English IV Syllabus
All the Bureaucratic Stuff  

"The true philosopher is not a member of any community of ideas."
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The most important single thing we had to pound into ourselves is that we are not important....We’re nothing more than dust jackets for books, of no significance otherwise.”
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“To live is to renew oneself.”
-José Arizmendi

“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

  1. This course will use British literature as a vehicle for thinking about what it means to be a citizen of today, a time many argue is of economic, political and cultural demise in America.  The root of this shift is said to be in the decline of American education—specifically with students at all levels becoming increasingly less literate.  What can we learn about ourselves in the preservation of literature by reading it?  In other words, what does it mean to become what Bradbury calls the “book people” in Fahrenheit 451?  We will look at issues of colonization, the role of the Artist and possibly elements of the Avant-Garde in our exploration of what it means to be a new citizen, a citizen of today in America.
  1. English IV is a course designed to introduce students to some of the major issues, writers and forms found in the history of British literature.  This course will teach students how to analyze and appreciate literary texts and write critical arguments about these works as we investigate some of the questions of literary history.  The course’s primary focus is on the process of composing logically organized, well-supported and mechanically polished argumentative essays about the texts and ideas we will study.


  1. All students are expected to arrive to class on time and prepared to address the day’s agenda.
  2. As such, all students must come to class EACH DAY with the following materials on hand (not in your locker or your buddy’s backpack):
    1. Notebook for taking notes
    2. Loose-leaf paper for in-class assignments
    3. Pen
    4. Pencil (yes, you must have both!)
    5. Folder for all work done for this class
  3. You will be expected to save ALL WORK during the year for a portfolio analysis / class review at the end of the year.
    1. I will provide a folder and drawer space for work to be placed at the end of each 6 weeks.
    3. Plan to write / take notes every day that you are in class.
  4. Please sign up for the RSS feed on the website www.alchemyandlore.com
    1. This is an easy way to check what is upcoming, including due dates and project info

General Deportment

  1. Students are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct and to maintain standard classroom deportment.  That is to say, students should be properly respectful of self and other.  Any and all issues should be handled respectfully in a quiet and private manner.  If you have an issue about which you care and you wish others to respect your issue, then you must be respectful in the delivery.  Failure to be respectful may result in a dismissal of one’s claim. 
    1. Please, no food, can drinks, gum or electronic devices in the classroom. 
    2. Restroom and Locker visits should be attended to before the tardy bell rings. 
  2. Students will incur a 20 minute work detention penalty for each infraction.
  3. After three [3] detentions, I will call home and students will be subject to immediate referrals upon each successive infraction.

Attendance & Participation

  1. Participation is crucial for your growth as a thinker as well as for the overall success of this course. As such, ten percent [10%] of your grade is devoted to class participation — namely, how well you contribute your individual thoughts to the conversation of the course. Are your questions relevant and insightful? Are your comments such that we can make new connections between and among the texts? Are you respectful of your peers? These will all be considered for what is basically a letter grade equivalent for the course.
  2. Excessive behavioral issues will detract from your participation grade.
    1. Detention
      1. 1 = 1% loss
      2. 2 = 2% loss
      3. 3 = 3% loss
      4. 4 = 5% loss
    2. Referral
      1. 1 = 2% loss
      2. 2 = 5% loss

Restroom & Hall Passes

  1. Each student is expected to remain in class at all times unless working on projects that require the use of the library.  No more than three [3] hall passes should be used each six weeks.
  2. Restroom passes are for emergencies.  They are NOT for purchasing food and drink.
  3. Bathroom passes expire after 5 minutes.  Failure to return in time may result in a visit to K-O, a detention, or a referral.
  4. No locker passes will be issued.  Come to class prepared.  Plan ahead.  Having a prior class across the school is not an excuse to come to class unprepared.
  5. No passes will be issued during the first or last 10 [ten] minutes of class per school rules.
  6. To leave on a pass, please use the following procedure:
    1. Do not interrupt a lecture or class conversation to ask to go to the bathroom.  IF you must go during this time, it will be assumed that it is an emergency.
    2. Sign out in the designated notebook
    3. Signal to the teacher that you are leaving WITHOUT interrupting the current activity
    4. Take the permanent HALL PASS
    5. Return in 5 minutes or fewer
    6. Sign back in.
    7. Sit down quietly and catch up with the activity without interrupting your peers

Paper Format
All work must:

  1. Be typed or neatly handwritten
  2. Be double-spaced using a standard 12-point font unless otherwise specified 
  3. Not include a cover page 
  4. Have an original, unique title
  5. Include the name of the assignment [this is NOT the title!]
  6. Have your last name, page number and date in the upper right hand margin of each page according to MLA
  7. Have margins of 1” on all sides 
  8. Be stapled
  9. Have a clean edge (no spirals)
  10. Be written on the front side only
    1. During the first 6 weeks, any work that does not conform to the above will be deducted 2 points per issue.
    2. After the first 6 weeks, any work that does not include all of the above WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AND WILL RECEIVE A ZERO IN THE GRADE BOOK.


