Accessible Syllabus

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Course Description


3 UNITS 54 Lecture Hours
Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of ELIC 151 or ENGL 45 or ENGL 50 or qualification by the MJC assessment process. Recommended for Success: Before enrolling in this course, students are strongly advised to satisfactorily complete READ 184.

Fundamental skills in reading and writing at the college level. Emphasis on exposition, argument, research, and information competency. 8,000 word writing requirement, at least 6,000 of which must be in essays that have a developed thesis. 2,000 - 3,000 words of the 8,000 must be research-based writing with MLA formatting and documentation.

Not repeatable. (A-F or P/NP) Transfer: (CSU, UC)

Nathan Bento

Your Instructor (and his cat Mya)

Mya and Me Greeting Picture.jpg

I am here to help you to succeed! If you need help, contact me!

Office: Founders Hall 260K

Phone: (209) 548-5797


Office hours:

M, W: 11:30am-12:30pm

T, TH: 11:30am-1:00pm


Required Books

For this class we have two required books:

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Dover Thrift Edition

ISBN 0-486-27807-7

They Say/I Say

by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst

Norton Fourth Edition

ISBN 978-0-393-63168-5

You will also need a notebook for journal writing

They Say I Say.jpg

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student should be prepared to:

  1. Read and think critically.
  2. Select credible sources.
  3. Legitimately use scholarly sources by summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and documenting according to MLA conventions, integrating source ideas with their own ideas, and avoiding plagiarism.
  4. Write papers that demonstrate competent control over written language, academic form, style, and tone.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

"Beauty without the beloved is like a sword through the heart."

Your Responsibilities

By enrolling in this class:

  • You agree to uphold the standards of academic integrity described in the Student Handbook
  • You agree to complete all readings and related assignments on time.
  • You agree to be available for the exam dates listed. There are no make-up exams unless a legitimate emergency occurs, and I am notified immediately


All assignments are designed to develop your college and professional skills. These include the ability to produce reader-based, thesis-driven writing; effective summary; textual engagement; find and evaluate sources; and critical thinking. This work will be challenging, and though it may be difficult at first, as you learn more and we work together, your skills will grow to meet these academic demands.

  • Essays: You will be writing three 1,300-word essays in MLA format (double-spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins).
  • Research Paper: You will be writing one 2,000-word research paper with in-text citations and a Works Cited page in MLA format (double-spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins).
  • Other Assignments: You will be doing journal writing, essay drafts peer reviews, quizzes, research classes, group activities, workshops, and out-of-class assignments.

The Labyrinth


There are many references to ancient Greek mythology in The Picture of Dorian Gray, including references to the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.

Novel Quizzes and Comprehensive Exam

You will have regular assigned readings on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

You will have online open-book quizzes on each reading.

After completing the book, you will have a comprehensive exam on it.

This exam will also be an online open-book test on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The exam will be comprehensive (covering the entire book from Preface to the final chapter)..

Pallas and Centaur by Sandro Botticelli


Centaurs are alluded to in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Grade Breakdown




Sculpture in Hyde Park (mentioned in Chapter 5 of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Grading Scale

A = 90%-100%

B = 80%-89%

C = 70%-79%

D = 60%-69%

F = 0%-59%

Revision Policy

You can revise all your essays once except the final exam. For an essay to be eligible for revision, it needs to have been submitted by the due date, and it must have been completed and have met the minimum length requirements. The last day for submission of revisions is 1 December 2019


Narcissus by Waterhouse

Policy on Late Work

Late work will not be accepted except in cases of extreme emergency.

If you are ill or have an emergency situation that prevents you from meeting the deadline on an assignment, contact me as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is essential to your success. Students who miss class, arrive late, or leave early are more likely to fall behind given the fast-paced nature of the class. Any absence will need to be discussed privately. If you are absent, late, or leave early, it is your responsibility to find out missed information, notes, and assignments. If you stop participating, you may be dropped from the course. If you are ill or have a family emergency that prevents you. from participating for more than a week, contact me as soon as possible. If you miss four classes, you may be dropped. Please contact me in advance should any issue arise that may require your inability to participate.

Love and Death


According to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian is "the child of love and death." This ancient Greek sculpture depicts Thanatos (the god of death) between Aphrodite (the goddess of love) and the goddess Persephone (the queen of the dead).  They are competing for the soul of Adonis.  Dorian is compared to Adonis in the novel.

Technology in the Classroom

We may use cell phones for activities, but I will let you know when to take them out. Turn off cell phones (or set them on vibrate) prior to the start of class and put them away. It is unacceptable to use your laptop or tablet to take notes or access course materials without proper authorization. See Student Code of Conduct in the MJC Catalog.



There are many allusions to Bacchic mythology in The Picture of Dorian Gray including satyrs, Silenus, and maenads.

