Syllabus for ENG-205



History of the English Language encompasses an overview of the derivation, alterations, influences, and significance of the English language throughout the world. The course traces the English language from its roots through its earliest written words up until the present day. While completing the work of the course, students will gain an understanding of the chronology of changes that have affected the English language.

They will explore fundamental changes in the English language regarding morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, and vocabulary. Additionally, students will examine changes in the grammar and sounds of Old and Middle English throughout the centuries. Students will also analyze social, cultural, and historical forces influencing the English language.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Distinguish between the linguistic changes that English has undergone from Old English to the present.

CO2        Explain the linguistic concepts necessary for understanding how English has changed.

CO3        Explain the cultural events that accompanied the changes in English.

CO4        Differentiate between the functions of English in the real world of communicating, exploring speaking, writing, and using language as a social, political, literary, and economic instrument.

CO5        Analyze the linguistic effects of social, political, and literary events.

CO6        Evaluate the sociolinguistic effects of changes in the English language throughout the centuries.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0205229390


History of the English Language is a three-credit, online course consisting of six modules, twelve discussion forums, five written assignments, and a final exam. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and take a proctored final examination. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to posting a discussion thread in the Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in twelve additional graded online discussions. These class discussions, like the written assignments, are an opportunity to share your insights and understanding of the history of the English language.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates’ responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course website.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. A complete list of the formatting guidelines is provided in the description of Written Assignment 1.

In each written assignment, you are required to use a minimum of two academic sources to support your argument. Suggestions of helpful sources are provided for you in the modules.

Before you submit your first assignment to Moodle, you are required to submit your assignment to SmartThinking for an opportunity to have your writing style reviewed and suggestions made for improvement. Make sure to submit your paper to SmartThinking at least two days before you plan to submit it to Moodle, as you will need time to receive feedback, possibly discuss with your mentor, and implement any necessary changes to your work. When you do submit your paper to Moodle, include the feedback form that you received from SmartThinking.

In the Essay Center submission form, provide only the course code in the field labeled “Professor’s Name.” For example, you would write: 2016SEP ENG-205-OL009. You can find the course code in the top left of the course page in Moodle, directly under the tabs. 

For Written Assignment 1, submitting your assignment to SmartThinking is required. For subsequent assignments, it is optional. However, the mentor may suggest or require that you continue to submit your assignments to SmartThinking for the remainder of the semester.

Final Examination

For a list of key concepts that will appear on your final exam, refer to the study guide available in the Examinations section of the course website.

The final exam is closed book and three hours long. It consists of three substantive essay questions related to the objectives of this course.


You are required to use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS) for this exam. Please refer to the Examinations and Proctors section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course website) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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