Course Exam—ENGL 212

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ENGL 212 is a three-credit introductory course teaching “forms of poetry, with a wide variety of examples from Shakespeare to Atwood, examining themes, structure, style, and imagery.” In the second part of the course, students will be introduced to “elements and forms of drama and provides a historical perspective on the development of drama with reference to three plays: a tragedy from the early seventeenth century, a tragi-comedy from the late nineteenth century, and a modern comedy.” The course has no pre-requisites and is available for challenge.

Who Should Take This Course and Why

For this course, we had the opportunity to interview Cerise Troup, who is currently a full-time student working toward her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in anthropology.  Cerise is a full-time, single mother to two beautiful children.  She works as a Senior Project Manager in the exhibit industry.  In essence, she manages the design, fabrication, and installation of exhibits at trade shows, events, and conferences.  When we asked Cerise who she would recommend this course to, she stated, “I would definitely recommend this course to any AU student and any AU student who loves to read.  The reading material provided touches on all forms of poetry and drama and provides a deeper understanding of the overall structure and composition of the works.”

Course, Essays and Final Exam Details

ENGL 212 covers the history, analysis, and major authors of poetry and drama.  The course consists of novels, work collaborations, and literary glossaries.  The course also comes with a study schedule and study guide for students.

The structure of the course includes three essays.  The first essay is worth 10% and is an explication of a poem that is no more than 650 words.  The second and third essays are worth 25% each, an analytical essay on poetry and one on drama, based on the subject chosen on the questions provided.  Both essays should be 1000 words.  The course is divided into two parts, with part one focusing on poetry and part two focusing on plays.   It does not have any midterms, however there is an online final exam that is worth 40% of the overall mark.

How to Be Successful in the Course

Introducing the Course Tutor – Marian Allen

Marian Allen is a tutor for English 212 and for five other writing and literature courses for Athabasca University.  Mrs. Allen has been tutoring AU students since 1986.  She retired from being the Associate Chair of the English Department at MacEwan University in 2010.  She is the co-author of two books on grammar and rhetoric: Essay Writing for Canadian Students and Forms of Writing.

Marian Allen’s Five Tips for the Course
  1. Many students look forward to reading poetry and are eager to jump right into the course, but some feel a bit daunted by the number of poems. Keep in mind that the better you understand these poems, the more likely you are to remember them, so be sure to read the commentary in the English 212 Study Guide carefully, and try to answer the study questions on the poems.  If you have problems, don’t hesitate to contact your tutor.
  2. The first assignment in English 212, which asks you to write a stylistic analysis of an excerpt from one of the poems, may seem difficult, especially if you have never written this kind of essay and worry about how you figure out the rhyme scheme or the rhythm of a poem. The commentary on the poem you are analyzing in the English 212 Study Guide and the introduction to poetry in the Harbrace Anthology are very useful resources here.  Your tutor can also help you understand the poem you are analyzing and can provide feedback on your ideas before you submit the first version of your essay.  You also have the opportunity to revise this essay and re-submit it.  The effort you make in this assignment to understand not just what the poet is saying but also how the poet is using language for maximum impact will greatly enrich your enjoyment of all the poems and plays in English 212.
  3. When you are writing your essays on poetry and studying for the exam, pay attention to the different types of poetry in English 212 and try to remember the main characteristics and some representative poems in each of the four categories of poetry: lyric, narrative, dramatic, and free verse. Note the characteristics of particular forms of poetry such the ballad, the sonnet, the dramatic monologue, and the ode.
  4. As you work your way through the course, take note of key literary terms such as symbol, image, courtly love, pastoral, carpe diem, tragedy, comedy, setting, characterization. Try to use these terms accurately in your essays and on the exam.
  5. When you are working on the plays, read the Study Guide commentary carefully and try to answer the questions. Your goal should be to understand the main ideas in each of the plays and to try to see some connections among them.  Are both Othello and Hedda Gabler tragic heroes? What do the heroines of MacDonald’s and Ibsen’s plays have in common?
Student Tips

For this course we had the opportunity to interview Cerise, who suggested the tip to being successful in the course is, “Close-reading, annotations and notes as one reads the material, proofreading of essays before handing in, and if using large blocks of quotes, ensure that the summary or analysis of that quote is the same size or larger.”

When we asked Cerise about her experience with the tutor, Marian, she stated, “the tutor Marian Allen is knowledgeable, easy to get in touch with and marks fairly quickly with excellent constructive criticism.” Cerise also mentioned, “Overall I am delighted with the course and the learning perimeters provided.”

Thank you very much to Marian and Cerise for their feedback!


If you have any further questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact the Course Coordinator at  Happy studying!