Spring 2007


Office Hours
Course Description and Learning Outcomes
Assessment Procedures
Attendance and Participation
Late Papers and Missed Assignments
Academic Dishonesty
Students with Disabilities
Emergency Academic Continuity Program
Tentative Syllabus

Course Description and Objectives

This course introduces graduate students to the principles and procedures of scholarly research. It will develop in students a greater awareness of the higher standards of academic writing expected of graduate students in comparison to undergraduates.


Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 8th Ed. Heinle, 2004. ISBN: 1413002188

Altick, Richard Daniel. The Art of Literary Research. 4th Ed. Norton, 1992.
ISBN: 0393962407

Harner, James L. Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in
English Literary Studies
. 4th Ed. Modern Language Association of America, 2002. ISBN: 0873529839

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th Ed. Modern Language Association of
America, 2003. ISBN: 0873529863


Office Hours

Wednesday, 4-7 p.m.; Thursday, 1-4 p.m.

Course Description and Learning Outcomes

Introduction to Graduate Studies introduces students to the principles and procedures of scholarly research and the philosophy of graduate studies in English. They will learn about the different professional activities and methodologies practiced in the sub-disciplines of English language, literature, and composition. They will also learn the methods of conducting research and standards for writing and editing at the graduate level. Upon successfully completing the course, students will be familiar with the evaluation and use of primary and secondary materials used in the fields of English studies, including the use of different kinds of bibliographies, critical editions, periodicals, and other reference and research material available in print and electronic sources necessary for graduate research and writing. They will also understand the importance of cultivating a sense of the past; conducting source studies to evaluate the transmission of literary ideas, genres, and conventions; tracing reputation and influence of authors and their works; determining authorship and establishing reliable texts for literary criticism; and checking facts for accuracy.

Assessment Procedures

Students will listen to lectures, participate in class discussions, and engage in research and writing projects including answering research questions, preparing bibliographies, and writing thoroughly researched critical essays and evaluations of primary and secondary material. The process and final product of the students' work will be evaluated for thoroughness, accuracy, and clarity. All assignments must be prepared according to the standards of the MLA Handbook and conventional standards of English grammar and punctuation and should not contain errors that significantly harm or diminish meaning.


This course is a graduate seminar. Its success depends on your participation. Each week you need to read all material and complete all assignments in order to participate in class discussions and be ready for subsequent work. Please arrive on time. If you are absent, late, or disrupt by leaving while class is in session or using your cell phone you will be panalized.


Students may earn a maximum of 1000 points, and grades are based on the percentage of those points a student earns. The percentage is traditional, i.e., 90% and above = A; 80-89% = B; 70-79% = C; 60-69% = D; 59% and below = F. Grades are broken down as follows:

Research Questions 400 pts., or 40% of your grade
Reflective Essay: 100 pts., or 10% of your grade
Editing Assignment: 100 pts., or 10% of your grade
Research Papers and Bibliographies  400 pts., or 40% of your grade

Late Papers and Missed Assignments

All papers and exercises are due at the beginning of the class period on the date listed on the syllabus.

Academic Dishonesty

Student Responsibility: Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts" (Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series 50101, Section 2.2). Since scholastic dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the university, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. (Refer to the Student Handbook for more information.)

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, who wish to request academic adjustments in this class should notify the Disability Services Office early in the semester so that appropriate accommodations may be made. In accordance with federal law, a student requesting academic adjustments must provide documentation of his/her disability to the Disability Services counselor. For more information, visit the Disability Services Office in the Camille Lightner Student Center or call 956-882-7372.

Emergency Academic Continuity Program

In compliance with the Emergency UTB/TSC Academic Continuity Program, academic courses, partially or entirely, will be made available on the MyUTBTSC Blackboard course management system. This allows faculty members and students to continue their teaching and learning via MYUTBTSC Blackboard http://myutbtsc.blackboard.com, in case the university shuts down as a result of a hurricane or any other natural disaster. The university will use Blackboard to post announcements notifying faculty members and students of their responsibilities as a hurricane approaches our region. If the university is forced to shut down, faculty will notify their students using Blackboard on how to proceed with their course(s). To receive credit for a course, it is the student's responsibility to complete all the requirements for that course. Failure to access course materials once reasonably possible can result in a reduction of your overall grade in the class. To facilitate the completion of classes, most or all of the communication between students and the institution, the instructor, and fellow classmates will take place using the features in your MyUTBTSC Blackboard and UTB email system. Therefore, all students must use Scorpion Online to provide a current email address. Students may update their email address by following the link titled "Validate your e-Mail Account" in MyUTBTSC Blackboard Portal. In the event of a disaster that disrupts normal operations, all students and faculty must make every effort to access an internet-enabled computer as often as possible to continue the learning process.

Tentative Syllabus

Schedule of Assignments Through Midterm

Week One: January 22

Introduction to the Course and Altick.

Homework: Read Altick, chs. 1 and 4. Become familiar with the organization of Harner and Abrams. Write reflective essay assignment.

Week Two: January 29

Reflective essay assignment due. Discussion of Altick, chs. 1 and 4. First research paper and bibliography assigned.

Homework: Read Altick, chs. 2 and 6. Begin research questions, set one: fact checking.

Week Three: February 5

Discussion of Altick, chs. 2 and 6; discuss research questions, set one.

Homework: Read Altick, ch. 3, p. 61-88, textual study. Finish research questions, set one.

Week Four: February 12

Research questions, set one due. Discuss Altick, ch. 3, p. 61-88.

Homework: Read Altick, ch. 3, p. 88-106, problems of authorship. Research questions, set two: reliable texts and standard critical editions.

Week Five: February 19

Research questions, set two due. Discuss Altick, ch. 3, p. 88-106.

Homework: Read Altick, ch. 3, p. 106-119, source study. Begin research questions, set three: authorship, source studies, and reputation and influence. Prepare progress report on first research paper and bibliography.

Week Six: February 26

Discuss Altick, ch. 3, p. 106-119.

Homework: Read Altick, ch. 3, p. 119-135, tracing reputation and influence.

Week Seven: March 5

Research questions, set three due. Discuss Altick, ch. 3, p. 119-135.

Homework: Finish First Research Paper and Bibliography. Read Altick, ch. 3, p. 135-154.

Week Eight: March 12 (Spring Break)

Week Nine: March 19

First Research Paper and Bibliography due.

Week Ten: March 26

No class; work on Research Project.

Week Eleven: April 2

Part One due. Part Two, step one due. In-class editing of "'A Rose for Emily' Master Bibliography." Bring two copies of this bibliography: one for me, and one for a classmate to edit.

Week Twelve: April 9

Part Two step two due. In-class editing of "'A Rose for Emily' Revised Master Bibliography." Bring two copies of this bibliography: one for me, and one for a classmate to edit.

Week Thirteen: April 16

Part Two step three due. In-class editing of "'A Rose for Emily' Second Revised Master Bibliography." Bring two copies of this bibliography: one for me, and one for a classmate to edit.

Week Fourteen: April 23

Part Three due. In-class editing of "An Annotated Bibliography of Five Sources from the 1980s on 'A Rose for Emily'." Bring two copies of this bibliography: one for me, and one for a classmate to edit.

Week Fifteen: April 30

Part Four due. "A Survey of Critical Issues in 'A Rose for Emily'." Discussion of Part Five.

Final examination date is Monday, May 7, 5-7:30 p.m.

Part Five: In-class essay.