Unit 1: The Enlightenment

Dr. Diane Thompson, NVCC, ELI

Begin the course by sending your College email address to Diane Thompson. Include your name and the course you are in, so that I can send you your grades. If you do not send me your email address before posting your Introduction, I will delete ten points from your Introduction. I read my email almost every day and will respond promptly.

If you do not already have a College email account, go to Email Instructions to learn how to open and use your NVCC student email account. Because of privacy regulations, I can only send your grades to a College email account, so please do this immediately!

Do not worry if you cannot get the textbooks quickly enough. The first two readings, Tartuffe and Candide, are both available on the internet if you can't get to them in the textbook. Go to the optional www links for Unit 1 (on the course home page), to get to online versions of these texts.


1 Write and post Introductory Letter
2 Read  Tartuffe Study Guide or watch Tartuffe Video (see location on course home page)
3 Read Tartuffe
4 Select, write and post Activity 1
5 Read Candide Study Guide or watch Candide Video (see location on course home page); I also suggest watching the delightful optional Annenberg Candide Video(see location on course home page)
6 Read Candide
7 Select, write and post Activity 2.
8 Prepare and take Exam 1

Interesting Optional WWW Sites for Unit 1


In Unit 1 you will study two brilliant French satires, Tartuffe and Candide.

TASK 1. Write a letter introducing yourself to me and to the other students in the course. Tell us who you are, why you are interested in taking the course, your experiences with literature, with different cultures, with the Internet, and anything else you think is relevant. If you foresee any problems with the course, please explain what you think they may be. Let's get to know one another in this way, so that we can work together more comfortably. Your letter should be a page or two in length. Post this to the Blackboard Introductions Forum.

Note: in order to go to the forum, so that you can read other students' entries and post your own writing, you will need to give your user name and password. Your user name consists of the first letter of your first name,  your last name and the last four numbers of your social security number. My user name, for example, is dthompson1234. If a student's name were Fred Lee, and his social security number were 987651234, his username would be flee1234. Your password is your nine digit social security or student id number. You will receive up to 50 points for posting this Introduction.

Blackboard does not work well with various word processors and browsers, so follow this procedure:

1. Write your Introduction on your own word processor. Edit for clear correct sentences and run a spell check.

2. Go to the word processor edit menu and choose the "select all" and "copy" options.

3. Open WordPad or NotePad and paste your work into that program.

4. Be sure your browser is either Internet Explorer OR Foxfire.

5. Open Blackboard, select Discussion Board, and then scroll down to the appropriate forum (in this case Introduction).

6. Click on the highlighted forum name, select "Start New Thread," and then click your cursor in the new message box.

7. Go to the browser edit menu and select "paste." Your writing will now be in the message box. You can still edit it, clean up the formatting, etc. until you press the "submit" button. 

If your message does not show up after you submit it, click on the refresh or reload button of your browser to make it show. 

You will receive up to 50 points for posting this Introduction. 

***Please do not attach files; I will not open them and you will have to repost your message.

TASK 2. Read the Tartuffe Study Guide or watch the Tartuffe Video (see course home page for directions), which will give you background information on Moliere, Seventeenth Century France, and the play itself.

TASK 3. Read Tartuffe (Volume D, 304-361).

TASK 4. Read through all the Tartuffe Activities. Then, select one of these questions to answer for Activity 1, prepare the Activity, and post it to the Blackboard Activity 1:Tartuffe Forum. Worth up to 50 points.

NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: Since you are able to read what other students have written on the forums, any copying of their work without the use of quotation marks and proper attribution by name of the student will be considered plagiarism. Any plagiarized Activity will be given a grade of 0 and cannot be redone. If you find an idea in another student's essay that you would like to include in your discussion, you must quote it exactly (you can use copy/paste to do this), use quotation marks to set it off, and indicate the name of the student and the Activity in parentheses immediately after the quote. Further,  you must use this quote to develop some point of your own, not to simply imitate the ideas of the other student. 

If you find that all of your ideas on a topic have already been used by someone else, choose a different Activity.

ACTIVITIES: The Activity questions will help you to learn more about the literature you are reading. These questions do not have single, simple answers, but are designed to help you to think about what you are reading. Writing these Activities will help you to understand what you are reading and help prepare you to take the exams.

These Activity entries must be thoughtful; each one should be at least a full typed page or more in length (e.g. not less than 250 words) . They may be longer if you need to say more on your topic. You will not be able to do these Activity entries properly unless you have carefully read the assigned literature.

HINT: Read through the Activities Lists before reading the texts. Identifying interesting questions in advance will allow you to focus your most careful reading in your chosen Activities areas.


50 includes the Activity question; responds clearly to the question; makes an interesting point; supports ideas with specific examples from the literature; correct, readable college level English; a page (250 words) or longer
40 somewhat off topic; a bit confusing or superficial; point not clear; problems with English mechanics; undeveloped or unsupported ideas
30 undeveloped; veering off topic; superficial or pointless; serious problems with English mechanics; shows little familiarity with  the literature
20 probably should have read the literature; half a page or less, seriously off topic, superficial or pointless; unreadable
0 drivel


TASK 5. Read the Candide Study Guide or watch the Candide Video (see directions on course home page).

I also suggest watching the optional Annenberg Candide Video (see directions on course home page).

TASK 6. Read Candide (Volume D, 517-580).

TASK 7. Read through all the Candide Activities. Then, select one of these questions to answer for Activity 2, prepare the Activity, and post it to the Blackboard Activity 2: Candide Forum.  Worth up to 50 points.

TASK 8. Review all the Activities and the Study Guide for this Unit as you prepare to take Exam 1, which is worth up to 100 points.

You will write Exam 1 in an NVCC Testing Center. Be sure to take the
Exam Pass and a photo ID with you. Call the Testing Center first to make sure it will be open long enough for you to complete the exam.

If it is not possible for you to get to an NVCC Testing Center, you may arrange for a proctor at another location. If you need a proctor, go to the ELI Policies and Procedures Screen. Select the link for Examination Proctors, from the Table of Contents, for information on how to arrange for a proctor.

You are now ready to go on to Unit 2.

(c) Diane Thompson: 2/26/1999; updated: 03/02/2011