English Literature I

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2013
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MW 9:30-10:50 AM

Dr. Peter Fields (view Profile)


The Showings of Julian of Norwich
Ed. Denise N. Baker
The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the GP
Ed. Kolve & Olson
The Tempest
Ed. Grace Tiffany
Paradise Lost
Ed. Gordon Teskey
Facing Page Trans/Liuzza
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Facing Page Trans/Winny

Course Objectives

English Department Goals

GOAL 1. Critical Inquiry

Objective 1.1:  Student engages in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrates aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.

Objective 1.2:  Student evaluates secondary sources and applies skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.

GOAL 2.  Knowledge of Language and Literature

Objective 2.1:  Student understands the usage and structure of the English language.

Objective 2.2:  Student recognizes the stylistic techniques that distinguish key literary texts relevant to subject and genre.

Objective 2.3:  Student is familiar with the legacy of important ideas and contexts associated with literary periods.

Objective 2.4:  Student is introduced to academic and professional publications in the field.

GOAL 3.  Writing as Process

Objective 3.1:  Student reflects on his or her arguments over multiple stages of development.

Objective 3.2:  Using traditional resources and emerging technologies, the student references and formats primary and secondary sources in MLA style.

GOAL 4.  Engagement

Objective 4.1:  Student is aware of a cultural context for his or her own values and those of his or her sources.


 Bullet point summary of the writing requirements for Essays I & II

  • The first paragraph is in two parts: first, a clear argument (thesis position) and key points that will be developed later in the body paragraphs; second, it provides context for the Block Quote which immediately follows the first paragraph. This context summarizes the relevant plot points and anticipates a key idea in the Block Quote.
  • Block Quote: Eight to twelve lines in a row (verbatim) from the text.
  • Write the second paragraph first which mines the Block Quote for ideas.
  • Paragraph three is in regard to character and utilizes 4 Short Quotes.
  • Paragraph four is in regard to irony and relies on 4 more Short Quotes.
  • Both seven paragraph essays require a critical review (pars. 5-6).
  • Paragraph five of the Critical Review features a sustained discussion of a point, or points, from the introduction and/or supplemental readings in our required critical edition (at least one quote is need from the introduction or a supplemental reading).
  • Paragraph six of the Critical Review offers two options: (1) a sustained discussion of a point in an outside source: must be a scholarly article (printed out in full) from one of the Moffett-supported databases or a photocopy of a chapter in a book from the Moffett stacks (at least one quote is needed); or (2) students may discuss ideas in other supplemental readings provided by our critical edition (that is, not the same reading/s cited in paragraph five)—and at least one quote is needed.
  • Paragraph seven should go into depth explaining and expounding upon the paper’s argument—most important paragraph of the essay.
  • The Blue Book Final features the same requirements as the seven paragraph model but drops the introductory paragraph, critical review (pars. 5 & 6), and the Works Cited. Students may have an outline and pre-enter the Block Quote. The test is “open book”; if using an outside source, students bring it with them and submit it with the Blue Book.
  • Students must write clearly with standard punctuation and grammar. Grammar and phrasing problems will affect the grade.

Course Expectations

Proper Format (using MLA citing standards)

First Paragraph: The introductory paragraph begins with the student’s argument: the case he or she is making in regard to the material. The argument’s rationale includes at least some of the key points which the body paragraphs will develop at length. The second half of the first paragraph should set the scene for the Block Quote which will follow. This part of the introductory paragraph should clarify all the needful plot and character points that we need to know in order to appreciate the Block Quote. 

Each essay features a Block Quote (BQ), a long passage which is cited word for word exactly the way it appears in our book (don’t turn poetry into prose)—the BQ follows the introductory paragraph which ends on a colon. Instead of quotation marks, students set the BQ off an extra 10 spaces on the left all the way down. A good length for a BQ would be approximately EIGHT to TEN lines. The following example is from Beowulf

[…] He said

who was able to tell of the origin of men

that the Almighty created the earth,

a bright and shining plain, by seas embraced,

and set, triumphantly, the sun and moon

to light their beams for those who dwell on land,

adorned the distant corners of the world

with leaves and branches, and made life also,

all manner of creatures that live and move. (90-98)


The bracketed ellipses—[…]—indicates that line 90 is missing except for the last two words, “He said.” The line numbers are indicated in parentheses (90-98). 

