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Introduction to Issues in Literature and Culture Essay

Course Description and Objectives

This course critically examines various literary themes in twentieth and early twenty first century novels, plays and poetry. These texts are fictionalized representations of circumstances in which fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding have shaped our sense of modern history and contemporary culture. They give voice and offer claims of identity to those in society who have traditionally remained socially and often economically marginalized, mostly women, the poor, and people of colour. You also will learn the methods of developing an effective thesis and supporting evidence for a literary analysis essay.

Required Texts

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart.
Choy, Wayson. The Jade Peony
Headrick, Paul. A Method for Writing Essays about Literature Yousafzai, Malala. I Am Malala.
Douglas, Frederick. Narrative of the Life
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men

Course Notes for ENGL 101

Important: Notes about the course literature and class weekly reading questions will be posted on the Weekly Outline section of Moodle on FIC’s website, http://learning.fraseric.ca. This material must be reviewed before coming to class. You must log in using your FIC username and password.


15% Reading Quizzes
10%Proposal and First Draft of Literary Analysis Essay (1250-1500 words) 20%

Revised Draft of Literary Analysis Essay

20%Mid-Term Exam
25%Final Exam
10%Attendance and Participation

Grading Scale//

A+ = 95-100%
A = 90-94%
A- = 85-89%
B+ = 80-84%
B = 75-79%
B- = 70-74%
C+ = 65-69%
C = 60-64%
C- = 55-59%
D = 50-54%
F = 0-49%

Reading Quizzes

Completing all assigned reading is essential to being successful in the course. There will be a short reading quiz after the completion of certain works of literature. These quizzes will be straightforward for students who have completed the reading assignments and have participated in class activities and discussions. Missed quizzes cannot be made up.

Essay Proposals and Outlines

An essay proposal outline must be submitted before essays are due. These proposals, about one page in length, should summarize the stance of your essay, and present a detailed outline of the essay’s structure (details TBA). Feedback will be offered to help ensure successful completion of the essays.


Much of your grade depends on the successful completion of your literary analysis papers, which should be original scholarly interpretations of the assigned literature. All essays must be typed, using correct English grammar and MLA format. E-mail submissions of essays will not be accepted unless they are prearranged with the instructor, and a printed copy also must be submitted at the next class meeting. Late essays may be marked down by at least one letter grade. Essays more than one week late may not be accepted. You will be given extensive comments on your first draft of your essays and essay proposals, and you are expected to incorporate the instructor’s feedback into your final drafts.


The mid-term and final exams for this course will be administered in class and will consist of short questions, passage analyses, and short essays. You will be given more information about these exams throughout the semester.

Attendance and Participation

You are expected to attend all class meetings. You will spend a great deal of the class in response groups or work teams with peers, and the absence of one member can make progress on projects difficult. A number of activities conducted in response groups must be submitted as homework. Attendance records will be kept; students are required to maintain at least an 80% attendance rate. If you fail to attend class in the first week of the semester, this will count as a double absence on your participation grade.

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

The ideas put into your written assignments must be your own. The ideas of others must be documented in MLA style. Plagiarized work will be failed and can even result in an F for the entire course. Issue of plagiarism and academic honesty as well as methods of MLA documentation will be covered during the early weeks of the semester.

Academic Advising

FIC provides academic advising to all students, free of charge. FIC runs study skills tutorials and peer review to help students become more effective writers, from planning and organizing a paper, to writing and proofreading it. These tutorials and reviews are a valuable resource for any student, and you are encouraged to attend these sessions. Scheduling for academic advice and weekly peer tutoring will be posted on the FIC student portal during the first two weeks of the semester.

Class Schedule (subject to change)

Week One: Tues, May 6/ Thurs, May 8
Course Introduction
Read: Begin Jade Peony
Read: Method For, Chapt.1
Week Two: Tues, May 13/ Thurs, May 15
Read: Continue Jade Peony
Read: Method For Writing, Chapt. 2
Week Three: Tues, May 20/ Thurs, May 22
Read: Complete Jade Peony
Read: Begin The Narrative (Douglas)
Read: Method For Writing, Chapt. 3 (pp. 27-33 and 40-43) Sample Essay #1 (p.98-100) Week Four: Tues, May 27/ Thurs, May 29
Read: Continue The Narrative
Read: Method For Writing, Chapt. 4
Sample Essay #2 (pp.106.109)
Week Five: Tues, June 3/ Thurs, June 5
Read: Complete The Narrative

Week Six: Tues, June 10 / Thurs, June 12
Read: Begin I Am Malala
Plan for Literary Analysis Essay due
Week Seven: Tues, June 17 Thurs, June 19
Read: Continue I Am Malala
Mid-Term Exam
Week Eight: Tues, June 24/ Thurs, June 26
Read: Complete I Am Malala
First draft of Literary Analysis Essay due
Week Nine: Tues, July 1 / Thurs, July 3
Read: Begin Of Mice

Week Ten: Tues, July 8/ Thurs, July 10
Read: Complete Of Mice
Week Eleven: Tues, July 15/ Thurs, July 17
Read: Things Fall Apart

Week Twelve: Tues, July 22/ Thurs, July 24
Read: Continue Things Fall Apart
Revised draft of Literary Analysis Essay due

Week Thirteen: Tues, July 29 /Thurs, July 31
Read: Complete Things Fall Apart
Course Review
Final Exam (date TBA)

Essay Topics:

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