Home     Dates/Asgnmts.

           Readings          How to Do Papers         Grading        Attendance           D2L            

 FAQ's       Final Paper



Site Contents:
Click on what you want.
(Links are same as above.)




     How to Do Papers





   Final Paper


Other Site Pages:

    Syllabus (Class Summary)

    How to Start

     Online Records

     Make Up/Extra Credit

 .    ---

Very Important Links
on Other Websites:

    Literature Section of

    NoodleTools Bibliography
          Maker (bottom of page)

     IHCC Library

   Contact Richard




Eng  2 23 5
Syllabus (Course Summary)


Welcome to Eng 2235!  This web page is a traditional syllabus.  It summarizes the course.  Please use this page primarily for checking out the course beforehand.  Once you start the course, please rely on the other pages of this web site for fuller, more detailed information about assignments, grading, points, etc.  To see more information about the author, including contact information, go to www.RichardJewell.org. http://Richard.Jewell.net.


  The Course

            Welcome to "Eng 2235 Mythic Stories: Cultural and Personal" as taught by me--Richard Jewell, your instructor.  This three-credit course has an assumed workload of about nine hours per week: approximately six hours for homework and three hours for class-time activities.  The Inver Hills Community College Catalog describes this course as follows: 

Eng 2235 Mythic Stories: Cultural and Personal.  3 credits, 3 classroom hours/week.  Surveys significant mythic stories from around the world, such as Africa, Egypt, the Far East, Great Britain, Greece, Mesopotamia, North and South America, and Scandinavia.  Universal themes and the nature of the mythic hero are considered as well as the role and value of myth to our lives.  Works considered could include essays, short stories, films, plays, poems, and novels.

            The fully-online ("FOL") section currently is the only version of this course offered at Inver Hills.  It is a Web and Internet class that can be taken by anybody in the world with regular access to email and the Web.  Both sections also involve some individual travel to several arts events and activities such as local plays and/or museums, with other alternatives allowed for those who cannot make the in-person events..  

            I'd like to make this course not only interesting and helpful to you, but also enjoyable.  You must participate as actively in the class as possible, as there, even in this online class, a weekly form of attendance.  This attendance must be done weekly, and it is accomplished on a class bulletin board (sometimes called a "discussion board").  In fact, the more you put into this class, the more you'll enjoy it and the more rewarding you'll find it.

            I also would like to make sure that all the materials, discussions and activities that are part of this course are accessible to you. If you would like to request accommodations or other services, please contact me as soon as possible. It is also possible to contact the Disability Services Office, L-224; phone, 651/450-8628; TTY, 651/450-8369.


Mythology is a wonderful and exciting field of study.  It asks--and sometimes answers--questions about what the meaning is of culture, society, the arts, and life itself.  In many ways, it is like a Humanities class.  However, because it is specifically set up in the Inver Hills catalog as an English literature class, we will approach it primarily as a literature class  For this reason, we will study mythic literature, and you will learn how to use literary tools to examine and write about literature.  I have a strong background in mythology, having studied Western versions of it in particular for many years.  We will work primarily with Western mythology and some Near Eastern mythology; however, there also will be plenty of chance for individual independent study of mythic lit from any culture.  The particular focuses of the course will be ancient Greek myth, fairy tales from several countries and times, King Arthur, biblical stories, and modern British myth lit (i.e., C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien).  There are two central textbooks: one is on the Web, CollegeWriting.info, and gives instructions for reading, analyzing, interpreting, and reviewing literature.  The other is a classic, popular text on how to understand mythology: Joseph Campbell's The Hero [and Heroine] with a Thousand Faces."

I will keep you busy with plenty of reading and writing this term.  However, most of the reading should be interesting, and most of the writing will just be rough-draft, quickly-written writing for which you simply receive a checkmark of credit if you do it.  I ask for a lot of writing because an increasing number of research studies show that students remember more and learn better when they write a lot.  In addition, the frequent writing means there are no objective tests and only one graded term paper.

            Will the grading be tough? If you're willing to put in the time and do all the assignments, the grading won't be particularly difficult.  My assumption is that most of you will work hard and earn an average or above-average grade.  In the FOL (fully-online) section, most class activities will take place online in asynchronous (not-at-the-same-time) bulletin-board postings.  This will be true of one third of the F2F (face-to-face) section's class time, too.  In the F2F classroom, in addition, there will be a lot of group work. Why use it? It's a highly efficient method for many people in exploring more deeply and meaningfully their connections to the subject matter.  (It also is good training for your future professional jobs, where group work has become a predominant way of working.)

            Here are the kinds of class activities you can expect to be doing from week to week for your attendance grade:


  • one evening of 1st class meeting in person (required of everyone within two hours' drive of IHCC)  (Replaceable by doing extra credit.)

