EN234 Introduction to Fiction

for F1QQ 2008

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EN 234 Introduction to Fiction


F1QQ 2008 HI


Harper, Gavin W.


Adjunct Faculty


MA: English, Brigham Young University, 1998
BA: English, Weber State University, 1994

Office Location


Office Hours

Before and after class

Daytime Phone





Semester Dates

August 18th--October 12th, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

11:00-12:30 PM MW, 11-1 PM F

Credit Hours


Charters, Ann, ed.  The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction.   7th ed.  Boston: U of Connecticut P, 2006.   

Hemingway, Ernest.  A Farewell to Arms.  New York: Scribner, 2003.

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Course Description:
Close reading of selected works of English and American prose fiction,emphasizing the historical development of the novel and short story.3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Understanding the connections between fiction and the cultural,historical, and national issues that surround each of us,as readers, is one of the main concerns of my class.  Defining the main features of key genres of fiction (short stories, novellas,novels, flash fiction, etc.) will also be one of the central themes of this course.  The class will function through participatory discussions of the assigned texts, lectures, and assessments at the end of each genre section.

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

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Develop an understanding of the common analytical tools for studying fiction.
  2. Develop a personal writing process in your response to specific texts.
  3. Study and analyze popular forms of fictional writing.
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:
As part of your class participation grade you will be required to discuss your reading assignments within the class and participate in small group discussions about the readings.  Four times during the term, you will be required to submit a "reader response" assignment for one of the stories/novellas/novels that we will be reading together as a class.  These responses should capture your thoughts, analysis, and evidence of your ideas within a single page. At least four times during the term, you will be presented with a reading quiz upon the day's assigned texts.  For your more polished writing, you will be required to submit a prospectus of your topic, argument, and ideas; a first draft of your writing (3-4 pages) due at midterm; and finally, a polished 5-8 page essay focusing upon one of the texts that we have read or the connections between a small thematic group of texts.  Many possible writing topics are listed below, within the table/schedule of reading assignments, but further details will be provided within the class.

Class Participation/Attendance: 100 pts
Reader Response Entries:  200 pts
Reading Quizzes:  200 pts
Prospectus and Draft of Analysis Essay: 200 pts
Final Analysis Essay:  300  pts
Total Points:  1000 pts

Grading Breakdown:

1000-900 pts =  A
899-800  pts  =  B
799-700  pts  =  C
699-600  pts  =  D
599-below     =  F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
During an eight week term, the deadlines for course assignments will approach rapidly.  While I will accept late work, you will be penalized by one full letter grade for each day the assignment is late.  Please take great care in meeting the deadlines for the course.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
As there is a moderate amount of reading in a class studying fiction,you should be prepared to discuss the assigned material on the day it appears on the syllabus.  In other words, you should make sure to read each selection BEFORE the day it is due.  Your discussion and participation during the class day will be expected and valued. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Schedule of Reading Assignments & Due Dates:
August 18th:
Class Introduction 

August 20th:
"The Necklace" p. 838
"The Lottery" p. 587

August 22nd:
"A Sunrise on the Veld" p. 786
"To Build a Fire" p. 798

August 25th:
"Hills Like White Elephants" p. 540

August 27th:
"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" p. 116

August 29th:
"Cathedral" p. 168                                       Reader Response One Due
"Greasy Lake" p. 142

September 1st:
Holiday -- No Class

September 3rd:
"The Death of Ivan Ilych" (parts I-VI) p. 1232

September 5th:
"The Death of Ivan Ilych" (parts (VII-XII)

September 8th:
"Heart of Darkness" p. 263

September 10th:
"Heart of Darkness" (cont.)

September 12th:
"Heart of Darkness" (cont.)                          Reader Response Two Due
                                                                   Draft of Analysis Essay Due

September 15th:
"The Cask of Amontillado" p. 1092
"The Tell-Tale Heart" p. 1110

September 17th:
"Bliss" p. 811
"The Fly" p. 820

September 19th:
"How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie" p. 352
"The Moths" p. 1295

September 22nd:
"Roman Fever" p. 1334
"The Real Thing" p. 595

September 24th:
"Incarnations of Burned Children" p. 1313
"Why I Live at the P.O." p. 1317

September 26th:
"The Minister's Black Veil" p. 517
"Young Goodman Brown" p. 526               Reader Response Three Due

September 29th:
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" p. 1030
"Good Country People" p. 1016

October 1st:
"Everyday Use" p. 1306
"The Gift of the Magi" p. 1123

October 3rd:
"The Use of Force" p. 1352
"Say Yes" p. 1356

October 6th:
A Farewell to Arms

October 8th:
A Farewell to Arms (cont.)

October 10th:
A Farewell to Arms (cont.)                              Reading Response Four Due
                                                                       Final Analysis Essay Due

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.

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 .


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:7/17/2008 10:41:47 PM