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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 210
Course Title: Introduction to Fiction
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: A comprehensive introduction, within the traditional canon, to the elements and major writers of fiction of varying lengths. G.E.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Readings might stress canonical authors and works and ought to give a sense of historical development for the genre. The anthologies below provide considerable latitude for any instructor.

- Choose one introduction to fiction and anthology of fiction (texts 1-3);
- Choose one collection of short novels, or novellas (text 4) or another anthology;
- Choose one or two novels.

Norton Introduction to Fiction
By Beaty, Jerome, ed. (Norton)
The Heath Introduction to Fiction
By Clayton, John J. (Houghton Mifflin)
Narrative Fiction: An Introduction and Anthology
By Griffith, Kelley (Harcourt)
Classics of Modern Fiction
By Howe, Irving, ed.
Course Objectives
  • To gain familiarity with a large number of works of fiction, ranging from extremely short narrative forms through the novel.
  • To explore and master thoroughly the elements of fiction.
    Measurable Learning
  • Identify and distinguish between the elements of plot and structure, character, setting, point of view, language and style, and theme.
  • Evaluate recursively the elements in fiction as they appear in repeated and differing formats.
  • Demonstrate through oral and written exercises practical criticism of fiction.
  • Demonstrate command of basic appropriate literary terms and elements.
    Topical Outline: Departmental policy requires a minimum of 4,500 words of graded student writing for this course.
  • An overview of the elements: plot and structure, character, setting, point of view, language and style, theme. Basic terminology. Approximately 15% of course.
  • Short narrative forms: parable, fable and tale. Practical criticism stressing the elements. Approximately 15% of course.
  • The short story; practical criticism stressing the elements. Approximately 40% of course.
  • The short novel or novella; practical criticism stressing the elements. Approximately 15% of course.
  • The novel; practical criticism stressing the elements. Approximately 15% of course.
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Danny Campbell Date: March 2, 2008
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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