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ENGL-204 English Literature II

English Literature II studies prominent writers of the British Isles of the Romantic, Victorian, and Modern ages.  The works of these writers are examined in the context of the writers’ lives as well as their historical background.  Students will develop a facility in discussing literary techniques and devices, with an emphasis on the power and qualities of effective language. 

Studying literature online provides you with opportunities for independent learning, gives you more control over your own learning experience, and demands more of you as a writer. The course content, goals, and objectives of ENGL 204 Online are the same as those of ENGL 204 in the classroom, but the nature of the interaction is different. The successful online student is generally self-motivated, has the discipline to complete assignments on time and meet deadlines without reminders, takes the initiative in maintaining contact with the instructor, and enjoys interacting with others through writing. 

The course emphasizes active reading, critical thinking, and effective writing. This is a writing intensive course; therefore, students will be graded on their ability to demonstrate mastery of course content in clear, coherent, well-organized, effectively developed, and correct prose.

ENGL 101 or 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 strivings.
  • Describe the historical, social, religious, and philosophical background from which the literature comes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literary terms and devices as they relate to the works studied.
  • Illustrate critical and independent thinking skills in analyzing an author's style, techniques, and themes.
  • Develop a thesis that reveals the power, quality, and relevance of a work of literature.
  • Describe significant events in authors' lives which influenced their work.
  • Compare and contrast the works of two authors or the writings of two ages.
  • Communicates effectively an interpretation of the works.
  • Demonstrate an ability to use class material in discussion and writing.
  • Describe the characteristics of the literature of each age studied.
  • Identify the characteristics of the poetry, drama and fiction studied.

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Major Course Topics

  • Romantic Age
  • Historical background
  • Representative poets such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats
  • Victorian Age
  • Historical background
  • Representative poets, such as Browning, Ropkins, Tennyson
  • The Victorian Novel
  • The Modern Age
  • Historical background
  • Representative poets, such as Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Auden, Thomas
  • Modern fiction: e.g., Woolf, Joyce, Lawrence
  • Modern drama

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Course Format
  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does not require on-campus class meetings
  • 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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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 Required:

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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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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