The second paragraph comes AFTER the BQ and mines the BQ for ideas. The second paragraph does NOT have any quotes, either from the Block Quote or from elsewhere in the poem or story. 

The third paragraph—which begins In regard to character—addresses the motivation of an important character in the primary text. Par. three utilizes four Short Quotes (SQs) that were not part of the BQ.

The fourth paragraph—which begins In regard to irony—addresses irony in the primary text (when the opposite of what we expect proves to be true) and utilizes four more (never before used) SQs.

When you’re citing Short Quotes (SQs), integrate them surgically in your language. Make sure you lead with your own words—never lead with a quote. Make sure longer SQs are fully anticipated by your own thought. The line numbers (because our primary text is poetry) are in parentheses immediately following the quotes: 

Grendel is a diabolical, supernatural adversary of humankind, a status driven home by terms like “grim spirit” (102) and “fiend from hell” (101). His grievance with humankind is older than himself. He is descended from Cain and perpetuates Cain’s war upon the rest of humanity. Cain’s feud began when he killed his brother Abel, and God avenged Abel by exiling Cain: “No joy in that feud—the Maker forced him / far from mankind for his foul crime” (109-11). [NOTE: This example is too short to be an adequate paragraph.

NOTE: We use a forward slash between lines of poetry if we’re citing SQs of two lines or more. 

The fifth paragraph begins In regard to my critical review. Attribution below is highlighted to demonstrate its importance. Here students express at least one sustained idea and quote at least once from their critical edition’s editorial or supplemental material. Connect the point back to the primary text we’re studying (and quote from it as well): 

In regard to my critical review, I want to cite Grace Tiffany, the editor of our critical edition, who argues that Shakespeare is careful to restrict the power and influence of his magus character, Duke Prospero, including the amazing deeds performed on his behalf by the spirit Ariel, a limit the audience would recognize as Biblical: “Prospero employs Ariel to both imperil and to rescue the seamen in The Tempest. But the Bible-literate Jacobeans would have understood the powers of both Prospero and Ariel to be allowed and, finally, circumscribed by God” (39). In Tiffany’s view, Shakespeare’s protagonist aspires to the level of divine providence, not only over the elements, but also over the human heart (37-39). Tiffany argues that Prospero fails in part because of his own inner torments: “Instead, he seems a spiritually wounded man grappling with seething resentment” (42). However, while Tiffany’s points are valid, she seems too quick to subordinate Prospero to a Judeo-Christian heaven. Prospero, in truth, occupies and fulfills the divine role of providential figure in the lives of everyone involved. For instance, he brings together Ferdinand and Miranda whose love he brilliantly anticipated (if not controlled): “It goes on, I see,” Prospero observes in aside, “As my soul prompts it” (1.2.420-21). A moment later he will acknowledge the two are in each other’s power—“both in either’s pow’rs” (451)—but he is the author, so to speak, of their love. Richard Abrams, in his essay “The Tempest and the Concept of the Machiavellian Playwright,” reminds us that Prospero has raised the dead and stolen the powers of a creator God, almost like a super villain: “Here is Prospero as Prometheus, Prospero against the gods …” (219). Contrary to Tiffany’s view, Prospero does often triumph in the role of a providential creator god whose ways are mysterious and inscrutable (just like the Biblical God). Human beings tend to question their supreme being just as we see Miranda doing with her father: “Had I been any God of power,” she said. “I would / Have sunk the sea within the earth …” (The Tempest 1.2.10-11). The god of power she has in mind is her father. She laments a providence (his providence) that seems to care so little about human lives.  

NOTE: For the play we cite act, scene, and line (1.2.420-21). Later, if we stay within the same scene, we simply cite the line (451). However, if we go to another source and come back to the play, we’re obliged to once again cite act, scene, and line (1.2.10-11).

