Syllabus Schedule Work Links

English 4200 and 5200: Chaucer, Fall 2008


Dr. M. Wendy Hennequin

Contact Information:

Office: Humanities 301

Office Hours: MWF 7:30-9:10, 11:30-12:30; T 3-5

Office Phone: x5724

E-mail: MWHennequin [at] gmail [dot] com



Official Description Competencies Required Texts and Equipment Required Work Grading Class Policies

Official Descriptions

From the catalogs:

ENGL 4200 Chaucer (3) (Formerly ENG 420). An introduction to the works of Chaucer, with emphasis on the background of the age and on development of Chaucer as a literary artist.

ENGL 5200. CHAUCER. (3) Study in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, with the emphasis on the Canterbury Tales. Course also includes attention to the medieval cultural background. (Formerly ENG 520)

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Course Competencies

In order to earn a grade of at least C in this course, students will be able to:

Graduate students will also be able to:

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Required Texts and Equipment

Required Texts

Other Equipment

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Required Work
    1. Readings, as assigned.

    2. Translation quizzes.

    3. A mid-term exam.

    4. A final exam.

    5. A review of a scholarly book.

    6. A research project.

    7. Participation in class discussions and activities. Your participation forms a significant part of your grade. Participation consists of:

      • Attendance of class. Yes, I give you a point every day just for showing up. If you show up late, I may give you half a point or no points.
      • Preparation for class activities, such as reading the assigned texts and commenting on other students' drafts.
      • Participation in classes and conferences. For each class in which you ask a relevant question, add something relevant to the discussion, bring in information, or make a relevant comment, you gain another point--on top of the one you gained for simply attending.
      • Meeting with me in my office (or elsewhere) about class work outside of class or conferences also earns points.
      • Attention in class. Students who sleep in class, use cell phones or other electronics, send text or e-mail messages, do work for other classes, hold side conversations, or indulge in other distractions will lose any points they gained for that day's class.
      • Perfect Attendance. Students who attend every class will earn 5 points towards their class participation.
      • Excessive Absenteeism. Students who miss more than one week's worth of classes (3 on MWF, 2 on TR, etc.) will fail class participation.  Students missing more than 2 weeks worth of classes (6 on MWF, 2 on TR, etc.) will earn a 0 in class participation.

    In addition, graduate students must also complete:

    1. An annotated bibliography of scholarship on a medieval literary topic.

    2. A research article, in place of the research project.

    3. A formal presentation of their work to the class, in the form of a conference-type paper.

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  • Mid-term exam: 25%

  • Final exam: 25%

  • Review: 15%

  • Research Project: 20%

  • Participation: 15%


Graduate Students

  • Annotated bibliography: 20%

  • Review: 15%

  • Research Paper: 35%

  • Presentation: 15%

  • Participation: 15%


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Class Policies

Attending University is a job, an internship which prepares students for their careers. I therefore expect my students to treat the class as a professional commitment, rather than a pastime or a hobby. My class policies emulate the expectations of professionals in the workplace.

  1. Attendance is mandatory.

    See page 29 of the Undergraduate Catalogue for official university policy.


  3. Be on time.

  5. Disability.  I will make reasonable accommodations for disabled students with documentation from Disabled Student Services.
    • Students must bring me the accommodation letter from Disabled Student Services by the second week of class. 
    • Absences related to your disability must be documented individually and separately from the accommodation letter.

  6. Electronics: Do not send e-mail, text, or instant messages, or surf the Web, or use your cell phone or blackberry.  After 1 warning, I will deduct FIVE POINTS off your FINAL GRADE.


  7. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due dates.
    • I do not accept late work except with prior arrangement.
    • If you need an extension, you must request it two class days in advance.
    • Each student is allowed one (1) 24-hour emergency extension to cover true emergencies such as computer melt-down, printer failure, or vehicular mishaps. Students must tell me that they are using the extension when the paper is due and must deliver the paper to my mailbox (in Humanities 104) or my e-mail within 24 hours.

  8. Make-ups: Class work must be done in class.
    • Quizzes and in-class writing work cannot be made up. Students who are excused for the day are excused for the work; all others who miss the class earn a zero for the assignment.
    • I may allow a student with convincing documentation to make up a major test.
    • The final exam must be taken during the exam period, and I cannot change the date of a student's exam. This is university policy.

  9. Do your own work.

    The TSU Undergraduate Catalogue says this about academic fraud:

    Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to the instructor of the class. In addition to the other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed through the regular institutional procedures as a result of academic misconduct, the instructor has the authority to assign an ‘F’ or a zero for the exercise or examination, or assign an ‘F’ in the course. (29)

    Students submitting any fraudulent work—copied, plagiarized, stolen, bought, cheated, etc.—will receive a ZERO for the assignment, and may receive an F for the course.

    An important clarification: collaboration is not plagiarism. A person who plagiarizes claims someone else's work for his or her own; people who collaborate on a project claim that they have done the work together and that the work they have done together is their own. You need not credit collaborating colleagues if they proofread, critique, or make suggestions on your work.


  10. E-mail: Treat e-mail professionally.
    • I check my e-mail once daily on weekdays during the semester.
    • All e-mails must be:
      • polite and professional.
      • well-spelled and grammatically correct.
      • brief.
    • You may e-mail me to:
      • request an extension (at least 48 hours before the assignment is due).
      • make an appointment with me.
      • ask about thesis statements or paper topics.
      • request recommendation letters.
      • hand in an assignment (with permission).
    • I will not respond to e-mails regarding:
      • grades or comments on your papers. (Come to my office to discuss these issues.)
      • missed assignments or notes. (Ask your classmates and / or check the schedule.)
      • technical support. (Call the technical support folks at extension 7777.)
      • questions on assignments, material covered in class, grammar, or citation formats. (Ask in class, so that you get credit for it and everyone gets the answer.)
      • complaints of any sort.

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This page was created for M. Wendy Hennequin's Chaucer, Spring 2007, at Tennessee State University. Creation date: August 20, 2007.  Modified for the Fall 2008 semester: August 19, 2008.  Last update: August 19, 2008.