Kaskaskia College Course Syllabus

LITO 107


(IAI H3 901)


            X         ON CAMPUS            CCC    



         PREFIX:  LITO             NUMBER:   107         NAME:  Introduction to Fiction    


3          LECTURE HOURS               LIBA 04900                CURRICULUM & NO.

            0          LABORATORY HOURS     1.1/230301                  PCS-CIPS NUMBER

            3          CREDIT HOURS                              N                     VARIABLE (Y/N)     

            0          CLINICAL HOURS                            N                     REPEATABLE (Y/N)

            0          SOE HOURS                                      0                      TIMES



            X         BACCALAUREATE/TRANSFER

                        CAREER EDUCATION



                        HEALTH OCCUPATIONS




Reading and discussion of representative short stories and novels from a range of literatures, with some attention to critical work on fiction. Students will increase their enjoyment and appreciation of fiction by reading a variety of works and writers; come to understand the forms and functions of prose fiction; be able to use relevant critical terms effectively; and analyze and interpret prose fiction both in class discussion and in formal critical essays. Written work includes essay exams and several formal papers (totaling 9-12 pages), in addition to any reading journals, class notes, or other informal responses. A research paper is generally not required. All written work must meet the usual standards for college-level writing, be clearly and coherently presented and substantially free of surface errors. Students may be asked to read aloud and attend one or more readings.







            X         DISCUSSION-LECTURE                            SEMINAR

                        LABORATORY                                              TELE-LECTURE (FILM-TV)

                        CORRESPONDENCE                                    LABORATORY-DISCUSSION

                        TELEVISION (TELECOURSE)                      LECTURE

                        RADIO                                                            LECTURE-LABORATORY

                        INDEPENDENT STUDY                               OTHER (IDENTIFY):



A. To provide students a basic competence in using the tools and techniques of literary analysis.

            B. To provide a basic vocabulary and understanding of what fiction is and the nature of its concerns.

            C. To foster a basic appreciation of the genres of literature, the short story and novel.

            D. To assist students in intelligently expressing themselves in composition work.




         TITLE:  Introduction to Fiction

         AUTHOR(S):  Kennedy and Gioia    

         COPYRIGHT DATE:  2007         EDITION:    10th

         PUBLISHING COMPANY:   Pearson Longman          




         COPYRIGHT DATE:                EDITION: 







         COPYRIGHT DATE:                            EDITION: 





                        Paperback novels—instructor’s choice









         Combination objective and written examinations, out-of-class critical appraisals totaling 9-12 pages, and class participation in discussion.  Further readings and examples on reserve in library.


(All Humanities courses at Kaskaskia College require 2500 words of typed work; students write 9-12 pages of critical analyses, evaluations, and interpretations.)






I. Reading a Story.

A. Fable and Tale.

B.  Plot.
C.  The Short Story.

D.  John Updike on Writing, Why Write?
What's the Plot?

II. Point of View.

A.  Katherine Mansfield on Writing, Creating "Miss Brill."
B.  How Point of View Shapes a Story.
C.  Student Essay: Raymond Carver's Use of First-Person Point of View in "Cathedral."


III. Character.

A.  How Character Creates Action.


IV. Setting.

A. Amy Tan on Writing, Setting the Voice.
B. How Time and Place Set a Story.


V. Tone and Style.

A.  Irony.

B.  Ernest Hemingway on Writing, the Direct Style.
Be Style Conscious.


VI. Theme.

A. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., on Writing, the Themes of Science Fiction.
B. Stating the Theme.


VII. Symbol.

A. Recognizing Symbols.
B. Student Essay. An Analysis of the Symbolism in Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums."


VIII. Evaluating a Story.

A. Ralph Lombreglia on Writing, Creating "Jungle Video."
B. Know What You're Judging.


IX. Reading Long Stories and Novels.

A. Franz Kafka on Writing, Discussing The Metamorphosis.
B. Leaving Things Out


X. A Writer in Depth.

A. Flannery O'Connor on Writing, The Element of Suspense in "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
B. Flannery O'Connor on Writing, The Serious Writer and the Tired Reader.
C. How One Story Illuminates Another.


