Course Syllabus


English 2130: British Literature (Clemson Online)

Professor April Pelt

Email: Skype: april.pelt

Office Hours: by appointment


Course Information

Department: English 

College: Architecture, Art, and Humanities 

Semester: Summer 2015

Class Location: Online

Course Number: English 2130-401

Course Start Date: Wednesday, June 24

Course End Date: Sunday, August 2

Contacting Your Instructor: University guidelines require students and instructors to use university email accounts or the secure messaging feature of the course Learning Management System to conduct course-related electronic correspondence.  

Instructor Response Time: Unless otherwise noted in an announcement, I will respond to all email, discussion board, and Canvas Inbox inquiries within 24 hours, including weekends and official university closures.    


Course Description

At its peak in the early twentieth century, the British Empire spanned almost a quarter of the globe and included nearly twenty percent of the world’s population. In this section of English 2130, we will examine how nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary works—including those by authors at “home” in England and throughout the British Empire—grapple with the personal, political, cultural, socioeconomic, racial, sexual, and linguistic anxieties born of British imperialism  

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to: 

  • Identify the historical, cultural, social, economic, and political developments that have shaped (and, in some instances, continue to shape) British literature and culture
  • Perform close textual analysis of literary works in formal writing assignments and informal class discussions
  • Draw connections among literary works from different genres, cultures, and historical eras
  • Compose multimodal (aural, visual, and/or written) and analytical responses to assigned novels and plays

General Education Competencies

This course meets the following General Education Competencies:   

  • Arts and Humanities: This course will prepare students to demonstrate an understanding of the arts and humanities in historical and cultural contexts. 
  • Communication: Students will learn to present logical, well-reasoned arguments in written and oral forms.
  • Critical Thinking: Students will learn practices of close reading and interpretation applicable to literary works. In analyzing a wide variety of literature, students will engage in the highest levels of analysis, reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Course Pace and Time Management

An online course offers far more flexibility than a face-to-face course, but, to paraphrase Spider-Man's Uncle Ben, with great flexibility comes great responsibility. To succeed in this course, you must manage your time responsibly. Per University guidelines, this course is designed to take you approximately 192 hours to complete. Over the course of our five-week term, this translates into approximately 40 hours of work per week. You will need to devote six hours per weekday to reading the assigned texts, taking quizzes, and responding to the required discussion board posts. In addition, you will need to carve out time to complete an individual writing assignment and a collaborative group project. To help you stay on track, I have set firm deadlines for quizzes, assignments, and required discussion board posts in the course schedule. Although these deadlines are firm, the course still affords you plenty of flexibility in when you complete your work and assignment choice. 

(If you feel that your time management skills need improvement, consider taking this free online Time Management Skills course offered by the Academic Success Center.) 

Required Materials

For texts marked with an asterisk, please order the editions specified below. You will need the supplemental materials included in these editions. All titles are available for purchase or rent through the campus bookstore.   

Required Books

Cover for The British Empire

The British Empire: 

A Very Short Introduction 

Ashley Jackson


Cover for Jekyll & Hyde

The Strange Case of 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde* 

Robert Louis Stevenson


Cover for Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre* 

Charlotte Bronte


Cover for Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea* 

Jean Rhys


Cover for The Autobiography of My Mother

The Autobiography of My Mother 

Jamaica Kincaid


Cover for Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness* 

Joseph Conrad


 Cover for Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart 

Chinua Achebe


Cover for The Icarus Girl

The Icarus Girl 

Helen Oyeyemi


Cover for Translations


Brian Friel



In addition to the required books, you will also need:

  • A Canvas account
  • A or email account
  • Internet access 
  • Word Processing software 
  • Speakers or headphones for audio and video materials
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Creative Cloud software (available for free to Clemson students)
  • A video player capable of reading .mp4 files

I will post all announcements and reminders on Canvas, so be sure to check your email several times per week. You can manage how often you receive Canvas notifications by clicking on your username in the upper right-hand corner, then clicking on "Notifications" in the sidebar on the left-hand side of the page 

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

Because English 1030 (Accelerated Composition) is a prerequisite for English 2130, you should be familiar with the conventions of college-level academic writing, including (but not limited to) how to craft a thesis-driven, argumentative essay; how to incorporate research into your writing; and how to cite all borrowed material.

