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Montgomery College

TP/SS English and Reading Department

Instructor: Matthew Decker

Office Location: P4-306D

Email: matthew.decker@montgomerycollege.edu
Phone: 240-567-5807

Office Hours:
M ~ 9:00 - 11:00 AM T ~ 4:00 - 5:00 PM
WF ~ 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Class Days and Time:

Class Locations:

T ~ 1:00 - 3:40 PM

Mathematics Pavilion (MP) 140

I. General Course Information:

A comparative study of films and the literary sources upon which they are based. Special attention is given
to the practical and theoretical problems of adapting literature to film and the basic differences between the
two. The course explores how character development, plot, narrative, symbols, and language are translated
from literary texts to film, and considers the limitations of film adaptation. Students read, analyze, and
respond critically to texts in class discussions, examinations, and essays. PREREQUISITE: A grade of C or
better in ENGL 101 or ENGL 101A, or consent of department. The equivalent of three hours
lecture/discussion each week over a regular semester, plus film viewings.
This fall semester, the focus of our class will be on feature films adapted from novels that either explore or
take place within dystopian worlds. Emphasis will be on developing critical reading, viewing, and
analytical skills by comparing and contrasting the literary texts and the film adaptations of the texts.
This class includes a supplemental Blackboard site that will be updated each week with
course materials, announcements, and more. It is best practice to check our Blackboard
site every week for updates. Please check the following Technical Requirements page at
www.montgomerycollege.edu/delt for more information regarding Blackboard use.

Check Our

II. General Education Statement:

ENGL 235 fulfills a General Education Program Humanities Distribution requirement. Montgomery
Colleges General Education Program is designed to ensure that students have the skills, knowledge and
attitudes to carry them successfully through their work and personal lives. This course provides multiple
opportunities to develop competencies in written and oral communication, critical analysis and reasoning,
technological competency, and information literacy. For more information, please see

III. Course Outcomes:

At the end of ENGL 235, students will be able to do the following:

Identify the fundamentals of film making and analysis to study film as a genre in the literary tradition.
Use various literary and cinematic terms to discuss, interpret, and analyze representative texts.
Respond to, analyze, and evaluate films as literary texts.
Demonstrate critical reading of texts and use a style appropriate for academic discourse by writing multi-page
Show an understanding how the political, socio-cultural, and historical contexts of literature translate into film
making and analysis.
Synthesize connections between individual texts and a variety of literary and cinematic interpretations.

IV. Required Texts and Supplies:

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, published in 2006 (ISBN: 9780812974621)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, published in 1995 (ISBN: 9781451673319)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, published in 1975 (ISBN: 9780345404473)
Snowpiercer Vol. 1 by Jacques Lob, published in 2013 (ISBN: 9781782761334)
The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, published in 1986 (ISBN: 9780385490818)
The Giver by Lois Lowry, published in 1993 (ISBN: 9780440237686)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy, published in 2006 (ISBN: 9780307387899)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, published in 2008 (ISBN: 9780439023528)

Rather than purchase your texts all at once, I think it would be a smart choice to purchase cheaper versions of
these texts only a week or so before we actually start reading that new text. If you stagger your purchases, you
may be able to find cheaper versions of these texts on Amazon, AbeBooks, another website, or a bookstore. You
are also welcome to try your local library, but you should use the specific version of the text I require above.

V. Grading and Assignments

The grade for this course will be comprised of the following requirements:
Comparables ........
Homework/Context Posts ........

30 points each
50 points

Two Group Projects .....

45 points each

Final Project and Presentation ..

200 points

Two Papers (3-6 pages depending on assignment) ..

100 points each

Reading Completion, Participation, and Attendance ....

250 points

Total Points = 1000

Letter Grades will be assigned as follows:
A ..................................................................................................................900 1000 pts.
B ..................................................................................................................800 899 pts.
C ..................................................................................................................700 799 pts.
D ..................................................................................................................650 699 pts.
F ...................................................................................................................Below 650 pts.
* I may elect to add or subtract minor assignments (like homework assignments) this semester.

