• Dr. Rick Branyon

    English Department

    Northern Guilford High School





    Contact via Email




    Office Hours:              Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30-9:00 a.m. 


    Professional Career


    I have taught more than 5,000 students from 46 states, 42 countries, and 75 counties in North Carolina during the past 35 years of my teaching career. I have taught courses in English composition, British and American literature, special topics courses in the humanities, oral communication, business communication and cross-cultural courses  at the university level. I have enjoyed the opportunity of working with bright, motivated students at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, East Carolina, and Elon. I completed my undergraduate work at Clemson University and my graduate work leading to two Master's degrees and a PhD in British and American Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill. I have also published several reference textbooks to help my students learn more about composition and rhetoric and provide cultural background for the study of American and British literature.

    Earlier in my career, I wrote reference works in foreign languages including Latin, French, and Italian, and my bestselling text was Dictionary of Latin Phrases and Quotations. My most recent academic publications include  six titles in the Serious Student's Guide series, currently available on Amazon, and they cover basic concepts in composition and rhetoric, British and American literature, vocabulary building, cultural allusions, and other disciplines. I have taken part in several Great Books discussion groups during my teaching career, and I love sharing my enthusiasm for great literature of Western culture with my students. I continue to develop my academic interests in several diverse areas including historical fiction, medical mysteries, dystopian and utopian literature, and determinism and Naturalism. I am pleased to have this opportunity of working with the bright, motivated students at Northern Guilford.


    Course Policies


    Please note that I will follow the official late policy of Northern Guilford High School regarding all assignments in my course for the 2021-2022 academic year.


    Students are expected to abide by all of the rules and policies of the GSC Student Handbook, the NGHS student policies, and those required by Dr. Rick Branyon. Students should arrive in the classroom on time and be prepared to begin class on time. Students should have all assignments and readings completed before class and have homework assignments ready to submit. During the 2021-2022 academic year, all assignments will be due on Canvas unless otherwise noted. Students should always consult the current day's page on Canvas to review assignments and due dates. Please note that I will follow the official late policy of Northern Guilford High School regarding all assignments in my course for the 2021-2022 academic year. Students should always email me before they miss class to ensure they will have an opportunity to make up assignments during their absence. For drafts of the major papers, the student should email me regarding the absence before the due date in order for me to consider allowing the student to submit a late paper. Otherwise, students may not receive credit for a draft of a major paper although they may continue to earn points on subsequent drafts of the paper.

    Please note that students are also required to revise most papers in this course. The most important element in developing written communication skills is revision. Major papers will go through several revisions and will receive feedback from me and from peer workshop groups. Failure to submit an early draft results in a significant loss of points from the final grade. Students should contact me via email or in class anytime they plan to be absent so we can arrange make-up assignments. Students are responsible for all of their actions in my class, and they are responsible for the consequences of their failure to take proper actions. Students are expected to submit all assignments on Canvas on the due date. Students should talk with me in class or contact me via email if they encounter problems that prevent them from meeting the requirements of this course.




    Expectations for Students in Literature Classes


    Students must read the assigned texts in MyPerspectives and other online selections to succeed in this course. I cannot help students learn about the important concepts in literature unless they first read the text. Students must also take notes in every class to help them understand the background for the texts. Although my courses are designed to promote a great deal of student participation and interaction, I need to provide supplemental notes in every class, so students must take notes and refer to those notes when they prepare for a quiz or write an essay. Please note that all assessments and writing assignments will include material taken from class notes. I never expect students to go online to learn the concepts that I have presented in class, and I strongly discourage students from attempts to substitute a random online search for class notes. I also encourage students to review their class notes on a daily basis so they will be able to develop long-term knowledge rather than an attempt to merely memorize facts. Students should always ask questions in class or via email if they do not understand a concept. Students should assume complete responsibility for reading texts, completing assignments, studying for quizzes, and writing and revising the written assignments.  Students who put forth their best effort on a daily basis, read the texts, complete assignments on time, ask questions, and seek feedback will learn a great deal in my course. 


