English 125: Introduction to Literature, 3 credits

Michele A. Marits, Assistant Professor of English/Humanities, mmarits@email.vccs.edu, 757.822.7050

Faculty Home Page: http://faculty.tcc.edu/MMarits/index.htm

Course Description, Required Text, and Student Learning Objectives

Course Description: In accordance with the VCCS catalog description, English 125 “Introduces students to a range of literary genres that may include poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and other cultural texts, as it continues to develop college writing. Lecture 3 hours per week.” In this class, students will focus on short fiction, poetry, and drama.


Topics Covered

I. How to read and analyze poetry, short story fiction, drama, creative nonfiction and assigned cultural texts
II. Basic structural elements of poetry, fiction, drama and other assigned cultural texts
III. Relevant poetry, fiction, and drama literary terms
IV. Relevant biographical, historical, cultural and/or social background for the assigned readings
V. How to incorporate and properly document source material (a verbal or written review)
VI. Required rhetorical elements, grammatical, and mechanical writing conventions (review as needed)


Required Text

Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia. Backpack Literature:An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 4th ed. University of Southern California: Pearson, 2012. Print. Access card is not required; textbook only. ISBN: 0-205-15166-3




Students must have regular and stable access to a computer and the Internet or be prepared to use one of the computers available on campus for typing and submitting each of the five essays. TCC does not consider technical difficulties to be sufficient cause for late or missing work. In this technological climate, most people have, or have access to (such as at public libraries) Internet access from a number of devices. There are really no excuses for not completing work online.

Student Learning Objectives (what students should be able to do upon successful completion of the course):

Student Learning Outcomes

I. Read, interpret and analyze a range of literary genres that may include poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction and other cultural texts.
II. Locate information within a work and use it to support one or a number of specific interpretations.
III. Use specific literary terms when speaking or writing about the assigned works
IV. Decipher how an author created a particular effect in a written work
V. Recognize some of the common themes about the human condition that are present in literature
VI. Present their considered thoughts in writing so that those ideas are understandable to the audience and demonstrate a self-critical awareness of rhetorical elements such as purpose, audience and organization.
VII. Incorporate and document outside source material, when appropriate and avoid plagiarism.
VIII. Employ grammatical and mechanical conventions in their writing.

BLACKBOARD AND COURSE COMMUNICATION: Students must use their VCCS Gmail account to communicate with online instructors and classmates outside of Blackboard. If you email from Course Tools inside of Blackboard, your email will go to the recipient’s VCCS Gmail address automatically.



(Assignments and Participation/Attendance) Final drafts of essays must be uploaded in our Blackboard site to the SafeAssign plagiarism checking database. Any essay not submitted in to SafeAssign will not be graded and will receive a zero.


To Be Posted



  GRADE POLICY: Your final grade will be based on the 100-point scale. The extra credit assignments are worth 5 points, but they are optional.


Grade Scale (100 points possible, total, for all assessments):





59 and below=F



Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional use of another person’s ideas without proper documentation. Plagiarized assignments may result in a student’s failure. Documentation is required on papers turned in that are not original. MLA or APA Documentation Styles is acceptable. Review the Student Handbook. The three Research Papers will be uploaded to SafeAssign, a plagiarism checker. This feature of Blackboard will be used mainly as a learning tool.

Disability Concerns

In accordance with TCC policy, students who wish to receive instructional accommodations because of a documented sensory and/or learning disability should first contact Disabilities Services.

Attendance/Participation Policy

This course will require active participation in the form of posting reactions and discussion of readings in the appropriate forums in Blackboard. By actively posting entries and responding to peers, students will be better able to analyze and interpret works of literature.