Policies Texts Online Resources Attendance Grading Computing Academic Dishonesty Schedule

English 207.01 Coulter 204
download paper topic (due April 5)

download journal sheet (hit cancel if you're asked for a password)

Popular Literature and Culture
Section 1: MWF 10-10:50

Professor: Mary Adams
Office: Coulter 409

Telephone: 227-3921
Office Hours: MWF 11-12 or by appointment
E-mail address:[email protected]

Course Description and Goals:

This course examines various popular literary genres, including gothic, popular romances, mysteries, westerns, science fiction and fantasy, children’s literature, film, television, and the Internet. You will conduct research in the literature itself, the forces which make it “popular,” and the forces by which literature is defined, marketed, preserved and anthologized.

Our first goal for this course is to find reading we take pleasure in. Other goals for the course include gaining a critical understanding of "popular" versus "literary," finding a vocabulary for talking about what we like and don't like and why, and learning to write analytical papers about this process.

Website: http://teaching.maryadams.net/
Access the web site from my teaching page. Use it to check assignments, download journal forms, follow links, and find academic resources. Since it is updated regularly, always hit "reload" after you access the site.
  • Required (Rental): Hoppenstand, Gary (Editor). Popular Fiction : An Anthology (Longman Literature and Culture Series) . Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0321011643. January 1998.
  • Required (Purchase):
    • Margaret Maron Bootlegger’s Daughter $6.99
    • Randy Wayne White Ten Thousand Islands $6.99
    • James Lee Burke Black Cherry Blues $7.50
    • Ann George, Murder Gets a Life, $6.99
    • Kathy Hogan Trocheck, Every Crooked Nanny OR Beverly Connor Dressed to Die

Course Policies:

  • Attendance: Afterfive absences, your final grade will be dropped one letter for each additional absence. It doesn't matter if your absences are excused or not, so please budget carefully. Extreme or extensive tardiness could count as an absence.
    When are you absent?
    • When you aren't here, no matter what your excuse is
    • When you are tardy at least twice
    • When you leave before class is over
    • When you don't have the book
  • Missed assignments. I hold you responsible for assignments made in class whether you are here or not. Check minutes or ask classmates for the assignments. I will never consider "I didn't know" a valid excuse.
  • Journals: 35% of your grade is comprised of journals, which are due every day we have class, unless I say otherwise. Journals for an assigned reading can only be handed in on the day we discuss it, not afterwards. I grade each journal based on detail and on evidence that you did the reading, but I do not record the grade until you hand in all the journals in a folder at the end of the semester. The moral: do journals regularly, and never throw them away.
  • Academic Dishonesty is defined as: An intentional act of deception in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. Students are expected to be honest and ethical in their academic work. Academic dishonesty includes:
    • CHEATING- use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information or study aids OR an act of deceit by which a student attempts to misrepresent mastery of academic effort or information. This includes unauthorized copying or collaboration on a test or assignment or using prohibited materials and texts.
    • FABRICATION- falsification or invention of any information (including falsifying research, inventing or exaggerating data and listing incorrect or fictitious references.
    • ASSISTING- helping another commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes paying or bribing someone to acquire a test or assignment, changing someone's grades or academic records, or taking a test/doing an assignment for someone else (or allowing someone to do these things for you).
    • TAMPERING- altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents.
    • PLAGIARISM- representing the words or ideas of another person as one's own OR presenting someone else's words, ideas, artistry or data as one's own. This includes copying another person's work (including unpublished material) without appropriate referencing, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, or working jointly on a project, then submitting it as one's own.
  • Penalties for Academic dishonesty: Automatic failure on the assignment and possible failure for the course.

Class Resources, Writing Guides, and other Links:




Popular Culture Sites

Historical Sites

Writing and Research Links


Grading: Description of scale

A  93-100

A-  90-92

B+  87-89

B  83-86

B-  80-82

C+  77-79

C  73-76

C-  70-72

D+  67-69

D  63-66

D-  60-62

F  0-59

Grade Breakdown:

  • Journals: 35%
  • Paper 1 (in stages) 15%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Murder Mystery project 15%
  • Midterm 10%
  • Final 15%

Paper grades: all papers are graded in stages (thesis sentence, thesis + topic sentence/ body paragraph, final draft, revised draft). I cannot accept your paper unless you attach all preliminary work with grade.

Exams: The midterm and final exam are divided into an essay portion (50%) and a short answer portion (50%). I will give a study guide before the exam.

Does Participation Count? While I don't factor participation in, I make note of it. Those who consistently prepare for class and participate in discussion will get credit if they are on the border between two grades. Those who aren't prepared when I call on them or haven't done the reading will receive 1/2 absence. Those who don't have the book in class will be asked to leave and marked absent.

Computer Policies:

  • Because I will use your WCU email address to contact you, make sure it is active. If you use another account, forward your WCU email to that account (Use this link: https://alf.wcu.edu/vmsacct/mail_forward.html. I will hold you responsible for information contained in my emails.
  • We will use the online syllabus. Check it frequentlly for changes. Remember to always hit reload. You must have access to the online syllabus to do your journal entries.
Policies Texts Online Resources Attendance Grading Computing Academic Dishonesty Schedule