This course is composed of three requirements: reading, writing, and tests. Each requirement will be on-going throughout the semester, will require regular contributions, and may be comprised of various assignments. Tests will be essay and short-answers, one at midterm and one at the conclusion of the course.
Each lesson’s major focus will be reading primary texts (the literature) and secondary texts (critical response to the literature). Reading quizzes (taken on ➭ ) will test your knowledge of the materials, focusing on factual details like plot points, rather than interpretative readings. Students should take thorough notes as they read—like character names, plot points, and other details—that will help them on quizzes and later analysis of the texts in their writing.
Reading quizzes cannot be made up for any reason. Please do not ask me to reopen a closed quiz.
Each lesson has students discussing assigned readings on Packback. This forum is a written class discussion that encourages interaction about the course materials. These posts should be focused, interpretive, and supported by primary and secondary texts. Discussion posts should show what you’re reading and thinking about in relation to the course content—it is a place to share and develop ideas about the texts. You will discuss to every text you read, the minimum required response per week is three: one question and two response posts.
Short Lit-Crit Response
This essay will have students research and write about one of the texts we have studied in class. Choose the text you would like to investigate further, find a secondary, critical article, and write your two-page response. This assignment may be repeated once for extra credit Short Lit Crit Response and be sure you follow them carefully.. For detailed instructions, see
Students’ knowledge of the course texts will be evaluated with a midterm and a final exam. These exams will be composed of essay and short-answer questions. The best answers employ an objective knowledge of the material, thoroughness, depth of insight, precision, and originality. The best way to prepare for these tests is to read the assigned novels thoroughly and have a general understanding of the main themes of the works. Additional research always helps.
Our study of World Literature this semester will use either of the following:
- Mack, Maynard, ed. (1999). Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces: Literature of Western Culture Through the Renaissance. The Western Tradition. 1 (Seventh ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.
- Lawall, Sarah, ed. (2003). The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Beginnings to A.D. 100. A (2nd ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.
Both of these books are out-of-print, but you should have no problem acquiring one of them, either through the Amazon affiliate links above or another bookstore. These books contain the specific translations that I will be referencing in-class and on exams, so one of the two texts above is required. While readily available, other translations will just be confusing and cause you unnecessary difficulty.
Your course book(s) and readings are an important part of the class and should be purchased (or downloaded) immediately. Lessons are built from specific readings and assignments will depend on those readings. If available, you may use an ebook, but be warned that page numbers referred to in lessons may not be the same in an electronic text. Book rentals are also acceptable, if necessary.
Even though this is an online course, I recommend old-fashioned, analog note taking. In other words: use an ink interface of some sort, as well as dead trees to take notes. Notes should not only reflect essential aspects of the readings, but individual interest in every topic researched for class.
The Packback Questions platform will be used for online discussion about class topics and is a requirement of this course. Packback Questions is an online community where you can ask open-ended questions to build on top of what we are covering in class and relate topics to real-world applications. There will be a Tuesday at 11:59PM EST deadline for submissions. You are not required to post every week, but for every text we study.
In order to receive full credit, you should submit the following minimum requirements per each deadline period:
- One (1) open-ended Question every week with a minimum Curiosity Score of 70, worth 33.33% of each assignment grade
- Two (2) Responses every week with a minimum Curiosity Score of 70, worth 66.67% of each assignment grade
How to Register on Packback
Register for Packback by following these instructions.
- Create an account by navigating to the Packback website and clicking “Sign up for an Account.”
- Then enter our class community’s lookup key into the “Looking to join a community you don't see here?” section in Packback at the bottom of the homepage.
note: Community Lookup Key:
- Follow the instructions on your screen to finish your registration.
- This is the general percentage breakdown for these requirements. As I use a point system for evaluation, the percentages are just an estimate.
- As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; links to Amazon contain my associate ID. All revenue earned goes to support the costs associated with maintaining this web site.
- Get the cheapest one, as one is no better or worse than the other. And the good news is you can sell the book back to Amazon at the end of the term and make most of your money back. Alternatively, since you must spend money on Packback this semester, you can get PDFs of the required texts from my server using the password “FallSem2023”; please do not share this link. This link will expire on September 1, 2023.
- Of course, those who post more quality responses—especially on texts we cover over more than a week—will score higher. A-students do more than the minimum, right?
- If you already have an account on Packback you can log in with your credentials.
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