ENGL 102: Introduction to Prose Fiction

ENGL 102: Introduction to Prose Fiction

Winter 2024 Course Syllabus

Course delivery: Online

Course time: asynchronous (no set class time; there will be an optional “book club”)

The College of the Rockies is located in the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa First Nation. It is our responsibility to honour the stewards of this land by educating ourselves about the histories and contemporary realities of First Peoples, and by contributing to the important work of reconciliation and decolonization.

Welcome to English 102. In this course, you will learn to read fiction with an understanding of genre, technique, and form; to apply various critical strategies to literary texts; and to develop analytical writing skills appropriate to essays at the university level. Above all, you will develop the ability to read with increased understanding of the art of literature and therefore with more enjoyment and a better grasp of fiction’s contribution to your understanding of the moral, social, and political forces that shape modern life.

TEXTBOOKS:  Please note that these texts are different from those listed on the course outline. Any additional readings will be posted on COTROnline.

Garrett-Petts, W.F. Writing about Literature: A Guide for the Student Critic. 2nd ed. Broadview press, 2013.

Buzzard, Laura and Majory Mather. The Broadview Anthology of Short Fiction. 4th ed. Broadview press, 2020.

Robinson, Eden. Monkey Beach. Vintage Canada, 2000.

Chariandy, David. Brother. McClelland & Stewart, 2017.


Reading and Analysis:

  • Perform a formal and coherent close reading of a literary text in an academic essay format;
  • Discuss literature as part of a multicultural canon, demonstrating an awareness of the cultural diversity represented through literary texts;
  • Recognize fundamental literary devices, modes and genres, and explain how such formal features structure and work to create meaning in literary texts;
  • Demonstrate a working vocabulary of literary and critical terminology;
  • Recognize the relevance of context to literary interpretation (e.g. cultural, historical, global);
  • Compare and contrast issues and formal elements in assigned texts;
  • Engage respectfully with different interpretations;
  • Assess validity of a given interpretation; and
  • Express ideas orally in small-group settings.

Writing About Literature:

  • Write scholarly essays that analyze the formal features and historical contexts of literary works;
  • Produce a substantial body of successful writing under time and exam restrictions as well as out of class;
  • Select and integrate primary textual evidence that effectively supports the argument;
  • Make appropriate use of secondary sources where applicable;
  • Format essays using a recognized style guide, such as MLA;
  • Use inclusive language.
  • Develop an argument with a thesis or controlling idea, using appropriate language and rhetorical patterns and accurate, relevant, specific, and sufficient supporting material for its audience and purpose;
  • Write unified, coherent paragraphs, including effective introductions and conclusions, and transitions between and within paragraphs; and
  • Write correct, clear, cohesive, and effective English

 During the week, I will do my best to respond to emails and TEAMS messages within 24 hours between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm (MST) Monday-Thursday. Emails received on Fridays or over the weekend will receive a response on Monday. Please check your COTR email and COTROnline page for questions about due dates, course readings, etc. before e-mailing me. I can only reply to emails sent from a College of the Rockies email account.

Email and TEAMS correspondence is an excellent way to practice your communication skills, so please use the language and structure appropriate for this writing situation when you email me.

Outside of class, my scheduled office hours are the best time to see me in person or over TEAMS. However, if you cannot make it during those hours, you may e-mail me to schedule an appointment. Please keep in mind that I may not be available to meet immediately or even during the next working day. Please note that you are responsible for the content covered in class lectures and in your readings. Also, please remember that I am not able to pre-grade or read full drafts of your assignments before you submit them, and I cannot allow you to re-submit assignments after they have been graded. Please ensure that you have regular attendance and use the supports available to you at the college.

My schedule for Winter 2023 is:

8:30-10:00COMC 102-02 KC 154COMC 102-02 KC 154    I am grading and preparing for lectures off-campus on Fridays and may not be available to meet.
10:00- 11:30COMC 101-02 KC 152ENGL 102 Online CourseCOMC 101-02 KC 152ENGL 102 Online Course
Lunch: 11:00-11:30Lunch: 11:00-11:30
11:30-1:00ENGL 102-01 S205COMC 101-01 KC 151ENGL 102-01 S205COMC 101-01 KC 151 
1:00- 2:30Lunch: 1:00-1:30Office ½ hour KC150-F 1:00-1:30Lunch: 1:00-2:00Office ½ hour KC150-F 1:00-1:30
Office Hours KC150-F 1:30- 4:30  Amber off campusAmber off campus  Amber off campus
2:30- 4:00
Please remember that messages sent in the evening will be responded to during the next working day. 


If you use someone else’s work without clearly acknowledging the source—this is plagiarism.

  • This includes paraphrasing or directly quoting any work, published or unpublished, that another person wrote without clearly acknowledging that person as the source. If you allow someone else to do your work for you and claim that work as your own, you will have committed collusion, which is a form of plagiarism.
  • The use of generative AI (Chat GPT, etc.) to complete or assist the completion of course work is considered a breach of academic integrity according to the College’s 2.4.4 Student Conduct Policy unless permission is received from the instructor in advance.  Please consult with me any time you would like to use AI.

