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ENGL 1011: Literature and Composition II

This course is the second part of first-year English and introduces you to poetry and drama. In the first half, the course briefly considers the major features of poetry and then looks closely at how a poem is organized, how thematic patterns emerge, how the work of a specific poet can be characterized according to style, and how specific subjects can be treated in different ways. You will be studying a selection of modern and contemporary poems. In the second half of the course, you will study three plays, each of which introduces an important form of drama. Topics for consideration include dramatic structure, tragedy, comedy, characterization, theme, and expressionist theatre.

Learning outcomes

The main purposes of ENGL 1011 are to expand students' capacity to understand and think analytically about poetry and drama, as well as to further develop skills in writing critical and interpretive essays on literary works.

More specifically, students should be able to:

  • Identify and explain major styles, components, and techniques of twentieth-century poetry and of a selection of plays, using specific examples from works studied in the course.
  • Identify and discuss literary patterns in a poem or play.
  • Identify and explain the contribution to the work as a whole of important passages selected from the plays and poems studied in this course.
  • Explicate poems not included among the selections studied in this course.
  • Evaluate and compare different authorial treatments of particular themes and subjects in poems from the course reading list.
  • Analyse dramatic structure, characterization, theme, and specific techniques in the plays studied in this course.
  • Describe the purposes and most common techniques of a range of plays, including tragedy, comedy and expressionist drama.
  • Move from reading a play to imagining how it might be performed on stage.

Course topics

  • Unit 1 : Introduction to Poetry
  • Unit 2: Understanding and Writing about Poetry
  • Unit 3: Aspects of Style and the Poet's Voice
  • Unit 4 : Subject and Treatment in 20th-Century Poetry
  • Unit 5: Introduction to Drama and Tragedy
  • Unit 6: Comedy in Drama
  • Unit 7: Expressionist Drama

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. 20th.Century Poetry & Poetics. 5th edition. Geddes, G. Toronto: Oxford University Press. (2006).
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-915-42209-2
  1. Othello. Shakespeare, William. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada. Signet Classic 2nd Revised edition. (1998).
    Type: Play. ISBN: 0-451-52685-6 / 978-0-451-52685-4
  1. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). First Vintage Canada edition. MacDonald, Ann-Marie. Toronto: Random House of Canada Limited. (1990).
    Type: Play. ISBN: 978-0-676-97169-9
  1. The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. Ryga, George. Vancouver: Talonbooks. (1970).
    Type: Play. ISBN: 978-0-88922-000-3
  1. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 11th Edition. Abrams, M H. Harpham, G. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth. (2012).
    Type: Text. ISBN: 978-1-285-46506-7/1-285-46506-7

Students will need to source the following on their own:

  1. The Clear Path: A Guide to Writing English Essays. 3rd ed. Rooke, Constance. Toronto: Nelson. (2005).
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-17-641561-7


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.


Assignment 1: Poetry 10%
Assignment 2: Poetry 15%
Assignment 3: Drama 15%
Assignment 4: Drama 20%
Final Exam (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%


Assignment 1: Poetry 15%
Assignment 2: Poetry/Drama 15%
Assignment 3: Discussion 10%
Assignment 4: Drama 20%
Final Exam (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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