EN234 Introduction to Fiction

for F1T 2007

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EN 234 Introduction to Fiction


F1T 2007 DL


Wittig, Carol B.


Adjunct Faculty - Department of English


B.A. English - The University of Akron
M.A. English - The University of Akron
M.L.S. - Kent State University

Office Hours

Anytime via email




Semester Dates

August 20 - October 14

Credit Hours



Text: The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 7th Edition. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007.
Author: Charters, Ann.
 ISBN: 0-312-44272-6
Text: The Awakening. Norton, 1994.
Author: Chopin, Kate
ISBN: 0-393-96057-9
Text: Joseph Andrews with Shamela and Related
Norton Critical Edition. Norton, 1987.
Author: Fielding, Henry.
ISBN: 0-393-95555-9
Text: Native Son. Perrennial, 2003.
Author: Wright, Richard
ISBN: 0-06-053348-X

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Skillin,  Edward, Jr.  "Richard Wright's Native Son:  A Review" Chicken Bones:  A Journal for literary and Artistic African-American Themes. http://www.nathanielturner.com/richardwright2.htm

Avoiding Plagiarism (Indiana) http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html

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

Skylar Hamilton Burris.  "A Catalogue of Symbols in The Awakening by Kate Chopin."  http://www.literatureclassics.com/ancientpaths/awakening.html

Kate Chopin--A RE-Awakening:  Electronic Library.  http://www.pbs.org/katechopin/library/

Online English Dictionary and Thesaurus www.dictionary.com

OWL - The Writing Center @ Purdue University owl.english.purdue.edu/

Smarthinking.com www.smarthinking.com

Online Dictionary and links to grammar guides for 110 languages, including English http://www.yourdictionary.com/

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

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

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/.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:

 Close reading of selected="true"="true"="true" works of English and American prose fiction, emphasizing the historical development of the novel and short story. Through readings, writings, discussions and postings, students and the instructor will be able to interact.  Essays, a final exam, a major paper, and discussions will be used to cover the course's material.

Your study in this course will consist of reading literary fiction in English from its earlier manifestations in the 18th century to the present and of reading literary critical materials regarding the art of fiction.  As we work together to create an open and supportive online environment for this reading, you will also write a brief research paper about some tightly focused topic related to literature and participate in online responses to the literature, the criticism, and to the responses of your classmates.  Our work will begin with an introductory writing assignment, some discussion of your experiences in reading fiction and writing about it, and some explanation of the art of fiction and the objectives of our 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.  However, you should be able to consider most of the fiction reading to be recreational. You will probably need to spend several hours reading for every hour you spend online responding to the reading.   Enjoy it!  Remember, whether they are assigned or not, you should make a habit of reading introductions contained in the assigned books.  This requirement makes it important for you to get the exact texts (publisher and edition) that are listed in the "required text" section of this syllabus.  We will read three novels and a number of short stories.  Most of our fiction will come from British and American authors.  Each week, we will focus on a different aspect of the study of fiction. 

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. 

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:

Weekly assignments, discussion postings and readings, critical research paper and final examination.


  • Weekly Discussion/Homework Assignments 30% (300 points)
  • Weekly Reading Research and Response Assignments 20% (200 points)
  • Critical Research Paper (two drafts) 25% (250 points total. 1st draft: 75 points. Final draft: 175 points.)
  • Final Examination 25% (250 points)
    Total 100% (1000 points)
Course Grading Scale:

A =

 90- 100% (900 points or higher)

B =

 80-89% (800 to 899 points)

C = 

 70-79% (700 to 799 points)

D =

 60-69% (600 to 699 points)

F =

 Less than 60% (599 or fewer points)

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Work must be submitted on time to be considered for full credit. 

Work that is submitted late will receive a full grade deduction for each day that it is late.  Therefore, an essay that is due Sunday night by
midnight will not earn passing credit after Wednesday night.  

Thread posts must be completed by the end of the week during which they are due to be considered for credit.  

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Students are responsible for clicking on the link below and thoroughly reading each Online course policy.  If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

You will know in advance the standards for each assignment. My goal is to give you prompt, clear, and useful feedback to help you become a better, more thoughtful reader and writer. Each student is responsible for: a) completing weekly reading assignments.
b) completing weekly discussion activities.
c) completing weekly homework assignments.
d) completing weekly reading research and response assignments.
e) completing a 1000-1500-word research paper (including prospectus and two drafts).
f) completing a response to a classmate's research paper first draft.
g) completing a proctored final examination.

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

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 .


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:7/30/2007 3:43:08 PM