missing image


Quick Links

Course Materials

BYU Course Outcomes

Read critically and analyze selected poetry written in English.

Form a research strategy, independently locate relevant digital and print sources about poetry, and draw upon these to develop an effective written argument.

Produce polished, competent, formal writing, free from distracting errors in mechanics, syntax, and formatting, and in accordance with MLA formatting and citation guidelines.

Course Objectives

The general objectives of this course in modern poetry are, first, to become acquainted with the major British and American writers of the twentieth century and with the central themes of their writings and second, to learn enough about poetic techniques and become a competent reader of modern poetry. Learning these things will make you a better reader of the poetry of any age.

Hints for Studying Poetry

It is suggested that you, when reading poetry, read a poem the first time solely for the purpose of enjoying it and without any thought of analysis or study. It is important that you have an honest reaction to the poem at the beginning because all later analysis is based upon that initial reaction. Read the poem carefully and let it work as it was intended to work. (Its purpose is to make a certain kind of emotional and intellectual impression upon you.) Then, and only then, are you ready to figure out what the author did to make that impression. Finally, you can begin looking for clues to the meaning of the poem in terms of symbols or figures of speech, etc.

Course Materials


Ellmann, Richard and Robert O’Clair, eds. The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, 2d ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1988.

There is only one textbook required for this course. This book can be obtained through Independent Study or a local bookstore. You will find the introductions to the various authors helpful and interesting.

References will be made to other works, but these are solely as a guide to supplement those whose interest leads them to areas beyond the scope of this course.

(Back to top)


Lesson Submissions

You will submit a total of fourteen lessons for this course. They should be completed consecutively because knowledge you will need in later lessons is often introduced in earlier lessons. Naturally, consistency in performance will be to your advantage. Allot a period of time for the completion of each lesson and meet your own deadlines. While writing your assignments, remember that fundamentals of usage and conciseness of expression are important matters. Write with clarity and precision.

There will be enough information in the lesson and in the textbook for most students to complete the work for this course. If your background is such that you need help beyond that provided in the lessons, however, try to anticipate your problem by looking ahead at the next lesson. Then, when you submit the lesson, write your questions regarding the next lesson on the cover sheet so I can answer them.

Each assignment should have a cover sheet created for it with the assignment and your name, along with any questions you may have for the next lesson.

Submitting Assignments

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: ENGL366_JaneSmith_WritingAssignment1.docx.

(Back to top)


Final Examination

The final examination will consist of several kinds of questions. As part of the examination, you will be asked to match terms from the course with their definitions. There will likely be a number of objective questions, including completion and multiple choice. Perhaps the most important part of the test will be a series of spot quotations for you to identify by author, subject, title, style, etc. In addition, you will answer at least one essay question. You might, for example, be given a poem and asked to analyze and describe it, or you might be asked to discuss one of the movements in modern poetry. Remember, you must pass the final exam with at least 60% to pass the course.

(Back to top)


Grading Procedure

Only one examination will be given for the course (at the end) and two Self Checks (after lessons 1 and 6).

Your final course grade will be determined by averaging the final examination score with the average score of the fourteen lesson assignments. However, you must pass the final exam in order to pass the course. Remember too, that the real grade you receive from a class is the increased capacity for understanding and enjoyment that comes from having mastered an area of knowledge and skill.

Assignment Submission

Lesson Assignment Percent
Lesson 1 Assignment 5%
Lesson 2 Assignment 5%
Lesson 3 Assignment 5%
Lesson 4 Assignment 5%
Lesson 5 Assignment 5%
Lesson 6 Assignment 5%
Lesson 7 Assignment 5%
Lesson 8 Assignment 5%
Lesson 9 Assignment 5%
Lesson 10 Assignment 5%
Lesson 11 Assignment 5%
Lesson 12 Assignment 5%
Lesson 13 Assignment 5%
Lesson 14 Assignment 5%
Final Exam 30%
Total: 100%
Grading Scale
A 94
A- 90
B+ 87
B 83
B- 80
C+ 77
C 73
C- 70
D+ 67
D 63
D- 60
E (fail) 59 or below

(Back to top)

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)

(Back to top)

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.

(Back to top)

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.

(Back to top)

Course Policies

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


14 instructor-graded writing assignments, no resubmissions.


1 instructor-graded exam (multiple-choice, matching and essay questions), may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course. Must have a proctor present when taking the exam.

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