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ENGL101: Introduction to Literary Studies

Course Syllabus for "ENGL101: Introduction to Literary Studies"

This course will introduce you to the history and practice of English as a scholarly discipline with the goal of preparing you for your future endeavors as an English major. It has been designed to familiarize you with the various tools that scholars have devised in order to facilitate the study of literary expression in English, from critical frameworks to close reading techniques. After an introductory unit outlining basic approaches to literary analysis, we will embark upon a genre study, devoting each of the four remaining units to a different genre of writing: poetry, the novel, drama, the rhetorical essay, and the critical essay. In each of these units, we will review a general history of the genre, read a representative sample or set of samples, learn genre-specific critical terms and theories, and apply what you have learned to essays of your own. By the end of this course, you will have developed strategies that will enable you to understand, analyze, and critically respond to works in any genre at an advanced level.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate mastery and/or awareness of the major skills, techniques, and approaches necessary for college-level literary studies;
  • explain and employ in close readings of texts (i.e., poems, novels, plays, etc.) a variety of approaches to textual and discourse analysis;
  • define and identify a number of theoretical approaches to literary analysis;
  • employ poetic scansion and analysis techniques in the analysis of poetry;
  • explain basic narrative techniques and be able to identify various forms of the novel;
  • define a number of dramatic techniques and forms of theater and drama; and
  • recognize, compare, and contrast a variety of rhetorical forms and terms as well as concepts involving the essay form.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Be competent in the English language.

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Course Information

Welcome to ENGL101!  General information on the course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designers: James R. Fleming and Mary Morley Cohen

Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay special attention to Units 1 and 2, as these lay the groundwork for understanding the more advanced, exploratory material presented in the latter units. You will also need to complete:

  • The Final Exam

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the materials in each unit. Responding to the questions that follow each of the assigned readings as you take notes will help you prepare for the Final Exam.

In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 130 hours to complete. Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit and then set goals for yourself. For example, subunit 1.2 should take you 12.5 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.2.1 (a total of 1 hour) on Monday, subunit 1.2.2 (a total of 1 hour) on Tuesday, subunit 1.2.3 (a total of 2 hours) on Wednesday, and so forth.