LITR277: Introduction to Short Fiction
Section: NE     (eLearning)

About This Course

Semester and YearIntersession 2013 / (4 weeks): Dec 26, 2012 to Jan 11, 2013
(See "Getting Started" below for details about orientation)


James Freeman   Email:
Phone: 215-968-8155

Course Credits

3 credits

Time Requirements

Plan a minimum of 3 - 5 hours every day for your coursework. While online learning courses provide flexibility in time, geography, and travel, the work required for successful completion is identical to that for the face-to-face course.   Your instructor may specify additional time requirements in the "Other information" field below or during your orientation.

Delivery Mode

Web-based course

Official College Course Description

The complete college course description can be viewed at:

Student Characteristics

Open to self-motivated, self-disciplined students who can handle college-level work and study independently.

Instructor Provided Course Syllabus

A sample Course Syllabus is typically available in WebAdvisor's "Search for Sections" results. A Course Syllabus explains how the instructor will conduct the class and may include: course policies, grading guidelines, assignment due dates, etc.

Student Requirements

This course has the following requirements for students:
  • There are no special requirements for this course

Getting Started With This Course


This information has expired. If you are looking for current course information you must go to the current semester course information page.

Accessing Your Course

Canvas (by Instructure)

Your course is using Canvas. If you are new to Canvas, please visit the Canvas Basics course space to become familiar with Canvas prior to the start of your course. No login is required to access this space.

You will be able to login to Canvas about two weeks prior to the start of your class. However, your course becomes available as of 1 AM on the official course start date.

Logging In

Log in to your Canvas course space at

  • Username: Your username is the same for every system at Bucks.
  • Password: your Bucks Network password (used to log into any Bucks campus computer or to access any Bucks Library online database from off campus.)

If you do not know your Bucks Username, you can retrieve it by using the Find Your Username Form. Enter your Name, Birthday (mm/dd/yyyy) and either your 7 digit student ID number OR your social security number, then click Submit. Your Bucks username will display on the screen.

Note: Students are uploaded to Canvas several times a day. If you registered late, you won't be able to access Canvas until the next upload takes place.

Purchasing Your Books and Other Course Materials

While you may purchase your books and other course materials from the provider of your choice (using the ISBN number available through the course's academic department where applicable to ensure the correct version), both the campus bookstore and our online bookstore, guarantee that they stock the correct version for your course.

Approximately 3 weeks prior to the start of the session you can use the link below to see the list of books that have been selected by your instructor. If you have any questions about the course materials listed, please contact your instructor or the academic department directly.

Click this link to see the book list for your course.

Other Information about the Course

Check Canvas for possible access as early as 12/19/12.

LITR277.NE, Intr. to Short Fiction, Intersession 2012/2013,Individual Course Format

James A. Freeman, Professor, Language&Literature Department, Penn Hall Room 127 Instructor’s Office (215-968-8155)/ Penn Hall Room 105 Department Office (215-968-8150). Instructor’s e-mail:

Department web pages: to language&literature

Office hours (Penn 127) M/W/F 11am-noon; M/W 2:15-3:15pm until 12/14/10; Canvas mail during Intersession.

Catalog Course Description: On Canvas course page Learning Goals and Theme Learning goals are determined by the course's major concerns: the students' continued development and refinement of writing skills, sequenced instruction in composition skills necessary to write a properly-documented academic research essay, and an introduction to fictional literature and fiction literary analysis. These components unify the course in their intent to encourage the growth of students' critical thinking. (This course also fulfills the specific Department and Core Curriculum Goals & Objectives as listed)…

Academic Integrity: “The expectation is that the principles of truth and honesty will be rigorously followed in all academic endeavors. This assumes that all work will be done by the person who purports to do the work without unauthorized aids. In addition, when making use of language and some idea not his or her own, whether quoting them directly or paraphrasing them into his or her own words, the student must attribute the source of the material in some standard form, such as naming the source in the text or offering a footnote” (2006-2008 Bucks County Community College Catalogue, p. 159). In other words, students must do all of the writing themselves and document all non-original material except common knowledge. In addition, you may not reuse, recycle, or resubmit any previous work for this class without instructor’s written permission; doing so is considered cheating. Only the tutors in the Tutoring Center and the instructor may give specific help with writing assignments - not family, friends, or neighbors. At this stage of education, students should already know what constitutes cheating and why it's wrong. However, in any class that requires writing and/or research, the instructor ought to make plain, within the context of the course, what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. The Instructor will do so with readings, exercises, and discussion. I may also occasionally spot-check with detection software to check your papers to see that you fulfill the college's expectations as quoted above.

