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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 360
Course Title: Readings in Fiction
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Study of fiction from a special perspective or within a literary period (e.g., American novel and short story, contemporary novel, the comic novel and short story). Prerequisites: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English literature course. Occasional Offering.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English literature course.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Occasionally


Five to eight novels and/or story collections in inexpensive college-level editions. Although fiction must comprise the bulk of the course focus, a limited amount of readings in other genres may provide context. The works chosen must bear a significant historical, thematic, and/or generic correspondence.

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Analyze a range of fictional texts.
  2. Explain the characteristics of the fictional genre, as those characteristics appear in selected fiction.
  3. Identify the historical, cultural, and authorial contexts of selected fiction.
  4. Describe the critical reception of selected fiction.
  5. Write argumentatively about fiction.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • The works chosen must bear a significant historical, thematic, and/or generic correspondence. In discussions, exams, and/or essays, students should be required to productively compare and contrast selected works.
  • Because this course represents an upper-level English elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. Students must read and write intensively, and they must engage in serious literary study that includes the use of peer-reviewed scholarship. This course must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (such as midterms, finals, group reports, quizzes, research papers). The course reading load should be at least 1000 pages.
  • Departmental policy requires a minimum of 4000 words (about 16 pages) of graded student writing, including an argumentative research essay that incorporates scholarly secondary criticism. Multiple essays should be assigned, and the research essay should account for no more than half of the total assigned page-count for the course.
  • Departmental policy requires that assignments include at least one common reading of a secondary, peer-reviewed article or chapter.
  • Class discussion of the selected works
  • Terminology essential to the study of fiction
  • In class exams, including a final exam that requires students to analyze a range of fictional works and to explain the characteristics of fiction and the historical, cultural, and authorial contexts of the works studied.
  • Instructors may be asked to collect information from the assignments specified in the Major Topics/Skills section. This information will be provided to the English program for evaluation.

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: Peter Monacell Date: April 15, 2015
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 learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. 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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