EN234 Introduction to Fiction

for F2T 2008

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EN 234 Introduction to Fiction


F2T 2008 DL


Dick, Linda L.




BA English, Creative Writing Emphasis; World Literature Minor earned at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
MA, Literature earned at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Office Location


Office Hours

M/W, 2:00-4:00 EST

Daytime Phone

(269) 271-0327

Other Phone

(269) 271-0327




Semester Dates


Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours



An Introduction to Fiction, X.J.Kennedy & Dana Gioia; Pearson Longman Publisher; 10th edition
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
A note to students regarding the novel:  If you purchase your novel from a source other than your Park University Bookstore, then your page numbers may be slightly different than those in the available offering at the bookstore, which is a paperback edition.  While this is not terribly important, it may cause some confusion in your discussion threads and/or written responses if you are reading from a different version. Therefore it is highly recommended that you purchase your novel from the school bookstore, or at least purchase the same ISBN edition - ISBN- 978-0684801469.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

A college style handbook is highly recommended. This course is using MLA format. You can also utilize the web for a style handbook by visiting OWL at Purdue University online.
The following list includes web sites that will help with your research as well as web sites that offer general writing advice.  It is not an exhaustive list, but will help get you started.

Bibliomania.  http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/9/16/frameset.html

Online English Dictionary and Thesaurus www.dictionary.com

Purdue University Online Writing Lab-- online writing resources including grammar and technical exercises.   http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
Smarthinking.com (Online tutoring; free to Park University Students)

Online Dictionary and links to grammar guides for 110 languages, including English

Aardvark’s English Forum for Students and Teachers of English including ESL and EFL

Arts & Letters Daily http://www.aldaily.com/

Full text reference library, Bartlett’s Quotations http://www.bartleby.com/

Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/

Electric Library http://www.elibrary.com/

My Virtual Reference Desk http://www.refdesk.com/

The Guide to Grammar and Writing http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

Grammar and Style Notes http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

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Course Description:
EN234 Introduction to Fiction (GE): Close reading of selected works of English and American prose fiction, emphasizing the historical development of the novel and short story. 3:0:3
Your study in this course will consist of close readings, research, and thoughtful reflections about those readings and research as well as writing essays. We will work together to create an open and supportive online environment for this work. Student interaction is a vital component of this course. Your will engage in frequent class discussions about the work at hand and you will offer critical, helpful and thoughtful comments about the essays composed by the other students in this course.
You will be expected to read each of the assignments and to seek additional critical texts that will help you in your explorations of and responses to literary fiction. The readings of this course are not intended to be difficult; but because of the enormous scope of the art of fiction, there will be a lot of it.
You will probably need to spend several hours reading for every hour you spend online responding to the reading. Enjoy it!

Educational Philosophy:

Critical reading and interpretation are essential keys to Introduction to Fiction. No matter where people's interests in reading lie, being able to read and critically evaluate and interpret text are crucial skills to success in today's society. In addition, we will focus on understanding the connections between fiction and the cultural, historical, and national issues that surround each of us.
While our tendency, sometimes, is to be like flowing water and seek the quickest route to the ocean, I like to think that our discussion times together become small pools of water along the way which act as resting places for reflection and contemplation.  We are all seeking knowledge and truth together, and it will be a unique experience for each individual.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the definitive features of fiction as a literary genre
  2. Discuss a representative range of fictional texts
  3. Articulate a response/ interpretation of a single text or body of related texts

Core Assessment:

The Core Assessment for En 234 is a critical paper consisting of no fewer than 5-8 pages of original literary analysis using personal insights and primary and secondary sources. MLA documentation, including a Work Cited page, is also required. A minimum of 3 sources are required, and must include a range of types of sources, including online and traditional print sources. The core assessment must account for no less than 25 % of the final grade.

 The rubric for this assignment is included below.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Your progress in the class this term will be assessed via weekly writing assignments, weekly readings and discussion postings, a critical research paper, and a final examination. You will find evaluation criteria for the critical research paper in the class rubric linked to the syllabus.  Evaluation criteria for the weekly homework and discussion assignments will be circulated via the announcement page the first week of the term.
  • Weekly Discussion/Homework Assignments 30%
  • Weekly Reading Research and Response Assignments 20%
  • Critical Research Paper (prospectus plus two drafts) 30%
  • Final Examination 20%
Due dates and specific instructions are outlined within each assignment listed in the course for each week.
The specific assignments will suggest a length range for each essay. The range is established as a reasonable guide for your written work. Any essay that does not meet the general length requirements will receive a penalty proportinate to the portion missing.






