and discoveries about the reading. At the minimum, I will expect each of you at least TO BRING IN ONE QUESTION that you want to ask the rest of us. In particular, I urge you to pay special attention to those points where you don't understand something in the reading--where you've tried to find out the answer for yourself and failed--because they are the most important for the class.

--Attendance: Since I know that disasters happen unexpectedly during the semester, I allow you two absences. I don't want to know why you miss class; these absences are your business. Missing more than two classes is equally your business, but it will lower your grade, since it will inhibit your ability to contribute significantly to our discussions.


For each class meeting, the syllabus is divided into two sections: "Reading" and "For Discussion". You should do both sets of reading, but you should always do the "For Discussion" reading carefully. I advise that you follow the attached sheet, "An Approach to Reading Poetry," located at the back of this packet. This sheet will give you some initial guidance for how to approach poetry, and will be especially helpful if you haven't read much poetry.


Please see the Grading Policy, located HERE in hypertext.

Your grade will be determined by the quality of the portfolio of work that you hand in at the end of the semester as you come in to take the final exam. During the semester, I will ask you to write a number of short essays, which I will read and comment on carefully in order to give you feedback and ideas for your portfolio essays. You'll be assigned either to Group A, B, C, D, E, or F. On the day in which your group has a short essay due, I will often ask a few of you to read your papers aloud to us, as a way of beginning class discussion. During the semester, I will ask each one of you to read your work aloud at least once.

During the semester, I do not accept late work. If you do not hand in your essays on time, it does not directly affect your grade; you simply lose that opportunity for me to read your work and provide you with feedback. Outside of reading work handed in on or before a due date, I will not mark papers for revision, and will only read each paper you write *once* before the portfolio. However, I am happy to *discuss* work in progress with you during my office hours or by appointment; and will be very happy to talk with you about an essay that I've commented upon. It is a good idea to bring in a draft with specific questions about it. It is much more instructive to discuss specific questions and writing problems in a draft than general, abstract questions concerning your writing.

Each portfolio will contain the following items:

--One Short Essay (less than 1000 words--please do not go over this). Even though these papers are short, they should be well-thought-out, as rigorously argued as the longer essay, and as lucidly written. Because of their short length, your prose will have to be efficient and dense, and show the results of your attentive thinking on the topic rather than being mere extemporaneous prose. If you so choose, you may think of your response papers during the semester as trial runs for the longer essay as well; however, you should not, for both your short and long essay, hand in two versions of the same paper in your portfolio. This means that you should not hand in two papers on the same text, or that treat the same general topic, or that make the same argument. The short essay is worth 15% of your grade

--One Longer Essay (1500 words or more) that includes a supplemental Annotated Bibliography as an appendix. Note: the 1500 words do not include the annotated bibliography. The essay should address a question of your own choosing, and will represent the most sustained piece of work for the course. Ideally, it should treat at least two texts in the course, and any outside materials you have dug up. While you must hand in a prospectus of this paper during the semester, I also recommend that you come to see me during my office hours before you begin writing this essay. For more information on the Annotated Bibliography, see HERE

The annotated bibliography will be an appendix to the long paper, and must include at least two articles on the text[s] you have written on. For *each* article, you should include 1) a summary of 250 words or more that concisely relates the article's argument and method of argumentation; and 2) an essay of 400 words or more that explains in detail why you chose this article for your annotated bibliography, how the article has expanded and refined your thinking about the texts in question, and how you would position your own argument in relation to the one advanced by the critic. The essay portion of this assignment is worth 25% of your grade; the annotated bibliography part of this assignment is worth 15% of your grade. A more lengthy description of this assignment is available through the syllabus on-line, or through the English gopher.

--One set of 3 Final Exam Questions (15%). For this assignment, you must formulate three take-home final exam questions, and for each one write a short essay (400 words or more) that explains *in detail* the grading criteria for the question, what you are testing for, and what would constitute ideal, good, and competent answers. A more lengthy description of this assignment is available through the syllabus on-line, or through the English gopher. For more information on Final Exam Questions, see HERE in hypertext.

--One Final Exam (30%), comprised of a substantial identification section, and an essay section made up of the essays question that you will submit to me.