Writing Fiction

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 202

       Course Name: Writing Fiction

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Successful completion of EGL 101 or Consent of instructor

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers students the opportunity to develop an individual style as fiction writers. Content includes basic elements of fiction writing: structure, character, point of view, setting, and dialog.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Writing in the conventional literary mode of fiction.
    1. Developing a unifying theme appropriate to the story.
    2. Using figurative language effectively.
  2. Recognizing basic literary conventions in fiction.
    1. Recognizing themes and basic elements of style in selected models.
    2. Recognizing strengths and weaknesses in peer writing samples.
  3. Discussing basic elements of theme and style in professional and student samples.
  4. Receiving and giving 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

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week 1: Introduction to Course, Keeping a Journal
Week 2 The Writing Process
Week 3 Story Form and Structure
Week 4 Use of Significant Detail
Week 5 Characterization
Week 6 Characterization: Part II
Week 7 Setting and Atmosphere
Week 8 Point of View
Week 9 Point of View: Part II
Week 10 Narrative Tension
Week 11 Theme
Week 12 Metaphor and Symbol
Week 13 Style and Tone
Week 14 Dialogue and Problems
Week 15 Revision

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 fiction writing.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students produce 1 to 3 finished short stories or other forms of fiction, 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 determined 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. Procedures/information required by individual instructor

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.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.