  • 3-4 evenings to visit theatres and/or museums.  These generally will take place on Thursday evenings in or around the Twin Cities as a group, but individuals may opt to choose their own places and/or times that fit with the course content.  Students at a distance may visit such places in their own cities.  (Replaceable by doing extra credit.)

  • one individual consultation with me to discuss your final paper, either in in person or by phone consultation (optional--may be replaced by extra online or other work).  (You also may visit me in my office as often as you like.)

  • ONLINE: roughly, about two online class hours per week on a class bulletin/discussion board (required)


Your online portion of the class breaks down something like this: 


  • online bulletin board: two different types of classes: (1) "Questions"--your reflections upon questions I ask about the Humanities, the class, and/or museum/play visits; and (2) "Readings"--your thoughtful ideas and feelings about your weekly textbook readings.  Some of your online work will consist of making initial statements, and some of it in responding to each other's statements.

  • Web reading: The syllabus, schedule, and assignment materials all are on this Web site, as is some of your textbook material.

  • Email: I'll sometimes send out messages to all of you as a group. 

  • Web links: There are two sets of links that you may find helpful.  One is "Links to Literature."  The other is This is optional, but some of you may find it helpful: a set of links called "Links to the Humanities/Mythology" that lists a variety of mythology sites on the Web.  


What am I like?  For starters, please feel free to call me "Richard" or "Mr. Jewell"--or anything else that's nice.  :-)    I'm looking forward to working with you.  If you'd like to find out more about me, check out "About Richard."  There's a description of me, a picture, my resume, and a sample short story of mine.  I am somewhat new at IHCC.  I taught undergraduate writing and literature at the University of Minnesota for five years, but in mid-2001, IHCC offered me a lifetime (tenured) position.  Because of this and because I believe that two years at IHCC is as good an education as the same two years at the average private four-year college--and better than the first two years at the University of Minnesota or a state university-- I decided to come here.  I'm very glad you've chosen Inver Hills as your school.  It is an excellent school.      

Return to top.


  Textbooks and Work Load




  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

  • Myths of the Ancient Greeks by Richard P. Martin

  • Oedipus the King [Oedipus Rex] by Sophocles

  • The Classic Fairy Tales edited by Maria Tatar

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; OR Books 2, 4, & 5 of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 4. Prince Caspian, and 5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), OR something else of your choice

OTHER REQUIRED RESOURCES (You do not need to buy these.):


            How much work is a typical college class? 3 cr. = 9 hrs./wk.; 4 cr. = 12 hrs./wk. That includes both class and homework.  I'd like to ask you for your commitment this semester to the expected amount of time for work. The Inver Hills (and national) standard is three hours of work (two of homework and one of class time) per week for every college credit, to receive an average grade. This class is a three-credit class, so please plan on spending at least nine hours per week on class and homework: three on class and six on homework.  This represents an average--some weeks may be less, some more.  It also represents the work needed by the average college student to receive an average grade (which, nationally, is probably a "B" or "B-" in the first two years of college).  If you want an "A" or you tend to be a below-average student, you may need to work more than the amount of time described here. 

Return to top.


Assigned Papers


            How many assignments are there? A lot. However, most of them are short and relatively easy. I'm asking for just one graded paper--at the end of the semester.  Almost all the other assignments are weekly, and they include a number of short, rough-draft, quickly and even sloppily written papers done either by pen or by computer printout: just neat enough for me to read them, not revised, and written as quickly as you can.  You'll get a check mark for doing them and receive a grade at the end of the term for how many check marks you've received.  These papers are lab practice in a biology course: they will show me you've done the readings and help you practice the humanities and think about them more.  I am doing these kinds of assignments instead of having several objective tests or several graded papers because I believe that in the long run, you'll learn more from writing on a weekly basis about what you've read.    

            All papers must be on time.  Late papers are not accepted because most of them help you prepare for class discussions and activities.  Most assigned papers for any given week always will be due on Wednesday of that week, online or on campus (for night classes, papers will be due at the time you show up for class).  However, there are some exceptions: see ""Homework" for more.


            Please remember that you may write these as "lab" papers--in very rough-draft form--without worrying about grammatical usage, spelling, or punctuation:

            How many assignments are there?  There are many.  Most, however, are short and relatively easy.  Be sure to check the "Schedule" regularly to see what is due.  If you run into a true emergency, do call me or come see me before homework is late.
(NOTE: For instructions on how to write these papers, see "Homework.")

  • Reading Analyses (RA): Write brief outline descriptions of each story, poem, essay, or other reading for the week using the elements of literature.  

  • Expanded Analysis (EA): Choose one reading and write a 300+ word analysis of it, simply describing it by using 5-6 of the elements of literature.

