British Texts, 1660-1890
Instructor: Dr. Crystal B. Lake
Twitter: @theinspirelab
Instagram: the.inspire.lab
hashtags: #c18th, #inspirelab

Course Description: This course is a survey of the major literary works written in Britain between the late seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.


Students in courses like ENG 3220 can expect to

  • develop a solid foundation for understanding a range of authors, literary movements, forms, and genres in a given period of literary history or area of literary focus.
  • develop a solid foundation for understanding the cultural and historical contexts that shaped and were shaped by this literature.
  • develop a solid foundation for understanding important critical questions that have been raised about the texts under study.
  • improve their understanding of other cultures and/or earlier periods of literary history, and hone critical thinking, writing, and reading skills.

Students in courses like ENG 3220 will also

  • demonstrate, through oral or written responses, their understanding of range of authors, literary movements, forms, and genres in a given period of literary history or area of literary focus.
  • demonstrate, through oral or written responses, their understanding of the cultural and historical contexts that shaped and were shaped by this literature.
  • demonstrate, through oral or written responses, their understanding of the important critical questions that have been raised about the texts under study.
  • demonstrate, through oral or written responses, their critical thinking, writing, and reading skills.

Required Texts:

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition (Volumes A and B). Editor: Joseph Black, et al. 2nd ed. ISBN: 9781554810482 & 9781554811335.


  • Attendance at 1 guest lecture with 1-2 page reflection essay: 10%
  • Participation & In-Class Activities: 15%
  • Reflection Essays (500-750 words each, not including works cited): 3 essays (out of 6 opportunities) / 5% each / total 15%
  • Midterm Exam: 30%
  • Final Exam: 30%

Course Policies

Participation & In-Class Activities: You will need to plan to be actively involved in class every day. This means that not only do you need to be in class on time and for the full duration of the class, you need to participate by actively listening to and taking notes on lectures, offering your own spoken contributions in discussions, and engaging clearly and productively in class activities and group work. Always bring your book and supplementary materials with you; plan on directing your peers to specific pages and passages in discussion; come prepared to make a comment or ask a question. Refrain from using your laptop and your mobile devices for personal purposes. Your participation will be assessed both on its quantity and quality, including the ways in which your contributions to class discussions move our conversations productively forward. Finally, unannounced quizzes may also be used to assess your completion of the assigned reading and your preparation for class and, thus, your participation grade.

Attendance: Attendance is required for this course, and I begin taking official attendance records on the first day of the second week of class. You may miss three of these class sessions without penalty. After the third absence, however, your grade will be lowered according to the percentage of the class you have completed by attending. For example, if you miss four total classes (out of our 38 scheduled class sessions), you have attended 89.5% of the class, and you can expect to see a 10.5% deduction from your final grade that takes into account the number of classes you have missed. Therefore, if you earn a grade of 92% (A), your final grade will be lowered to 81.5% (B-). Your participation grade will also suffer; your journal grade may also be compromised (should I collect journals on that day); you cannot make up missed quizzes. If you have an emergency that will keep you from attending class, please let me know as soon as possible. I can’t promise that I will accommodate you, but I will put you in touch with an administrator who can help you to complete this and the other courses that will have been affected by your emergency. Please note, however, I will do this only in the most dire of circumstances (a death in your immediate family, a major illness requiring hospitalization, etc).

 Academic Integrity:

“It is the policy of Wright State University to uphold and support standards of personal honesty and integrity for all students consistent with the goals of a community of scholars and students seeking knowledge and truth. Furthermore, it is the policy of the university to enforce these standards through fair and objective procedures governing instances of alleged dishonesty, cheating, and other academic misconduct.” The policy defines plagiarism as “Quoting, paraphrasing, or otherwise using the words or ideas of another as your own without acknowledging or properly citing the other.”

The policy then defines the processes by which faculty may pursue allegations of academic misconduct and potential sanctions on students who violate the policy. This part of the policy may be found here. Assignments submitted by students that violate Wright State’s Academic Integrity policy will automatically be reported and assigned a grade of 0.

 Students with Disabilities: If you anticipate needing accommodation for a disability in this course, please register with the Office of Disability Services and plan to meet with me during the first week of classes to talk about how we can work together to ensure that you succeed in the course.

Email: I try to respond to emails in a timely manner, but it may take me up to 48 hours to reply to your email, and you should plan accordingly. Before you email me, however, please take a moment to see if your question(s) might be answered by reviewing the syllabus and assignment sheets. Additionally, please do not email me regarding your attendance – except in the case of an emergency that will require me to help you get in touch with Student Services. In other words, I ask that you do not alert me to any and every absence, and you should contact a classmate to find out what you may have missed. Sometimes, emails from students do end up in my spam folder. If you required a response and did not receive one in 48 hours, be sure to ask if I’ve received your email in class so that we can make sure the lines of communication between us are open. It is a good idea to conduct your email correspondence with me and your other instructors in a professional manner; use a conventional, formal letter address (Dear Dr. or Professor….) and make sure that you include your full name so that your reader knows who you are. Finally, you are responsible to keeping track of your attendance and your grades in the course; I do not tally or calculate these until the end of the semester in order to maintain a standard of objectivity.

Turning in Work: Work is due at the time and day as stated on the syllabus. Technological difficulties such as a broken printer, a failed hard drive, or a disrupted internet connection are not acceptable excuses for late work. Likewise, I cannot make exceptions to my late work policy if you’ve forgotten crucial class materials, such as your journal. I recommend that you complete your work before the deadline so that a catastrophic loss of data or an untimely illness does not result in a total loss. I also recommend that you download and install Dropbox as a way to protect your work for the course. Late work will receive a grade of 0 in order to mirror professional climates: missing a deadline for a job application, project report, or appointment will mean that you cannot take advantage of those opportunities and that you have compromised your professional reputation. I only make exceptions to this policy for documented emergencies (a death in your immediate family, a serious illness requiring hospitalization).

Class Ethos: This course aims to mirror professional climates in order to prepare you for work outside of the college classroom. Please approach your relationship with your professor, your peers, and your work as if you were in a professional setting. You might imagine, for example, that class sessions are like business meetings where we meet to establish facts and best practices, brainstorm ideas, conduct critical conversations, learn to navigate rules and procedures, and strategize about fulfilling project goals. You should come to class sessions prepared, then, to offer productive comments on assigned readings, respond to your professor and peer’s ideas with thoughtfulness and respect, and ask questions that are meaningful. You should avoid inviting speculation about your work ethic that will inevitably arise if you seem distracted by electronic devices like cell phones and laptops, if you seem unprepared, if your personal life consistently interferes with your work, if you cannot stay on task during small-group activities, and if you are unable to meet deadlines. Likewise, you should undertake work for the course – ranging from assigned readings to in-class activities to written assignments – as if you were conducting that work in a professional environment where your performance will be evaluated and decisions about promotions and projects will be based on the competencies and professionalism you demonstrate.