Course Syllabus

Course Description

English 335 examines American works of literature from Realist and Modern periods. It focuses on select works and authors, the influence of historical events and philosophical ideas, and specific literary trends. To gain a greater understanding of the material covered in this course, we will read various novels, poems, short stories, and plays. We will write essays, and take tests and quizzes, all in an effort to broaden and deepen our intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic experiences. In this course, we will not only read and interpret great American works, but we will also gain an understanding of the political, philosophical, literary, and historical contexts in which these works were created.

Course Outcomes

  • Understand and appreciate literature as a valuable source of intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic experience reflecting and enriching the human experience.
  • Understand how historical events and philosophical ideals helped shape American realist and modern literature and how the literature from these periods conversely shaped history, culture, and philosophy.
  • Strengthen your ability to carefully analyze literature and the ability to effectively present that analysis in discussions and written documents.

Learning Model Architecture

This course follows the regular rhythm of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model by allowing students to prepare, teach one another, and ponder and prove. Students are required to prepare each week by completing various readings by authors such as Mark Twain, Willa Cather, and E. E. Cummings. They will teach one another by participating in class discussions and will ponder and prove through quizzes, essays, and exams.


Excellent writing skills are a prerequisite for this course. You must know how to write a focused, developed, well-researched academic essay. You must be familiar with MLA documentation. You must be practiced at literary analysis (in other words, if this is your first college-level literature course, you may want to drop it, start with a 200-level literature course, and come back to this class later). To be clear, the instructor will not spend a lot of time teaching writing skills in this course (it's not, after all, a writing course). Instead, instructors will use class time to examine literature. However, the vast majority of your grade will come from writing assignments (formal essays and essay tests). If you are not a confident writer, you may want to consider dropping this class and taking it once you've had more practice.

Because writing skills are essential to your success in this class, I strongly recommend that you take English 251 and English 314 before taking this class. If you haven't yet taken English 251 or English 314 (or if you are enrolled in it now), let me know as soon as possible.

Required Materials

Proctorio Exam Requirements

The Proctorio exam requires a functioning webcam and microphone connected to your device. Make sure they are properly set up before you begin the exam.

Textbook Requirements

Compare prices for textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison. They will show all of the options from the University Store as well as other options to help students find the best price. The required readings for this course come in part from low-cost, auto-access digital books. Access these books using the link provided in the Course Materials tab or in the Textbook Information module of this course. Students will be automatically charged for the digital textbook after the “Add” deadline (the end of the second week of the semester). If you do not want to use the digital book (perhaps you already purchased the print version), you must opt out or you will be charged for the digital book. If you drop the course, you will be refunded within 24 hours. The last day to receive a refund for auto access is the W-drop date which occurs in Week 04 of the semester. Learn about auto access and learn how to opt out: BYU-I Auto Access

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (ISBN-10:0553211439, ISBN-13:978- 0553211436)
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (ISBN-10:0679728899, ISBN-13:978-0679728894)
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The following books are not available by way of auto access:

  • American Literature: Volume 2, Second Edition by William E. Cain (ISBN-10:0134053362 ISBN-13: 978-0134053363)

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam, once the software has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to the Proctorio Help Guide Article.

Grading Policies

Grades will be divided into the following areas:

Quizzes (20%)

  • Throughout the semester, you will take weekly quizzes designed to test your understanding of assigned readings. These are closed-book quizzes.

Short Essays (20%)

  • Throughout the semester, you will complete various short essays in response to prompts related to the various literary concepts and theories you will be studying. 

Exams (10%)

  • Two exams will be given throughout the semester. These exams will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of key literary concepts, engage in precise textual analysis, and write coherently and insightfully about literature.

Major Essays (40%)

  • This semester, you will write two fully-developed, well-researched academic essays.

Discussions (10%)

  • Throughout the semester, you will engage in reading discussions to help you explore your understanding of literature and literary concepts. 

Grade Scale

Letter Grade Percentage Grade
A 93–100%
A- 90–92%
B+ 89–87%
B 83–86%
B- 80–82%
C+ 77–79%
C 73–76%
C- 70–72%
D+ 67–69%
D 63–66%
D- 60–62%
F 59% and below
  • Class Participation: Because this is an online class, your regular participation in class discussion boards and in other class activities is essential to the learning process. Plan to engage with the literature we will study this semester and share your ideas with the class.
  • Late Assignments: Students are expected to complete all coursework on time. Late assignments will not be accepted.
  • A note about Literature and Morality: I believe that all of the works we will read in this class have academic, aesthetic, and moral value. However, you may not agree with my assessment of these works, and that's just fine. In fact, you may find some pieces of literature I've assigned in this class to be offensive and valueless (and again, that's just fine). If such a case should arise, understand that you do not have to complete any reading assignments in this class that make you feel uncomfortable. In these cases, stop reading immediately, and talk to me about the offending piece. This way I'll be able to give you an alternate reading assignment, and I'll be able to decide whether I should remove the offending piece from future syllabi. I believe in each student's 'right to read.' This means that you have the right to refrain from reading anything that you find offensive without punishment or judgment, but this 'right to read' also means that I and your classmates have the right to read what we choose without facing your judgment. As readers, we each make moral decisions about what we choose to read. Don't judge others for their reading choices, and don't allow others (including your teachers) to judge you for yours.
  • Disclaimers: The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. If there is a discrepancy between this syllabus and Canvas, consider the Canvas information to be correct.


