Introduction to Creative Writing

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 201

       Course Name: Introduction to Creative Writing

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

EGL 101 or consent of instructor or department chair.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers exposure to and practice in writing two or more forms of literary discourse including poetry, fiction, essay, creative non-fiction, and drama. Content includes the basic elements of writing in the selected genres.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Write in at least two of the conventional literary modes, such as short story, poetry, drama or creative non-fiction.
  2. Develop a substantial portfolio with at least two pieces of publishable work.
  3. Use figurative language effectively.
  4. Analyze basic literary conventions in at least two of the conventional literary modes, such as poetry, drama, fiction, creative non-fiction.
  5. Apply themes and basic elements of style in selected models.
  6. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses in peer writing samples.
  7. Discuss basic elements of theme and style in professional and student samples.
  8. Receive and give constructive criticism on material presented in class.

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
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Sample Outline:
Week 1: Course introduction, objectives, policies, and samples of students' writing.
Week 2: Introduction to literary genres. Writing exercises.
Week 3: Readings in short fiction. Writing exercises.
Week 4: The narrative mode.
Week 5: Readings in poetry. Writing exercises.
Week 6: The lyric mode.
Week 7: Readings in drama. Writing exercises.
Week 8: The dramatic mode.
Week 9: Readings in creative non-fiction. Writing exercises.
Week 10: The memoir mode. Evaluation and selection of individual genres to be developed.
Week 11: Theme. Writing workshop. Portfolio development. Writing workshop. Portfolio development.
Week 12: Figurative language. Writing workshop. Portfolio development.
Week 13: Character development. Writing workshop. Portfolio development.
Week 14: Discussion of voice. Writing workshop. Portfolio development.
Week 15: Voice. Writing workshop. Portfolio development.
Week 16: Final review, workshop and evaluation.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, writing exercises, use of film and other media, with emphasis on workshop format; activities presented to introduce and clarify principles of creative writing.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Students produce four to eight finished literary pieces in at least two of the conventional literary modes, weekly or daily writing exercises involving literary exploration or written critique of student or professional writing, and critical essays. Forty-five pages of original work will be assigned.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

To be selected by the instructor in consultation with the department chair.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include grading of student writings, exercises and other class activities.  Examinations are optional.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance policy
  2. 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 www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.