Syllabus for HUM-102



Introduction to the Humanities II: Drama, Poetry, and Narrative surveys classics of Western literature in their cultural context.The course is divided into three parts, each focused on one of the genres featured in the course title. The first section of the course considers the sweep of drama from its earliest religious and ritual context (Oedipus the King) to works that reflect a culture adrift from its moorings (Waiting for Godot). The second section presents poetry as a “rediscovering of common experience,” beginning with Shakespeare's sonnets and moving through Blake, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and Rich. In the third part of the course, a survey of narrative literature, students read and discuss authors such as Dickens, Brontë, Melville, Kafka, and Walker.

Course content consists of a series of half-hour video lectures that discuss authors and works. Works of literature will be sampled or read in entirety from both online sources and hard-copy texts. This course is based on the course "Understanding Literature and Life" from the Teaching Company.


After completing this course, students should be able to:


  1. Discuss the cultural context of a broad selection of Western literary works.
  2. Compare and contrast works of literature.  
  3. Discuss issues of race, class, and gender presented in Western literature.
  4. Explain the use of dramatic devices such as irony, plot, conflict, setting, and theme.
  5. Describe the use of poetic devices such as rhythm, meter, metaphor, and point of view.  
  6. Discuss the evolution over time of literary topics such as the tragic hero, views of love, the crisis of death, and the search for human meaning.
  7. Discuss the use of narrative devices such as character, plot, setting, language, and point of view.
  8. Differentiate between the literary forms of drama, poetry, and narrative.  


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks are available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Video Programs

The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through the course Web site. See the Video Playlist in the top section of the course space.


ISBN-10: 0316184152

ISBN-10: 0393323951

ISBN-10: 0156031825

Note: You will also read works of literature online.


Introduction to the Humanities II: Drama, Poetry, and Narrative is a three-credit online course, consisting of nine (9) modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities.  Additionally, some modules contain an overview. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to complete written assignments, participate in online discussion forums, and complete a final paper. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in seven (7) graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded Introductions Forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of online discussions.

Essay Assignments

You are required to complete eight (8) essay assignments. The assignment are on topics associated with the course modules and are 400 to 600 words in length.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of essay assignments.

Course Papers

There is no midterm or final examination in this course. Three papers of 750 to 1,250 words each act as your overall assessments and are worth 36 percent of your grade.

These course papers will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of course objectives and concepts. They give you the opportunity to draw together what you have learned about each genre as well as representative writers and themes.


A full description of each paper is provided within the course. Below is the rubric that will aid in the grading of your final paper.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of course papers.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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