In addition, all essays submitted for grading are required to have the following statement included at the end of the document, followed by the student's name or signature. Essays submitted without this statement and signature will be returned ungraded until signed. Statement of Academic Integrity: I understand the college policy regarding cheating and plagiarism; I have written this paper by myself and have not obtained it in whole or in part from another source, including previously written work of my own; I have used quotation marks or blocks indentations for all words quoted verbatim; and I have included citations for all borrowed ideas, whether quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or referred to in passing. Name/Signature:

Any plagiarism will earn a 0 for the assignment with no possibility to rewrite, and a "Plagiarism/Cheating report" filed with the Dean of Academic Affairs. If the student has a prior recorded offense for cheating, that student will earn an F for the course. A second instance of plagiarism or cheating within this course will also earn an F for the course.

On a positive note, how to flourish in this course: Follow the schedule & complete all assignments: You have a complete schedule for the whole semester; review it several times each week so you know what is due. In addition to reading about writing and texts of fiction and literary criticism, assignments include four papers; a panel presentation; and frequent and meaningful literary appreciation journal entries. Discussion, lecture and peer review of colleagues’ academic writing drafts, as well as lab exercise will supplement/enhance our own understanding of academic writing about literature.

  • Revise, resee, and resee again: You cannot improve your skills by writing only one draft, so conscientiously revise all assignments through at least two drafts. In addition, you may revise and resubmit up one of the short essays graded “D” or “F” (excluding in-class writings) provided you resubmit within two classes of receiving the original grade. You must notify me of your intentions, and you may be required to visit the Tutoring Center for additional help. Revisions for higher grades must represent substantial improvements; changing only surface-level errors of spelling and grammar does not constitute revision and will not earn a higher grade. Revised assignments may earn up to a “C+” maximum grade.
  • Please submit assignments on time: Late assignments earn a one-half letter grade deduction for each class day late. For example, an essay due on Monday and submitted on Wednesday will be reduced a full letter grade (e.g. “A” to “B”). You cannot revise late assignments, and I will not accept more than one late paper. Late homework and missed reading quizzes earn no credit. If you are absent on a due date, the assignment must be submitted via email by the start of class time to be considered on time.
  • Please type all writing assignments except journals. Handwritten essays or homework are not acceptable. In addition, keep all work, including the journal, in a notebook that is neatly and chronologically organized. The notebook should be available for discussion during class periods and during conference periods.
  • "Attend" class & Participate online: You should come to class on time; read all assigned selections; and participate in class discussions. Without these commitments, the class cannot be a success. For classes that meet 3 times a week, 3 absences are permitted without grade penalty. However, each additional absence over 3 lowers your final grade by one letter grade, A to B, for example. The three allowed absences are for emergencies, heuristics, and illness, so use them wisely. In addition, absences do not absolve you from any coursework or deadlines. It is your responsibility to keep track of your attendance. Also, the class works best when you show a commitment to each other that includes thoughtful criticism and considerate responses to other members of the class, including within small groups. If the number of missing assignments make it impossible for you to pass the class, you may be withdrawn no later than December when midterm grades are submitted.

    Please talk with your Instructor: Individual virtual conferences are scheduled this Intersession to discuss your papers, successes, challenges, and any outstanding questions regarding your progress as a critical reader and writer. Please don’t wait for the scheduled conferences if you want to talk. I encourage you to chat with me during online "office hours" for any assignment or other course issue. Doing so shows a commitment to the class and makes a positive impression on me. Missing a scheduled online conference counts as an absence. You may also email me; however, Webmail email does not replace Canvas Inbox class posting.

    A related note about email and Canvas posts: e-communications among students and instructors should be mature, polite, and appropriate to the context of the class and the college setting. “Flaming” or harassing instructors or classmates in electronic mail or other forums will not be tolerated. Issues and concerns of a sensitive nature should be dealt with person-to-person, not in email. Please use your or Canvas course space address when emailing me. You may also phone me at 215-968-8155 and use voice mail; however, phone calls do not substitute for attendance and participation, such as in a panel presentation.

