English 358 (12555) Major Authors: Jane Austen Fall 1999

Professor Celia A. Easton MWF 10:30-11:20 Newton 212

Office Welles 228-b Office phone: 245-5270

Office hours Fall 1999: Mondays 1:20-2:20, Wednesdays 12:30-1:30, Fridays 11:30-12:30 AND BY APPT.

e-mail (best way to reach me): easton@geneseo.edu (just easton on campus)

web site (for copies of the syllabus, previous exams, and "Conventions of Writing") http://www.geneseo.edu/~easton

Home: (NEVER after 9:00 p.m.) 442-5716

Texts (ordered through Sun Dance Books)

Syllabus: Unless otherwise specified, read a percentage of the novel equal to the number of days we have to spend on it for each class.

week Monday Wednesday Friday
1   9-1 Introduction: How to Read Jane Austen 9-3 read internet assignment: "Frederic & Elfrida" AND "Love and Freindship" (sic)

How do you do an "internet assignment"? A great number of postings on Jane Austen appear on the internet, particularly at this home page: http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~churchh/janeinfo.html

Using NETSCAPE, INTERNET EXPLORER or some other campus web browser, find the page and download a copy of Austen's "Love and Freindship," printing yourself out a hard copy. While you are there, look at the other resources: primary texts, annotated texts, maps, commentary, and bibliography. YOU MAY WORK IN GROUPS and photocopy copies of one download. IF you are completely computer phobic, you may borrow a copy of "Love and Freindship" from me and copy it at your expense. You may also search for it in the library. HOWEVER: my purpose is to try to get you to use the internet and think about its possibilities as a scholarly resource, so try to get there sooner or later. If you are looking at this syllabus on line, you should be able to link directly to the texts.

2 9-6 Read Grandison (course pack) to page 54 9-8 Read Grandison (course pack) to page 114 9-10 Read Grandison (course pack) to page 173
3 9-13 Read Grandison (course pack) to page 227 9-15 Read Grandison (course pack) to page 297 9-17 Read Grandison (course pack) to page 341 AND Austen's "Sir Charles Grandison"
4 9-20 (Yom Kippur) Northanger Abbey 9-22 Northanger Abbey 9-24 Northanger Abbey
5 9-27 (see below) "Catherine" 9-29 (see below) "Lady Susan" 10-1 (see below)"The Watsons" & "Sanditon"

This week you get a little reading break, since you are required to read only TWO of the FOUR assignments and listen to group reports on the other two. WHAT'S A GROUP REPORT? Each "group" will have 18-20 students, so I don't expect you to meet before class. For your assigned reading you will sit with your group, having prepared approximately one page (each) written on the forms attached to the back of this syllabus (handwritten is okay) that you will hand in . In this paragraph you should describe what you believe to be Austen's aim in each work you read. E.g., Is she satirizing? Being humorous? Critiquing? What (or who) are the objects of her satire/humor/critique?

Each group will begin by re-telling the plot quickly for the students who haven't read the piece. Then move into your discussion, making sure that everyone in the group has an opportunity to speak. Your reports should make the rest of the class want to read what they have missed (which I encourage you to do at your leisure).

If your family/last name falls between A and J, read "Catherine" and "The Watsons"

If your family/last name falls between K and Z, read "Lady Susan" and "Sanditon"

6 10-4 Sense and Sensibility 10-6 Sense and Sensibility 10-8 Sense and Sensibility
7 10-11 Fall Break, no classes 10-13 Sense and Sensibility 10-15 MEET AT BRODIE DANCE STUDIO
8 10-18 Begin Pride and Prejudice FIRST PAPER DUE 10-20 Pride and Prejudice 10-22 MEET AT BRODIE DANCE STUDIO
9 10-25 Pride and Prejudice 10-27 Pride and Prejudice 10-29 Pride and Prejudice
10 11-1 (All Saints Day) LETTERS 11-3 LETTERS 11-5 Mansfield Park

What should you do with the Letters? Again, we will do this as a split assignment, in groups, with approximately one page written on the form attached to the back of this syllabus that you will hand in. On that form you will find a sample of how one critic cited a letter of Austen's to make a point about Austen's interests. Use this as a model when you read and think about your assigned letters. You might want to relate a comment made in a letter to something you have read in the fiction.

Alphabet A-E: read pages 1-46

Alphabet F-J: read pages 47-95

Alphabet K-O: read pages 95-133

Alphabet P-S: read pages 133-176

Alphabet T-Z: read pages 177-212

11 11-8 Mansfield Park 11-10 Mansfield Park 11-12 Mansfield Park
12 11-15 Mansfield Park 11-17 Emma 11-19 Emma
13 11-22 Emma 11-24 Thanksgiving Break, no classes 11-26 Thanksgiving Break, no classes
14 11-29 Emma 12-1 Emma 12-3 Emma
15 12-6 Persuasion 12-8 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) Persuasion 12-10 Persuasion
16 12-13 Persuasion, course evaluations SECOND PAPER DUE    
17 12-20 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. FINAL EXAM
  Information on the FINAL EXAM: This will be a cumulative exam, including identifications. I do not write any comments on final exams, but you are welcome to have your exam back after I have turned in final grades. I do not reschedule exams except for emergencies. Make sure now you have no scheduling conflicts. See attached Final Exam schedule (on the web page this links you to a pdf file).