Discussion Thread Postings




Peer Review Posts




Weekly Quizzes




Weekly Response Papers




Rough Draft Paper 1

Due Week 3



Paper 1 (CA)

Due Week 4



Rough Draft Paper 2

Due Week 7



Paper 2 (CA)

Due week 8







Total points for class




576 - 640


512 - 575


448 - 511


384 - 447


383 below


Late Submission of Course Materials:

I consider any assignment not submitted by the posted deadline late. I generally do not accept late work. Park University's academic week starts on Monday at 12:01 AM and ends the following Sunday at Midnight (MST).  Typically, any work submitted after Sunday at Midnight will not be accepted.  In the case of the final critical paper, I will make an exception but late critical papers will be severely penalized. Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of my late work policy.

Discussion Thread Postings (homework, prospectus, research draft and discussion assignments)

I  will not, under any circumstances, accept work posted to the discussion threads (homework and discussion assignments)  after Sunday of the week in which it was assigned. Often times, discussion and homework assignments will have a midweek deadline.  Work not posted by the stated midweek deadline will be considered late and will not receive full credit. 

However, I realize midweek deadlines can be challenging for students, so if you miss the midweek deadline, go ahead and post your work anyway.  Send me an email with an explanation regarding your late assignment and you'll at least get partial credit. Remember, this partial credit proviso is ONLY for  discussion thread work  that is posted before the end of the week  in which it was due.  For example, once week three begins, no credit will be given for week two's work.
Students who post all discussion thread and peer review thread responses on one day will not receive full participation credit.  Discussion thread and peer review responses must be posted on multiple days throughout the week. 

Reading Responses

Weekly reading responses are due to the dropbox by the end of each week (Sunday at Midnight).  Work submitted after Sunday at Midnight WILL NOT be accepted.

Essay Assignments:

Late essay assignments will be penalized one full letter grade (ten points) for each day late. 

In an online class your ability to submit work on time depends on reliable computer access. Computer problems can and do arise, so think ahead and have a back-up plan in place in case your primary means of computer access goes down unexpectedly. Be prepared: locate the nearest library, Kinkos, Internet cafe, etc and note their hours, price and policies.
Planned Absences:
If you know you are going to be absent for class for any reason, and will be unable to meet an essay or reader response deadline, let me know via email (PirateMail), and we can discuss arrangements for you to turn your work in early.  This type of exception will only be allowed once during the course of the semester.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Remember that it is fine to "agree to disagree" and that there will be multiple interpretations of stories and the novel.
  • If you have a question, please post in the Instructor's Office, because it is likely that other students will have a similar question.
  • Civility toward the stories, the authors, and each other will be greatly appreciated.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Please see the weekly assignments under each week in the online course.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

5 Paragraph Example

Tips for Success


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Provides well-chosen personal and critical insights into the literature through close reading that supports thesis. Makes adequate personal and critical statements into the literature, through close reading, though sometimes strays from thesis. Provides only plot summary or  biographical information. Paper shows ittle or no evidence of close reading of literature. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Integrates primary and secondary sources in original and perceptive ways, using MLA Documentation Style, that contribute innovative insights and new knowledge to the field, while retaining a personal voice. Integrates primary and secondary sources adequately, using MLA Documentation, though insights are not particularly innovative or personal. Integrates very little from primary/secondary sources, lacks control of MLA Documentation Style, and fails to bring new insights to the literature. Does not submit assignment, or uses inadequate or no sources or no MLA documentation of sources. 
Provides convincing and insightful connections between texts to illustrate the main focus of the essay. Provides connections between texts that are clear but mundane. Ideas sometimes stray from thesis. Provides vague and under-developed connections between texts. Does not submit assignment or provides no clear connections between texts. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Skillfully supports interpretation with detailed analysis, logical organization, and convincing conclusion. Adequately supports interpretation, though more detailed discussion is needed. Organization is weak, and conclusion is predictable. Interpretation lacks clarity, plausibility, or adequate detail. Lack of a clear organizing principle obscures point. No plausible conclusion. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to requirements. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style in a well organized, fully developed essay. Employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately in a reasonably well organized and well developed essay. Writing shows persistent problems with use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical or incomprehensible; organization and development of ideas do not support thesis. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to requirements. 
Provides new insights into specific, well-chosen passages from primary text. Adequately examines specific passages, though with little innovation. Does not examine specific passages or does so using vague generalities. Does not submit assignment or does not examine passages closely. 
Responds to a range of literary texts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Analysis includes full discussion of elements of fiction as a genre and makes connections to a range of texts. Adequately discusses elements of fiction as a genre. Does not discuss elements of fiction; makes no meaningful connection to other texts. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to requirements. 


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Last Updated:10/7/2008 9:10:53 AM