• Dr. Rick Branyon

    English Department

    Northern Guilford High School





    Contact via Email




    Office Hours


    During the period of remote learning for the 2020-2021 academic year, I will maintain virtual office hours during the times listed below. Please note that students may email me at any time and I will respond within a couple of hours during the normal school day. On weekends, the response period may be longer, but I will do my best to respond to any of your questions or concerns as soon as possible. If a student needs additional guidance, I can arrange a telephone call to the student, but the initial contact should always be via email.

    Monday through 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 30 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 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 areas including historical fiction, 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


    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. Students should write down  or take a picture of assignments for the next class during the first minutes of each class. I do not accept late assignments except under extraordinary circumstances when a student is sick or has encountered some emergency situation and is compelled to miss class. For drafts of the major papers, the student or parent must 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 will not receives credit for a draft of a major 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 at least three revisions and will receive feedback from me and from peer workshop groups. Failure to submit any 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. Please note that I do not accept late assignments except in cases of illness or other circumstances beyond the control of the student. Students are expected to submit all assignments on the due date. I do not accept emailed assignments unless a student cannot come to campus on the due date. The student should contact me in this situation and make arrangements for submission before the due date.



    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, then the NG will transform into 0 or 40, 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 40, 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.

     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 talk with 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, usually within four or five hours. Please do not come to campus to talk unless you have scheduled a conference. i spend most of my office hours working with my students


    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.