XI. Stories for Further Reading.


XII. Writing About Literature.

A.  Beginning.
B.  Discovering and Planning.
C.  Drafting and Revising.
D.  The Form of Your Finished Paper.
E.  Documenting Your Sources.
F.  Reference Guide for Citations.
G.  Keeping a Journal.
H.  The Girl Writing Her English Paper, Robert Wallace.

XIII. Writing About a Story.

A.  Explicating.
B.  Student Essay (Explication).
C.  Analyzing.
D.  Student Essay (Analysis).
E.  Student Card Report.
F.  Comparing and Contrasting.
G.  Suggestions for Writing.

XIV. Writing and Researching on the Computer.

A.  Writing and Revising.
B.  Using Spell-Check Programs.
C.  Researching on the World Wide Web.
D.  Two Ways to Start Researching.
E.  Plagiarism.
F.  Literature Online

XV. Critical Approaches to Literature.

A.  Formalist Criticism.

B.  Biographical Criticism.


    C.  Historical Criticism.

D.  Psychological Criticism.

E.  Mythological Criticism. 

F.  Sociological Criticism.

G.  Gender Criticism.

H.  Reader-Response Criticism.

I.  Deconstructionist Criticism.

J.  Cultural Studies.


XVI.  Longer Works of Fiction

            A.  The Novella

            B.  The Novel





ü      As part of the Kaskaskia College comprehensive Assessment Program for Humanities, all instructors are asked to complete an assessment form that lists some of the assessment techniques utilized at both the summative and formative levels; the form also allows for the use of the data to make changes to the course the next time that it is taught.  The grading standards/ rubric for all compositions and the assessment form are attached.










Introduction to Fiction, Lito 107, Student Learning Outcomes


Learning Outcome I:


Students should be able to read, understand, interpret, and evaluate literary work.


More specifically, they should be able to do the following:


1.  Recognize, recall, and summarize material read.


2.  Predict and question the text during and after reading.


3.  Understand the various purposes for reading.


4.  Be cognizant of the difficulties of the text and aware of their own abilities and deficiencies.


5.  Appreciate the importance of motivation.


6.  Draw inferences thus enhancing appreciation for the complexities of the text.


7.  Synthesize information previously read with the current text.


8.  Evaluate the worth and value of the text.


9.  Judge the accuracy and reliability of the text.


Learning Outcome II:


Students should be able to express and develop their ideas of the literary text by writing grammatical, organized, and coherent essays.


More specifically, the students should be able to do the following:


1.  Generate ideas by using various strategies to analyze the text.


2.  Write for a specific college audience and purpose, thus using appropriate language and style. 


3.  Develop an essay with a clear thesis.


4.  Support that thesis with textual information.


5.  Organize the essay coherently and logically using appropriate rhetorical strategies.


6.  Write in standard, written English.


7.  Revise and proofread.


8.  Use writing as a means of developing thought and clarifying ideas.


Learning Outcome III:


Students should be exposed to a variety of writers, ideas, artistic motives, and genres.  The students should also be introduced to the vocabulary necessary to understand literature.  More importantly, they should discover those universal themes and ideas that have motivated human beings to express themselves in language, ranging from mundane concerns to their highest aspirations. 


More specifically, the student should be able to do the following:


1.   Recognize the various strategies for examining a literary text.


2.   Distinguish among popular and serious fiction.


3.   Understand the elements of the various literary subgenres, including the short story, the novella, and the novel.


4.   Comprehend figurative language.


5.   Discover literary themes and their traditions, both American and English traditions, history, and writers.


6.   Recognize and appreciate the implications of symbolism, allegory, and myth.


7.         Incorporate much of the more subtle and specific literary terms into their vocabulary.


8.         Appreciate the universal themes and the transcultural themes that give literary study a global perspective.


9.         Understand the works of major writers in each genre so as to see the genre's history and changes within that genre relevant to the specific era; for example, Hardy must be seen in terms of Victorian society but the influences on Hardy's form and ideas and his influence on future British and American writers are also relevant.


