ENGL 4620       Fall 2017

Instructor: Dr. Rick McDonald           Office Phone: 863-8365
Office: CB41OG    Office Hours: MWF 1:00-2:15 pm, and by appt.
Section: ENGL 4620    Time:  MW 2:30-3:45      Room: LA 229
Web Address:


Kolve, V.A. ed. The Canterbury Tales Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue: Authoritative Text     Sources and Background Criticism. 2nd Edition.  Norton Critical Editions. 2005.

Shoaf, R.A. Troilus and Criseyde. Michigan State University Press.  2000.

Rob Pope.  How to Study Chaucer. 2nd edition. New York: St. Martin’s, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0333762837

E Texts and audio files from Canvas Course Page.
        ~ Listening to Audio will help with your Middle English Reading.

Useful But Not Required texts:

Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy. (any edition)  I suggest Richard Green’s 1962
 MacMillan Publication .  ISBN:0-023-4650-X

    Successful Students will:
•    Analyze the meaning of Middle English texts by Geoffrey Chaucer for their cultural, political, sociological and/or historical influences.
•    Identify and define important literary terms and trends pertinent to the writing of Chaucer as exhibited within The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde.
•    Develop and articulate interpretations through multipoint arguments supported by general literary terminology and secondary sources. 
•    Read and Understand literature in simple Middle English

We will be reading selections from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and some background source material for this class.  Additionally we will be studying what many scholars consider to be Chaucer’s masterwork: Troilus and Criseyde.  For each class period there will be some reading in Middle English and some reading of source information in Modern English.  We will study Chaucer’s poetry and discuss cultural, social, political, and linguistic issues relevant to its development.  You will be expected to do some short translations of his writing and read two short sections of the work aloud.  During the semester, we will practice the research skills required for supporting scholarly arguments about Chaucer’s texts.

Translation Quizzes:
We will have three short translation quizzes where the student has 10-15 minutes to translate and discuss a 10-20 line segment of Chaucer’s poetry previously read for class.

Oral Middle English Reading
Each student will select two 10-30 line segments of Chaucer’s poetry to read aloud to the professor or class as a whole.

Source Projects:
Each of you will write at least one, two-page summary of a source chosen by you and approved by me.  You will be expected to provide a short 5-10 minute presentation about your source, in which you summarize it and discuss its relevance to works we have read.  You should create and distribute a handout or power point for the class.

Short Research Papers:
As I hope to make research an important element of this class.  We will write two short research papers (5-7 pages, 2000-word minimum) using MLA format.  These papers should investigate a text from the course using multiple secondary sources to support a thesis of your choosing.

Group Creative Project:
Each student will participate in a group presentation that creatively brings to life some element of medieval life or literature.  Suggestions and specifications for the presentations will be discussed in class.  The presentations should be a minimum of 10 minutes in length.

Final Exam:
You will be expected to write a few short essays concerning topics discussed throughout the course during the final exam.

The goal of this course is to familiarize you with the most popular works of one of the English language’s most influential writers.  You should be able to read Middle English Poetry and Prose quite easily by the end of the class and understand how cultural, political, and social factors affected literary works of the High Middle Ages in England.  It should equip you with a general knowledge of the research skills that you can use to understand later literary periods or to focus your study of literature on specific early works and writers which interest you.

I accept late work.  For late work, you will receive a grade deduction for each day the paper is late.  I also will allow you to rewrite the shorter papers if you have a desire to more clearly present your argument or amend your argument.  Talk to me about your paper before rewriting--NO EXCEPTIONS.  The deadline for the rewrite is three class periods after the paper is returned.
I think coming to class is very important. I will have a sign-in sheet every day.  Make sure you sign in each day; it is your responsibility to ask if you can’t find the sign-in sheet.  Anyone who misses more than three classes (NO EXCUSED ABSENCES), will find their grade affected.  If you want to explain your absence, do so by talking to me outside of class.  You get three absences–do not use them except in an emergency–and don’t have more than three emergencies.

Source Abstract and presentation                    10%
Short Research Papers                                     40%         
Group Project                                                   15%
Three Quizzes (25 points each)                        10%
Oral Reading                                                    10%   
Final Exam    15%       

Final Exam: The Final for this class will be held Wednesday December 13th 1-2:50 pm

A            93+ 
C            76
A-            90  
C-            74
B+            88
D+            72
B            84  
D            68
B-             82    D-            65
C+            80

Below you will find an excerpt from the UVU Student Rights and Responsibilities Code concerning Plagiarism and Cheating. Either activity can result in a failing grade in this class.  Each student is expected to maintain academic ethics and honesty in all its forms, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism as defined hereafter:
Cheating is the act of using or attempting to use or providing others with unauthorized information, materials or study aids in academic work. Cheating includes, but is not limited to passing examination answers to or taking examinations for someone else, or preparing or copying other's academic work.

Plagiarism is the act of appropriating any other person's or group's ideas or work (written, computerized, artistic, etc.) or portions thereof and passing them off as the product of one's own work in any academic exercise or activity.

Students who need accommodations because of a disability may contact the UVU Accessibility Services Department (ASD), located on the Orem Campus in LC 312. To schedule an appointment or to speak with a counselor, call the ASD office at 801-863-8747. Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals, email or text 385-208-2677.

During class your cellphones should be off and put away.  Taking calls or texting during class is unacceptable.  If you believe you need your cell phone on for some emergency it must be in silent mode and you should leave the room to answer it.  This should happen only in emergencies.  As you will be possibly taking notes you may use a laptop to do so, but while you are in class it should only be used for classwork in this course; doing otherwise will undoubtedly annoy your peers and me.

**************************** ATTENTION **************************

Understanding literature (especially that which is written in Middle English) can be a confusing task.  I will provide information in class which should create a helpful context within which you can consider the works we are reading.  Finding meaning in a work requires close attention to the text and the societal forces which helped to generate that work.  I will help you to develop strategies for making your own readings of the texts meaningful.  Come and talk to me if you are experiencing difficulties–the earlier, the better.