Introduction to Literature
I. Course Prefix/Number: EGL 129
Course Name: Introduction to Literature
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
IV. Learning Objectives
A. Explain the distinctive characteristics of the major literary genres – through the use of
exemplary works of drama, short fiction, and poetry.
B. Identify and differentiate between the conventions of drama, short fiction, and poetry.
C. Interpret the formal elements of these works, using the appropriate terminology
associated with the specific genre.
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 literary texts.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• 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
Sample outline by genre:
Introduction to literature as part of the humanities, to the course objectives, to basic principles of literary analysis.
Weeks #2 through #6:
Introduction to fiction, with reading assignments and discussions correlated to examination of specific elements, such as character, conflict, point-of-view, and other related material such as historical development and critical approaches.
Weeks #7 through #11:
Introduction to drama, with reading assignments and discussions correlated to examination of specific elements, such as character, structure, theatrical devices, and other related material such as historical development.
Weeks #12 through #16:
Introduction to poetry, with reading assignments and discussions correlated to examination of specific elements, such as theme, rhythm, imagery, and other related material such as historical development.
Sample outline by theme:
Introduction to literature as part of the humanities, to the course objectives and principles of literary analysts, to recurring motives in literature.
Week #2 through #5:
"Literature of Innocence and Experience." Discussion of this theme in literature, with appropriate assignments in fiction, drama and poetry for reading and discussion. Introduction to critical terminology in each genre.
Weeks #6 through #9:
"Literature of Conformity and Rebellion." Discussion of this theme in literature, with appropriate assignments in fiction, drama, and poetry for reading and discussion. Practice in analysis and use of critical terminology.
Weeks #10 through #13:
"Literature of Love and Hate." Discussion of this theme in literature with appropriate assignments in fiction, drama, and poetry for reading and discussion. Further practice in analysis. Introduction to major critical approaches.
Weeks #14 through #16:
"Literature about Death." Discussion of this theme in literature with appropriate assignments in fiction, drama, and poetry for reading and discussion. Practice in analysis and critical evaluation.
VII. Methods of Instruction
Secondary methods may include presentations of activities such as guest speakers, films, and audio-visual presentations, written exercises and oral reading.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
IX. Instructional Materials
Representative samples of fiction, drama, and poetry in individual books or in an anthology.
See the Chairman for current list.
Appropriate films and audio-visual materials as selected by the instructor.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
A minimum of four critical essays of at least 750 words each, written outside of class.
Participation in class discussions and other activities such as oral readings and reports, panels, and group projects.
XI. Other Course Information
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
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.