English 410/610:  Milton

Henry Limouze

    11:00-12:15 TTh

Spring 2003

 341 Oelman

Online Discussion Group: eng41001@wright.edu



Required Texts:


John Milton. The Complete Poems, ed. John Leonard.  London: Penguin, 1998. (Referred to as “Leonard”).


John Milton. Paradise Lost: A Norton Critical Edition, ed. Scott Elledge.  2nd ed.  New York: Norton, 1993.  (Referred to as “Elledge”).


Recommended Text:


Joseph Gibaldi. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. New York: MLA, 1999.


Class Handout:  "Milton's Religious Beliefs" (posted 4/8/03)


Course Schedule—Readings, Assignments, etc.:


4/1                   Introduction to the course; Milton’s life


4/3                   Milton’s sonnets Leonard 30-37, 82-86, 113-115; Rivers, “Political & Religious Issues” Elledge 307-313; from Reason of Church Government, Elledge 356-361


4/8                   Shorter poems: “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” Leonard 21-30;

Masson, “A Brief Life,” Elledge 313-349


4/10                “Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” Leonard 1-9


4/15                “Lycidas” and “A Masque” (“Comus”) Leonard 41-75; selections from Of Reformation and Areopagitica, Elledge 353-355, 382-391


4/17                “Lycidas” and “Comus” continued; Hill, “Relevance of M,” Elledge 633-643


4/22                Paradise Lost, Book I;  “Selections from the Bible” Elledge 429-460


4/24                PL, I; “Important Concepts and Topics in PL” Elledge 461-474; Short Paper Due


4/29                PL, II; Dr. Johnson, Elledge 482-492; Fish, “Discovery as Form” 526-36


5/1                   PL, II; Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Elledge 493-501 


5/6                   PL, III-IV;  Christian Doctrine, Elledge 396-428; Empson, “Milton’s God” 605-16


5/8                   PL, III-IV; Landor and Tennyson, Elledge 503-4


5/13                PL, V-VI;   Frye, “Story of All Things,” Elledge 509-526


5/15                PL, V-VI;  Arnold and Woolf, Elledge 505-509


5/20                PL, VII-VIII;  Turner “Passion & Subordination,” Elledge 643-661


5/22                PL, VII-VIII  


5/27                PL, IX-X;  Lewalski, “Genres of PL,” Elledge 569-587


5/29                PL, IX-X  


6/3                   PL, XI-XII;  Halley, “Female Autonomy,” Elledge 661-674


6/5                   PL, XI-XII;  FINAL PAPER DUE


???                 Paradise Lost—WSU PL reading marathon


6/12 (Thursday)         FINAL EXAMINATION DUE AT 3:00 P.M.

Page from the manuscript of Paradise Lost (Book I, lines 287-310)



Requirements for ENG 410: This is a "writing-intensive" course in the English major. As a result, all assignments will be written or writing-related.  In addition to a letter grade for the course, you will receive an entry on your transcript to indicate that you have satisfied the writing-intensive requirements of the class. (If you do not pass that portion of a writing-intensive class, only the course grade appears on your official transcript.)  To receive WI credit for any writing-intensive course, you must make a C or better on the writing portion of your grade.  In this class grades are based almost entirely on writing, so the writing intensive grade and course grade will be the same.  Note:  Students who have not had ENG 250 and 251 or 300 and 301 (formal prerequisites for this course) OR who have not had significant successful writing experience in an upper-level college English class are encouraged to select another class.


Participation in online discussion group   15%
Short paper (2-3 pp. based on in-class writing)--due 4/24 20%
Longer paper (5-6 pp. based on in-class writing)--due 6/5 30%
Take-home final essay exam--due 6/12 20%
Leadership and participation in 4th-hour project: 15%


Requirements for ENG 610:  In addition to the assignments above, all graduate students must prepare and do a 10-minute presentation on a particular aspect of one of the texts on the syllabus.  Graduate papers will also meet additional length requirements.  Please see the instructor as quickly as possible to choose a topic and make arrangements for the presentation.



Electronic Discussion Requirement  (mail to: <eng41001@wright.edu>):  I have created an electronic discussion group for this class. To use it, you must have an email address (not necessarily a WSU email address) and must be able to send and receive email.  The discussion group is set up with your WSU email address as a "default."  All messages sent to the distribution list will go to all members of the class.


If you would prefer to use another email address instead of (or along with) your WSU address, you must give that address to me.  I can add any new address to the list.  If you want to use your WSU email account but need assistance or instructions on how to access it, please see the CATS help desk in the library basement (775-4827).  I strongly encourage you to begin using your Wright State email account!


This discussion group will account for a good chunk of your writing in this class. Use the discussion group to converse with your classmates about the reading and discussion, to respond to my questions, to note relationships among readings, to raise your own questions or concerns, to argue points we can't always get to in class, or to alert the rest of us to an interesting find in your outside reading.  Some weeks I will post questions on the readings for that week; if you can't think of anything else to write, respond to one of my questions.  Alternatively, you can quote a passage from one of the week's readings and frame your own discussion around


In order to receive a grade of C for discussion group participation you will need to make FOUR substantive postings. A grade of B requires SIX substantive postings, while a grade of A requires EIGHT substantive postings.  A "substantive posting" will raise and comment in depth on a new issue for discussion or it will respond in depth to an ongoing discussion.  It will be at least a paragraph in length (usually four or more complete sentences), and it must address the work of Milton in some way.


