Wednesday, August 1, 2007




You are expected to take reading notes on all assigned texts unless otherwise noted. The grade is not an effort grade; points are deducted for failing to meet any of the requirements.

phrases only, 1 per line - no complete sentences

Include page numbers for quotations, figures, imagery, symbols, irony.

Sketchy or incomplete notes lose points.

Do not be obvious or superficial.

Have no blank items or items with missing proof or examples.
Reading notes are not a report! They are your record of the reading process completed as you read - not after.

Each work will appear as separate notes in your notebook.
Include the following labeled entries:

1. Author's life - brief overview, memorable or intriguing facts, dates, prizes not a paragraph - use bulleted notes; 5 items will do

2. Genre - What is the literary type? What kind of literature are you reading?

3. Period - Brief overview of literary/cultural/historical period of the novel - not a time line, not a paragraph

4. Ideas/issues - What is the story, novel about really? Give the following:
Central conflict
Theme (author's point) What is the author trying to accomplish for his intended audience?

5. Vocabulary/key words - a list of words (5 minimum) you encountered that you did not know with their definitions or words with unique usage; include the partial quotation.

6. Quotations - 3 or more that are significant to central issues - quotations that speak of philosophy Give the significance of the quotation.

7. Questions - 5 minimum - Write pertinent questions that arise as one reads this text.

8. Structure - This section is most important!
A. Setting - time, place, and mainly atmosphere
B. Characters - qualities of each main character (number varies) - use a string of adjectives rather than simply giving his role
C. Special notes on form: frame, epistolary, plot manipulations, contrasts, unique features

9. Style - Comment on each of the following:
A. Point of view - Why? Effect?
B. Imagery - describe dominant image patterns.
C. Diction/Syntax : Describe the language - plain, colloquial, trite, slang, artificial, etc.; describe syntax as emerging patterns: parallelism, inversion, balance, length, repetition
D. Symbolism - What items, events, places, etc. seem symbolic? Why are they included?

10. Evaluation/Assessment - Sum up the artistic effort. What do you value in it? What is disappointing? Do not write: "The author did a great job."

11. World view? Naturalism, Transcendentalism? Theism? Within the worldview, what main actions are consistent or not consistent with scripture?

12. Connections - Point out similar themes, characters, or issues in another significant work or two.
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Read "Politics and the English Language" and compare Orwell's philosophy in this essay to the worldview in the novel in a 250-word response paper. How does the novel support the ideas set forth in the essay? Bring hard copy of your paper to class. Course description: This course is a survey of representative texts from British literature. We will examine prominent authors, read and discuss well-known works, and pay close attention to the ways these texts exemplify values and conflicts central to the cultural periods in which they were written as well as the author's worldview. At the close of the course, you should be a better reader, have a grasp of literary periods and works that we study, and have an improved writing style.


Good dictionary and thesaurus


Vocabulary workbook

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, recommended (available online)

Literature anthology:

The Canterbury Tales (Prologue and selected tales) - Chaucer
Dr. Faustus - Marlowe
A Midsummer Night's Dream -Shakespeare
Hamlet - Shakespeare
Pope - Rape of the LockSwift
- A Modest ProposalAddison & Steele - from the 18th century literary magazine
Dr. Johnson - essays
Austen - excerpt Pride and Prejudice
Frankenstein - Shelley
Jane Eyre - Bronte
Wuthering Heights - Bronte
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Stevenson
Selections from Dickens
The Importance of Being Earnest - Wilde
Heart of Darkness - Conrad
The Lord of the Flies - Golding
Cry, The Beloved Country - Paton

Nonfiction readings such as works of criticism and other essays are included as well.

Graded work:
Essays on unit material (background, novels, poems, etc.)
3 unit tests and a
completed, graded workbook

Unannounced or announced as necessary.

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