EN234 Introduction to Fiction

for S2RR 2010

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EN 234 Introduction to Fiction


S2RR 2010 MT


Thomas, Peter F.


English Instructor


BA in Communications from University of Southern California
MA in English from Boise State University

Office Location


Office Hours

Before or after class or by appointment

Daytime Phone

208-395-0607 (Call before 9:00PM)



Semester Dates

March 22 – May 16, 2010

Class Days


Class Time

7:40 - 10:10 PM

Credit Hours



 Charters, Ann. The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 7th. ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007.
ISBN-10:  0312442726

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1996.  ISBN-10: 0393970124

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

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.
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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/.

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

Educational Philosophy:

No matter where people's interests in reading lie, being able to read and critically evaulate and interpret text is crucial to success in today's society.  In order to facilitate students' critical thinking, I will enage students in classroom discussion and encourage them to consider varying opinions and styles of writing.

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. Students who complete EN234 will have an understanding of the history of the novel and short story.
  2. Students who complete EN234 will be able to think critically about fiction.
  3. Students who complete EN234 will know literary terms.
  4. Students who complete EN234 will be able to evaluate and interpret fiction and the author.
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:

Students' understanding of classroom texts will be assessed through quizzes composed of short answer and essay questions.  Students' understanding and ability to reflect on classroom texts will be assessed through a final paper. A grading rubric for the final paper will be given to students in class.  There will also be a final exam. 


Class Participation 10%
Quizzes 10% each (4 quizzes total)

Critical Paper Outline 5%

Critical Paper 25%
Final Exam 20%





Late Submission of Course Materials:

If you must be absent, please call or email me as soon as possible.  If you miss something, make arrangements with me to get your assignments in at the earliest possible time.  If you miss assignments due to an unexcused absence, you will receive a grade of "zero."

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Turn off any electronic devices such as cell phones, blackberries, cell phones, etc. before you enter the classroom. During classroom discussions, students are expected to treat each other with respect.  Interruptions are to be kept minimal, and students are to enter the classroom with the understanding that everyone has a different interpretation and opinion and that no opinion is better than another. Students are to be careful while eating and drinking in the rooms and should throw away any trash they have before they leave.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

3/23/10    Day 1

Introduction to class

Discuss the following:
-Critical paper

-Literary terms

-Literary periods

3/25     Day 2

Discuss the following:
-“A Rose for Emily” p. 391

-“The Meaning of ‘A Rose for Emily’” p. 1445

-“The Cask of Amontillado” p. 1092

-“The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale” p. 1661

3/30     Day 3
Discuss the following:
-“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” p. 115

-“The Lottery” p. 587

-“The Morning of June 28, 1984, and ‘The Lottery’” p. 1468
Writing Mini-lesson: Thesis statements and introductory paragraphs
4/1       Day 4

~Quiz 1 over short stories~
-“The Minister’s Black Veil” p.517

-“Everyday Use” p.1306

-“The Gift of the Magi” p. 1123

Writing Mini-lesson: Body paragraphs and intro to MLA (in-text citations)

4/6       Day 5

-“The Open Boat” p.329

-“The Sinking of the Commodore” p. 1438

-“To Build a Fire” p. 798

Writing Mini-lesson: Conclusion
 4/8      Day 6

-“The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” p. 15

-“Superman and Me” p. 1400

-“The Things They Carried” p. 990

4/13     Day 7

~Quiz 2 over short stories~
-“Good Country People” p. 1016

-“Civil Peace” p. 10

4/15     Day 8

Discuss the following:

Literary criticisms

Heart of Darkness (263-283)

4/20     Day 9

Discuss Heart of Darkness (284-304)

Writing Mini-lesson: Doing research and MLA (Works Cited page)
Begin movie
4/22     Day 10

Discuss Heart of Darkness (304-324)

Finish movie

~Submit and review outline/thesis for critical paper~

4/27     Day 11

~Quiz over Heart of Darkness ~

4/29     Day 12

Discuss Dracula p. 1-90

5/4       Day 13
Discuss Dracula p. 90-180

Writing Mini-lesson: Proofreading and peer critiques

5/6       Day 14           

Discuss Dracula p. 181-270

Writing Mini-lesson: Q & A session

Begin movie

5/11     Day 15

Discuss Dracula p. 271-end
Dracula quiz.

Finish movie

5/13     Day 16

~Final Exam

~Critical paper due~

*Schedule is subject to change.

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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:2/22/2010 6:27:02 PM