Syllabus for LIT-205
AMERICAN LITERATURE I
American literature blossomed in the early nineteenth century into what historians have called "the Romantic Period of American Literature." With the United States firmly established as a nation by 1800, this proliferation of literature caused the young country to be recognized internationally as a literary force. American Literature I offers an introduction to the major works of key writers of the early nineteenth century from the following points of view:
- Their cultural context.
- Their historical context.
- Their literary characteristics.
American Literature I has as its overall goal enabling students to acquire skills and knowledge necessary for success in this and future courses. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Discuss and analyze the works read to demonstrate understanding of the significance of these works in their own time period and to extrapolate from that their significance to readers in the twenty-first century.
- Discuss and analyze attitudes towards issues of gender, race, and economic class as they are expressed by the selected authors and trace the development of contemporary attitudes from then to now.
- Discuss and analyze the literary techniques available to writers--and the reading strategies available to readers--that foster an understanding and enjoyment of literature.
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.
- The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, by Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Classics, 1986).
- Walden and Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau (New York: Penguin Classics, 1983).
- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (New York: Bantam Classics, 1983).
- "Young Goodman Brown"
- "The Minister's Black Veil"
- "The Birthmark"
- "Rappaccini's Daughter"
- The Scarlet Letter
All of these works are available on this site (in Resources). You may read them online or print them out in hard copy. Please note that in the versions available on this site spelling has not been modernized.
- "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street"
- Billy Budd
These works are available on this site (in Resources). You may read them online or print them out in hard copy.
American Literature I is a three-credit, online course, consisting of five modules. Modules include an learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
- Module 1: Edgar Allan Poe
- Module 2: Henry David Thoreau
- Module 3: Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Module 4: Herman Melville
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written activities, take a proctored online midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for activity due dates.
One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.
American Literature I has six graded online discussions. There is also an ungraded but required discussion in Module 1 titled "Introductions."
Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and 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.
You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.
Take time to familiarize yourself with the module structure of the course, and read through the written assignment questions before you begin each lesson. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading materials), citing text materials where appropriate. Use MLA style parenthetical documentation to indicate the source of all quotations or references.
Tone, Diction, and Style
Your written assignments should be approached in a quite different way from your responses to the online discussion topics. Written assignments should be formal academic papers. This means, among other things, that you should write in third person, avoid informal diction or spelling, avoid contractions, proofread carefully, and use MLA-style parenthetical documentation to identify your sources. The online discussions, on the other hand, much like live classroom discussions, are meant to be a more informal give-and-take. You may use first person (stating, for example, "I liked," "What struck me," etc.). Your discussion board responses will be similar to a conversation and may include contractions and less formal diction. Remember however, that while you may be somewhat informal, you should still write in Standard English and proofread your post before hitting "Submit."
You will be asked to identify and read outside commentary and criticism to complete the assignments You need not necessarily agree with the critic, but if you disagree you should state your case for an alternative interpretation. Of course, you may also use the commentary for support. It is important that you document your sources using MLA style.
The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material in Modules 1 through 3. It consists of three essay questions on Poe, Thoreau, and Hawthorne.
For the midterm, you are required to use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) 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 an exam. Cheating means:
- Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
- Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
- Plagiarizing answers.
- Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
- Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
- Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.
If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.
There is no final proctored examination in this course. A 12- to 15-page paper, described in fully in the Final Project area of the course site, acts as your final assessment and is worth 30 percent of your final grade. You must complete the paper and submit it to your mentor via Blackboard by the last day of the semester. Your paper will explore how all five authors read in this course may, or may not, be viewed as part of the Romantic Movement.
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
- Online discussions (6)—10 percent
- Written assignments (5)—40 percent
- Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1-3)—20 percent
- Final project—30 percent
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:
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, etc.).
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
- Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
- Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State University.
- Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
- Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
- If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting activities before class begins.
Consider the following study tips for success:
- To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the Course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting activities, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
- Check Announcements regularly for new course information.
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 www.tesu.edu.
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:
- Gaining or providing unauthorized access to examinations or using unauthorized materials during exam administration
- Submitting credentials that are false or altered in any way
- Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
- Forgery, fabricating information or citations, or falsifying documents
- Submitting the work of another person in whole or in part as your own (including work obtained through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Submitting your own previously used assignments without prior permission from the mentor
- Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others (including making tests, papers, and other course assignments available to other students, either directly or through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Tampering with the academic work of other students
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, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
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:
- Lower or failing grade for an assignment
- Lower or failing grade for the course
- Rescinding credits
- Rescinding certificates or degrees
- Recording academic sanctions on the transcript
- Suspension from the University
- Dismissal from the University
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