Active participation 5%

3 one page assignments 15%

Two 8 pp. papers 45%

Final 25%


There will be only three grades assigned for the "one page assignments":

95--thoughtfully, articulately done in a timely way

75--poorly written or late

55--failed to do the assignment


Paper topics for the two 8 page papers. I encourage you to print and read "Conventions of Writing Papers about Literature" from my web site.

Paper #1. Write this paper on one of these:

Richardson's & Austen's "Grandisons"

Northanger Abbey

Sense and Sensibility

Read one of the following articles (pick the one that is relevant to your topic):

[note: MLA Bibliography form lists works alphabetically with hanging indents. Hanging indents are difficult to duplicate on web pages]


Copeland, Edward. "The Burden of Grandison. Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries." Women & Literature 3 (1983), 98-106. Available at Milne Reserve desk.

You may create your own topic for your paper, but in part of your paper you must discuss the article you have read. Don't just report on it; clearly represent and discuss the argument of the article. Your paper on one of these novels will have a different focus from the article, but I want you to relate your ideas to the critic's (you may agree or disagree with the critic). Make sure you craft a thesis about your topic.

Suggested organization:

Begin with a discussion of the article you have read. Explain the author's position, but don't go into detail about the examples the author raises. If you refer to those examples or the author's ideas later in your paper, make sure you include parenthetical citations.

Next, explain your thesis, describing how it relates to the critic's perspective on this novel.

Proceed to write the essay, providing evidence for your thesis through close analysis of the novel.

Paper #2. For this paper I want you to read TWO articles and write on TWO novels. Read one article for each novel. Proceed in the same manner as Paper #1 with this distinction: you need to find an "umbrella" topic that ties together your readings of the two novels. Do not write two "mini" papers. An example of an "umbrella" topic might be, "friendship in _____ and _____" or "the importance of architecture in _____ and _____."

Choose two of these novels:

Choose from these articles. There are single copies available at the Reserve Desk. I have indicated when Milne or Fraser Library has the bound journal.

CITATIONS: Whether you quote, paraphrase, or simply refer to an idea from someone else, you always provide a citation. Failure to do so is plagiarism. It is possible for you to overdo this, but play it on the safe side (you can put a citation at the end of a paragraph instead of at the end of every sentence--don't make your paper unreadable). Citations should be parenthetical. The author's name and page number (no comma, no "p.") are sufficient because you will include a Works Cited page (see below). References to Austen's novels should also have parenthetical citations. If it is obvious which novel you are discussing, give the page number only. If not, give the title and page number. For example (Emma 962). Remember, never put commas or colons before parentheses.

You should follow MLA format for citations. That is, at the end of your essay you will have a list of Works Cited arranged alphabetically. Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or refer to a critic's idea, include a parenthetical reference to that list, with a page number. Give the least amount of information needed to still be clear. For example, here is a paragraph in which I am referring to a critic:


At the end of my essay you would find this list (I am inventing these for the purpose of this illustration):

Works Cited

Baker, Hermione. "Isolated Siblings in Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion."

The Novel Reconsidered 12 (1987): 313-341.


Brauer, Kenneth. Jane Austen's Women. New York: St. Martins, 1991.


Brown, Walburga. "The False Sisterhoods in Pride and Prejudice."

Psychology and Literature 37 (1994), 53-72.


Horowitz, Elizabeth. "What Better than a Sister's Love? Jane Austen's

Faithful Pairs." Criticism Today 3 (1957), 2-23.


Mueller, Anne Eleanor. "Was Willoughby Worth it?"

Fiction and Criticism. 48 (1979), 443-471.


Smith, Miranda. "Austen's Preference for the Sensible Sister." In Jane Austen

Again, ed. Darcy Fitzwilliam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.


Note that Baker, Brown, Horowitz, and Mueller are journal articles, Brauer is a book, and Smith is an essay in an edited collection. The number preceding the parenthetical date is a volume number. The place of publication of books is the city, not the state.

Late paper policy: I will accept late papers with a legitimate excuse. "Legitimate excuses" are documented, e.g., evidence of death of a friend or family member; evidence of medical or counseling treatment. Vacations, computer problems, or the fact that you have work due for another course are not legitimate excuses.

HOW I GRADE ESSAYS: The way you express yourself affects the grade you receive. Some "B" range papers get bumped down to "C" because they are poorly written. Even if you consider yourself a good writer, you might like to get some feedback on a draft of your essay by visiting the WRITING LEARNING CENTER, on the second floor of Welles Hall.

Numerical Grade Translation

A:94-100; A-:91-93

B+:88-90; B:84-87; B-:81-83

C+:78-80; C:74-77; C-:71-73

D+:68-70; D:64-67; D-61-63

E: 60 and below