Descriptor Details

  • Survey of British Literature 1
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This course surveys the literature written in the British Isles up to the last quarter of the 18th century.

Eligibility for college-level composition (C-ID ENGL 100) as determined by college assessment or other appropriate method.


Successful completion of college-level composition (C-ID ENGL 100) or equivalent.

Influential and significant texts and authors

Evolution of literary traditions, contexts, and genres

Contexts of British literature:  historical, philosophical, social, political, and aesthetic

Reading, analyzing, interpreting and writing about literature of this period

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with major authors, works, genres, and themes of the period
  2. Analyze and interpret the literature and intellectual movements of the period
  3. Demonstrate understanding of appropriate academic discourse and the conventions of critical literary analysis
  4. Relate the literary works to their historical, philosophical, social, political, and aesthetic contexts
  5. Demonstrate comprehension of the above through class discussion, written exams, and essays

A variety of writing assignments including academic essays as well as shorter assignments such as summaries, annotated bibliographies, reader responses/journals, in-class writing, group projects, or research projects.

Other methods of evaluation such as portfolios, oral presentations, exams, quizzes, and class participation.

Sample textbooks (most recent edition)

Damrosch. Longman Anthology of British Literature  (Volumes 1A, 1B, 1C), Longman.

Kremode and Hollander.  The Oxford Anthology of British Literature (Volume I), Oxford.

Greenblatt.  Norton Anthology of English Literature  (Volumes A, B, C), Norton.

--or the shorter editions combining volumes I and II of these or similar texts, including Open Educational Resources (OER).

Sample Manuals or Other Support Materials

Modern translations of Middle English works

Gardner, J. E. Writing About Literature:  A Portable Guide. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.

Harmon, W., and H. Holman. A Handbook to Literature, Prentice Hall.

Selected handbook or style manual (MLA, CMS), including Open Educational Resources (OER).

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  • English, British, Literature