  1. The standard 90-100% = A will be employed.
  2. All students are expected to be registered on Parent Connect.
  3. Points will be assigned to all work.  At the end of each six week, the total number of points will be added and divided by the points possible.  The resulting percentage will equate to the final grade.
  4. All students MUST keep a portfolio (I will provide the folder and the storage space)
    1. It is suggested that students keep a log of assignments and grades.
    2. Computer and human errors occur; keep track of ALL your work in case of grade disputes.

Late Work

  1. Late work will not be accepted unless specifically authorized by me.  If I agree to allow you to turn in late work, you MUST have this indicated in writing on your paper accompanied by my initials or stamp.
  2. If there are extenuating circumstances please contact me privately immediately to discuss arrangements.
  3. If you will be absent on the day a major assignment is due, you MUST send it to me with another reliable student, a parent or via email at LS@alchemyandlore.com or blatterl@pcsb.org

Makeup Work

  1. If you are absent and miss an in-class assignment, the ONLY time to make this work up is after school.
  2. I will announce official make-up days during the first couple of weeks of school.
  3. If you cannot make up work after school, an alternate assignment will not be given until I have been in contact with a parental or guardian unit.

Academic Honesty

  1. Unless it is specifically connected to assigned collaborative work, all work should be individual. Evidence of collusion (working with someone not connected to the class or assignment), plagiarism (use of someone else' s published or unpublished words or design without acknowledgement) or multiple submissions (submitting the same paper in different courses) will lead to the school's procedures for dealing with academic dishonesty. All students are expected to honor their commitment to the school’s Honor Code.
    1. Cheating = Automatic Referral and a Zero [0%] for the assignment
    2. Plagiarism = Automatic Referral and a Zero [0%] for the assignment
  2. While you may, at times, work as a group, individuals are still responsible for noting all work on their own paper. 
  1. Elements of Literature: Sixth Course, Florida Edition
  2. The Holt Reader: An Interactive WorkText, Sixth Course, Florida Edition [Hereby known as WB]
  3. The Tempest, Folger Shakespeare Library edition
  4. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man (Please see me to buy your copy)

Papers (each will be roughly 40% of your 6 weeks grade)

  1. Personal Essay                                                            2 - 3 pages
  2. Several argumentative essays ranging from 2 - 5 pages
  3. Research Paper                                               4 - 6 pages
    1. Proposal
      1. Working thesis / guiding question + answer
      2. Major work to be studied (novel, collection of short stories, literary movement, etc.)
      3. At least 5 [FIVE] potential references from at least 3 different media venues (online database, library, magazine, newspaper, etc.) with at least one from each
    2. Annotated Bibliography (Index cards: 75)
    3. Summary               1 page
    4. Synthesis         2 – 3 pages
    5. Outline
    6. Works Cited Page
    7. NOTE: We will be working on the research paper first semester making the final product a cumulative product of the semester’s work.
  4. Portfolio Analysis        2 – 3 pages
    1. This will be part of your final exam.

Responses (roughly 10-20% of your 6 weeks grade)

  1. 175 – 250 words each including at least one quoted and MLA cited reference from the text

Impromptu Essays (roughly 5% of your 6 weeks grade)

  1. Unannounced in-class writing every 4-8 weeks

Presentations (roughly 5% of your 6 weeks grade)

  1. Students will be required to lead class discussion on texts periodically.  This requires that students have read the material and prepared for discussion prior to class meeting. 
    1. Absent students will be required to complete a 2 page essay on the missed presentation within three [3] days of returning.
    2. Students who skip class will receive a Zero [0%] and an automatic referral.


  1. 10% of your final grade.  See above “Policies” for details.

Weekly Quizzes (roughly 15% of your 6 weeks grade)

  1. Grammar
  2. Usage
  3. Mechanics
  4. Vocabulary

Current Publications (roughly 5% of your 6 weeks grade)

  1. Weekly readings from nyt.com, salon.com, slate.com, atlanticmonthly.com, etc.
  2. Short summaries and responses to current issues
    1. Relate publication readings to literary texts
    2. MLA documentation practice
    3. Source integration
    4. Research paper material

Exams (roughly 10% of your 6 weeks grade)

  • Administered at the conclusion of each thematic unit.