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Internet · Humanities & Fine Arts · English

American Literature

  • Spring 2023
  • Section NT1
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 01/17/2023 to 05/09/2023
  • Modified 11/09/2022


Meeting Times

Online Course.  Log in to your Canvas course site several times per week.  Canvas will open several days before the course officially begins.  You may get started exploring the course, but do not submit assignments until the course official starting date.

Contact Information

Professor Jodi Price

Office: Waxahachie B112 (Office hours posted during first week of class)

Email: [email protected]

For quick answers to questions, post your question to Canvas Discussions link.  In Class questions and comments, click "Reply" to post questions.

Office phone: 972-937-6434


3 lec (3 Cr) A survey of American literature from the period of exploration and settlement to the present. Students will study works of prose, poetry, drama, and fiction in relation to their historical and cultural contexts. Texts will be selected from among a diverse group of authors for what they reflect and reveal about the evolving American experience and character. 


Prerequisite: ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.


Upon completion of the core curriculum, students are expected to demonstrate competence in all of the core objectives listed in the college catalog. The overall content of this course is designed to enhance skills in each of the following core objectives.

  • Critical Thinking Skills - to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Communication Skills - to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication
  • Empirical and Quantitative Skills - to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
  • Social Responsibility - to include intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities
  • Personal Responsibility - ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision making
  • Teamwork - to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Identify key ideas, representative authors and works, significant historical or cultural events, and characteristic perspectives or attitudes expressed in the literature of different periods or regions.

  • Analyze literary works as expressions of individual or communal values within the social, political, cultural, or religious contexts of different literary periods.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the development of characteristic forms or styles of expression during different historical periods or in different regions.

  • Articulate the aesthetic principles that guide the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.

  • Write research-based critical papers about the assigned readings in clear and grammatically correct prose, using various critical approaches to literature.

Required and Optional Materials

Students are not required to purchase the textbook for American Literature.  All reading materials are provided, by the professor, through the Canvas Home Units.  However, if you wish to purchase a textbook, you may purchase the textbook, listed below, at the Navarro College Bookstore.


The Norton Anthology of American Literature

  • Author: Robert S. Levine
  • Publisher: Norton
  • Edition: Shorter Ninth

 Textbook purchase is not required, but if you would like one, as a support, the textbook above may be purchased in the Navarro College Bookstore.

Assignments and Activities


Specific assignment due dates will be available from the first day of class in the syllabus link (course summary) via Canvas. Note: Canvas has two similar sounding links.  The syllabus link provides the course summary with due dates, and the Course Summary link provides the course syllabus with classroom policies, contact information etc.


(All assigned reading includes biographical and historical information as well as the actual stories, poems, and speeches. All are provided in the Canvas Home Units.)

Many of the required readings are supplemented by lectures, audio, and movies).  The supplementary materials can be quite helpful in understanding the readings; however, they do not replace the actual required reading. Helpful Links also provides extra explanation and help with many of the required readings. If you want to ace the test, read the required reading in the Canvas Home Units, carefully taking notes; then view all related helpful links located in the appropriate Home Unit in Canvas before attempting a test.

 Begin in Canvas Unit 1 and proceed through the course in chronological order. Read all Home Unit content.  Click on each blue link and read each document very carefully.  

Required Reading List-

Unit 1 Course Information:


Plagiarism Explained

Unit 2: The Literature of Early America

Christopher Columbus 

Columbus’s Letter Describing His First Voyage 

The New England Primer 

From The New England Primer

Anne Bradstreet 

“The Flesh and the Spirit,” 

 “The Author and Her Book” 

Unit 3: Influential American Women, Native American, and African American Writers

Mary Rowlandson 

From A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration

Sojourner Truth 

            Speech to the Women’s Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio

            From Narrative of Sojourner Truth

Sherman Alexie born 1966 Introduction

At Navajo Monument Valley Tribal School by Sherman Alexie


Unit 4: American Gothic

Washington Irving 

            “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” 

Edgar Allen Poe 

            “The Tell-Tale Heart” 

Nathanial Hawthorne 

            “The Birthmark” 

Unit 5: American Political Literature 

The Declaration of Independence

Fanny Fern 

Aunt Hetty on Matrimony 

Hints to Young Wives 

Owls Kill Hummingbirds 

Abraham Lincoln 

            To Horace Greeley 

            Gettysburg Address 

            Second Inaugural Address 

Unit 6: Research Methods

(All handouts will be found in Canvas in the corresponding Home Units) 

            Ten Steps to a Research Essay

            Critical Analysis Packet

            Comp. 1 Packet

            Research Essay Directions with Collaboration Questions

            Research Essay Grading Rubric

Unit 7: The Research Critical Analysis Essay

            Research Essay Directions with Collaboration and CORE Questions

            Research Essay Grading Rubric


            Assignment List (instructions in Canvas Home Units) All assignment due dates are listed in the Syllabus button in Canvas.  Just click on “Syllabus” on the left side of the Canvas Screen and the Assignment due date list (Course Summary) will automatically pop up.