If I do, the final point tally will change and I will make you aware of the new total point tally.*
Auditing students are not required to submit formal writing assignments (unless they would like to). If an
auditing student wants to contribute to class discussion, reading and viewing assignments must be completed!

VI. Professor Deckers Classroom Policies, Assignments, and

Essay Writing: Essays should be in MLA format with all sources (including class readings) properly
documented. Unless I have instructed you to use outside sources, work that uses material from the web, other
texts, or any other unassigned sourcesincluding ideas you put into your own wordswill not be accepted.
Please have your work prepared, printed, and stapled by the start of class if I ask you to turn in a hard-copy of
your paper. Essays submitted one day late will have one letter grade automatically deducted. Any essays
submitted a week after their due date will receive an automatic failing grade (0 points). If you miss a class when
a written assignment is due, you are expected to send your work via e-mail to me before that class meets.
Paper Preparation and Format: All essays must be typed or word-processed (use Microsoft
Word), printed on a letter or near-letter quality printer, and/or emailed as an attachment from your
Montgomery College email account.

All papers must contain an appropriate MLA-style header at the start of your first page:
THE PAPER ASSIGNMENT (i.e. Compare and Contrast Essay)
THE DUE DATE (i.e. December 1st, 2015 or 12/1/2015)

All hard copies of papers must be stapled: no dog-ears, paper clips, or loose papers. If you make more than one
copy of a paper, please do not staple the copies to each other.

Each essay must be double spaced with standard 1-inch margins.

Any handwritten work must be legible.

Homework/Context Posts: Students are responsible for completing 10 discussion board entries
this semester that create context conversations outside of class. Each new week of class a new topic
thread is generated on Blackboard about filmmaking/ cinematic techniques, dystopian tropes, or literary
terms/devices. Each post is worth a total of 5 points and is graded according to content, relevance, depth of
thought, and grammar/punctuation clarity. Any use of an outside source must be cited as well. Finally,
students can earn extra credit if they respond to peers posts in a substantial way that either continues or
deepens the conversation.
Comparables: In these 7 typed outline-style assignments, students will compare and/or contrast
characteristics shared between a work of literature and its film translation. Common topics of discussion
include plot, setting, character, literary tropes, imagery, symbolismamong others. While this is an
outline-style assignment, students must use complete sentences that reflect their awareness of grammar,
punctuation, and other mechanical formalities. After a completed reading and viewing of an assigned text, a
student will submit a 2-page comparable to Prof. Decker at the beginning of the next class period. More
due date details are provided in the Course Outline.


Cinematic and Literary Group Presentations: In the early weeks of this semester, students
will sign up for two presentation cycles (one focused on cinema and the other on literature). The primary
goal is practical: Experience what it is to work as part of a team to complete a project and deliver
information to an audience of peers. These presentations will be offered throughout the semester to support
our ongoing text discussions. More specifically, once we have completed both a reading and a viewing of a
text (like
We by Zamyatin), two groups will offer We-specific presentations at the beginning of the following week of
class. In those presentations, one group will discuss what they feel is the most powerful, key, or
provocative passage from the novel that establishes thematic significance. The other group will discuss
what they feel is the most powerful, key, or provocative scene from the film version that establishes
thematic significance. More details will be provided in a formal prompt for the assignment.
Film Viewings: We will watch all 8 films in class on the assigned days (See our Course Outline for
more details.). If you miss a film screening, you are responsible for securing a copy of the film and viewing
it before the next class. Please contact me if you would like to borrow my copy of the film.
Attendance: Is a must! Not only does your presence in class factor into your course grade, but it
also contributes to a successful learning atmosphere. Without your knowledge and active participation
many of your fellow classmates (and me!) will suffer. As a class that values collaboration and group
discussions, ENGL 235 requires every student to be punctual, prepared, and ready to participate every
class meeting. If you must miss a class, it is your job to inform me through email or phone before
class with an explanation. You are also responsible for any work assigned or completed during your
absence (I will not contact you; you will contact me). I will be available through email and/or during
my office hours to discuss missed work.