  •  Interpretive Thesis (IT): Choose one reading and write a 300+word interpretation of what some part of it might possibly mean.

  • Literary Review (LR): Choose one reading (or two to three) and write a 300+ word review of it, using summary, interpretation/comparison, and evaluation of quality.

  • Brief Description of Differences: When the class both reads something and sees it as a movie or play, write 50+ words describing five or more differences between the version you read and the version you saw.

  • Class Journals (CJ): Write two 300-word journals about class at the beginning and end of the term.

  • Personal Response (PR): Write your personal response, 300+ w., to one or more of the week’s readings.


           There is a final term paper at the end of the course.  It is worth about 20% of your overall grade.  You will write an interpretive thesis of a literary reading that is mythological.  Your paper may be a continuation or revision of one or more of your weekly papers, or it may be on something entirely new.  New subjects, for example, could be Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, an African folktale, a literate and well written story from the Bible, a recounting of an Asian myth, something from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, etc.  The term paper will consist of several drafts.  The first two will be developed in consultation with me.  You will turn in the third one for a final grade on it.  For specific instructions, see "Final Project."

Return to top.


  Grading and Attendance



  • 35%: attendance or equivalent

  • 20%: Final Project Paper

  • 45%: weekly rough-draft papers

  • plus or minus up to 1-2 letter grades from the above for participation, attitude, attention, hard work


This portion of your grade will be determined by how many of your weekly, rough-draft, non-graded assignments you turn in. Each assignment will be worth one or more check marks or "X's" of credit. If, by the end of the semester, you have 90-100% of your possible X's of credit, you'll receive an "A" for weeklies; 80-90%, a "B"; etc. (+'s and -'s will be used).  See "Attendance" below for more details.


Attendance in is very important. Why? Much of what you learn will be developed through your interactions with others.  That is what much of our online classes is about: expressing your ideas, giving feedback to others, and getting it from them.  In addition, four weeks (or the equivalent) of our classes will be spent in hands-on, practical application of the humanities: actually going to humanities places and events such as museums, theaters, and/or architectural sites to see, hear, and sometimes even touch cultural/social events.  I ask that you attend online class regularly (or do substitute work when you miss), and that you try to attend the cultural events with the class or on your own. 

However, if you are willing to do extra work outside of class, you can also treat this course as a sort of semi-independent study by regularly doing "makeup" work.  Attendance is developed from how many times you participate, and for how long, in the discussion boards, in on-campus meetings or museum or play visits, or equivalent make ups of those.  You also can earn extra credit. 

Grading system: Grading for the semester is based on 100 X's (100 points or 100%) being equal to an A+.  The X's you can earn are divided as follows:

  • 45 X's (or points): weekly homework papers

  • 35 X's (or more): attendance and/or extra credit

  • 20 X's: final paper (up to 20)

  • Participation, attitude, attention, hard work--can slightly lower or raise final letter grade

You earn X's by completing the work.  In attendance, an "X" (or a "V") is about 70 min. of work.  The same is true for extra credit - about 70 min. of work per X.  In weekly homework, most assignments are worth 1 X each, with a few being equal to 2 X's.  By the end of the term, your total X's will determine your grade as follows:

100 (or more) X's = A+
90-99 X's = A
80-89 X's = B
70-79 X's = C
60-69 X's = D
0-59 X's = F

Basically, you can determine your grade by how many X's you earn.  The method of doing well in this class is to earn as many X's as you can, depending on what grade you want. 

Lateness/Leaving Early: If you are 15 min. late to arrive or early to leave a physical-classroom class, you'll lose half a credit for that class hr.

Make up: You may make up 1 missed class hr. by doing 1 hr. of extra Practice Activities, or 1 hr. of combined reading and Comments on a directly related reading that is not in Lamm (or that we skipped in Lamm).  You also can make up 1 missed class hr. by watching 2 hrs. of directly related videos, plays, movies, and TV; by listening intensively to music (not while doing something else) of the periods we're covering; looking at art books; etc.--I'm open to suggestions--and then summarizing/explaining/commenting on what you've read, seen, or done for 100+ words per 2 hrs.


I hope you enjoy the class.  If there's anything I can do to help you enjoy it more--alternatives, help with understanding something, etc.--come see me, email me anytime, or call me from 9 am-9 pm.  My phone number, email address, and other info are at the beginning of this syllabus.                

 See also How To Start Online.  

Return to top.



Updated 11 Jan. 2014



Contents and page design: Copyright () 2005-2013 by Richard Jewell

Images courtesy of IHCC, Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art

First date of publication: January 1, 2005.  Graphics redesigned Aug. 1, 2013
Home-page server's URL:  www.umn.edu/home/jewel001/composition/1108/home.htm
CONTACT RICHARD: See www.Richard.Jewell.net/contact.htm.  Office: Business 136