Syllabus: “The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary” (OVPI for Instruction)

Course Description:

At the very end of the eighteenth century, the poet, novelist, and essayist Mary Robinson exhorted her fellow Britons in a Letter to the Women of England: “Let your daughters be liberally, classically, philosophically, and usefully educated; let them speak and write their opinions freely; let them read and think like rational creatures.” Over the course of her “letter,” Robinson constructs a comprehensive reading list of eighteenth-century women novelists, poets, and historians. This semester we’ll be reading many of the writers on that list, as well as several that go unmentioned by Robinson: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Frances Burney, Charlotte Smith, Phillis Wheatley, Mary Hays, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Anon., the most prolific of eighteenth-century women writers according to Virginia Woolf.

Attendance: More than three unexcused absences prior to midpoint will result in your being dropped from the roll. After three absences over the course of the semester, your final grade will be negatively effected. I also expect you to come to class on time; late arrivals will be noted.

Assignments must be read before the day they are to be discussed: Go over the literature attentively and, if necessary, repeatedly. Please don’t just skim the material. I would suggest that you keep an informal reading journal in which you note any questions about the assignment, as well as your responses to the material; you should also take copious notes within your texts.

Exams and Essays: I will not give make-up exams or accept late essays. If a pressing emergency arises, please contact me prior to the due date, if at all possible.

Internet Resources: There are several internet sites which should be of interest to you; the internet can serve as an invaluable resource if you use it wisely. If you do use material from the internet, please cite it appropriately by date of access and web site location. Please refer to the MLA Handbook for specifics.

A Culture of Honesty: Although all of your papers can be completed without recourse to outside sources, you may on occasion want to consult critical works. According to the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, “All academic work must meet the standards contained in ‘A Culture of Honesty.’ Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before performing any academic work.” Please visit the OVPI website for more information. Suspected cases of plagiarism will be turned into the appropriate campus authorities.

Buying essays over the internet is not a wise use of its resources. I am aware of the pertinent sites and will periodically check them for available essays on the material covered in this class.

Listserv: I’ll be creating a class listserv as the best means to contact you about changes to the schedule and assignments. You should use the list to pose questions about the course and to set up study groups for the exams.

Listserv Address: 

Office Hours: Please note my office hours. I urge you to make use of them; I’ll be there every week just to answer questions, talk about papers, the reading, how the class is going, etc. If you need to speak with me and you can’t make it to my office hours, talk to me after class about scheduling an appointment.

End of term course evaluations: At the end of the semester, you’ll be asked to complete an online evaluation of this course. Please do take the opportunity to respond to the course and its content. The English department now participates in the online system. At the end of the semester, you’ll be asked to visit the Franklin College’s secure site to record your evaluation.