ENGL 1036
Dark Nights and Dark Knights
September - December 2017
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General course information

Required Texts

Full reading list

Recommended Texts

Course Expectations or Outputs

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. identify the defining features of major literary forms.
  2. identify and use key literary and critical terms in the process of analysis.
  3. apply basic critical and theoretical methodologies to close, critical readings of a wide variety of texts.
  4. discuss texts and ideas comfortably and respectfully in class.
  5. construct and sustain analytical arguments in clear, coherent prose and proper essay format.

Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate:

  1. an introductory knowledge of some key concepts and methodologies of English Studies.
  2. a promising ability to comprehend primary texts and offer analytical commentary.
  3. a promising ability to analyze texts and propose persuasive answers to interpretive questions.
  4. a promising ability to communicate in clear, correct prose.

Lectures and preparation

The lectures will focus on studying literature. You are expected to attend all lectures. You will receive helpful advice on how to think about literature, how to develop theories about literature, and how to write about literature. Note that the content of the lectures is meant to stimulate your own thinking: the lecturer’s thoughts about a work of literature do not represent the only way to think about that work of literature. You should develop your own opinions and theories and learn how to express and defend them. The skills you learn in reading, thinking, and writing about literature can be transferred to every university discipline. You should prepare for the lectures by reading the assigned material (before the lecture) and by spending some time thinking about the material.

Participation and Attendance

You are expected to participate in class in an informed manner. At the very least, you are expected to come to class regularly, having read all assigned reading. You are expected to participate in class discussions. Keep in mind that participating in class is usually a highly rewarding experience, greatly enhancing your ability to understand the course material and helping ensure your success in the course. Everyone is expected to be courteous and professional at all times in class.


Assignments are due in class, on the date indicated by the assignment. A 2% penalty will be applied to the graded assignment for every day the assignment is late. This will include weekend days and public holidays. Extensions may be granted for exceptional circumstances, especially for serious medical reasons: in such cases, you should talk to the instructor as soon as possible and be prepared to submit medical documentation about the problem (that should include a statement about the beginning and duration of the issue).


The Department of English Studies and Nipissing University maintain a strict policy on all forms of academic dishonesty. Each assignment must be original work produced by the student alone, only for this course. All referencing and documentation must be complete and accurate for both direct and indirect quotations. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism will not be accepted as an excuse: if you are uncertain about plagiarism, see your instructor immediately. All essays and tests are subject to an additional oral and/or written test at the instructor’s discretion. All suspected plagiarism will be reported to the chair of the department, the dean of the faculty, and the registrar of the university.

Marc R. Plamondon, Ph.D. Department of English Studies Nipissing University