Unit 1 Test

Discussion Board Posting/Essay Question 1

Unit 2 Test

Unit 3 Test

Unit 4 Test

Contact research teammates (through the Writing Partners button)

Discussion Board Posting/Essay Question 2

Unit 5 Test

Unit 6 Test

Unit 7 Final Exam/Research Essay

Grading Criteria

Grade criteria will conform to the established policy of Navarro College as stated in the College catalog: A=90-100%; B=80-89%; C=70-79%; D=60-69%; F=59% or below.



*Standards for Evaluation:


                Unit Tests                                              40%

                Research Test                                       20%

                DB Essay Posts                                      20%

                Final Exam                                             20%

                Total                                                      100%


See specific assignment list above and in Canvas in the Syllabus link.


The student's course grade will be determined in the following manner:

Major Exams: 40%
Research: 20%
Daily Grades: 20%
Final Exam: 20%
TOTAL: 100%

Each essay will be assessed a letter grade and/or a percentage score, according to the following general standards:

  • A (90‑100)  The A theme states and develops its central idea with originality.  It is narrow in its scope in that its thesis is specific and provable with clear logic, personal experience, and/or outside readings and research.  Its ideas are clear, logically organized, and thought provoking.  Moreover, the essay addresses serious subject matter and demonstrates critical thinking skills, NOT mere observational skills.  The tone and language are consistent with the purpose of the assignment, and they are not stilted and "affected."  Finally, the essay contains expert use of accepted Edited American English grammar applied to sophisticated and varied sentence structure types.  It is free of flagrant errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • B (80‑89)  The B theme states and develops its central idea with originality as well.  It, too, is narrow in its scope, and its thesis is specific and provable.  Its ideas are clear and obviously the result of critical thinking and, for the most part, are presented in a sustained, logical order.  Its tone and language are consistent with the purpose of the assignment but may occasionally become inappropriate.  Infrequent but distracting sentence level errors exist, affecting the smooth transition from idea to idea for the reader.  The essay is free of flagrant spelling, grammar, and usage errors.
  • C (70‑79)  The C essay's central idea may not always be entirely  clear or its scope may simply be too large to develop logically within the parameters of the assignment.  If the central idea is clear, proof of it can be achieved simply by observation and requires few critical thinking skills.  As a result, it lacks sophisticated and sustained logical structure and development. Tone and language are often inappropriate and may even slip into colloquialism or cliché.  The essay may contain various but not extremely serious sentence level problems because the writer is sometimes inconsistent in adhering to the rules of accepted English grammar.
  • D (60‑69)  The D essay has a variety of problems regarding scope and thesis.  For example, it may have no central idea at all, resulting in vacuous or no organization and development.  It may also offer the reader multiple ideas, none of which is adequately developed or organized in the piece.  If an attempt is made to develop an idea, its proof is not the product of critical thinking, but relies frequently or solely upon sweeping generalizations and opinion, or only upon emotional appeal. Tone and language are consistently inappropriate. The writer is unable to demonstrate control of Edited American English grammar, which results in chronic sentence level problems, often as serious as fragments, comma splices, and/or fused sentences.
  • F (Below 60) The F essay demonstrates no understanding or control of the fundamental characteristics of a college essay. The paper has no thesis or central purpose, no recognizable organization, no evidence of critical thinking, and demonstrates no understanding of accepted Edited American English grammar.

Course Policies

Classroom Policies:


