ENGL 3700/Summer 2022/Requirements

From Gerald R. Lucas
Requirement %[1]
Reading & Discussion 40%
Responses 40%
Exams 20%

This course is composed of three general requirements: reading, writing, and exams. Each requirement will be on-going throughout the semester, will require regular contributions, and may be comprised of various assignments. Each weekly unit will end with a test of that week’s materials.



Each week’s major focus will be reading a primary text (the novel) and secondary texts (critical response to the novel). Any reading quizzes will test your comprehension, like knowledge of the materials, focusing on factual details like plot points, rather than interpretative readings.[2] 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. Building research into your reading schedule might also be required for more difficult texts. See Reading in College and Research & Response.


Each lesson has students discussing assigned readings on Packback. This forum is a written class discussion that encourages student 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 novel you read, the minimum required response per week is three: one question and two response posts. See the Packback tab above.


Students will complete two short lit-crit responses which will have students research and write about any two of the novels we have studied in class, one due before midterm and one at the end of the course. You may submit it at any time on D2L . See Short Lit Crit Response for assignment directions and Schedule for specific due dates.


Students’ knowledge of the course novels will be evaluated with a midterm and a final exam. They 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 texts thoroughly and have a general understanding of the main themes of the works. Additional research always helps.

Required Materials

Our study of this semester will require six novels, which should be available in the campus bookstore or via these Amazon affiliate[3] links:

  • Atwood, Margaret (2014) [1985]. The Handmaid’s Tale. New York: Library Edition.
  • Baldwin, James (2013) [1956]. Giovanni’s Room. New York: Vintage.
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo (2006) [2005]. Never Let Me Go. New York: Vintage.
  • McCarthy, Cormac (2007) [2006]. The Road. New York: Vintage.
  • Morrison, Toni (2007) [1970]. The Bluest Eye. New York: Vintage.
  • Tepper, Sherri S. (2009) [1988]. The Gate to Women's Country. New York: Spectra.

Since this is an online section, you may purchase any versions of these novels you’d like, including etexts that you read via Kindle, or any e-reader. While I link to Amazon, I encourage you to shop around for the best prices on these texts; there may be other options, too, like your local libraries or archive.org, but please be sure you avoid anything illegal.

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.


  1. This is the general percentage breakdown for these requirements. As I use a point system for evaluation, the percentages are just an estimate.
  2. I will only assign reading quizzes if I feel students are not reading.
  3. 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.
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