    Please support a collegial environment: In order to foster an environment conducive to learning, it is imperative that all members of the class must treat each other with respect, both online and face to face. Students who are unprepared, unable to contribute to the discussion, or who are disruptive online will be asked to leave the course space.

    Grading: Final Grades will be determined as follows: 25% - first and third (250-500 word) shorter papers 45% - second and fourth (550-750 wd.) mid-length papers 5% - online peer reviews & posting participation 25% - e-panel participation, journal, reading practice quizzes and homework

    Please see enclosed department grading standards. A student whose work is consistently late or missing should not expect a passing grade in the class. There will be no extra credit work other than attending and reporting on on-campus visiting writer events; no homework, reading quizzes, or in-class work may be made up without prior permission. Finally, Incomplete grades will be awarded only in cases of documented extreme hardship, and then only if we agree prior to the end of the session what, how, and when work needs to be completed.

    Please be aware of the withdrawal deadline: If you are thinking about withdrawing from the course, please speak with me first. I can help with many difficulties you may have. However, even if you stop participating in the course, it is your responsibility to officially withdraw. Do not rely on me to fill out a teacher-initiated withdrawal form. The last date for student withdrawal is Jan. 4, 2013.

    Please take advantage of the Tutoring Center (Library 121 – – 215-968-8218): You can improving your writing substantially with face-to-face and/or online visits to the Tutoring Center during the semester. Using this resource makes positive impression on me and can only have a positive impact on your grade.

    Please revisit these tips for your success from time to time.

    Campus Resources

    Learning Resources – 215-968-8001 – Support for teaching and learning is available through the Learning Resources Offices located in the Library and Gateway Center. Learning Resources represents collaboration among Library Services, the Tutoring Center, the TLC (Technology Learning Center), Online Learning, the Instructional Design Lab, Web Services, and Learning Technologies Services (including Media Services).

    Online Learning – Library 118 – 215-968-8052 The Online Learning Office strives to provide quick, accurate, and friendly service to all students whose courses are using online technologies.

    Disability Services – Rollins Center 8 – 215.968.8462 or 8465 – voicemail 215.968.8561 - tdd 215.504.8561 The college strives to make our online courses accessible to everyone and specifically consider design features that make our courses accessible to individuals with disabilities, including those using assistive technology for computer access. If you find a feature/course inaccessible to you, or if you are a student with disabilities who believes that you may need accommodations in this course, please contact this office as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

    Department Learning Goals

    1. Reading: Students must
      1. read and evaluate critically selections from short fiction;
      2. identify the seven literary elements that distinguish each aspect of the genre.
    2. Writing: In all writing for this course, students must
      1. interpret, analyze, and evaluate written fiction texts;
      2. articulate and develop a unified, restricted, and precise thesis;
      3. produce writing that is unified, coherent, detailed, and grammatically, syntactically, and mechanically correct.
    3. Academic Integrity: Students must
      1. demonstrate their understanding of plagiarism as a major ethical concern;
      2. identify the effects of plagiarism on the person and the community.

    Learning goals are determined by the course's major concerns: the students' continued development and refinement of literature interpretation skills, literary instruction in bibliographic and composition skills necessary to write a properly-documented academic research essay, and an introduction to literature and short fiction analysis. These components unify the course in their intent to encourage the growth of students' critical thinking.


    • December 27 (M): Introduction. Background to fiction. TSAW “A Brief History of the Short Story” (pgs. 1673+) and “The Elements of Fiction” (1683+). Background to fiction. Sherman Alexie’s “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” (23); first online journal entry due (please see template and course format rubric(s)). Journal entries for each story hereafter, 5 per week, unless directed otherwise…
    • December 28 (Tues.): Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings” (74) as well as Atwood’s commentary “Reading Blind” (1423).
    • Dec. 29 (Wed.): James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” (83) and “Autobiographical Notes” commentary (1426). Our first online panel discussion is on James Baldwin’s life, times and work. Please see panel preparation handout/attachment distributed in advance to panelists. Moderator is ; Biographer is ; Social Historian is ; and Literary Critic is .
    • Dec 30 (Thurs): Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (162).
    • Dec. 31 (Fri.): Borges’ “The Garden of Forking Paths” (170). First one-two page formalized journal reaction paper due: please see rubric handout… any short fiction we’ve read and discussed is fine for this one: later papers may prospect outside of those assigned for class discussion/journaling.

      I look forward to working with you!