Last updated:
Aug. 31, 2001

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Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 301C
Phone: 813-974-9485

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Weekly Postings

For those of you unfamiliar with a list-serv and electronic mail, please refer to the USF Academic Computing, which has an excellent Help site regarding electronic media. For help understanding list-servs, read the link for ListProcessors.


Your weekly writings/posts are the starting point for your understanding of the literature of this class. Writing is fundamental to your development as a critical thinker; it changes you from a passive receiver of information to an active participant in learning. Informal writing allows the student to make observations, to engage the text -- either to explain it or question what he or she does not understand -- and to increase the potential for remembering details about the literature. It is a way of "owning" your ideas about a work.

Consequently, you should approach this assignment with an open mind, allowing yourself to express your ideas and impressions, rather than being concerned with what the teacher expects to hear. There is no single correct answer to the open-ended questions, although clearly some posts will be better founded and better expressed than others. There are no penalties for expressing wrong answers in these writings, either. We will be discussing the merits of your posts together in class. Sometimes "wrong" answers can be quite interesting and important to discuss!

Though these assignments are informal, they are important, and you should give them full attention. The questions are designed to help you focus on a particular aspect of the text, and this preparation, completed before class, should facilitate discussion during class. Writing these ideas should build confidence in your ability to share your opinions with classmates in a constructive debate. Feel free to post as frequently as you like.

After a while, you may begin to notice repetitions in the observations you make, which might indicate what interests you about literature. These focal points can offer fertile ground for formal writing topics. Ideally, informal writings should stimulate your thinking about the literature and serve as seed-papers for your formal writing.


Students in this class will be required to participate in an electronic discussion devoted to the issues of this class. The discussions will be on-going but each student will be required to post at least one message per week by the date listed on the syllabus.

I will pose a question on the class material each week, and you may choose to reply to that question or to any post on the list. Your writings should demonstrate a serious effort to analyze, question or understand the literature of the course. To be counted for your weekly writing, your post must be at least 200 words in length (a little less than a double-spaced typewritten page). I will be strict in enforcing this minimum length.

You should identify your topic in the subject line. Please maintain the same subject heading if you are responding to a specific post; this will allow others to follow the discussion more easily. The writings in this discussion group are informal, and so you need not be overly concerned with proper punctuation or structure AT THIS POINT. Clarity in writing, however, is always a plus.

You will also be responsible for reading the posts of others in your class. Not only do these heighten your understanding of the material in the course, they will serve as excellent study guides for your exams. Furthermore, I will be discussing specific posts in class, and I will expect you to be familiar with them. Specific ideas from the posts may be tested on the exams, and if I suspect that the class is not reading the posts, I will give additional quizzes.

Each post will be recorded and graded on a scale of 1-3 points based on effort. I will only contact you if your post does NOT meet the requirements. If you don't hear back from me, you can assume you receive full credit for your post. However, if you suspect that your email did not get posted (you should receive a copy of your own post from the list-serv), then bring your hard copy to class for credit. I will not contact everyone who fails to post.


List-serv etiquette:

This is an unmoderated group, and so anything you post will be distributed to all members of the list. Please consider your audience and observe general rules for polite discussion. Personal attack or insulting posts (otherwise known as "flaming") will not be tolerated by the rest of our civilized participants; respect for one another is key. Keep your posts brief (approximately 200 words) and pertinent to the discussion. Personal comments and details should be directed off-list.

Other purposes for the electronic discussion:

I plan to use the list-serv as a way to keep you updated on events, class happenings and any other important information; please check your e-mail frequently. Feel free to use the list to distribute information of general interest for the class. With the new LYRIS system, our list will be available on the web, and so you can get access to it through your web-browser.

Important Instructions:

You can sign up for the list in two ways:

1) Get access to the webpage for janel-l for the ENL 4303 Jane Austen; or for womlt-l for LIT/WST4386 - British and American Literature by Women; follow instructions for subscribing to the list.


2) Subscribe through e-mail by sending the following request to

Subscribe jane-l or womlt-l Firstname Lastname

where you write only the name of the list you want to subscribe to and fill in your first and last name as indicated.

After you have registered for the list-serv (you should receive a confirmation notice), you can then either send a post using your web browser (see #1 above for instructions) or by sending an email directly to the following address:

for ENL 4303: Selected Authors: send your email to
for LIT 4386: Brit. and Am. Lit. by Women: send you email to

For further help you can contact the Lyris User Guide, or email me.

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