online syllabus:


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course description





~ schedule ~


Literature 100: Reading of Literature
Introduction to Literature
Poetry ~ Fiction ~ Drama
Traverse City
June 18-24

spring 2005

Dr. Abby Coykendall

Office Phone: (734) 487-0147

Office Location: Pray-Harrold Hall 603G
Office Hours: Monday 12:00-1:30; 4:15-5:15

Wednesday 12:00-1:30; 4:15-5:15

~ or by appointment ~


 Section One; Registration #30933
Sat 4-9 PM; Mon-Thurs 8-2 PM; Fri 8-12 PM
Northwestern Michigan College




Course Description: Reading of Literature


Literature 100 is a class in which you will explore a wide variety of literature — novels, short stories, poetry, and drama — ranging in period from the fifteenth-century to the present and encompassing authors from around the world.  The aim is to provide a general introduction to literature, including an examination of the major literary periods, movements, and genres.  By the end of the course, you will have surveyed representative works written in English, honed your interpretative skills, familiarized yourself with literary conventions, and learned to think critically and carefully about those conventions.  Whether discussing literature or world events, we will attempt to expand rather than confine our engagement with the material, ultimately seeing how literature offers a means to (re)envision and hopefully to (re)create the material world in which we all live.

*** Note: You must read Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein before the class begins.


Required Texts


The following books (one anthology and one novel) are available at Ned’s bookstore —; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross Street — although additional copies may be available at other EMU bookstores:







v       Heath Introduction to Literature, Ed. Alice S. Landy and William Rodney Allen, 6th edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2000; ISBN #0395980704)

v       Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Ed. Harold Bloom (Penguin Signet Classic, 2000; ISBN #0451527712)

Make sure to get the same editions pictured and listed above; otherwise, the differing page numbers will make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to follow along with class discussions.  Nothing is more vital for success in this class than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the daily reading assignments and class discussions.  Make sure to bring a copy of each text that we will be discussing to class.  You will need to have read the assigned material, and have it on hand, when I call on you in class or when we do group work.





Daily Responses, Quizzes, Poetry Presentation,
& Class Participation




Examination #1: The Novel & Short Story

Tuesday, June 21



Examination #2: Poetry & Drama

Friday, June 24



4˝-page Essay

Monday, July 3


Each of the two exams will consist only of essay questions, as well as a brief multiple-choice section that will only gauge whether or not you have actually read the material.  The first exam will have one question on the novel and another on short fiction; the second exam will have one question on poetry and another on drama.  You will be able refer to an outline during the exams, but not to the texts themselves.  The final essay, due roughly one week after the end of the class, will be given two grades: one for the quality of the theme and one for the quality of the writing.



Due to the intensive nature of this course, attendance is a must.  Lateness or poor attendance will impact the final grade that you receive significantly: a single day absent — equivalent to two weeks in a regular semester — will mean a reduction of your final grade by one full grade (e.g. an A will be reduced to a B).


Academic Dishonesty


Any academic dishonesty will result in a failing, zero-percent grade for the assignment.  Thus, if you plagiarize on the essay, you can expect, at most, to receive a C (or 75%) for your final grade, supposing that you did everything else in the class perfectly.  Similarly, if you cheat on the second exam, you can expect at most to receive a C- (or 70%), again supposing that you did everything else perfectly. 

Plagiarism is a very serious offense against the Code of Student Conduct.  According to Funk and Wagnalls’ New Standard Dictionary (1921), plagiarism is the “act of plagiarizing or appropriating the ideas, writings, or inventions of another without due acknowledgment; specifically, the stealing of passages either for word or in substance, from the writings of another and publishing them as one’s own.”  The general rule is that if you use three or more words of another writer in a row without enclosing those words in quotation marks and acknowledging your source, you are guilty of plagiarism. 


With the internet, plagiarism is quite easy and tempting to do; however, plagiarism is also that much more easy to catch and document, so do not even think about doing it in this class or elsewhere.  Note: Turning in a paper that you wrote for another class as an essay for this class, i.e. recycling the same words for double credit, also constitutes academic dishonesty at EMU.




Saturday, June 18:  The Novel


4:00-4:30 PM:  Student Introductions; Conjectural Responses; Introduction to the Course and Literature more generally


4:30 -5:30 PM:  Discuss Shelley’s Frankenstein


5:30-6:30 PM:  Dinner Break


6:30-8:30 PM:  Video: Film Adaptations of Frankenstein


8:30-9:00 PM:  Discuss Frankenstein and Adaptations


Homework:  Review the Keywords from the “Handbook of Literary Terms” (below); Read Michael Herr, “Dispatches,” 200-208; Ambrose Bierce, “Chickamauga,” 213-218; Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour,” 21-24.


