LITR277 Introduction to Short Fiction

Department of Language & Literature: Literature

I. Course Number and Title
LITR277 Introduction to Short Fiction
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information

The Department of Language and Literature has determined that LITR277 is a writing-intensive course, and it requires a minimum of 2500 words in formal writing assignments.

During the first week of class, the instructor provides students with a tentative weekly reading schedule for the semester.

This course meets the Arts/Humanities and Critical Thinking General Education requirements.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course explores the short story and novella as meaningful literary forms, with emphasis on structure and technique. Lectures and classroom discussions are reinforced by examinations, critical essays, and exercises in critical analysis.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. analyze literature through discussion and writing [Critical Thinking];
    2. demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
    3. express their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written [Arts/Humanities];
    4. discover the essential theme of a work of fiction and evaluate the connection between form and content; and
    5. demonstrate an understanding of short fiction as a unique and evolving art form that reflects the values and concerns of writers and the societies in which they live.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    Course topics include, but are not necessarily restricted to, the study of setting, structure, characterization, point of view, and prose style as demonstrated in both traditional and non-traditional works of fiction. The course also covers themes, concerns, and attitudes expressed in fiction across a range of periods.

    In addition:

    1. Students enter the course both with and without training in verbal analysis of literature; therefore, a subsidiary set of objectives dealing with literary analysis may be imported as individual student needs dictate.
    2. Reading remains the basic learning method available to students although various means of instruction are employed: Lectures, group discussion, mock trials, role playing, individual or group presentations to the class, team teaching, library research, etc.
    3. Through reading, writing, discussion, and various class activities, students identify, explain, and analyze the following: formal elements of the literature, particularly images, image patterns, narrative strategies, diction, and structural divisions of the work; themes and thematic patterns; literary periods, movements, and terms as appropriate to the literature.
    4. The writing requirement complies with Department standards for literature courses, a minimum of 2500 words. Writing assignments reflect the course goals that students can comprehend, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the literature.
    5. Because there are no prerequisites for literature courses, it is important that students understand the kind and quality of the writing expected.
    6. Students use various critical approaches as ways of assigning the meanings in the work; these include but are not limited to the major critical schools -- humanistic, ethical, socio-cultural, historical (both the history of events and the history of ideas), psychological, mythical, and formal.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    To evaluate all learning goals and objectives, instructors may determine the depth and quality of student comprehension and critical thinking through several analytical essays (2500 words total required), exams, quizzes, journals, oral or multi-media presentations, class discussions, conferences with individual students, service learning projects, and other methods as necessary to course content.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Departmentally-approved textbook. See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date -1/98; Revised 5/2010; New Core 8/2015