Apollo and Marsyas


Apollo, the ancient Greek god of light, music, and healing, flayed the satyr Marsyas alive as a punishment. This myth is alluded to in The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism includes copying writing or merely ideas from the published or unpublished work of another person without full, clear acknowledgment of the source. If you paraphrase or summarize what someone else has said, you must acknowledge that source even when you put those ideas into your own words. You are plagiarizing if you cut and paste bits and pieces of writing from the Internet or any other source and make it appear as if you wrote those words (i.e. if you don't use quotation marks and cite the source). Plagiarism also includes copying from yourself--that is, turning in material that you wrote for another class. MJC has a college-wide definition for academic dishonesty which covers plagiarism and its consequences.

Any assignment where academic dishonesty is involved will automatically receive a failing grade, which may result in the student failing the course. A report will be filed. See MJC's statement on academic integrity in the MJC Catalog. If you are having difficulty with an assignment, see me for help.

Icarus and Daedalus


This myth is alluded to in The Picture of Dorian Gray

How to Succeed in English 101

  • Complete all assignments in a timely manner (including homework, WC visits, and major essays). You cannot pass the class if you are missing major essays and have a final course grade lower than a C.
  • Take class and reading notes daily (review them daily). Don't worry if parts of the reading seem confusing).
  • Participate in class regularly and always ask for clarification if you feel lost, confused, or frustrated.
  • Utilize student support services (instructor office hours, Library and Learning Center, DSPS, student success specialists, counselors, and computer labs)
  • Focus on the process of learning, not the grade (recognize and appreciate your growing skills and knowledge).
  • Be open to challenges and support your classmates (try out new ideas and skills in class and on assignments; be receptive to an respectful of views that challenge your way of thinking.
  • Start research early (don't wait until the last minute).
  • Develop peer support networks (form study groups, collaborate to accomplish challenging tasks, reach out for help when absent).

Canvas Help

If you are having problems with Canvas, click on the "Help?" question mark in the lower left corner of your Canvas screen for current help desk hours, phone numbers, and Canvas tutorials.



This course has a technological component. You will need to compose essays, exams and homework on a computer, access grades and materials on Canvas, and upload papers to Turnitin through Canvas. You will also need to conduct research using online databases. MJC provides students with computer labs with internet access.

If you need technology help, contact the Help desk. Phone: (209) 575-7900

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is part of the Library & Learning Center.

Students work one-on-one with a trained tutor on all aspects of the writing and reading process:

  • How to read college-level texts
  • How to write more effectively
  • How to revise paragraph arrangement
  • Brainstorming and prewriting
  • Grammar and syntax

Trained tutors will empower you to be a more skillful writer, reader, and critical thinker. To make an appointment, call 209-575-6346 (East Campus) or 209-575-6676 (West Campus).



The satyrs were the wild, drunken followers of the god Bacchus, and they are alluded to in The Picture of Dorian Gray.


Accommodations for Students

MJC is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with documented physical or learning disabilities or differences. The college encourages students with documented disabilities or differences to contact instructors during the first week of class to discuss appropriate accommodations to ensure equity in grading, classroom experiences, and outside assignments. Should you have a disability or difference that might impede your progress, contact Disability Services in Student Services, room 112 on East Campus 209-575-6225 or M-F 8AM-5PM.

Mental Health Therapy

Mental Health Therapy is available at Modesto Junior College if you have:

  • Difficulty coping with life or day-to-day functions
  • Impulsive behaviors or mood swings
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness most of the time
  • Constant thoughts about a traumatic event
  • The need to use prescriptions, drugs, or alcohol to numb emotional pain
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Excessive worrying
  • Irrational fears that interfere with life
  • An unusual or highly troubled relationship with food

College can be frustrating and stressful! If you need help coping, contact Health Services:

  • East Campus Morris Memorial 108, Phone: 209-575-6037
  • West Campus Yosemite Hall 114, Phone: 209-575-6360



"He shuddered, and felt afraid, and, going back to the couch, lay there, gazing at the picture in sickened horror."

~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


During the mid-19th century, Aestheticism was a movement that challenged the conservative, prudish Victorian mindset. Walter Pater's conclusion to his book The Renaissance declared that the purpose of life was to pursue beauty. It created a revolution against Victorian values. Aesthetes like Oscar Wilde said that the purpose of art was not to teach morality. "Art for art's sake" was their motto. Aesthetes believed that the purpose of life was to pursue beauty and pleasure. The Picture of Dorian Gray was viewed as scandalous. It was seen as an attack on Victorian morals, and it was used against Wilde when he was put on trial for sodomy and gross indecency.

Bacchus by Simeon Solomon


Simeon Solomon, like Oscar Wilde, was an aesthete who was imprisoned for homosexuality. After his imprisonment, his works were no longer exhibited, and he died a broken man in poverty.

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