In addition, participants are expected to have a minimum working knowledge of computers and a word processing program to be successful in an online class. You must be comfortable with your computer system and willing to deal with any problems that may arise. Lack of technical knowledge can greatly interfere with your learning a new subject. You should be able to:

  • Get your password and login to your class before the semester begins
  • Attach files to email messages
  • Compose written documents in a Word processor such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs
  • Complete word processing tasks (type, cut, paste, copy, name, save, rename, etc.)
  • Download information from the Internet
  • Use a Web browser
  • Complete online forms
  • Backup your files
  • Install and maintain anti-virus and other software

Please also ensure that your system meets the technical system requirements listed by CCIT.

Please note that for technical assistance with the online course site, students should contact or visit CCIT's website.   



I will calculate your grade using a 1,000-point scale. Points are distributed as follows:  



Grading Breakdown


500 points


100 points

Major Individual Project

150 points

Play Performance Project

150 points

Final Exam

100 points


1,000 points


Your final grade will be determined by the points you’ve earned throughout the semester. I do not round borderline scores up to the next letter grade.

The following table breaks down the point ranges associated with each letter grade:   



Grading Scale


900 – 1000 points


800 – 899 points


700 – 799 points


600 – 699 points


Below 600 points



Course Requirements 

Discussion (500 points; 50% of final grade): In this course, you must publicly demonstrate your engagement with and understanding of the course material by participating in two discussions for each reading assignment. For each discussion topic, you must provide a well-reasoned, thoughtful response that draws upon evidence from the text. In addition, you must respond to no fewer than three of your classmates' posts. Specific guidelines will be provided for each separate discussion. 

Quizzes (100 points; 10% of final grade)You will complete several quizzes to assess your understanding of the course material. You may retake each quiz as many times as you like before the deadline. 

Individual Project (150 points; 15% of final grade): Each student must complete an individual project. There are four different types of projects that you may complete to fulfill this requirement. All individual projects are due before 11:59 p.m. the week after we finish reading the novel that you're writing about. (Consult the schedule for a list of all due dates.)  

  • Scholarly Article Reports: Using the library’s databases, locate a scholarly article that discusses the assigned novel or play. Read the article carefully, then write a 1,000- to 1,250-word essay that both summarizes and evaluates the author's argument. Visit the Scholarly Article Report Overview page for more in-depth guidelines (including a rubric). 
  • Soundtrack Essay: The 1,000- to 1,250-word Soundtrack Essay (SE) asks you to select a song to soundtrack one of our assigned literary works and explain how that song reflects some aspect of the text. There are multiple ways to approach this assignment. You may, for instance, choose to write about how a particular song addresses one or more of the assigned work's themes. You might also explain how a song’s lyrics, music, and/or tone expresses a character’s mental state or illuminates his or her relationships with others. Regardless of your approach to this assignment, you should support your thesis with specific details from both the novel and the selected song. Visit the Soundtrack Essay Overview page for more in-depth guidelines (including a rubric and a sample essay). 
  • Creative Rewriting: The Creative Rewriting (CR) project asks you to reimagine one of our assigned readings. This reimagining can take many forms: you can rewrite a scene from the novel/play from a different character's point of view (a la Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre), create a comic book version of the novel, craft a screenplay for a portion of the text, rewrite the text so that it occurs in a different cultural and/or historical context, reimagine it as a children's book--you can even write a song about it. Choose a medium that works to your strengths and interests. In addition to adapting the play or novel, you will write a 600- to 750-word essay explaining your creative choices. More in-depth guidelines (including a rubric and a sample project) are available on the Creative Rewriting Overview page. 
  • Social Networking Adaptation Project: The Social Networking Adaptation Project (SNAP) asks you to recreate one of the assigned readings through one or more social networking platforms and write a 600- to 750-word essay explaining your creative choices. More in-depth guidelines (including a rubric and a sample project) are available on the Social Networking Adaptation Project page. 

Although you may not complete additional projects to earn extra credit, you can "erase" and replace unsatisfactory grades by completing additional projects. (See Grade "Erasure" and Replacement below for more details.) 

