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ENGL-203 English Literature

English Literature I is a study of the prominent writers of the British Isles from the Anglo-Saxon Age to the beginning of the Romantic Age. Students will have the opportunity to better understand Western literary tradition and influence and to develop a facility in discussing literary techniques and devices, with an emphasis on the power and qualities of effective language. This course is a Literature and Humanities core course. It meets the college definition for Arts and Sciences Elective, Cultural Diversity Elective, Humanities Elective, and General Elective. Completion of this course and ENGL 204 fulfills the sophomore literature sequence required in some programs.

ENGL 121
Jean Sonntag
ELB 139
(410) 313-8066

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation |
Course Requirements | Texts and Materials | Exams

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Illustrate how literature reflects and affects the human spirit at each moment in history.
  • Evaluate the power of literature to address personal values and goals and to challenge human endeavors.
  • Describe the historical, social, religious, and philosophical background from which the literature comes.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of literary terms and devices as used in class.
  • Demonstrate critical and independent thinking skills in analyzing an author’s style, techniques, and themes.
  • Develop a thesis that reveals the power, quality, and/or relevance of a work of literature.
  • Compare and contrast the works of two authors or the writings of two ages.
  • Communicate effectively an interpretation of the works.
  • Describe the characteristics of the literature of each age studied
  • Identify the characteristics of the poetry, drama, and fiction studied.
  • Describe the growth of language through the ages of Old, Middle, and Modern English.

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Major Course Topics
  • Literature of Anglo-Saxon England
  • Middle English Literature of the 14th and 15th Centuries
  • Literature of the 16th Century, with special emphasis on William Shakespeare
  • Literature of the Early 17th Century
  • Literature of the Restoration and 18th Century,
  • Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

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Course Format
  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does not require on-campus class meetings, but the midterm exam must be taken in the HCC Test Center or another appropriate college testing center if the student is not in the area.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • Class dialogue is established through student weekly postings, reactions to fellow students’ postings, and instructor commentary.

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This course has an optional face-to-face orientation. Check the list of scheduled orientations for the date, time, and location. Please check my email message to you for more information about the optional orientation and the orientation to the class online.

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Course Requirements
  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the Distance Learning Homepage.
  • Weekly discussion postings on reading assignments
  • Midterm and final examinations.
  • One 4-5 page formal essay

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Texts and Materials


Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. Use the Plug-Ins link above to download and install the following for this course:

  • Acrobat Viewer (needed for one assignment only later in the class).
  • Internet Explorer
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

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For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has a proctored mid-term exam at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.


If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to
Jean Sonntag,

Last updated on 1-Jun-06
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