The sixth paragraph (which continues the critical review) either examines other supplemental essays provided in our critical edition (different from paragraph five) OR it may examine an idea from an outside source not found in our critical editions (must be either a scholarly article from the Moffett-supported databases or a chapter from a serious title in the Moffett book stacks). Be sure to come back to your primary text and quote from it. Attribution here is highlighted:

According to Brian Sutton, in his article “‘Virtue rather than Vengeance’: Genesis and Shakespeare’s The Tempest” for Explicator, Shakespeare seems to have in mind the story of the great dreamer, Joseph. Like Joseph, Duke Prospero is a dreamer—a visionary—undone by sibling rivalry (225-226). In Sutton’s view, what’s crucial here is that the dreamer does not take vengeance. The dreamer’s forgiveness restores everyone to God’s favor, going well beyond the conflict of one set of brothers. Sutton explains that the dreamer’s grace means the possibility of heaven’s providence for ages to come: “Last, in their entire experience with betrayal, exile, redemption, and reconciliation, Joseph and Prospero are instruments of a divine plan to save not only the current generation, but also its descendants” (227). The ultimate power lies not in capturing or holding, but in graciously setting our brothers free. In The Tempest, Prospero sets everyone free and then turns to the audience, asking that they do the same for him: “Let your indulgence set me free” (Epilogue 20). [NOTE: As an example, this paragraph is NOT finished. It simply illustrates the required elements; it remains for the student to clarify his/her own point before proceeding to the seventh paragraph.]

The seventh paragraph does NOT feature new material. Instead, the seventh paragraph clarifies the student’s argument and goes into depth explaining it. No quoting is required. Do NOT underestimate the importance of paragraph seven for explaining at length what the paper is trying to say].


SAMPLE Works Cited bibliographies for ENGL 2813 (MLA cross-reference model)

Works Cited

Brewer, Elisabeth. “The Knight of the Sword.” Winny 161-70.

Walls, Kathryn. “The Axe in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” ANQ 16.1 (2003): 13-18. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.

Winny, James. Introduction. Winny vii-xxi.

---.  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 1992. Print.

---, ed. and trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Winny 2-141.

Works Cited

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Wife of Bath’s Prologue. Kolve and Olson 102-21.

Jerome. “From Against Jovinian.” Kolve and Olson 359-73.

Kolve, V. A., and Glending Olson, eds. The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue. By Geoffrey Chaucer. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. Print.

Storm, Melvin. “Uxor and Alison: Noah’s Wife in the Flood Plays and Chaucer’s Wife of Bath.” Modern Language Quarterly 48.4 (1987): 303-19.

Works Cited

Lewis, C. S. “From Satan.” Teskey 401-407.

Long, Mary Beth. “Contextualizing Eve’s and Milton’s Solitudes in Book 9 of Paradise Lost.” Milton Quarterly 37.2 (2003): 100-15. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Teskey 3-303.

Teskey, Gordon. “The Life of John Milton.” Teskey xv-xxvii.

---, ed. Paradise Lost. By John Milton. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2005. Print.

Works Cited

Abrams, Richard. “The Tempest and the Concept of the Machiavellian Playwright.” Tiffany 211-33.

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Tiffany 73-143.

Sutton, Brian. “‘Virtue Rather than Vengeance’: Genesis and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.” The Explicator 66.4 (2008): 224-29. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 August 2010.

Tiffany, Grace. Introduction. Tiffany 29-48.

---, ed. The Tempest. By William Shakespeare. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. Print.

Works Cited 

Liuzza, R. M., ed. and trans. Beowulf. Liuzza 54-245.

---. Beowulf:  2nd ed. Facing Page Translation. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 2013. Print.

 ---. “Between Court and Cloister.” Liuzza 27-36.

Thayer, J. D. “Resolving the Double Curse of the Treasure in Beowulf.” Explicator 66.3 (2008): 174-77. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.

The 66.3 in J. D. Thayer’s entry means VOLUME and ISSUE number. The parenthetical (2008) is the year. The 174-77 is the beginning and ending page number of the article. The 18 Oct. 2010 is the student’s download date during the course. Web means an online database. Academic Search Complete is the name of the Moffett-supported database.