Play Performance Project (150 points; 15% of final grade): Although necessity often dictates that English courses approach plays as written works, they are actually performed texts. Multiple factors—including casting choices, costumes, actors’ performances, and set design—help bring the playwright’s script to life for an audience. The collaborative Play Performance Project (PPP) gives you the opportunity to stage part of Brian Friel’s Translations. Working together, each group will select a five- to ten-page section of the play to stage. Then, you will cast the roles with current actors, create a virtual model of the set, design costumes for each character, and annotate the script to explain how you would like actors to deliver their lines, carry themselves, and move around the stage. You will also work together to craft a multimedia presentation that presents project to your classmates. The exact nature of this multimedia project is up to the group: you may create a video, a website, a Canvas module, etc. Please note: If one of your groupmates is an unreliable parasite, you may write me an email detailing how s/he is failing to perform his/her duties. If I determine that s/he is not contributing equally to the group effort, I will deduct up to 150 points from his/her project grade. 

Final Exam (100 points; 10% of final grade): The cumulative final will require you to draw connections among the assigned literary works in a 1,000- to 1,250-word essay. Specific instructions will be posted during the final week of class. All exams will be due before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 2.  

#ENGL2130 (Extra Credit, up to 25 points; 2.5% of your final grade): You'll earn one extra point on your final grade for every relevant Tweet that you post to the class hashtag. You may only earn one point per day, and you're limited to 25 total points for the session. I'll post "Tweetspirational" ideas in each module, but feel free to strike out on your own. A relevant Tweet is one that expands our discussion or adds to our understanding of the material. Retweets or responses to others' Tweets don't count. All Tweets that use #ENGL2130 will be embedded in a widget on the course homepage.   


Course Policies 

Grading: I will return all graded material to you within 72 hours (excluding weekends and official university holidays/closures). In addition to the detailed rubrics provided for each assignment, I offer an overview of my grading policies in the following video. I encourage you to watch it when you have the opportunity.

Video: Of Cakes & Grades

Feedback: I am always happy to offer you feedback on your work in progress. As you're drafting, feel free to send quick questions about theses, introductions, organization, etc. via email, but keep in mind that it takes time to offer detailed comments on full drafts. If you would like me to review your draft, please allow at least a 24-hour turnaround period. Be sure to factor in the time it will take you to revise after you receive my comments. 

If you have questions about MLA citation or format, please try to find the answer on your own before contacting me. (After all, if you can type your question into an email message to me, you can also type it into the search engine of your choice!)

Grade "Erasure" and Replacement: If you are unhappy with the grade you earn on any of the individual projects, you may "erase" the unsatisfactory grade and replace it by completing an additional project or projects. (Ideally, you will get feedback on your work prior to turning it in, thus avoiding the need to replace your grade.) To take advantage of this option, you will need to send me an email asking me to clear your prior submissions before you resubmit a different assignment.

Grading Questions: If you have a question about your grade, please wait twenty-four hours after the assignment is returned and contact me via email. I require a 24-hour "cool down" period before I answer questions about your graded work. Please be as specific as possible in your email so that I can address your questions and concerns in a timely manner.

Late Work: All discussion thread posts and individual projects are due before 11:59 p.m. on the dates specified on the course schedule. I do not accept late work for any reason, so please adhere to all posted deadlines. 

Essay Format: All written work should adhere to current MLA guidelines for formatting and citation. Use 1” margins and a 12-point serif typeface (Times New Roman, Book Antiqua, Cambria, etc.), not Calibri (the default font in Microsoft Word), Arial, Helvetica, or any other sans-serif typeface. Written work that does not adhere to these guidelines will be penalized a full letter grade. (I'm picky about this not because I enjoy wantonly exercising my authority, but because sans-serif typefaces tend to hurt my eyes when I grade. Take pity on my poor ailing peepers and use a serif typeface, please!)

Word Limits: Written work that falls short of or exceeds specified word counts will receive a grade of zero. Only the body of your essay counts toward word limits. Headings, titles, and Works Cited entries do not count toward your word limits. 

Email: Because privacy regulations stipulate that faculty and staff communicate with students only through authorized University channels, please use your University email account or Canvas's messaging system to contact me. 

Copyright: All materials found in this course are strictly for the use of students enrolled in this course and for purposes associated with this course; they may not be retained or further disseminated. Clemson students, faculty, and staff are expected to comply fully with institutional copyright policy as well as all other copyright laws.