10.       Cultivate an awareness of art's role in everyday life and to appreciate the relevancy between life and art.


11.       See fiction as an expression of human values, to see values as a necessary ingredient in all human endeavor, yet simultaneously maintain that tolerance for differing views is fundamental in artistic expression and for the academic discipline and its discourse.  





English Department


While appreciating the individualism inherent in the essay grading process, the department adheres to the holistic method of evaluating essays and expects consideration of content, structure, and mechanics. The following standards in grading are designed to establish uniformity among all teachers of Composition:


Content-- The content of the A essay exhibits a mature level of thought with a clearly stated thesis and abundant support in the forms of concrete examples, details, and reasoning. The essay addresses the specified audience and the assigned rhetorical mode.


StructureIt is structured with a complete introduction, graceful transitions through supporting paragraphs, and a fitting conclusion.


MechanicsMechanically, the paper employs a variety of sentence structures, precise word choice, and figures of speech to create a clear tone; it is void of repetition, wordiness, and colloquialisms.


Content-- The B essay has a clearly stated thesis; the supporting paragraphs exhibit adequate examples and details with clear reasoning. The essay addresses the specified audience and the assigned rhetorical mode.


Structure-- The structure displays an introduction, clear transitions, and an acceptable conclusion. If not highly impactful, it has few structural weaknesses.


Mechanics-- The paper's mechanics consist of a variety of sentence structures and accurate word choices; it has few errors in Standard English. However, a mere absence of errors should not be rewarded with a grade of 6-.


Content-- The average essay has a clearly stated thesis; however, it is often trite or general. It attempts to display examples and details, but fails to provoke thought. The essay fails to address the specified audience, but it does reflect the assigned rhetorical mode.


Structure-- The structure presents a beginning, middle, and end, but lacks transitions. It has few structural weaknesses, but oftentimes structure is its 9nly strength.

Mechanics--Sentence structures are not varied and are often repetitive; unique word choices are not apparent. Errors in Standard English are commonplace; however, the essay does not have major sentence errors, such as comma splices, fragments, and run-ons.



ContentThe poor essay lacks a clearly stated thesis.  It fails to display examples and details, but instead the paragraphs are filled with repeated generalities.  The essay fails to address the specified audience, and oftentimes it does not even reflect the assigned rhetorical mode.

StructureThe structure presents a beginning, middle, and end, but lacks transitions.  The body paragraphs show little unity, order, or coherence.

Mechanics—Sentence structures are mostly simple and most sentences restate the previous thought; simple word choices ("their"and"its") are incorrect and confused. The most flagrant errors in Standard English are prevalent.  Most seriously, a few comma splices, fragments, and run-ons remain uncorrected.




ContentThis essay lacks a clearly stated thesis.  It fails to display examples and details, but instead the paragraphs are filled with repeated generalities.  The essay fails to address the specified audience, and oftentimes it does not even reflect the assigned rhetorical mode.

StructureThe structure fails to present a beginning, middle, and end.  The body paragraphs do not show unity, order, or coherence.

Mechanics—Sentence structures are mostly simple and most sentences restate the previous thought; simple word choices ("their"and"its") are incorrect and confused. The most flagrant errors in Standard English are prevalent.  Most seriously, many comma splices, fragments, and run-ons remain uncorrected.

Failure to eliminate comma splices, fragments, and run-ons from any essay should constitute a failing grade for the assignment.