If you are absent more than one time, you may be dropped from the course.
Penalties for unexcused absences and/or tardies and/or unpreparedness:
2 points off final course grade for each unexcused absence.


You shouldnt be late to this class either! Being late for the beginning of class or leaving early two times
will constitute one absence. Arriving late or leaving early is rude and disruptive to our learning
environment. Please try to avoid these unnecessary penalties!
Finally, if you talk inappropriately or engage in behavior that disrupts the instructors right to teach other
students or other students rights to learn, you will be asked to leave the class. If you are asked to leave the
class, you will be counted absent.
VII. Montgomery College Standards/Classroom Policies:

For more detail and additional resources, see

A. Attendance [and Withdrawal from Class] According to College academic regulations, students are
expected to attend all class sessions. The instructor may fail or drop students if they are absent more than the
equivalent of one week of class. If students miss a class, they are responsible for any work assigned or
completed during their absence. Students should not expect their instructor to take time from the regularly
scheduled class to tell students about work they have missed. Instructors are available to meet with students
during office hours or by appointment.

B. Audit Policy Students may choose to audit a class at the time of initial registration, or they may change to
audit at any point prior to completion of 20% of the class. Faculty permission is not required to register for
audit. However, permission is required to change to audit after classes begin.
C. Withdrawal An official last day to withdrawal from a course with a grade of W is established each
semester and can be found on the colleges academic year calendar, which is posted on the College website.
It is the students option and responsibility to withdraw from the course by this date.
Take note of

Withdrawal from Class: The last day to withdraw from class with a
refund is September 14th, 2015. The last day to withdraw from this class
is November 23rd, 2015.

D. Academic Honesty Regarding academic honesty, the Montgomery College Student Handbook states the
following information:
Students who engage in any act [judged] by the classroom instructor to constitute academic dishonesty or
misconduct are subject to any and all sanctions deemed appropriate by the classroom instructor, [including]
grade sanctions for violations of academic ethics.
Plagiarism is a very serious academic and ethical offense whether intentional or unintentional. It is a form of
cheating and is grounds for failure on an assignment, in the course, or referral to the appropriate dean for
additional sanctions. In your assignments, give proper credit to borrowed material, whenever you:

Directly quote another persons actual words, whether oral or written;

Paraphrase the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others;
Use another persons ideas, opinions, or theories;
Borrow facts, statistics, or illustrative material;
Offer materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without
acknowledgment. (Adapted from Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and

ADVICE: Do not test your professors on this policy. Technology today makes it very simple to locate
plagiarized material in student work. If a professor suspects your work of plagiarism, it is as simple as using
Google to find the rightful source. In this class, any plagiarized material (even if it is one borrowed
sentence) will not be graded. You will simply receive a zero for the assignment.
E. Student Code of Conduct Regarding classroom behavior, the Montgomery College Student Handbook
states the following information:
If a student behaves disruptively in the classroom after the instructor has explained the unacceptability of
such conduct and the consequences that will result, the student may be asked to leave the room for the
remainder of the class time. If the student does not leave, the faculty member [will] request the assistance of
The faculty member and the student are expected to meet to resolve the issue before the next class session.
If, after a review of the situation and a restatement of the expected behaviors, the student refuses to comply
with the stated standards of conduct required, then the faculty member should refer the issue in writing to the
dean of student development for action under the Student Code of Conduct.

Dean of Student Development contact phone number:

Takoma Park/Silver Spring = 240-567-1469
Additional Classroom Standards for Behavior:

The professor has the right to penalize the following behaviors:

Arriving late to class repeatedly

Leaving class prematurely
Exhibiting a lack of participation in class
Any disruption of the positive learning environment
Any disrespectful or impolite behavior
Any use of profanity or offensive language
Any cell phone activity
Any disruptive talking
Any use of electronic devices

