Welcome to MAJ402. Survey of Modern British and American Literature

The course is designed to enhance your ability to read, interpret, discuss and write about some of the most significant texts in British and American culture from the Middle Ages to Romanticism. The readings, discussions, and activities in this course are designed to create a learning environment that emphasizes the development of critical thinking, the importance of understanding context, the process of engagement with other learners, and the facilitation of reflecting and acting on reading materials.

This class will explore the usefulness of cultural and historical relativism, a particular kind of critical thinking in which phenomena are analyzed in light of the social, cultural, and historical contexts. These readings will challenge our assumptions about how the world works and give us a greater appreciation for human and social diversity. You will learn to appreciate human social and cultural diversity over time and across space.

A series of activities during the course of the semester will encourage you to understand and apply the course material by interacting constructively with each other.

You will be expected to read each text thoroughly, take good notes, participate in class discussions, and complete various writing assignments.

Course goals

Course structure

This outline will explain how you need to approach the various learning activities listed in the course schedule. It is assumed that you have already read the Student Guide to Moodle, the learning management system for this course, and are familiar with the procedures for logging in and accessing the various parts of the course.

The course is divided into fifteen topics and each topic is covered during one week. If you start the course at a later date you will have missed some assignments that you cannot make up, and this will be reflected in your course grade.

The learning activities for each week include the following parts:

Literary Readings

All of the required readings are located online. You can read them on a computer, or you can print them out. It is preferable that you you print them out so that you have someplace to write your own notes. It is important that you read the required readings during the week that they are assigned. None of the readings are very lengthy, but you should read each work carefully and look up in a dictionarry any unfamiliar words. Read the work with the study questions at hand so that you know what to focus on.

Helpful resources

For each literary work I have compiled a short list of resources that should help you understand and interpret the literary work. I will probably include additional resources as the semester progresses, so it's important that you review these lists before you take any exams.

Lecture notes

The purpose of the lecture notes (PowerPoint presentations) is to provide you with a short review of the most important aspects of the readings.

Study questions

The study questions are your best guide to what will be included on the course exams. For that reason it's important that you are able to understand and answer each question concisely and in detail. You should print out each set of questions and write a good answer for each one. You should attempt to write your answers only after you have completed all of the assigned readings and other activities. IT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO SIMPLY COPY ANSWERS FROM SOMEONE ELSE!

Assignments

You will have an assignment to complete and turn in at the end of each week. Each assignment will include specific instructions about the topic and the length. The assignments count 20% of your course grade. The deadline for turning in assignments is very strict. If you don't turn in an assignment by the deadline for any reason, you will not be able to complete it at a later date and you will not get credit for that assignment. Although the assignment is due at the end of the week, you should look at it at the beginning of the week so that you can prepare it as you read the materials.

Your essay should consist of no fewer than THREE paragraphs. Review how to write a paragpraph. The rules are the same for every language. Here is a short description of a good, basic paragraph format.

Unless you are directed otherwise, you will need to upload all of your assignments in Moodle. At the top left corner of the assignmenr you should put your name, and below that you should put the assignment number. You should name your file like this: SurnameFirstnameAssignmentNumber. For example, for my assignment I would name the file MitrevskiGeorgeAssignment1 (without any spaces between the words).

Since none of you are native speakers of English it is expected that you will make some grammatical errors in your assignments. You should know that in my grading of your assignments I focus more on the content than on the grammar, so your focus should be on the content as well.

Some of you will be very tempted to simply copy answers from a colleague or from some ouside resources. You should know that I come from a university where cheating and plagiarism is not tolerated, and I don't intend to tolarate it in this course. I always make an effor to check any answers that I think may have been plagiarized. If you turn in an assignment, or part of an assignment that is copied from somewhere else, or if you copy an assignment from another students, you will not get any credit on it. And if this happens two times, you will NOT be able take the colloquiums. Instead, you will be required to take the final exam (ispit).

In order to take the colloquiums you MUST have a passign average (at least 51%) on your assignments.

Examinations

You will have two colloquiums during the semester. Each colloquium is worth 40% toward your course grade. If you don't pass the first colloquium you may NOT take the second one. In which case you will be required to take the final exam (ispit). I would like to urge you very, very strongly to make sure that you take the two colloquiums rather than the final exam. The final exam is usually twice as long as a colloquium, much more difficult, and it may take you several attempts to pass it. The questions in all of the exams will come almost exclusively from the Study questions and from the Assignments. For this reason it is very important that you read the assigned works carefuly and you provide complete and detailed answers to the Study questions. In this course I will NOT give anyone a second chance to take a colloquium in order to improve on a grade.

Grades

Your grades in the course will be figured this way:

Colloquium 1: 40%
Colloquium 2: 40%
Assignments: 20%

Extra points

You may receive maximum of 3 extra points toward your final grade for your participation in class discussions and for your postings in the discussion forum in Moodle. To receive points for your postings, they should be:
  1. at least 50 words in length
  2. related to the forum topic
  3. unique, not repeating the content of someone else's posting
Additionally, to receive the maximum of 3 extra points you must add a posting to ALL forums.

Attendance

Regular attendance in this coursse is a requirement for you to be able to take the colloquiums and or the final exam. You may NOT take a colloquium if you miss more than two classes. You may not take the final exam if you miss more than four classes during the semester. I will take attendance before each class.

Contacts:

Professor George Mitrevski, USA
email: mitrevski@pelister.org
Skype: george.mitrevski

You should feel free to contact me by email at any time and I will respond as soon as possible, usually the same day. Also feel free to ring me any time you see me logged in on Skype. All of our communication must be in English. I will not respond to any messages that are in Macedonian. If you are contacting me needing help you should explain in exact detail what the problem is. I can't respond to messages such as "I have a problem with Moodle.", or "Question number two is confusing.", or "I don't understand the poem ...". The more specific you are, the better I can help you.