  • Students must complete the first assignment by the posted deadline (Course Outline, in syllabus) in order to remain enrolled in course
  • Students are required to read the course syllabus, course summary, and be familiar with the policies contained therein.
  • Course questions should be posted to Canvas "Discussions". Only personal matters should be e-mailed.
  • Students should use their Navarro e-mail accounts only.  E-mails from private accounts will not be opened, read or responded to.
  • All e-mails should be polite in tone and should include the student’s name and course and section number in the subject line. All properly sent e-mails will be answered within 48 hours during the school week. Weekend e-mails will be responded to within 48 hours of the following Monday.
  • Essays will be graded and returned within two weeks of the essay deadline, unless otherwise indicated by the professor. Please do not ask for your graded essay before the two weeks have passed.
  • All students must participate in class discussion, discussion board topics, and group activities.
  • Computer hard drives do fail and virus threats are always lurking. Save, Save, and Save.
  • Partial or complete plagiarism will not be tolerated. A student found plagiarizing may be assigned an “F” for the entire course, in keeping with national and international academic standards. See handout on Plagiarism, included in Course Information.
  • Cheating of any kind will result in the student receiving an “F” for the course.
  • Locate and have available a second computer to post your assignments if your primary unit is unavailable for some reason. Please do not ask for deadline extensions because of computer issues. Navarro Computer labs are here for your technology needs
  • Essays and tests should be submitted by 11:50pm on the due date. Late work is accepted, but will be penalized with a 10 point per day deduction. No late final exams will be given.
  • IMPORTANT: Click on “Test Browser” on the right hand side of the Canvas Welcome screen to make sure your computer will work well with Canvas.
  • Google Chrome is recommended. Turn OFF pop up blockers! Wireless connections, laptops, tablets, or phones are not recommended for taking tests. Do not have other programs (i.e. Facebook) running while taking a test.
  • Cell phones are not recommended for Canvas. If you have trouble using a feature of Canvas, and you are using a cell phone, that is probably the reason.  Switch to a desk top computer and try again. 
  • Occasionally, a document in Canvas will not open. If this happens, log out and then back in using a different browser. 
  • Students may not screen shot, take pictures, or steal, in any way, tests, quizzes, questions, or any portion of tests and quizzes. Students caught stealing test materials will receive a zero and face discipline under the Navarro College Student Conduct division. 
  • To ensure course rigor and integrity, students may not view completed tests.  Tests are presented one question at a time, with questions and answers randomized.

Instructional Methodologies

Face to Face  Hybrid Online

Face to face courses are taught in a traditional classroom format. 

Courses classified as “Hybrid” in the course schedule (identified with the letter ‘H’ in the course section designation) will use a combination of face-to-face classroom and online instructional methods. A minimum of 50 percent of the course must be taught online to be classified as a hybrid course.

Students must have regular access to a computer and a reliable internet connection, either on campus or in a personal setting, to complete all assignments.

In addition to traditional lecture, Navarro College uses the Canvas Learning Management System to provide course materials and activities assigned by the instructor. Here is a video overview of Canvas:

To access Canvas:

(1) Go to: [email protected] 
(2) Enter your User Name (MyNC ID) and Password
(3) Click on the Canvas icon and locate your course in your Canvas Dashboard.

Please note some courses will also use materials provided by the publisher and require the student to have an access code in order to complete assignments, activities, and exams. Please see the Materials section of this syllabus to determine if an access code will be necessary for this course.

Final Exams

Students are required to take final exams during the posted final exam week and should not make travel reservations or other plans which would require them to request a rescheduled final.  Requests to take final exams early, or at a time other than indicated on the final exam schedule, must be approved by the appropriate Executive Dean and are granted only in exceptional circumstances. Personal or family travel plans are not deemed as exceptional circumstances.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

Students may choose to share personal information or experiences, as appropriate, in written assignments, class discussions, presentations, and conferences with instructors. While instructors and other college employees will strive to keep personal student information private, they are required to report information about sexual misconduct, childhood abuse, and criminal activity to the proper authorities. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting NorthSTAR Mobile Crisis at 1-800-260-8000 or the Navarro College Licensed Counselor at 903-875-7393.

Course Content and Rigor

College-level courses may include controversial, sensitive, and/or adult material. Students are expected to have the readiness for college-level rigor and content.


All Navarro College students are required to use their Navarro College email to correspond with instructors and other Navarro College personnel.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to do their own work at all times. Cheating is a serious offense with serious consequences which may include any of the following:  a grade of zero, course failure, or removal from a program. Essays with any amount of Plagiarism will be assigned a zero, in keeping with national and international standards.

Students may not screen shot, take pictures, or steal, in any way, tests, quizzes, questions, or any portion of tests and quizzes. Students caught stealing test materials will receive a zero and face discipline under the Navarro College Student Conduct division. 

Student Conduct

All students enrolled in classes at Navarro College shall follow the tenets of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment. Behavior deemed by the instructor to be disruptive may result in the student being dropped from the course.

Subject to Change

The Course Syllabus and/or the Course Calendar may be changed as the term progresses at the discretion of the department and/or instructor.

Late/Make-Up Work

Late work is accepted but will be penalized by 10 points per day, beginning with the first minute an assignment is late.  Final exams may not be taken late.

Institutional Policies

Students are expected and required to have read the Student Handbook and to consult appropriate sections of the College Catalog for general academic information.

Attendance and Preparation

Attendance and Preparation Policies

Face to Face and Hybrid


Regular and punctual class attendance is expected at Navarro College as a key element for student success. Excessive absenteeism is defined as two consecutive weeks of instruction in a 16-week semester (or the equivalent in any shorter term) and may result in being dropped from the course.

Students who miss class to participate in a co-curricular activity must have written permission (e-mail accepted) from a coach/director and must make prior arrangements with the instructor to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day. 

