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History of the English Language

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2012
Bea Wood Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MW 12:30 - 1:50.

Dr. David Rankin (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Origins of the English Language
Course Objectives

1.  Ability to identify sources of English vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.

2   Ability to compare and contrast the phonological, morphological, and syntactic characteristics of Old English (OE), Middle English (ME), and Modern English (ModE).

3.  Ability to reconstruct and explain the major patterns and causes of linguistic change in English.

4.  Ability to use standard research tools in English linguistics.

Course Expectations

Requirements for Papers and Conferences:  The critical book review and the research paper should be written in formal academic style and should follow the Modern Language Association's guidelines for format and documentation.  Before a paper will be accepted, you must have at least one conference with me and 1) clearly indicate the thesis of your critical book review or research paper, 2) show how the thesis will be developed with a detailed outline or draft of the paper, and 3) show me all notes, even those you are not using in the final paper.  You may submit multiple drafts of each paper for critical comments and suggestions.  The two papers allow you to "personalize" this course by giving you opportunities to read about and research topics that interest you or that apply to your career or profession.

Additional Requirements for Graduate Students:  Research projects for students taking the course for graduate credit will require substantial depth and synthesis of information.  In addition, graduate students will give 30-minute oral presentations on both the critical book review and the research project.

Grading Standards

3 examinations (20% each, 15% for graduate students).

Critical book review (20%); oral for graduate students (7.5%).

Research paper (20%), oral for graduate students (7.5%).

A = 90-100, B = 80-89, C = 70-79, D = 60-69, F = 59 or lower.

Final Exam 05/09/2012 3:30 p.m.
Submission Format Policy 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

The critical book review and the research paper are due at the beginning of class on the dates specified on the calendar.  Late papers will be lowered one letter grade.  Papers more than 24 hours late will not be accepted.

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

Success in this course is highly unlikely without good attendance.  Students should plan to attend every class and should always complete the assigned reading before coming to class.  Class begins promptly at 12:30; I will be here well before that time.

Other Policies

Expectations: We should all be comfortable in this class.  We should listen carefully and thoughtfully to others, willingly explore ideas and challenge assumptions, and share opinions, knowledge, and values in a positive, respectful manner.  When offering an opinion or judgment, we should always be willing to explain the reasoning that lies behind it.

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