    Grading and Revision Policies


    NG Policy for Grading Major Assignments

     Any student who submits a major assignment or paper (any written assignment at least 3 paragraphs in length) and experiences a major obstacle such as (1) failure to follow directions, (2) failure to meet the requirements, (3) failure to provide evidence, (4) failure to follow correct format, or (5) any other major problem indicated by Dr. Branyon that could cause the student to earn below a 60 will receive an NG on that assignment. The NG means “No Grade” yet and the student will have the opportunity to revise the assignment and resubmit on the following class day. The student will not lose any points if he or she submits the revised paper on the next class day even though the original assignment contained serious flaws. If the student fails to submit a revised assignment, the NG will transform into 0 or 50, depending on the nature of the original problem and category of assignment, and the student will no longer have the opportunity to revise. The primary purpose of this policy is to help students succeed and to minimize the negative consequences to those students who put forth a good faith effort, but for various reasons, fail to meet the specific requirements for the assignment. Please note that the grade floor for major papers in this course is 50, but this policy does not apply to papers that violate the Academic Integrity Policy. Also, please note that this NG policy does not apply to plagiarism or other violations of the Academic Integrity Policy at NGHS. Major papers in this category will receive a 0 and student will be referred to an Administrator for further sanctions to reinforce the importance of this policy.

     Revision Log

    Most major papers will require at least one Revision Log to be completed for the class day following the day the original papers are returned to students. The student will read over the comments on the paper and select a certain number of problems (Dr. Branyon will indicate the exact number for the revisions) and the student must follow the prescribed format for revision described in the Revision Log handout. The student will (1) identify the problem, (2) explain the rules or concept associated with the problem, (3) write the original sentence, and (4) write the revised sentence. Please note that in most situations, the revised sentence will be different from the original sentence. Changing one or two words will rarely resolve a problem unless word choice in the only major problem. The student is expected to write correct sentences for the revised sentences and include all corrections in that sentence, even those that were not addressed in the explanation. This Revision Log focuses on problems in grammar, style, format, punctuation, spelling, and other problems in mechanics. If a student does not correct all problems, he or she may revise Revision Log one more time and submit the following day.


    Communication with Students and Parents


    One of the most important prerequisites for success in this course is communication between students and professor. Students should always feel free to talk with me before or after school about any concern or problem that interferes with their success in this course. Please note that students should not attempt to talk about serious matters with me between classes because I am constantly preparing for the next class. Students should arrange a time to talk with me in the mornings or afternoons, and I will be glad to help them resolve their concerns or problems. I always respond to emails from students as soon as possible, usually within three or four hours. Parents who wish to contact me about their son or daughter should contact me first via email. I always respond to emails within a matter of hours. If I need to talk with a parent, I will be glad to call during the evening between 7:00 and 9:00. I can help resolve almost all concerns during a phone conversation. However, if necessary, I can usually arrange a conference with a parent in the morning before my first class. I respond to all emails as soon as possible during the school week. Please note that students should assume the responsibiluty of communicating with me about assignments and should not rely on their parents. Please note that I spend almost of my office hours working with my students to help them succeed in class.


    For Parents Who Wish to Contribute

    I always appreciate parents who wish to make a financial contirbution to my efforts. Teaching in public education is perhaps the only profression I know where employees must subsidize required materials for their job with their own money. I purchase all of my supplies through Amazon, so if anyone wishes to contribute or simply to demonstrate appreciation, then I am always extremely grateful for Amazon gift cards. At the moment, I have all of the necessary classroom supplies to begin the year, but things change during the school year. Please note that I do not drink coffee from Starbucks, and I do not eat out at restaurants in Greensboro since I live in Chapel Hill, so anyone who wishes to contribue or to express appreciation may send a gift card from Amazon.






    Publications by Dr. Richard A. Branyon


    The following six publications are currently available on Amazon.com:



    The Serious Student’s Guide to Western Culture, Volume 1:

         Analysis of American, British, and World Literature


    The Serious Student’s Guide to Western Culture, Volume 2:

         Fine Arts, Popular Culture, Science, History, and Philosophy


    The Serious Student’s Guide to Western Culture, Volume 3:

         Cultural Allusions to Literature, Religion and Mythology


    The Serious Student’s Guide to Western Culture, Volume 4:

        The  Serious Student’s Guide to English Composition


    The Serious Student’s Guide to Western Culture, Volume 5:

         Analysis of Greek and Latin Etyma for English Words


    The Serious Student's Guide to Foreign Phrases, Volume 6

         Foreign Phrases in Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian



    Other publications in language and humanities by Dr. Richard A. Branyon:



    Dictionary of Latin Phrases and Quotations,  Hippocrene Press, 1992.


    Dictionary of French Phrases and Quotations, Hippocrene Press, 1992.


    Treasury of Latin Love Poems in translation, Hippocrene Press, 1995.


    Treasury of French Love Poems in translation, Hippocrene Press, 1995


    Treasury of Italian Love Poems in translation, Hippocrene Press, 1995.