Georgia Highlands College ENGL 2131 Fall 2009, Basic Course Information—Kemper (F-136)


English 2131 – 80431 (American Literature I); 9:30-10:45 a.m. TR (3 credit hours)


Withdrawal Deadline—Oct. 13


Prerequisite:  ENGL 1101 and 1102 with a grade of “C” or better in each class; Textbook:   The American Tradition in Literature, 12th ed. Vol. 1 (ISBN: 978-007723904-6)


Disability Support:  Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should make an appointment with Student Support Services (706-295-63360) to coordinate reasonable accommodations.  The student may also contact the instructor to discuss specific needs.  This should be done as early in the semester as possible.


Course Description:  English 2131 is a survey of American literature from the

 pre-Colonial age to the mid-nineteenth century.


Objective:  Students will become familiar with selected authors and their works from Colonial times to the mid-nineteenth century as well as literary movements and techniques and related cultural/historical developments.  Writing, research and critical thinking skills will be practiced through class assignments relative to course content.


Course Focus:  How early American literature reveals the development of the “American” identity—nationally and individually


Grading:  The course grade will be based on three exams (each consisting of a short answer section and an essay) and daily grade points.  Each exam and the daily grade will be 25 percent of the final grade.  The grading scale will be as follows:  A, 90-100; B, 80-89; C, 70-79; D, 60-69; F, below 60. **You will be responsible for purchasing your own Scantron sheets from the college bookstore and having one available for each exam.


Attendance:  Since class discussions and activities are fundamental to the course, you are expected to be in class every day.  In the rare case of an unavoidable absence, you should contact your instructor by email or phone at or 706-368-7626 or 1-800-332-2406.  It will be your responsibility to find out about assignments made or information presented during the missed class. You are also expected to arrive on time to avoid distracting the other students. If unavoidably late, you have the responsibility for being sure you are marked present but late rather than absent. Three “late” designations equal one unexcused absence.


By Humanities Division policy if any student accumulates 5 unexcused absences in a class that meets two days a week, he or she may not return to class without appealing to the division chair. This appeal must be made within five days after the fifth absence. Absences may be excused by the instructor if you notify the instructor by phone or email prior to the absence or within two days after the missed class. You will also need to hand the instructor a written request for an excused absence the day you return to class. The written request must have your name, the current date, the course name and section number, the date of the class missed, a brief statement of the reason for the absence, and your signature. If you have a medical excuse, attach a copy to your written request. Leaving class early may also count as an absence. Please note that any absence—excused or not—may interfere with your ability to succeed in the class.


Electronic Devices:  All electronic devices (cell phones, etc.) will be turned off and stored out of sight during class. It is inappropriate to leave class to take a call.


Late Work:  There will be penalties for work that is turned in late.  It may be possible to avoid the penalty if you present a statement from a doctor or notify your instructor immediately if a serious or unavoidable situation will prevent you from being able to turn an assignment in on time.  (See contact information under “Attendance.”)


Makeup Work:  (1) A makeup exam will be given only if serious or acute illness or severe personal problems prevent you from taking the exam with the rest of the class, and the instructor must be notified immediately that such problems exist.  (2)  There will be a limited amount of bonus daily grade work that may be completed to help make up daily grade deficiencies.

(3)  Requests for makeup work due to an  anticipated extended absence must be approved in advance  by the instructor and division chair.


Plagiarism and Other Types of Cheating:  You are expected to do your written assignments without excessive help from anyone else.  Also, you must identify the source of any information or ideas not your own in order to avoid plagiarism.  You are, of course, also expected to do your own work on exams.  Plagiarism or other cheating may result in penalties including an F or O on the assignment or exam.  In addition, you may be subject to disciplinary actions by the college.  The Georgia Highlands College “Academic Integrity Code” ( ) contains a detailed definition of plagiarism and other types of academic dishonesty and outlines the procedures and sanctions relating to violation of the Code.


 ***The instructor reserves the right to alter the dates, material covered, or format of any exam after notifying the students in advance.


***Any anticipated absence by the instructor (to attend professional meetings, etc.) will be announced no later than the class period just prior to the expected absence, and you will be told what will take place during class time while the instructor is absent. In the event of an unexpected absence by the instructor (due to illness, etc.) an effort will be made to notify you or to find someone else to meet the class. (There are no provisions for substitute teachers at colleges.)


GHC Student Learning Outcomes for ENGL 2131: Communication: (1) Students will demonstrate their ability to express ideas logically and clearly in standard written English.  (2) Students will demonstrate their ability to read, analyze, and comprehend college-level written texts.  Critical Thinking: (1) Students will be able to recognize differing perspectives and points of view. Humanities: (7) Students will be able to place literature and other artistic works into a historical context.


Course Outcomes for ENGL 2131:  Through tests and papers, students will demonstrate an understanding of the diversity among cultures revealed in the history and customs which influenced early American literature as well as an awareness of genres, themes, and authors of importance in American literature from Colonial times to mid-nineteenth century.


Through the writing of essays and discussion test topics, students will demonstrate their ability to conceive ideas about a topic, synthesize and arrange them logically, and express them clearly in written standard English.


Through written assignments, students will also demonstrate critical thinking skills as they recognize differing perspectives and analyze and interpret literary works.


Through the writing of papers and/or oral reports, students will demonstrate library research skills, their understanding of proper documentation, and the ability to call upon the scholarship of others in formulating their own ideas. (This objective supports the college’s Information Competency plan.)


***To students receiving financial aid:  Federal regulations state that if a student does not attend classes and receives failing grades, then the grades were not earned and financial aid needs to be reduced accordingly.  Any student receiving a 0.00 GPA will be required to prove that the 0.00 GPA was earned by attending classes or completing requirements for each class.  Students who have passed at least one class for the semester will not be affected by this regulation.  If a student has properly withdrawn from all classes, the student’s financial aid should be adjusted from the time he/she signed the withdrawal form.