Survey of American Literature I

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2011
( All )
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Internet class

Dr. Greg Giddings (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vols. A&B
Writing With Style by John Trimble (recommended)

Course Objectives

  • The class will examine the major authors and early American literary works through the American Romantic movement.
  • This course will also examine previously marginalized authors who have only recently been included in the American canon.  In particular, this class should reveal to students the origins of American culture and reinforce that our culture is more complex and diversified than previously acknowledged

Course Expectations

Three exams: 45%

Four short essays (two pages in length): 35%

Discussion Board participation: 20%

Grading Standards






Submission Format Policy


Each essay must be submitted as an attachment in a Word (not Works) document.  The requirements are clearly under the Course Documents section on Course Compass. 

By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” to all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational 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.

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 essays will be penalized one letter grade for each day that the paper is late.

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

Internet class:  No attendance, but you must participate in the Discussion Board.

Other Policies



This class is writing intensive.  Not only is 35% of your grade based on essays, but also a significant percentage of your exams are essay questions.  And to clarify, by writing, I mean academic writing.  On both the essays and tests, you will be expected to formulate an analytical, subjective thesis statement and support it with well organized paragraphs.  (By the way, simply regurgitating the plot is NOT being analytical.)  If you check your cataloge, you will see that English 1113 and 1123 are prerequisites for this class.  So in grading your essays, I will assume that you have learned the basics of those two important classes. 


Here’s the problem with an internet class: most of you can’t come to my office for one-on-one help.  Although I will post numerous examples of successful Think Pieces, the “distance” aspect of this class makes improving your compositional skills quite difficult.  (However, if you submit rough drafts to me, that will like help your writing, as well as reading the recommended Trimble book.)


Many students sign up for internet course thinking that they will be “easier” than a typical lecture course.  That will not be the case with this class.  I cover the same material, and I require just as much work as a lecture class.  You will quickly realize that this class is reading intensive.  (However, we are not in class three hours per week either, so that time and more should be devoted to your reading.)   Basically, you will need to be disciplined and diligent to keep up the pace.


I am not trying to scare anyone off, but I also want each of you to understand what to expect.



Discussion Board:  Instead of an in-class discussion, we will collectively engage in a conversation regarding the texts via a Discussion Board found at  This is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts and clarify any questions or misunderstandings that you might have.  Unless specified, you are required to post two questions and two answers to each Discussion Board forum.  While I don’t like rigid deadlines in an on-line class, because of problems in earlier classes, I must impose a two-week window on each Discussion Board topic.  In other words, the week after the assigned topic, I will “cut off” your ability to post to the Discussion Board.  Of course, this class participation is 20% of your semester’s grade; plus engaging in our conversation will likely increase your understanding of the assigned texts.  So keep up on the Discussion Board.



Plagiarism is rampant in composition classes, usually due to "copying and pasting" from the internet. 

Plagiarism is one of the most serious examples of academic dishonesty; consequently, it will not be tolerated.

The following is the penalty of plagiarism:  The student will earn a "zero" for that particular assignment, and he or she will not be able to replace that essay with a "re-write."

If a student commits plagiarism twice in the same semester, he or she will earn an F for that semester's grade.

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