Each embedded writing assignment will be evaluated based upon a variety of criteria that together form the basis of the Humanities component of the General Education curriculum.  Please assign a number from 1 to 5 for each criterion.  1 = Unacceptable,  2 = Poor,  3 = Average, 4 = Good,  5 = Very Good,  N/A = Not applicable






Student #

Comprehension of the individual work

Aesthetic and cultural appreciation

Understanding of the work in its historical context

Analysis of Form


























































Faculty Guide





Contacts: Danny Stover, ext. 3336

Sue Hardebeck, ext. 3338

Steve Normansell, ext. 3340



For Further Information/

Ancillary Material



The Philosophy of Assessment at Kaskaskia College


   “Student learning” is the core focus of our institutional effectiveness plan, and our more specific assessment plan and strategies have but one primary purpose—improving student learning in the future. Despite the semantic distinction and the confusion between institutional effectiveness and assessment, the governing question forming the foundation of our assessment philosophy is simple: What can we do as faculty to improve student learning, and equally important, what can students do to improve?  Obviously, each student learns differently, every course varies, not all programs can be assessed identically, and every faculty member’s style is unique; therefore, there is necessarily a complexity, as well as a need for subtlety, in order to achieve a comprehensive, coherent, and personally rewarding and meaningful assessment strategy.  But underlying all levels of assessment is the simple dictate to which faculty and students alike are committed:  We are embarked on an on-going, comprehensive assessment strategy that will both document and improve student learning.

   Furthermore, Kaskaskia College’s assessment initiative is a dialog between faculty and student, between the individual and the institution, not a monolog; as we assess student learning, the strategic initiative is grounded in student learning and thus necessarily in student assessment of the institution as well.  We are committed at all levels of establishing and maintaining an environment where student learning is nurtured and blossoms, where learning is measured and documented inside and outside of the classroom.  Critical to understanding the KC assessment initiative is an understanding of the distinction between assessing learning and assessing teaching.  We are engaged in a process to assess learning, and therefore we must engage the student in the process and learn from them.




Assessment Forms and The Role of All Faculty


A five-part sequence provides the pedagogical framework of our assessment plan. The institution has a mission statement and goals, all departments and programs have articulated missions, goals, and outcomes, and each course has objectives and student learning outcomes; thus all parts are connected to, derive meaning from, and fulfill the whole.   Fourth, a series of forms has been developed in order to allow flexibility and to provide faculty with a means of measuring student learning outcomes and, most importantly, changing in order to improve student learning.  Finally, students are active participants and are engaged in the assessment process.


A Quick Checklist Of What To Do


ü       Check out the assessment room (Dean’s office) and familiarize yourself with the institution’s and with your department’s mission, departmental goals, and outcomes.


ü       Every course has a departmental master syllabus.  You must include these objectives and the learning outcomes on your first-day syllabus. 


ü        All programs must have an assessment plan on file.  If you are in charge of a program, submit the program assessment plan at the beginning of the year; gather the data and analyze; and then submit the results at the end of the year along with how you will change in order to improve. 


ü       If you teach courses only, there are faculty forms on the back page to help you begin documenting the assessment of student learning.


ü       Include students in surveys and CAT’s.  Try using focus groups, etc.!


Faculty Assessment of Course Objectives



General Assessment Strategies

 Using Grades


This form lists all of the graded material that comprised a student’s course grade and connects grade to course objectives.


Measurable course objectives on syllabus (pick any two):






How were these course objectives assessed?














Faculty Assessment of Learning Outcomes



General Assessment Strategies

Using Classroom Assessment

Techniques (CAT’s)


This form lists specific strategies for assessment of learning outcomes and for daily or weekly improvement of student learning.  These assessment techniques are independent of --and in addition to-- grades and tests.


What were a few CAT’s utilized this semester for specific Learning Outcomes?  List outcome (a) and CAT (b):


#1.       a.



#2.       a.



#3.       a.







Complete the Loop!

Analysis, Results, and Changes


Faculty Name:

Semester, Year:


Date last taught:



This form summarizes the results of your assessment efforts and proposes changes.  Assessment must be an on-going continuum, a process that forces change and improves student learning.)




What were some of the most significant results that you received this semester?







What changes are you going to implement to improve student learning?