Course Syllabus

Mr. Brazier

Room 227



English 31



Unit 1 – Conflict


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

Maus 1 & II – Art Spiegelman

Master Harold and the Boys – Athol Fugard

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky


Unit 2 – Man, Woman, and Family


Song of Soloman – Toni Morrison

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Poetry and Speech Units


Unit 3 – Comedy and Satire


The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmund Rostand

A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift

Welcome to the Monkeyhouse – Kurt Vonnegut

Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare


Unit 4 – Tragedy


Macbeth – William Shakespeare

Oedipus Rex – Sophocles

Antigone – Sophocles

All My Sons – Arthur Miller or Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Eugene O’Neill



Important Things to Know


            You should expect three to four major assignments a term. The most common of these will be the analytical essay that, on average, will be four pages in length. Other major assignments will be projects, exams, and presentations.  Smaller assignments will be 1-page writing responses, vocabulary quizzes, reading quizzes. Once or twice a quarter, we will have graded discussion seminars.  Assignments are given the following weight:

                        Essays:                                                100 points

                        Projects/Presentations/Essay Tests     80 points

                        Participation for the Quarter               80 points

Short Presentations                             50 points

                        Discussion Seminars                           20 points

One Pagers                                          20 points

                        Vocabulary Quizzes                            20 points

                        Reading Quizzes                                 10 points


            Each term you have one late day for essays or projects. You may not use this late day for anything other than essays and projects, and if you don’t use your late day, it does not carry over to the next term.  If you miss a smaller assignment, you may hand it in the next day for partial credit, but make sure you put it in my hands (don’t leave it on my desk).

            If an essay or project is late, 10 points are taken off for the first day and 5 points for every day thereafter. 



What you need to do/know to succeed in this class:



            I know that you are juniors and your lives are extremely busy, but you must make class attendance a priority. Since this will be a discussion-based class, you miss out and can’t make up or recreate a missed class. I do take attendance, and I expect you to inform me if you are going to miss even a single class. Very Important: If you are absent from a class, you need to get the assignments from someone in the class or from me. The homework for the next class is due even if you are absent, barring an assignment that is based on the class lesson.  Also, if you miss a quiz or test you need to remember to make it up. I will not hunt you down and remind you of missed work. College professors won’t do so either.


Assignments and Workload

            Depending on the difficulty of the reading, you can expect 40 pages a night.  I do give unscheduled reading quizzes, and I implore you to never resort to Sparknotes or any such summarizing aid.  We’ll be reading some of the best literature written in the English language, and it would be a shame for you to not actually read it.

            You can expect 3 major assessments a term that will be about 900 words long. By far these are the most important assignments in terms of your grade since they are weighted heavily. Spend time on your writing and try your hardest to not wait until the last minute. Revision is a key to strong writing. You are given a late day each term. Save it for when it’s most needed, and if a paper is due on Friday and you are taking a late day, I expect you to email it to me on Saturday.




Class Participation

            I stressed above that you attend each class, but if you sit through class in a daze you’re not really here. Class participation will be given a grade each term. If you are not inclined to speak in class, you can earn participation credit by talking to me outside of class and by paying close attention during class and talking during small group discussions.



Essential Questions


To help guide our exploration of these works and provide some framework for discussion and connection, we will be coming back to the following essential questions:


  1. To what extent are we bound by our identities? How do boundaries affect human potential?
  2. How do social conventions about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, health, religion, ability, age, and family structure shape practices and perceptions and define “normalcy”?
  3. How do authors use stylistic techniques and literary conventions to create complex layers of meaning in their work? What is the relationship among form, function, and larger commentary?


Random thoughts


Get your sleep!

Take advantage of this incredible year ahead of you but leave time to be quiet and think

Spend time with friends (after you’ve done your reading for me).

I’m here to help you, not make your life miserable with work. You will work though.

Take a deep breath – everything will be fine!


Course Summary:

Date Details