Introduction to Fiction

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 115

       Course Name: Introduction to Fiction

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces students to study of the novel and short story in cultural, social, and historical context. Content includes terminology and methods for analyzing and evaluating fiction including form, thematic development, and style.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

    A. Explain the distinctive characteristics of fiction as a genre.
    B. Identify the conventions of fictional works and genres, such as: the novel, novella, short story, etc.
    C. Interpret the formal elements of these works, using appropriate terminology, such as: theme, conflict, figurative language, etc.
    D. Analyze works in the context of their literary, cultural, and historical backgrounds.   
    E. Synthesize knowledge of genre, formal elements, and background material.
    F. Incorporate secondary sources in the analysis and interpretation of fictional texts.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Readings, reflecting culturally diverse texts, may be organized according to a number of principles, including thematic, analytic and historical modes.  A thematic organization would group texts according to such common themes as innocence and experience; love; conformity and rebellion; death.  An analytic organization would group texts according to elements of fiction, studying in turn character, action, theme, etc.  A historical organization would arrange texts chronologically.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The course will be conducted through lectures, discussions, and the use of other appropriate media.  Students will read a variety of short stories and novels and demonstrate competence through papers, quizzes, test, and discussion.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will read at least three full-length novels as well as shorter works and write at least four essays of at least 750 words each outside of class.  Paper assignments should be guided by the course learning objectives.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Check with the Chairperson for current list.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include grading of student essays, quizzes and exams, oral reports, and evaluating of student's participation in discussions.

Required written work:

A minimum of four critical essays of at least 750 words each, written outside of class.

XI.   Other Course Information

-attendance policy

-for whatever information/procedures the instructor holds the student accountable.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at