Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ENG 204
Course Title:
Survey of English Literature
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

The first half of a two-course survey of British literature that includes English 205. English 204 introduces students to British literature from its Anglo-Saxon and Celtic beginnings through the 18th century. The series need not be taken in sequence. Prerequisites: WR 115 and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Recommended: ENG 104, 105 and/or 106. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Instructors may choose an anthology, complete works, or a combination of both. The course will meet the requirements of a
survey, emphasizing breadth over depth.

Intended Outcomes for the course

The students will:

1. Explore basic critical approaches to texts of English literature for the time period of 1000 CE through 1784.
2. Identify relationships between form and meaning in English literature in the time period of 1000 CE through 1784.
3. Make connections among texts and historical, political, and cultural contexts.
4. Recognize literary conventions and build a critical vocabulary with which to discuss and write bout literature.
5. Write clear, focused, coherent essays about literature for an academic audience using standard English conventions and grammar and style.

Course Activities and Design

The course activities can include lecture, discussion, and collaboration, along with other activities such as participating in group
projects, film viewing, designing a web page, attending performance, and so forth.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include informal responses to study questions or journal responses; evaluation of small-and full- group discussion; in-class and out-of-class writing; formal academic essays; presentations by individuals and groups; short and long essay examinations; close reading exercises using support/evidence; writing exercises which include evaluation of various interpretations of a text and their relative validity.  Both instructor and peer evaluation may be incorporated into the assessment process.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The course will introduce and foster understanding of:

  • literary themes
  • literary conventions and allusions
  • literary genres
  • literary vocabulary
  • analysis and synthesis
  • contextualization
  • critical reading and thinking
  • essay and response writing
  • close reading and explication
  • language change
  • the idea of a canon

Some suggested texts:

  • Longman Anthology of British Literature (featuring increased selections representing Celtic literature)
  • Norton Anthology of English Literature (featuring the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf)
  • Individually bound shorter editions of both anthologies.
  • Invidual works (novels, drama)