Grading Standards

Grading [See daily schedule.]

The MIDTERM is worth 10 percent; the FINAL (cumulative) exam is worth 20 percent. The Blue Book on Julian of Norwich is worth 20 percent. The first Essay is worth 20 percent; Essay Two is worth 30 percent. Grammar and punctuation count as well. MLA citing is also factored into the grade.

Final Exam

12/09/2013 8:00-10:00 AM

Submission Format Policy

Proper Submission of Essays 1 & 2 (fixed in the brads of a folder w. pockets)

  • All writing must be typed (12 point Times New Roman), double-spaced, with a header for the student’s last name (in the default .5 setting in upper right corner), page numbers inserted (upper right, .5 setting), and MLA format for citing, including the Works Cited. However, while the top, right, and bottom margins should be set at one inch, the left margin should be an inch and a quarter to accommodate the folder. On the first page of an essay, the student name, instructor name, course, and date should be in the upper left, double-spaced. Hole-punch it and fix it in the clasps of a folder with pockets.
  • Students must submit, and retain, both essays fixed in the clasps (i.e., “brads”) of a folder (which has both brads and pockets) in the order that they were assigned. The second essay will follow the first fixed in the brads.
  • PRINTOUTS or PHOTOCOPIES: If students use an outside source, it must be from a Moffett database or the Moffett book stacks. Students print out the database source, highlight it for the key passage(s), and provide it in the folder pocket; for a chapter from a Moffett book, a highlighted photocopy is sufficient—make sure the title page of the book is included.
  • Students must submit their work in person (from their hands into the instructor’s hands). Submission for a due-date is never by e-mail attachment or under the office door, or left on a desk, or by surrogate (classmate or relative). Late work also must be submitted in person.
  • Work submitted apart from the guidelines of this syllabus will not be evaluated and must be resubmitted and penalized for lateness.
  • At the end of the course, Dr. Fields may ask students to send him the computer files of their two essays for archival 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.

Late Paper Policy

Late Penalties and Illness

An essay assignment submitted after the class period of the due date is penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points. No late work may be submitted after the last official class period of the semester (Dec. 4). A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.

If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission or make-up a missed test by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor, clinic, officer of the court, or the Dean of Students’ office). Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation to avoid penalty on an essay or make-up a test.

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

Attendance Policy

SEVEN absences from class (excused or not, documented or not, approved by MSU or not) will result in an automatic F for the semester grade. Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. Late is the same as ABSENT. SEVEN of any sort of absence means an F for the semester grade. The instructor will notify the Dean of Students who in turn will inform the student of the F in the course. If the student continues to attend the class, the instructor reserves the right to withdraw the student with a WF. 

Other Policies

Plagiarism and Proper Documentation

Any use of a non-documented source as if it were a student’s original work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism can be of ideas; it can be of exact phrasing. In either or both cases, if the student has failed to acknowledge the source in the body of the essay and to document it in the Works Cited, the grade will be a “0” (no points) for the assignment (even if the rest of the assignment is original and use of other sources properly documented). Upon being informed of the plagiarism, the student is no longer welcome in the class. The student may withdraw from the course with a penalty-free “W” if available; if not, the student must cease attending and the grade will be whatever points the student has accumulated minus the plagiarized document and any other tests or assignment as yet not completed (which are forfeit).  If the student continues to attend, the instructor will contact the Dean of Students and withdraw the student with a WF. 

Phrasing that is too close to the student’s own documented sources.

Students who reproduce the phrasing of their documented source(s) as if it were their own phrasing will be penalized for language that is too close to source. Students can use terminology they find in their documented sources, but four words in a row are too much without quoting. Verbatim use of a documented source must be confined to QUOTES set off with quotation marks or ten extra spaces on the left if more than four lines of poetry, five lines of prose.


Americans with Disabilities Act

Please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140, if you need to file paperwork and request accommodations. This course complies with all requests on behalf of students made by Disability Support Services.


Safe Zone 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 Instructors

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.


Writing Proficiency Requirement (as of 60 earned credit hours)

All students seeking a Bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they have 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 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 have 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.

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