Regular (daily or weekly) online work is a key element for student success in an internet-based class.  Students must complete the first assignment by the designated deadline to document participation in the course.  The instructor will drop any student who fails to complete an assignment by the deadline provided in Canvas.

Although the instructor may drop a student from the class for insufficient participation, the responsibility for dropping a class belongs to the student. Insufficient participation is defined as not logging in and completing assignments for the equivalent of two consecutive weeks.  If you are unable to complete the course, you should formally drop it.

  • Additional information regarding attendance requirements is available in the Navarro College Catalog. College Catalog
  • You may drop this class by completing an online form. It is the student's responsibility to visit with his or her instructor concerning course status before submitting the required paperwork to the Office of Admissions and Records to drop this class. Additional information about dropping a class may be found in the Navarro College Catalog: Dropping and/or Adding Courses
  • Failure to withdraw by the deadline may result in your name remaining on the class roll, resulting in a grade of ‘F’ at the end of the semester. 
  • If you are pregnant, have given birth,  have absences related to pregnancy, or foresee any educational issues related to pregnancy, under Title IX you have a right to request reasonable accommodations. The choice to inform the college of any health concern is voluntary, but if you wish to have accommodations, you must contact the Navarro College Disability Services Office at 903-875-7377 or [email protected]
  • If you are receiving financial aid grants or loans, you must attend and participate in all classes from the first class day.  Do not drop or stop attending any class without consulting the Financial Aid Office. Changes in your enrollment level and/or failing grades may require you to repay financial aid funds.  
  • All students receiving Veterans Administration (VA) benefits must notify the Veteran’s Certifying Official of any enrollment changes as soon as they are made. The Veterans Affairs benefit recipient needs to be aware that the VA may require repayment of all benefits received since the beginning of a semester for any course in which a “W” grade is received
  • According to current Texas law, dropping a course may have serious academic consequences. Under most circumstances, a maximum of 6 courses may be dropped throughout the entire undergraduate degree program. Before you decide to withdraw from this or any other course, make sure you understand the consequences. For more information see the Office of the Registrar.

MyNC Single Sign-On

MyNC Single Sign-On:
The MyNC Single Sign-On page provides one-stop access to several student resources, such as Canvas, Office365 (Student Email), and Self-Service.

For Login Instructions, visit: Contact Center

For Login Assistance:
Contact Center
Phone: (903) 875-7416
Email: [email protected]
Your privacy is extremely important. Please do not share your account information with anyone.

Links to Important Information

Academic Decorum: Academic Decorum Policy
Includes: Civility, Being a Successful Student, Classroom Decorum, Change of Grade, Grade Challenge Procedure, Academic Dishonesty, and User Responsibilities for IT Resources/Penalties for Violation of Technology Policy, Tobacco Use Policy

Academic Integrity: Academic Integrity Policy

College Catalog: College Catalog

Campus Safety: Department of Campus Safety

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): FERPA Policy

Student Rights and Responsibilities: Rights and Responsiblilities Policy

Student Handbook:  Official Student Handbook

Links to Campus Services

Bulldog Life: Learning. Living. Launching: Bulldog Life 

Navarro College's Bulldog Life is a student success service to all students. Opportunities include Canvas courses, meaningful activities, Culture of Caring and travel opportunities. Bulldog Life is a self-guided experience. We know that every student is in a different stage in life. 

Counseling Services: Counseling Services Center

The Counseling Center is staffed by licensed counselors who provide brief counseling, assessment, referral, and crisis intervention services to currently-enrolled Navarro College students. The Navarro College Counseling Center is free, confidential, and available to all enrolled NC students.

Testing Center Hours and Contact Information: Testing Center

One-week advance notice is strongly recommended for testing appointments.

Online Proctored Testing Information: Online Campus Proctoring (Testing)

Library Services: Navarro College Libraries

Tutorial Services: Tutoring Services

Disability Services: Disability and Access Services Office

It is the responsibility of the student to contact Navarro College Disability Services Office to request accommodations. Contact 903-875-7377 or [email protected] for more information.  Once approved, you will be given an accommodation letter that you are to share with your instructor.

The instructor is committed to helping each student reach his/her academic potential and to providing every student equal opportunity to participate in and engage with the course.  In keeping with this commitment, effort has been made to develop accessible learning materials that provide equal access.  Please contact the instructor immediately if access to course materials is restricted due to a disability so the issue(s) can be resolved in a timely manner.

Title IX Accommodations Related to Pregnancy: 

If you are pregnant, have given birth,  have absences related to pregnancy, or foresee any educational issues related to pregnancy, under Title IX you have a right to request reasonable accommodations.  The choice to inform the college of any health concern is voluntary, but if you wish to have accommodations, you must contact the Navarro College Disability Services Office at 903-875-7377 or [email protected]


Student Support and Administrative Services: Support Services