Professors reserve the right to amend this list at any time, and students will be notified.
F. Support Services
The Writing, Reading, and Language Center (WRL Center) at Takoma Park/ Silver Spring provides print
materials and one-on-one tutoring for Montgomery College students on a drop-in or appointment basis.
Services at the WRLC include instructional support for courses in grammar, reading, speech, writing and
languages supported by the College. For information on hours of operation, you can choose to visit the
WRLC located in RC-105, call this number: (240) 567-1556, or email wrc.tp-ss@montgomerycollege.edu.
Any student who may need accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Disability
Support Services office on your campus as soon as possible (R-CB122; G-SA172; or TP/SS-ST233). If
you have an accommodation letter from DSS, please contact me to discuss arrangements for your
accommodations. Any student who may need assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation must
i d e n t i f y to the Disability Support Services Office; guidelines for emergency evacuations are at:
DSS counselors can be reached as follows:
Germantown = Harry Zarin, SA Room 181, 240-567-7767
Rockville = DSS Support Services Office, CAB Room 122,240-567-5058
Takoma Park/Silver Spring = Dr. Cathy Wilson, ST Room 137, 240-567-1475

G. Printing at MC: Your printing login and password is sent directly to your MC email address from WEPA.
If deleted by mistake, visit www.wepanow.com, enter your MC email address (your username), and click
Forgot your Password. WEPA will email a link to change your password to your MC email address. This
process will take a few minutes, so plan ahead. For more information about Printing at MC, visit
H. Veteran/Active Reserve Military Personnel Support If you are a veteran or on active or reserve status and
you are interested in information regarding opportunities, programs, and/or services, please visit the
Combat2College website at www.montgomerycollege.edu/combat2college/ and/or contact Joanna Starling at
240-567-7103 or at joanna.starling@montgomerycollege.edu.
I. Cancellation of Classes Regarding emergency closing of the College, the Montgomery College Catalog
states the following information:
If inclement weather forces the College or any campus or College facility to suspend classes or close,
public service announcements will be provided to local radio and television stations as early as possible.
[Students] can also find out the opening status by calling the Colleges main information line at 240-5675000 or by visiting our web site at www.mongtomerycollege.edu.

Students are encouraged to stay informed regarding college and county-wide emergencies by signing up
for MC Alert notifications. This can be done by logging on as a new user through
alert.montgomerycountymd.gov or by clicking on the Emergency Site button at the top right corner of the
Montgomery College home page.
J. Questions or Concerns
If you have any questions or concerns about this class, please speak with the instructor and then the chair of the
English and Reading department. You can contact Ellen Olmstead, Chair @ 240-567-1385/



Readings & Major Assignments Due

Tuesday, 9/8
Course overview
Group Work

- Introduce Ourselves
- Review the Syllabus, Course Objectives, and Semester
- Discuss Readings and Class Focus
- Complete Mini-Group Research Activities and

9/14 Last Day to Drop Class with Refund

Tuesday, 9/15

- About Film and Literature: What should we expect as

viewers of films based on novels?
- Group Project Schedule and Sign Up Distributed
- Context Post #1 Due Before Class ALWAYS

Tuesday, 9/22

- We Discussion
- Film Screening

We Comparable

- Context Post #2 Due

9/28 Last Day to Drop Class Without Grade/ Change

Credit or Audit

Tuesday, 9/29
Fahrenheit 451

- We Comparable Due
- Context Post #3 Due
Tuesday, 10/6
Fahrenheit 451

- We Group Presentations
- Read 1st half of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

- Read final half of Fahrenheit 451

- Fahrenheit 451 Discussion
- Film Screening
- Context Post #4 Due

Essay #1

Tuesday, 10/13
Do Androids
Dream of
Electric Sheep?

- Fahrenheit 451 Group Presentations

- Read 1st half of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
- DADOES? Discussion

Tuesday, 10/20
Do Androids
Dream of
Electric Sheep?

- Read final half of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Discussion
- Blade Runner Film Screening


- Context Post #6 Due

- Fahrenheit 451 Comparable Due

- Context Post #5 Due

Essay #1 Due


Tuesday, 10/27
Snowpiercer Vol.

Essay #2
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Group Presentations
Essay #2 Due
- Read Snowpiercer Vol. 1 for Discussion and Screening