Do not put your participation off until the end of the quarter.  I will count no more than two entries in each of the final three weeks of the course, so if you want an A for the discussion group section of the course, you will need to post at least two substantive messages during weeks one through seven.  Start early and post often!


Netiquette:  I have rarely had trouble with rudeness or hurt feelings in online discussions, but they can sometimes erupt, even when no rudeness is intended.  When you argue with the idea or interpretation of another person, you are showing greater respect for him or her than if you simply dismiss the idea without comment.  But when you argue, please do so politely.  Every reader has a unique perspective on the text.  The perspective each of us brings is valid, but the interpretations we develop from our perspective may not be valid--to present and refine a valid interpretation, we have to explain, to support, to analyze, to defend, to criticize, and to reconsider.  I hope we will all be doing all these things in this class.



In-Class Writing: Nearly every day, we will do some writing, in response to questions I set or to questions that arise from our discussion.  Occasionally I may assign you writing to do for the next class; most of the time you will write in class.  I will often (not always) ask you to hand these in at the end of class.  I will return them with a few comments (perhaps) but no grade. These in-class writings will be the basis of your two papers.  You must develop both the first and second paper from an in-class piece of writing you have done.  I will ask you to submit the original piece with the fully developed and revised paper.


Papers: There are two formal graded papers required for this course, a short paper (2-3 pages) due April 24, and a longer paper (5-6 pp.) due June 5.  Both papers must be word-processed (or typed).  Whatever production format you choose should produce clear, readable copy: with printers, make sure you have fresh ribbon, toner, or ink cartridge. 

Format:  print the paper on one side of 8½ by 11” white paper; carefully proofread and edit to remove grammatical and mechanical errors; follow standard MLA format (double spacing throughout, one-inch margins on all sides, parenthetical references rather than footnotes, a complete list of works cited, and so on).  If you are unfamiliar with any aspect of MLA format, you should purchase a copy of the latest MLA Handbook, copies of which are available at the WSU Bookstore or at any large bookstore (see recommended text above).


Each paper should be a revision and/or expansion of one of your in-class writing pieces.  Typically I would encourage you to choose either your best piece for revision or the piece you are most interested in.  The longer paper should incorporate some reading of the relevant critical literature on Milton.


Final Examination:  I will hand out questions for a take-home final exam during the ninth or tenth week of class.  All exams will be due on Thursday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m.


University Writing Center: Writing consultants in the Writing Center (031 Library) are available to assist you as you work on papers. Be sure to take a copy of your assignment with you when you go. The service is free to all Wright State students. To get more information about this quarter's hours and the services available, call 775-4186.



Fourth-Hour Project:  All classes in the university which count for four hours of credit but which do not meet for four hours per week must make up the difference with an “innovative fourth hour,” commonly known as a "fourth-hour project."  Many times such projects are an extra paper or an additional reading assignment.  Ours will be somewhat different.  


We will plan, organize, advertise, sponsor, and lead a public reading-aloud of Milton’s Paradise Lost.  It is about 10,000 lines long and takes between 8 and 10 hours.  


The class will decide on the date and the general format for the reading during a short discussion on the first day of class.  Then the class will subdivide into committees.  Part of most Thursdays will be reserved for a “Business Meeting,” either a time for the committees to meet or a time for the committees to report back to the class.  We will need:


Planning committee: schedule, room layout, ground rules, reading responsibilities

Food committee: food, refreshments, breaks

Marketing committee: publicity, information, advertising

Attendance committee: attendance policies, keeping track of class and visitors

Activities committee:  greeters, art, tee shirts, prizes


Everyone will have something to do, and everyone will be required to come to the reading.  Those who take their responsibilities seriously will receive full credit for this component.


Other factors affecting grade


Although I have not specifically listed “Attendance” or “Participation” among the requirements for this course, they are both implied in several of the other requirements and attendance can count in a negative way.  This TTh class meets only 20 times during this quarter.  Thus, if you miss only two classes, you miss 10% of the course, including (probably) a business meeting.  In any discussion class, your fellow students miss something when you are not there.  In a class working on a special project, absence causes even more problems.  Therefore, I will enforce the following policy on attendance:


One to three absences                                 No penalty

            Four to six absences                                    Final grade drops one letter grade

            Seven or more absences                             F for course


Note that attendance means “attendance for the whole class.”  If you arrive or leave during class you disrupt it, and you will be marked absent.



Other policies


Late work will be accepted, with the following provisions:


For work due during the quarter: one point will be deducted from the grade for each weekday it is late, up to ten points.  After ten days, the work will receive an F.


For the final paper: five points will be deducted for each weekday it is late. 


For the final exam: ten points deducted for one day late.  F thereafter.


Academic honesty is essential to the fair and successful conduct of class, and dishonesty will be punished.  Dishonesty includes various kinds of cheating,  "plagiarism" (defined as the use of the words or ideas of another as if they were your own), and the submission of a single assignment for credit in two classes without permission of both instructors.  Penalties for academic dishonesty can be severe; in most cases the work will receive a grade of zero.  To avoid plagiarism, be sure to document all uses of the words or ideas of another writer.  If you are not sure about the status of what you are doing, ask.


Electronic devices (beepers, cell phones, walkmen, etc.) should normally be turned off at the door.  If you have a situation where you must wait for a call, please let me know.


INSTRUCTOR         Henry Limouze

            Email              <henry.limouze@wright.edu>

            Office             470 Millett

            Hours            Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12-1

                                    Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-4  and by appointment

            Phone                        775-2093 (my desk); 775-3136 (office)


This syllabus is on the web.  The URL is