Kaskaskia College Course Syllabus

LITO 204


IAI H3 914




            X         ON CAMPUS                 CCC    



        PREFIX: LITO                NUMBER: 204            NAME: American Literature I 


            3          LECTURE HOURS               LIBA 04900                CURRICULUM & NO.

            0          LABORATORY HOURS     1.1/230701                  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




A survey of representative works illustrating the development of American literature from its beginnings to the Civil War, with an emphasis on major literary movements understood in relation to their intellectual, social, and political contexts. Written work includes a midterm and final exam and at least two substantial papers (totaling 9-12 typed pages) in addition to any reading journals, class notes, or other informal responses. All written work must meet the usual standards for college-level writing, be clearly and coherently presented and substantially free of surface errors. Prerequisite: Completion of the first General Education writing course (ENG 101).





            ENGL 101 English Composition    



            X         DISCUSSION-LECTURE                                        SEMINAR

                        LABORATORY                                                          TELE-LECTURE (FILM-TV)

                        CORRESPONDENCE                                                LABORATORY-DISCUSSION

                        TELEVISION (TELECOURSE)                                  LECTURE

                        RADIO                                                                        LECTURE-LABORATORY

                        INDEPENDENT STUDY                                           OTHER (IDENTIFY):





         A. To introduce the student to the principal works of major American writers.

         B. To consider trends in American thought from the Colonial Period through the Romantic Period.

         C. To correlate American literature and American history.

         D. To introduce the students to many of the minority writers that have been excluded from the canon.






        TITLE The American Tradition in Literature, Vol. 1

        AUTHOR(S): Perkins

        COPYRIGHT DATE:   2007            EDITION: 11th








        COPYRIGHT DATE:               EDITION: 




             Paperback novels






            3 Regularly scheduled tests.

            Final comprehensive exam

Three, 4-5 page, typed (Times New Roman, 12pt. Font) analytical papers.  These formal essays must develop a focused thesis.  Such essays should explicate a literary work through analysis of theme, point of view, character, conflict, irony, satire, imagery, and/or figurative language.



           I.  Literature to 1620

A.     Stories of the beginning of the world

B.     Native American Trickster tales

C.     Spanish tales of incorporation, resistance, and reconquest

D.     Anglo-American New World voices


         II.  Early American Literature – 1620-1820

A.     Separatists and Dissenters/Bradford and Winthrop

B.     The changing world view/typology to the age of science

C.     Social, economic and religious changes


        III.  American Literature – 1820-1865

A.     European influences

B.     The rise of the middle class

C.     Political writings:  The Revolutionary War

D.     Newspapers and pamphlets

E.      From New England to the Middle Colonies

F.      The Great Awakening


IV.  The Romantics

A.     Myths, Tales, and legends

B.     The American self and Frontier Hero

C.     The American Renaissance

D.     Issues in pre-Civil War America

E.      The Transcendentalists

F.      The emergence of American Poetic Voices

G.  The impact of Civil War on American literary voices and American consciousness:  A nation in change






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.










Learning Outcomes

LITO 204:  American Literature I


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 enjoyment 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 and to perceive the various conflicts and themes.

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 appreciate the diversity of American literature.  They should know the major writers of the various literary movements and also some of the minor writers often ignored in the established canon; the students should understand the cultural backgrounds of these writers, the different eras, and the opposing ideas.


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


1.  Recognize the various strategies for examining a literary text and be conscious of the distinction between writer and persona.

2.  Distinguish among poetry, drama, and fiction.

3.  Understand the elements of various literary genres.

4.  Comprehend figurative language.

5.  Discover literary themes and their traditions.

6.  Grasp and appreciate the implications of symbolism, allegory, and myth, and techniques such as satire and irony.

7.  Be cognizant of the early traditions in American literature, i.e. the New England, Southern, Middle Colonies, and the British.

8.  Understand the socio-economic changes that occurred in the 1600's and which ushered out the Puritan era and ushered in the Age of Reason.

9.  Distinguish early traditions with the myths surrounding them.

10. Discern the relationship between the political climate of the1700's and the resultant literature.

11. Perceive the Romantic movement as a rebellion against the Age of Reason.

12. Apprehend the idealism, individualism, and mysticism inherent in the Romantic movement.

13. Ascertain the political and social forces operating in the first half of the 1800's.

14. Appreciate the emergence of the great symbolist writers--Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville--and the beginning of the American Renaissance.

15. Comprehend the emerging Realists of the latter half of the1800's and the subsequent rejection of Romantic tenets.

16. Be mindful of the socio-economic forces paralleling the Realist movement and helping to usher in the modern era.

 17. Understand the major writers of the different literary periods.

18. Understand these writers' major contributions and works.

19. Appreciate minor writers and their contributions to the diversity of American   thought.



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







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?