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ENG 2010 PBC

ENG 2010—Critical Analysis of Fiction and Non-Fiction Prose

Three Semester Hours

SS 10/12


University Requisite: ENG 1510 (formerly ENG 151)

Course Overview

Introduces students to the different forms of fiction and non-fiction prose (novels, short stories, essays, life-writing) as they have developed and changed over time. Students will acquire and deploy a critical vocabulary in learning to read and analyze these texts.

Methods of Course Instruction

All material for this course is print-based. Instructor and students communicate and exchange materials through postal mail.  

Textbooks and Supplies

  • Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 3rd ed. New York: Manchester UP, 2009. [ISBN: 9780719079276]
  • Bausch, Richard, and R. V. Cassill, eds. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Shorter 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. [ISBN: 9780393926125]
  • Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Sharer. The Secret Sharer and Other Stories. New York: Dover, 1993. [ISBN: 9780486275468]
  • Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage, 1995. [ISBN: 9780679732761]
  • Gogol, Nikolai. Diary of a Madman. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. New York: Dover, 2006. [ISBN: 9780486452357]
  • Viramontes, Helena Maria. Under the Feet of Jesus. New York: Plume, 1996. [ISBN: 9780452273870]
  • In addition, every college student should have access to a quality, hardbound dictionary. Students should also be able to demonstrate facility with the conventions of standard written English; a variety of writing handbooks are available for anyone who needs help in this regard.

Number of Lessons

The course has eight lessons, including two examinations. These lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: Liberal Humanism and Structuralism     
  • Lesson 2: Psychoanalysis and Narratology     
  • Lesson 3: Feminism and Marxism     
  • Lesson 4: Midcourse Examination 
  • Lesson 5: Post-structuralism and Deconstruction     
  • Lesson 6: New Historicism and Cultural Materialism 
  • Lesson 7: Amalgamation
  • Lesson 8: Final Examination

Types of Writing Assignments

Written assignments will be evaluated on your ability to respond to the prompts clearly, thoroughly and perceptively, using evidence from the texts to support your opinions. Keep in mind that, many times, we are not looking for one particular “right” answer but, instead, a response that demonstrates a thoughtful interaction with the text after a skillful close reading (close reading strategies are outlined thoroughly at the end of Lesson 1). You should also note that, while grammar is not the primary concern of this course, your grade will be negatively affected by confusing language and poor writing style that detracts from the overall readability and clarity of your responses. Unless otherwise indicated, responses to each question should be AT LEAST 350-500 words.

Grading Criteria

The course grade is based on both the lesson assignments and the examinations.  Your final grade will be calculated as a weighted percentage as follows:

  • Lessons 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 — 70%
  • Midcourse exam (Lesson 4) — 15%
  • Final Exam (Lesson 8) — 15%