Fall 2011
Great Books 101
TR 9:25/MW 3:00

Mary Ann Drake, Ph. D.
Phone: Office (301-5616) Home (477-4399) e-mail drake_ma@mercer.edu
Home Page: http://faculty.mercer.edu/drake_ma/
Office Hours:
Calendar of Events             Policies and Grades                     Link to Blackboard          


 The Iliad of Homer,Fagels Translation
The Odyssey of Homer
, FagelsTranslation
Aeschylus I Oresteia
, Lattimore Translation
Plato Five Dialogues
, Grube Translation
Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War
, Penguin Books, Warner Translation
Sophocles I Oedipus the King
, and Antigone, Grene and Lattimore Translation
Other readings as assigned.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: As is true of all Great Books Courses at Mercer, this is a discussion course designed to provide you with "great texts" and seminal ideas that inform our cultural values and ideas. The texts are to challenge you, stretch you, force you to think, struggle, analyze, criticize, broaden, rethink, and reflect. Your reflective and rational processes will be tested by your peers during in-class discussions (and hopefully outside of class discussions) and with periodic writing assignments.

PREREQUISITES: There are no prerequisites for this course. We do expect students to be able to read and write at the college level. I do expect all students to have, know how to access, and regularly use Mercer e-mail, our private Facebook group, and Blackboard. It is the student's responsibility to read messages sent out by the professor.


1. Regularly participate in thoughtful discussion with others about the reading assignment.

2. Write thoughtful, clear, insightful, organized, and grammatically correct papers regarding reading assignments.

3. Demonstrate the ability to think critically about issues raised in the texts.


 Attendance: Attendance is critically important since what you say and what your classmates say is part of the "text" for the course. More than three absences will affect your grade as follows: a reduction from A to B+ for the fourth absence, from B+ to B for the fifth, etc. If your grade is a C in the course, absences four and five will reduce the grade to a D. Eight or more absences automatically means you fail the course. Attendance includes lectures, films, and other required outside activities.

 Participation: Classroom discussion is the essence of the Great Books program. To participate means not only being in attendance, but also providing thoughtful, and informed input as your part of the classroom discussion. Once we get settled, you will, in groups of two, be responsible for opening questions on given days.

 Dailies: For each required reading, you will turn in a one-page typed paper to indicate your understanding of the material. One suggestion is to find a particular quotation and explicate it; that is, tell the reader what the quotation means and why it is important to the text as a whole. Use the daily to ask questions, express concerns, etc. You must cite properly; remember, you must cite even when paraphrasing. Un-cited dailies will not be accepted. Do not email dailies.   If your are the discussion leader, no daily is required.

Each daily earns either a 9-10 (A), 7-8 (B), 5-6 (C), 3-4 (D)

Papers: There will be four required papers for the course, three semester papers and a final. The three essays are to be three to four pages long. The final is a comprehensive ten-page paper spanning the course and using Homer and three of the five other authors.

Paper Format Guidelines

Label your papers as shown below:


Drake  1


Professor Drake

GBK 101.001





NO TITLE PAGE Titles are to be centered and capitalized on the first page of your narrative.  Do not underline or put quotation marks around the title.  Include a Works Cited page and follow MLA citation style.  Format your document using 1 inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and page numbers.  Refer to Diana Hacker’s A Pocket Style Manual or The Bedford Handbook if you have questions. You may also get help here:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/  or http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/hacker/pocket/



Drake  2


On subsequent pages place your last name and page number, space down two lines, type your narrative. I will NOT GRADE unpaginated papers, and I will not accept papers electronically.


Participation including "Dailies," and attendance -- 40%

      90-100 = A                                    77-79 = C+         
      87-89 = B+                                    70-76 = C
      80-86 = B                                      60-69 = D

It is the student's responsibility to read the Policies and Grading section of the syllabus. See link above or on webct.