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Course Materials

Course Outcomes

  1. Read critically and analyze major and selected minor texts and literary trends from the period of 1914 to 1960.
  2. Form a research strategy, independently locate relevant digital and print sources, and draw upon these to develop an effective written argument.
  3. Produce polished, competent, formal writing, free from distracting errors in mechanics, syntax, and formatting, and in accordance with MLA formatting and citation guidelines.

Course Materials

Required Text

The required text for this course is the Anthology of American Literature: Realism to the Present, 5th edition, Vol. 2, by George McMichael, New York: Macmillan, 1993. The book is now out of print, but you may be able to locate a version of this text through an online vendor. The BYU Bookstore now only sells the 7th edition (Anthology of American Literature: Realism to the Present, 7th edition, Vol. 2, by George McMichael, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2000) and the 7th edition doesn’t include all of the required readings. You will need to locate the readings that aren’t included in the 7th edition on the Internet or at your local library.

In this course the page numbers for the required readings will be listed for both the 5th and the 7th editions of the text. You will be directed to locate (on your own) those readings not available in the 7th edition. You should read the editor’s introductions to periods and authors for each assigned author.

Recommended Text

Holman, Hugh C. A Handbook to Literature, 6th ed. New York: Macmillan, 1992.

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Each lesson has an introduction to the author(s) and the works presented to help prepare you for the reading. Then a reading assignment is given. Following the introduction and reading, I provide discussion material where I ask some questions, point out some directions, provoke some discussion, and try to stimulate some thinking to help you respond to the reading and its relationship to you, the United States, and the world.

You do not need to respond to all of the points in the discussion material. Simply use them as a starting point for your analysis. You may have one long response or several shorter ones. Give specific answers, use concrete illustrations, and make clear references to the readings.

Response Papers

You are to write two papers for this course, each approximately five to seven pages long. In each of these papers you will develop a comparative analysis of two works. You will decide which works to compare and which issues will define your analysis. It should not be a biography of a writer; however, the author’s life may be discussed in the paper as it relates to your thesis. I am most interested in your confrontation with the works and the focus of your topic. (There is further discussion of these papers in lessons 10 and 16.)

In general, your response papers should make specific claims that require you to draw upon details from the text for analytic support. As much as possible, you should focus on the language of the text and avoid generalizations based solely on the plot. If you assume that I am your audience, you will also avoid reiterating or summarizing the reading and focus, instead, on making and supporting analytic points. The reading prompts will provide direction for appropriate kinds of analysis. Try to be clear and succinct in expressing your ideas. Your response papers will be scored based on the quality of text-based analysis.

Formatting Your Lesson Assignments and Papers

Remember to submit your assignments as Microsoft Word .DOC or .DOCX files. Name the file using this style—be sure to use your own name: ENGL363_JaneSmith_WritingAssignment1.docx.

Online Library Services

This English course has a valuable online library services portal. The online portal to the BYU Harold B. Lee Library accesses specific course-work resources such as research guides, online access to full-text articles, research tips and tools, a writer’s toolbox, a link to the online catalog, Book and Articles Delivery Service, subject librarian contact information, Ask a Librarian LIVE real-time chat service, and a feedback form.

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The final exam includes essays and a section that requires you to connect key terms with specific texts. For the essay portion you will choose works that were significant to you and discuss them in the framework of the situation I give you.

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The 18 lesson assignments will count for 54 percent of your grade, the two papers combined for 26 percent, and the final exam 20 percent.

Grading Scale
A 100–93%
A− 92–90%
B+ 89–87%
B 86–83%
B− 82–80%
C+ 79–77%
C 76–73%
C− 72–70%
D+ 69–67%
D 66–63%
D− 62–60%
E (fail) 59 or below

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Some material in this course, such as questions, suggestions, topics, and information, is used with permission from Instructor’s Manual for Anthology of American Literature, George McMichael, Macmillan Publishing Company. Instructors and students using the text have permission to use the material.

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 t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report 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 http://titleix.byu.edu 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.


18 instructor-graded writing assignments, two 5–7 page papers, no resubmissions.


1 proctored, instructor-graded exam (essay questions), may not retake; must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.  The final exam will count for 20 percent of the course grade.

Course Duration

You have one year to complete this course. You may purchase one three-month extension if you need more than a year to complete the course. 

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.

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