Privacy Policy: This course is designed with your privacy in mind. If, however, you feel that an assignment or technology tool undermines your right to privacy, please contact me immediately. We will work together to determine an alternative assignment that will help you achieve the course learning outcomes.

Online Conduct: Appropriate online academic conduct means maintaining a safe learning environment based on mutual respect and civility. All participants in Clemson online courses are expected to behave professionally by adhering to these standards of conduct:

  • Never transmit or promote content known to be illegal.
  • Respect other people's privacy as well as your own.
  • Forgive other people's mistakes.
  • Never use harassing, threatening, embarrassing, or abusive language or actions.

Online communication that fails to meet these standards of conduct will be removed from the course. Repeated misconduct may result in being blocked from online discussions, receiving a grade penalty, or being dismissed from the course. Such misconduct in the online environment may also be reported to officials for appropriate action in accordance with University policy. If you ever encounter inappropriate content in our course, please contact your instructor with your concerns.

Academic Integrity: Per the University's Academic Integrity policy, any work that you submit in this course must be your own. Any words, ideas, or data that you borrow from other people and include in your written work must be properly documented. Failure to document borrowed material is plagiarism. In addition, you may not submit work completed for other courses for credit in this course. If I determine that you have violated the Academic Integrity policy, I will either present you with a Plagiarism Resolution Form or make a formal written charge of academic dishonesty (including a description of the suspected misconduct) to the Associate Dean for Curriculum in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. University policy stipulates that I am not required to notify you of any allegations brought before the Associate Dean for Curriculum. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please get in touch with me before you turn in a final draft of your work. 


University Resources and Policies

Clemson offers multiple resources to help you succeed, and I encourage you to take advantage of them.

Instructor Email and Virtual Office Hours: Please contact me as soon as possible with any questions or concerns that you have about the course or your academic performance in the course. The best way to get in touch with me is via the "Ask April" discussion thread or by email at I respond to discussion board and email inquiries throughout the day on weekdays, once or twice a day on weekends, and frequently the night before assignments are due. You may also make an appointment to chat with me via Skype. I'm always happy to help, so don't be a stranger! 

Academic Success Center: The Academic Success Center provides free services, including tutoring, academic coaching, and academic skills workshops, for all Clemson students. Visit the Academic Success Center website ( for more information on their services and workshops.

Writing Center: Clemson University’s Writing Center offers free one-on-one tutoring for all Clemson students. Visit the Writing Center's website for more information about their services or to make an appointment.

Cooper Library: Reference librarians are available in person and via text, phone, email, and chat to answer your research questions. Visit Ask a Librarian ( for more information or to get in touch with a librarian.

Camille Cooper (, the English subject librarian, is familiar with the assignments you will be completing this semester, so she is an excellent resource for all of your research-related questions and problems. She also created a handy course guide for the databases that you will need to complete your assignments for this course.

Technical Support: If you are having hardware or software problems, CCIT's Service Desk may be able to help you. Contact them at with a detailed description of your problem.

Student Disability Services: Student Disability Services (SDS) coordinates the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Reasonable and specific accommodations are developed with each student based on current documentation from an appropriate licensed professional. All accommodations are individualized, flexible, and confidential based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment. To learn more information about official policies and procedures or to request accommodations, contact Student Disability Services at or 864.656.6848 or visit SDS's website.

Academic Grievances: Academic grievances are handled by Dr. Jeffrey Appling in Undergraduate Studies. Students are advised to visit the Ombuds Office prior to filing a grievance. Concerns can be directed to the appropriate University ombudsman by letter, walk-in, appointment (appointments are not necessary but are encouraged) or telephone. Please be advised that because of technological limitations, the ombuds office cannot ensure the confidentiality of email, so please do not use email as a means of communication.

Non-Discrimination: Clemson is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information, or protected activity, whether in employment, education programs and activities, admissions, or financial aid. If you have questions about equal opportunity or experience sexual harassment or discrimination while at Clemson, please contact Jerry Knighton, who oversees Title IX programs at Clemson (864-656-3181). Please consult the university's Title IX policy for full details:

Questions about the Syllabus?

Ask April discussion board

Course Summary:

Date Details Due