If I find any evidence of academic misconduct in your assignments, you could receive a failing grade (possibly a zero) on the assignment and receive an academic misconduct report. For further information on the academic policies of COTR (including plagiarism). Please pay particular attention to the student conduct policy. If you submit an assignment and then, afterwards, have doubts about your citation- please email me immediately. I will allow you 48 hours to fix (and highlight) your citations without penalty.


Participation 10%
Regular participation is mandatory. Please keep detailed notes on your participation (in online discussions and/or book club) to submit at the end of the semester.(7%) ongoing
Glossary Post Assignment- you will write a definition for a literary term to aid your peer’s comprehension(3%) due Thurs, Jan 25
Annotation Assignment 5%
This assignment will give you an opportunity to practice your close reading skills. You will be asked to indicate rhetorical features of a passage from Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach and write a personal analysis paragraph. This is a scaffolded assignment; you will build on your work and my feedback to compose your close reading essay.(5%) due Thurs, Feb 1
Close Reading Essay 20%
This essay will expand on your annotation assignment to provide an analysis of literary form and content (how text makes meaning). You are not required to do any additional research, but citing the formal definition of literary terms is encouraged.(20%) due Thurs, Feb 15
Reading Quiz 5%
This quiz will require you to have a basic understanding of the short stories listed on the syllabus before we cover them in class. This will help you get the most out of class discussions and will also help you to prepare for your final essay.(5%) on Mon, Feb 26
Final Essay 35%
Final essay proposal- you will outline which two short stories you will compare for your final essay. You will explain your critical approach and include any additional resources you intend to use. This is an excellent opportunity to get feedback from me (in-person) before drafting your final essay.(10%) due Thurs, March 7
Final essay- This essay will require you to compare two of the short stories from the course syllabus. Please keep in frequent contact with me as you work on your final essay.(25%) due Thurs, March 28
Final Exam 25%
The final exam will require you to write an essay on David Chariandy’s Brother, please ensure that you have read this text to be adequately prepared. You will have 3 hours to complete the exam.(25%) held during the exam period; I will email when the exam schedule has been posted.


  • All grades are earned by academic merit. Please do not ask me to assign you a grade that you have not earned. Please ensure that you understand the assignment guidelines and evaluation criteria (come see me to clarify any and all questions) throughout the process of composing your assignments to ensure that you earn a grade that reflects you abilities.
  • I am always willing to provide further feedback on assignments. Please wait 48 hours before emailing me to set up a meeting to discuss. 
  • If, for any reason, you cannot submit an assignment on the due date, you must contact me as soon as possible to discuss an extension/ accommodation. Assignments submitted late without an extension will not be accepted 5 business days after the due date (and may be deducted marks). I cannot authorize a request to change exam dates.
DateENGL 102 W2024 Schedule Please Note:  Schedule is subject to change with noticeAssignments are due  Thursdays @4:30 pm 
Week 1
 Mon, Jan 8Introduction to ENGL 102 Course policies Learning to analyze literatureGlossary post assignment guidelines will be provided
 Features of a story Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” (Broadview, 34)
Week 2
Mon, Jan 15 4 stances of discourse practice Stephen Crane’s “The Bride Comes to the Yellow Sky” 
 Stephen Crane’s “The Bride Comes to the Yellow Sky” Group discussion questions- personal response questions Annotating or “mining” the textAnnotation assignment guidelines will be provided
Week 3
Mon, Jan 22Models of student introductions 6 topoi of literary interpretation 
 Critical approaches to analyzing literature: formalism, reader response, and cultural criticism  Glossary post assignment is due (3%)
Week 4
Mon, Jan 29Introduction to Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach Time to compose annotation assignment 
  Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach Part 1  Annotation assignment is due (5%); Close reading essay assignment guidelines will be provided
Week 5
Mon, Feb 5 Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach Part 2 
 Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach Part 3 
Week 6
Mon, Feb 12 Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach 
 Introduction to Hemmingway, Roupenian, Mistry, Munro, O’Brien, Le Guin, and MurakamiClose reading essay is due (20%); Final essay guidelines will be provided
Week 7
Mon, Feb 19  Please rest, please read. I also suggest that you listen to Thomas King’s Massey Lectures                            
Wed, Feb 21
Week 8
Mon, Feb 26Reading quiz on Ernest Hemmingway’s, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”; Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person”; Rohinton Mistry’s “Swimming Lessons”; Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”; Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”; Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”; Haruki Murakami’s “Barn Burning”Reading quiz (5%)
  Ernest Hemmingway’s, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” (posted on COTROnline) 
Week 9
Mon, March 4Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person” (Broadview, 418) 
 Rohinton Mistry’s “Swimming Lessons”(Broadview, 280)Final essay proposal due (10%)
Week 10
Mon, March 11Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” (posted on COTROnline) 
 Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” (Broadview, 240)   
Week 11
Mon, March 18Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (Broadview, 146) 
 Haruki Murakami’s “Barn Burning” (posted on COTROnline)   
Week 12
Mon, March 25Time to work on final essay 
 Introduction to David Chariady’s Brother Instructions for final examFinal essay due (35%)
Week 13
Mon, April 1Easter Monday   
Wed, April 3David Chariady’s Brother 
Week 14
Mon, April 8David Chariady’s Brother 
Week 15
Mon, April 15Participation assignment Exam preparation- make notes sheet 
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