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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 313
Course Title: Intermediate Creative Writing I -- Fiction
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

An intermediate workshop class in the writing of short fiction, including class criticism of student and professional work.  Prerequisite: ENGL 207.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

ENGL 207

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered every 3 semesters.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many texts are available for this course. The instructor might choose novels and short story collections by one or multiple authors. Use of a craft-based text as well, like Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction , is highly recommended.

Writing Fiction
By Burroway, Janet
Course Objectives
  • To analyze a selection of peer work in the context of creative writing for submission/review.
  • To review and demonstrate control over the craft of fiction.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of magazine submission policy and procedure.
  • To master the process of choosing and limiting topics for writing.
Measurable Learning
  • Recognize and use the terminology of fiction and criticism in critiquing workshop submissions.
  • Assess assigned professional and student writing through a discussion of the craft.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fiction and master provided exercises.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current publications and submission policies in fiction.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of critical revision strategies.
  • Identify current trends in literary fiction.
  • Evaluate the work of a major contemporary author through a formal presentation.
Topical Outline:
  • Through composition of 50-60 pages, students will demonstrate knowledge of and capability of using the following tools through in-class work and written assignments:
  • Significant detail and imagery - showing versus telling
  • Characterization: dialogue, appearance and many other components of drawing a round character
  • Plot: the inverted question mark short story structure
  • Time and Place: setting not just as backdrop but as integral to creating mood, evoking symbolism and characterization
  • Point of View with an emphasis on first person, third person limited omniscient and third person objective
  • Theme and tropes
  • Revision with an emphasis on rewriting
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: 15

Library Resources:

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

Prepared by: Christina Ingoglia Date: May 8, 2014
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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