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 your capacity to understand and think analytically about poetry and drama, as well as to further develop your skills in writing critical and interpretive essays on literary works.

More specifically, you 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.
  • With respect to the poetry section of the course (Units 1-4), you should be able to: 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.
  • With respect to the drama section of the course (Units 5-7), you should be able to: 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

English 101 is divided into seven units, to be completed in twelve weeks, with two final weeks allotted for review and preparation for the final exam. A timetable for your study is provided later in this Course Manual.

  • 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

  1. Geddes, G. 20th Century Poetry & Poetics. 5th ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2006.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-915-42209-2
  1. Shakespeare, William. Othello. Signet Classic 2nd Revised ed. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada, 1998.
    Type: Play. ISBN: 0-451-52685-6 / 978-0-451-52685-4
  1. MacDonald, Ann-Marie. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). First Vintage Canada ed. Toronto: Random House of Canada Limited, 1990.
    Type: Play. ISBN: 978-0-676-97169-9
  1. Ryga, George. The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1970.
    Type: Play. ISBN: 978-0-88922-000-3
  1. Abrams, M H. and G Harpham. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 11th ed. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth, 2012.
    Type: Text. ISBN: 978-1-285-46506-7/1-285-46506-7
  1. Rooke, Constance. The Clear Path: A Guide to Writing English Essays. 3rd ed. Toronto: Nelson, 2005.
    Type: Text bundle ISBN: 978-0-17-680378-0 included. [The Clear Path: A Guide to Writing English Essays. 3rd ed. Rooke, Constance. Toronto: Nelson. (2005). Text alone: ISBN: 978-0-17-641561-7]

Audio Program (print-based students only):

  • A USB Flash drive of audio segments supplements the printed commentaries and texts. Produced by the Open Learning Agency.


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

In order to successfully complete this course, students must obtain at least 50% on the final mandatory examination and 50% overall. It is strongly recommended that students complete all assignments in order to achieve the learning objectives of the course. The total mark will be determined on the following basis:


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


Assignment 1: Poetry 15%
Assignment 2: Poetry/Drama 15%
Assignment 3: Discussion 10%
Assignment 4: Drama 20%
Final Exam * 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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