If you need assistance, visit the I-Learn help tab located on the left-hand side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

The materials in this course are also intellectual property and taking any materials from the course and posting them outside of this course in any manner (such as posting on Course Hero) will be construed as theft. If you post course materials without authorization, the instructor has the right to impose an appropriate academic sanction (e.g., give you a failing grade for the assignment and/or fail you from the course).

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Specific Academic Honesty Policy For This Class:

I take academic honesty very seriously; I believe it is one of the most important ways that you live up to the University’s Honor Code. Cheating, plagiarism, and using previous work from other classes for this class without my consent will result in failure on the particular assignment involved. I will also notify the Honor Code Office of the infraction. If the infraction is serious enough, it may result in failure in the course. In the case of a second offense in any of these areas, you will fail the course and possibly face suspension from the University.

AI & Academic Integrity 

Students should not use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assist with writing unless they have permission and guidance from an instructor. AI tools include Chat GPT, Bard, CopyAI, Writesonic, Jasper AI, Anyword, Grammarly, and many others. Some teachers may ask students to use AI for specific purposes, but if not, students should assume that they must ask for permission in order to use AI tools or simply not use AI at all. If students aren’t sure of an instructor’s policies, they should ask for clarification. 


·         Giving the AI a prompt and submitting what it writes (even just one sentence) as your own work. 

·         Combining content from several different AI prompts and submitting as your own work. 

Ask your professor about: 

·         Using AI to fix your grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors 

·         Using AI to generate ideas for a paper 

·         Using AI to write portions of an assignment but clearly indicating (based on guidelines from your instructor) which parts were written by the AI and which were written by you 

·         Using AI for outlines and organization 

·         Using AI for summarizing or paraphrasing technical language 

·         Using AI to write a sample paper and then modeling your own work after the work of the AI bot 


Recently, more students have been trying to use work that they have created to fulfill the requirements for multiple classes. University policy prohibits using the same material for multiple classes unless instructor permission from both classes is given ahead of time.

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Course Schedule

This course has been designed to follow a weekly schedule. You are expected to complete all of the learning activities for each week in the order they are listed. Also, you should complete each week in order and not skip ahead without finishing a week. For example, complete all the learning activities in Week 01 before beginning any learning activities in Week 02. The instructor may shift the order of completion for some assignments, and may even extend the deadlines on a few assignments if circumstances warrant it for the whole class. 

Due dates and times for all assignments may be found by accessing the Modules, To-Do List, and Calendar in I-Learn. These due dates and times listed in the activity directions are based on Mountain Time in the United States of America. 

Reading Schedule

Week 01

From American Literature

    • Clemens bio (11-13)

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Preface 11)

Week 02

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Chapters 12–End)

From American Literature

    • Harte bio and "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" (31)
    • Bierce bio and "Chickamauga" (55)
    • Howells bio and "Editha" (41)
Week 03

From American Literature

    • Harris bio and "The Tar Baby" parts 1 and 2 (122)
    • Chopin bio and “Desiree’s Baby” (138)
    • Chesnutt bio and "The Sheriff's Children" (178)
    • Washington bio and “From Up from Slavery” (164)
    • Du Bois bio and "From The Souls of Black Folk" (253)
    • Wharton bio and "The Other Two" (222)
    • James bio and "The Pupil" (85)
Week 04

From American Literature

    • London bio and "To Build a Fire" (301)
    • Garland bio and "Under the Lion's Paw" (194)
    • Freeman bio and "The Revolt of ‘Mother’" (149)
    • Jewett bio and "A White Heron" (129)

Online: Crane's "The Open Boat" 

Week 05

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Online: Zitkala-Sa’s “Impressions of an Indian Childhood” (Sections 1-4)

Week 06

From American Literature

    • To the Reader: Modern American Literature (339)
    • "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (477)
Week 07

From American Literature

    • Pound bio and poetry (481)
    • D. bio and poetry (488)
    • Williams bio and poetry (470)
    • Cummings bio and poetry (593)
    • Frost bio and poetry (419)
Week 08

From American Literature

    • O’Neill bio and "The Emperor Jones" (531)
    • Glaspell bio and "Trifles" (441)

Online: Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” 

Week 09

From American Literature

    • Hurston bio and “The Gilded Six-Bits” (571)
    • Toomer bio (599) and “Fern” (601)
    • Hughes bio and poetry (691)
    • Cullen bio and poetry (703)

Online: Brooks’s “The Mother” 

Week 10

From American Literature

    • Hemingway bio and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” (643)
    • Faulkner bio and “That Evening Sun” (627)

Death of a Salesman Miller (Act 1)

Week 11

Death of a Salesman (Act 2 and The Requiem)

Week 12

To Kill a Mockingbird Lee Part 1

Week 13

To Kill a Mockingbird Lee Part 2

Course Summary:

Date Details Due