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ENGL 2420 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ENGL 2420 - Modern European Literature (formerly Western World Literature II)

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is a survey of literary masterpieces of Western World literature including the Enlightment, Romanticism, Realism and Modernism/Postmodernism periods.

Course Outcomes:

Students will be able to

  1. demonstrate knowledge of the literary masterpieces of the Enlightenment, the Romantics, the Realists, and the Moderns and Post-Moderns. 
  2. sharpen critical reading and writing skills by analyzing and interpreting specific literary works from these periods and by using primary and secondary sources. 
  3. demonstrate knowledge of the diverse social, philosophical, historical, cultural and political contexts of these literary works. 
  4. demonstrate a basic understanding of how Western traditions and thought—as reflected in the course readings—continue to influence contemporary thought.
  5. continue to demonstrate the writing and documentation skills taught in English 1010 and 1020.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

ENGL 1010 and 1020. ENGL 2410 is not a prerequisite for ENGL 2420.

Course Topics:

This course includes a survey of the masterpieces of Western World literature from about 1600 to the current day. 

We will be reading assigned sections of literature from the Enlightenment, the Romantics, the Realists, and Moderns and Post-Moderns. Along the way we will examine selected topics in the cultures, languages and traditions of the societies that produced the works under study. An emphasis will be placed on critical reading and thinking as seen in students' writing.

Specific Course Requirements:

Students should have the knowledge and abilities taught in freshman composition courses: essay writing, argumentation, documentation of sources, writing about literature, and college level writing abilities in grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Students should also have college sophomore level abilities to read and interpret those readings critically.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

There are four units of study in the class and four tests for each.  Each test is preceded by a practice test for the unit.  The tests are timed and administered within WebCT.  Students do NOT need to secure a proctor for the tests.

Grading Procedures:

Grading for the final average includes

  • Tests .......................400 points 

  • Essays.......................200 points 

  • Homework.................200 points 

  • Literature Discussions...200 points 

See the Orientation section of the Course Content for additional details or differences.

Grading Scale:
900-1000 pointsA
800-899 pointsB
700-799 pointsC
600-699 pointsD
<600 pointsF

There are no plus or minus grades assigned in RODP.

Assignments and Projects:

Students will complete four units on the literary movements covered by the course.  In each unit, students will read background material online in the course modules, will read assigned readings from the text, will engage in weekly class participation via the discussion board, and will complete a homework assignment.  For each unit, there is a test and a practice test to complete.  Also, during the semester, students will write two extended essays about the literature they read. 

The essays are papers in which students write about what they have read. Students will be given several specific topics for the essays, with each topic relating to a specific assigned reading. The essay should address the chosen topic by using the student's critical, analytic, and interpretive powers in relation to the assigned reading and should be at least 500 words in length. The focus of the essay is the student's interpretation about the assigned reading with support for that interpretation. The essays will be evaluated for how well students address the assigned topic, support their thesis and interpretation, and explain their ideas and opinions. Content, form, and MLA format will be evaluated. Internal documentation should be included, but the Works Cited page can be omitted. An example of an informal essay will be given early in the course. Some student essays may ultimately be posted to the class web pages. Also, students should keep on electronic file a record of the evaluations of the essays.

During the semester, several short homework assignments will be made for students to complete. These assignments will consist of emails to the instructor or to other students, postings to the message board, and other short activities related to the content of the course.

Literature Discussion:
Students will be asked to post messages to the discussion board most weeks during the term, including original messages about student's analyses and interpretations and opinions about the reading and message in response to their classmates' messages for a total of at least 300 words per week.

Class Participation:

Students are encouraged to stay in touch with one another and with the instructor by electronic means inside Desire2Learn -- sending, reading, and responding to email and discussions. Doing so is vital in an online course, as is keeping up with assignments and maintaining self-discipline and self-motivation.

Late Policy:

All assignments for the entire course are easily visible in the course modules inside WebCT, and each assignment is given a due date for completion.  All due dates for all the essays, homeworks, papers, class participations, and tests are clearly posted in the Calendar of our WebCT class.  Students should be mindful of those due dates posted in the Calendar and should submit assignments in a timely manner.  There will be one letter grade deducted for each day late on all assignments (10 points out of a 100-point assignment).

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021