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Learning Outcomes

In addition to those immeasurable rewards that come from conversing with great authors of the past, this course will course will teach you how to:

  1. Read beyond basic plot and learn tools of literary analysis.
  2. Recognize and analyze key genres in French liteature.
  3. Identify and define key characteristics of the most important French literary movements.
  4. Place literature in a meaningful cultural and historical context.
  5. Improve your reading and writing and listening skills in French.
  6. Broaden and deepen your perception and appreciation of French culture.

Course Materials

You will need only one text for this course:

Other than that play, the online materials constitute your textbook. As it is always useful to review your grammar, I strongly suggest that you consult a French grammar text during this course.

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Course Organization


We will cover six periods (Middle Ages, Renaissance, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, 20th century) over the course of twenty-two lessons. You should plan on spending approximately five hours per lesson. The beginning of each new period covers the historical and cultural context for the readings. These beginning-of-period lessons are generally longer and usually include a brief literary excerpt as well. After the initial lesson in each period, you will focus on specific authors and their works.

Mastery Checks

Each lesson includes “Mastery Check” exercises which will help you assess your understanding and will prepare you for the “Speedback” exercise at the end of the lesson. Resist the temptation to consult the online material as you answer the Mastery Check questions (but please feel free to consult notes and online material for the Speedback, which counts toward your grade). These exercises are designed to help you determine where your knowledge is weak or incomplete. Some of the “Mastery Check” assignments are labeled “A Haute Voix,” meaning that they are meant to help you practice your spoken French.


To help you develop your listening skills in French, podcasts of each lesson have been included. These MP3 files are designed to be downloaded onto your laptop or MP3 player and be listened to wherever is convenient for you (on the bus, working out, etc.). But you can also listen to them on your computer directly from the course CD.

To download each lesson’s podcast to an MP3 player:

  1. Insert the course CD into your computer’s CD-ROM player
  2. Double-click on index.htm to open it
  3. Right-click on the podcast file for the lesson you are currently completing
  4. Choose “Save link as” from the menu
  5. Save the file to your hard drive
  6. If you have an iPod, make sure the file is saved to iTunes
  7. Download the file to your portable device


Seventeen of the twenty-two lessons include assignments that will be scored by computer. Lessons 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 will be computer-graded “Speedback” assignments. You will receive feedback indicating your score, your incorrect answers, and specific feedback that I have prepared about what you should review and reconsider on those questions that you missed.

Lessons 2, 6, 10, and 21 will be writing assignments. The nature of each writing assignment varies from imitative to creative, to analytical. Writing assignments should be double-spaced and in a standard 12 point font. All four writing assignments are to be written in French. The length of each assignment never exceeds 3 pages. You should submit the writing assignments in three separate submissions, before taking each of the three exams.

A speaking appointment is a required part of every unit and must be completed before you can take the unit quiz and speaking appointment in the next unit. You cannot complete more than one speaking appointment per day.

Submission Instructions

You will submit your completed paper to Independent Study electronically through your course. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as an .RTF (rich text format) file. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type your paper in a word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word).
  2. When you save the file, click the Save as type: drop-down list.
  3. Select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “[CourseNameNumber]_[YourName]_[BriefTitle].rtf.” [You can use the instructor’s name and cours as an example, such as: ELANG325_DonChapman_GrammarPaper.rtf.]
  5. Click Save.
  6. Submit the lesson’s .RTF file through the [Lesson/Assignment Title] assignment for grading.

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There are three exams in this course, one after lesson 6 (Middle Ages and Renaissance), one after lesson 12 (17th and 18th centuries), and one after lesson 21 (19th and 20th centuries). Each exam follows the basic format of your “Speedback” assignments and includes approximately 50 questions. There is no comprehensive final. (According to Independent Study policy, however, you must pass the last exam to pass the course.)

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Getting Help

If you need help, you may contact Independent Study customer service: 800-914-8931 or

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Your grade will be a combination of the following:

  1. 34%—Speedback (2% each)
  2. 30%—Writing assignments (7.5% each)
  3. 36%—Exams (12% each)

Approximate Grade Distribution

Although the scale below may need to be adjusted based upon experience, it will serve as a rough approximation of the grade that will be assigned corresponding with your performance on each assignment or examination.

A 100 94
A- 93 90
B+ 89 88
B 87 83
B- 82 80
C+ 79 77
C 76 72
C- 71 70
D+ 69 67
D 66 63
D- 62 60
E below-(failing) 59 0

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


17 computer-graded assignments and 4 writing assignments, may be resumbitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


3 computer-graded exams, may retake each once for a fee, must pass the last exam to pass the course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514