American Literature 171/51

Time: 11:00-12:15 noon / Classroom # 4089


Off. Hours: M/W 12:20-01:15 or by Appointment






Required Texts:

1. Baym, Nina, Ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. NY: W. W. Norton, 2012. [ Volumes
C,D,E 8th. Edition [packet to be collected in class or in my office, K.D. 4].
2. Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual. NY: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2004. no need to buy it if you have the MLA Guidelines for Research.

Optional Text:

Harmon, William. A Handbook to Literature. NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Course Description:

A general survey of the history and development of American Literature in its historical, social, and cultural context, from the Puritan beginnings to the late 20th century. Emphasis to be given on the manner in which the texts reflect currents of social and cultural change in the United States.

Courseís Objectives:

1. To develop
knowledge of history and development of American Literature and culture.
2. To
analyze literary texts in historical/cultural contexts
3.  To develop awareness of literature as cultural product

4. To write critically

5.To develop reading and analytical skills

Grading Policy & Course Requirements:

1. Participation: 5%

Roll call taken promptly at beginning of class. Every student is expected to attend on time every lecture. Absence and tardiness cannot be made up. No exceptions. Attendance and participation are inseparable, which means if you have many unexcused absences, the logical consequence would be losing 5% of your total grade. I need each one of you to do the reading assignment and to participate in class discussion. You'll be graded for your effort in joining the discussion and will not be criticized for your views.

2. Literature Presentations: 5%

You are responsible for  one presentation for this course. Be creative in your presentations. You need to reserve a topic from the syllabus for your presentation ASAP.

3.   Quizzes  5%

pop quizzes to ensure you keep up with the reading assignments and H.W.s to be announced in class are part of the assignments for this course.

4.  History Presentations 15%:

Each student will be assigned several historical topics to research and present in class, either individually or as a group, from the various historical timelines we will be studying throughout this course. Your job is to read on this historical event and provide a thorough idea to the class. Make it interesting and simple by sticking to main facts and providing any audiovisual material necessary to clarify the topic to your classmates.  Avoid Plagiarism = copying and pasting from online sources or other references. Remember that if you do borrow, you need to acknowledge your sources.

5.   Critical Responses 5%:  (might be cancelled)

Reader's responses will be one of the assignments you will complete for this course. The response will be especially useful because it will help you develop and catalog ideas that you will be able to use in your exams and final paper. A useful source of information and discussion will be dialoguing with one another. You are responsible for a 1 , 2pages, typed  response on the assigned texts from the course's syllabus. In such an assignment you will merely formulate your critical opinion about a certain text in a good thesis which youíll defend in the body of your essay and in the end restate. The topic for the response would be any of the texts covered before the assigned deadline that will be announced before the due dates. You need to follow the MLA guidelines in formatting your document. These guidelines are available in Diana Hackerís A Pocket Style Manual listed above and can also be accessed on-line via the following link: You will need to register first as a student to be able to access it. No research is necessary for such an assignment. The due dates for journals are marked in your syllabus. Zeroes are registered for assignments submitted late or copied. If the problem with the work is cleared up within the week, the paper will be graded but a letter grade lower will be the consequence of tardiness in completing assigned work.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated in any of the assignments for this course. If you choose to plagiarize you will receive an "F" for this assignment.  Continuous attempts at plagiarism will result in an "F" in the course.

6. Mid-Term Exams 35%

You will have Two Mid-Term  exams.  The Mid-Term will  on Mon., March 27 (Comprehension)+ Tues. October, 29 (Essay ).  The best way to prepare for the Midterm and the final is by reading on time, attending classes, and joining the in-class discussion as well. The Mid-Term will cover up to the point reached in the syllabus by the examís date. 

8. Final Exam  40%

A revision session will be held before the final exam. This session will allow you to pose any question you have in mind, providing that you have already revised the covered material. The Final Exam will be divided into two parts. The first will include comprehension questions and excerpts from the assigned material. The second section will be in the form of essay. You are expected to organize your ideas clearly in a coherently organized essay. Some of the material covered earlier in the semester will be included as well in the Final Exam.


Important dates:





Mon. March 2nd.

Mid-Term Exam part I (Comprehension)


Wed. March 4th.

Mid-Term Exam Part II (Essay)

Thu. April 30th.

Classes End

   Mon. May 4th. Final Exam 12:00-14:00 p.m.  (Good Luck)