British Literature


There will be hour exams, quizzes and class participation assessments, and essays. Exams will assess your ability to offer critical and objective information about the materials we read. Quizzes, when given, will come at the beginning of a class, and will provide an objective indication of your daily preparedness. We will discuss your writing assignments at greater length over the course of the semester. The numbers break down like this:

Essay 1:                                                 25% of quarterly grade

Quizzes / Blog:                                     15% of quarterly grade

Hour Exams:                                        60% of quarterly grade

Essay 2:                                                 50% of quarterly grade

Quizzes / Class participation:            15% of quarterly grade

Hour Exams:                                        35% of quarterly grade

Each quarter’s grade will be worth 40% of your final grade; a final exam will constitute the final 20%.

I will assess students’ progress as writers based on the following rubric:

A writing is characterized by absolute clarity and original thought. A essays expertly incorporate objective details and

subjective perspectives on those details. They also reflect voices that are as wise as they are vivid, as intuitive as

they are organized. An A essay is rare. Effort alone will not merit an A.

B writing is characterized by above-average achievement. Few errors appear. If an essay reveals occasional excellence and

general competence, it is likely a B essay.

C writing reflects average engagement with the task at hand. C essays are not bad, though they often evince errors in

grammar and mechanics; rather, they are not especially good.

D writing is characterized by an intrusive lack of coherence or a lack of awareness of the assignment.



Each student will be issued a copy of The Norton Anthology of British Literature. This text must be brought to class daily, along with notebook and paper. I will also occasionally assign reading material from the internet and from handouts. Hamlet should be read using this url, which is the definitive online text:

Essays should be submitted on time. Late essays will be docked a letter grade for each day they are late.

Barring exceptional circumstances, students who have excused absences must make up missed assignments within a week of the original due date.

Students must complete all major assignments to pass the course.

Also, MSMS’ academic honesty regulations apply to every activity in this course. Do not cheat.




9              Beowulf

11           Beowulf

14           Beowulf

16           Beowulf

18           Beowulf

19           Parents Day

21           English lyrics and sonnets

23           English lyrics and sonnets

25           English lyrics and sonnets

28           Essay 1 Due

30           Test 1


1              Shakespeare, sonnet selections; Extended weekend

6              Shakespeare, sonnet selections

8              Shakespeare, sonnet selections

11           Hamlet

13           Hamlet

15           Hamlet

18           Hamlet

20           Twelfth Night

22           Twelfth Night

25           Twelfth Night

27           Review

29           Test 2


2              Donne

4              Donne

6              Marvell; Extended weekend

11           PSAT

13           Swift; Begin second quarter

16           Swift

18           Swift

20           Swift

23           In-class essay

25           Research paper

27           Research paper

30           Research paper


1              Behn; research paper due

3              Behn

6              Equiano

8              Equiano

10           Johnson (2811-12); Review

13           Test 3

15           Goldsmith

17           Goldsmith

27           Goldsmith

29           Goldsmith


1              Goldsmith

4              Sheridan

6              Sheridan

8              Sheridan

11           Sheridan

13           Review

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