Keywords for Review:  allegory, allusion, characters/characterization, fiction, flashback, foreshadowing, genre, hero/heroine, irony, narrator, novel, plot, point of view, and protagonist



Sunday, June 19: The Short Story (Point of View)


8:00-8:30 AM:  Overview of Perspective in Fiction; Application to Frankenstein


8:30-10:00 AM:  Michael Herr’s “Dispatches” and Ambrose Bierce’s “Chickamauga”


10:00-10:15 AM:  Break


10:15-11:15 PM:  Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”


11:15-12:00 PM:  In-Class Writing Assignment: Compare and Contrast Point of View


12:00-1:00 PM:  Lunch Break


1:00-2:00 PM:  Group Work: Point of View


Homework:  Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms”; Read Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” 77-89; Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal” (Handout); Kurt Vonnegut, “Harrison Bergeron,” 176-181


 Keywords for Review:  antagonist, dialect, flat character, ideology, metaphor, motif, multiculturalism, satire, setting, and short story


Monday, June 20: The Short Story (Elements of Fiction)


8:00-8:30 AM:  Introduction to the Elements of Fiction


8:30-9:00 AM:  Voice, Tone, Theme: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “Yellow Wallpaper”


9:00-9:30 PM:  Plot, Character, Conflict, Climax: Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”


9:30-10:15 PM:  Group Work: The Elements of Fiction


10:15-10:30 AM:  Break


10:30 -12:00 PM:  Setting: Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”


12:00-1:00 PM:  Lunch Break


1:00-2:00 PM:  In-Class Assignment and Discussion


Homework:  Prepare outlines for Exam #1 on the Novel and Short Story




Tuesday, June 21: Poetry (Sound and Text)


8:00-10:00 AM:  Exam #1: Fiction (The Novel and Short Story)


10:00-10:15 AM:  Break


10:15-11:15 AM:  Video: Langston Hughes


11:15-12:00:  Discuss Langston Hughes, “Harlem” (408-409)


12:00-1:00 PM:  Lunch Break


1:00-2:00 PM:  Discuss the Difference between Sound and Text: Wallace Stevens’ “Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion”; Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy”; Robert Creeley’s “Oh Max”; Sharon Olds, “Sex without Love,” 533


Homework:  1) Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms”; 2) Read “Metaphor,” 409-410; “Word Choice,” 343; “Symbol and Allegory,” 419-420 (Heath Anthology); 3) Read Edna St. Vincent Millay, “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed,” 359; e. e. cummings, “next to of course god america I,” 394; Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” 400; Dorothy Parker, “Résumé,” 401; Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” 474; 4) Using the “Poetry Presentation” handout, prepare an informal presentation on one of the poems in the Heath Anthology, excluding those that we may have already covered in class and those assigned for homework.


Keywords for Review:  aesthetics, alliteration, antithesis, assonance, diction, figure of speech, form, free verse, meter, overstatement, persona, personification, simile, sonnet, and understatement




Wednesday, June 22: Poetry (Elements of Poetry)


8:00-9:00 AM:  Discuss Poetry


9:00-10:00 AM:  Poetry Presentations


10:00-10:15 AM:  Break


10:15-12:00 AM:  Poetry Presentations Continued


12:00-1:00 PM:  Lunch Break


1:00-2:00 PM:  Begin Watching William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing


Homework:  1) Read the discussion of Drama (“Tragedy” and “Comedy,” pgs. 31-33 of the “Glossary of Literary Terms” handout); 2) Review the Keywords (below) from the “Handbook of Literary Terms”; 3) Read William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, 749-818; Write a brief, handwritten, 1-page response paper.


Keywords for Review:  anticlimax, antihero, archetype, aside, catharsis, comedy, dialogue, drama, exposition, hubris, monologue, soliloquy, tragedy, and tragic flaw



Thursday, June 23: Drama (Elements of Drama)


8:00-8:30 AM:  Introduction to the Elements of Drama


8:30-10:00 AM:  Finish Watching Much Ado About Nothing


10:00-10:15 AM:  Break


10:15-12:15 AM:  Discuss and Perform William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing


12:15-1:15 PM:  Lunch Break


1:15-2:00 PM:  Discussion of Much Ado About Nothing and its Adaptations


Homework:  Prepare outlines for Exam #2 on Poetry and Drama




Friday, June 24: Exam Poetry and Drama


8:00-11:00 AM:  Exam #2: Poetry and Drama


Homework: Write a 4˝-page essay on at least one of the works in the Heath Introduction to Literature on the poem that you presented on for your poetry presentation, or another work that is not listed above and that has have otherwise been covered in class.  The essay (double spaced, typed, with one inch margins, and in Times New Roman 12-point font) is due on July 3.  Either email it to me as an MS Word attachment or drop it in my mailbox in the English Department (612 Pray Harrold).