West Chester University

Fall 2001

Spring 2002

West Chester University

Fall 2002





Course Information
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Your Response and Mine
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Fundamental Questions about Literature
  Four Short Stories (Considerations)
  Genesis of the Short Story
  Responding to 'The Birthmark'
  Notes on Nathaniel Hawthorne
  Bartleby - A Guided Reading
  Bartleby - Questions for Analysis
  A Few Notes on Herman Melville
  A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Five Writers Define the Short Story
  A Study Guide for the Fiction Exam
  Ars Poetica
  Poets Define the Art of Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  Supplemental Poems
  The Craft of Poetry - Imagery
  The Craft of Poetry - Sound
  The Forms of Poetry
  Revisiting Theme, Ambiguity, Irony, Symbol, and Parodox in Poetry
  Study Guide for the Poetry Exam
  The Birth of Drama
  Aristotle's Tragic Hero
  Stepping Through Oedipus the King
  The Relevance of Oedipus Today
  Oedipus the King -- Study Questions
  Ibsen's Theater / A Doll House
  A Study Guide for the Drama Exam
  Study Guide for the Final Exam

General Announcements


Go Exploring
  A Weblog for LIT 165
  Writing Assistance on the Web

Join the Conversation
  LIT 165 Discussion List


~ ~ LIT 165 Syllabus ~ ~

Introduction to Literature WCU/lit165/SPRING 2002

Instructor: Stacy Tartar Esch

: Main Hall, 417
PHONE: 610-436-2220 (or 436-2822, English Dept. Secretary, for emergencies only)
MAIL/LATE PAPER DROP: Main Hall, English faculty mailroom on the fifth floor
OFFICE HOURS: Monday and Wednesday mornings, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Course Description
This introductory level literature class is designed to help students acquire the tools for understanding, appreciating, and critically analyzing three genres of imaginative literature: fiction, poetry, and drama. Throughout the semester, you will learn basic concepts related to literary technique and innovation. You'll be expected to exercise your objective critical thinking skills as you read, analyze, and discuss a variety of stories, poems, and plays. Please note that LIT 165 is no longer a writing emphasis course and ENG 121 is no longer a prerequisite.

Required Texts
Meyer, Michael. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading • Thinking • Writing, Fifth Edition, Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Course Requirements
Students are expected to carefully read and analyze all assigned work prior to class, and to actively participate in all class exercises, discussions, and presentations. Preparation and active participation in class are a significant portion of your semester grade (see below).

Students will be expected to complete four examinations (including the final exam) as well as occasional quizzes, homework and classwork exercises, in-class response papers, and informal oral presentations.

Fiction Exam / 20% / Late February
Drama Exam / 20% / March
Poetry Exam / 20% / Late April
Final Paper / 20% / Finals week
Quizzes & Classwork / 20% / throughout

Each Exam will include 30-50 multiple choice, true/false, and matching items designed to gage the student's ability to recall, comprehend, and analyze literary works assigned as well as understand and apply concepts related to the literature assigned. These concepts will be drawn both from the textbook and material provided in class. The instructor will provide study guides before each exam. Motivated students may pursue supplemental (extra credit) writing assignments to accompany exam grades (after consulting with the instructor).

Quizzes (usually objective T/F questions) may pop up at any given time during the semester to assess preparation and reading comprehension.

Response papers may also pop up at any given time to assess your level of engagement with the material assigned. A fairly typical kind of response paper prompt might be a question like, "What do you think you'll remember most about X three days or three years from now?"

Attendance: Students are expected to attend every class having read the assigned material. Any student who misses more than four class periods can expect to receive a lowered grade. For instance, missing five classes will lower your final grade one-half step (B = B-). Missing six or more classes will lower your final grade one whole step (B+ = C+). Missing more than six classes will lower your final grade two whole steps (C = F). Students with serious problems or medical emergencies should notify the Dean of Students, who will contact your instructors about any necessary adjustments. Please be advised that it is not always possible to make up work missed due to absence, but you should pursue the possibility by contacting me immediately when you know you'll be absent or when you return. Coming to class late: Although I'd rather you come to class late than not at all, chronic lateness to class is disruptive and unacceptable. Please have consideration for your classmates and for the instructor if you are entering the classroom late. Occasional tardiness is not a problem but if it becomes habitual, those lateness will be recorded as absences and you will run a higher risk of receiving a lowered or failing grade for the course.

Late Assignments: All assigned work is expected on its due date. Late papers are penalized, and when students are clearly negligent, not accepted. Students are encouraged to email the instructor any assignment you have failed to bring to class. If I receive it on the day it is due, I won't count it late. (

Make-up Exams: Students are responsible for being in class on test days. Students may make up an exam only if special arrangements are made in advance. Students who have made no special arrangements in advance may not be permitted to take a make-up exam, or the make-up exam may be severely penalized.

The Writing Center
If you are having trouble with a writing assignment, do not hesitate to bring your problem to my attention or bring your essay to the Writing Center in Main 203. The Writing Center offers free professional tutoring to any student who is writing a paper for any course offered by the college. The staff will help students develop methods to find a topic, organize their ideas, revise a rough draft, or proofread a final draft for standard grammar and punctuation. Tutors will not serve as your proofreaders, however; their aim is to help you develop your own skills. No appointment is needed.

Support Services
I will make accommodations for students with disabilities. If you have a disability, please make your needs known to me and contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at 436-3217. Sufficient notice is required to make such accommodations possible.

Final Grades
I'll calculate your final grade based on your three exam scores, your final paper score, and your quiz scores. Students who actively participate in class discussions can in most cases expect a boost to their final grade.

Your final percentage will be converted to a letter grade as follows:
93 - 100 = A
89 - 92 = A-
87 - 88 = B+
82 - 86 = B
79 - 81 = B
77 - 78 = C+
72-76 = C
70 - 71 = C-
68 - 69 = D+
62-67 = D
60 - 61 = D-
59 - below = F

Reading Schedule
The reading schedule which appears below for each genre may change slightly during the course of the semester. Selections may be substituted or added. Any changes will be announced in class.

Throughout the semester I will post supplemental reading materials, any changes to the required reading list, as well as class lectures or handouts on my website ( I encourage you to check this site regularly, in addition to reading the required material listed below.

Please note that the selections listed below are not always presented in the order we will study them. Please listen carefully in class for specific reading assignments.

The Story of an Hour (10), A Sorrowful Woman, (33), A&P (480), Eveline (427), Bartleby the Scrivener (110), Miss Brill (226), The Birthmark (277), How to Tell A True Love Story (459)
Popular Mechanics (238), Girl (438)--student selections will be added to this list.

Dust of Snow (handout/web)
Much Madness Is Divinest Sense- (761)
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers (handout/web)
The Mother (handout/web)
Mother to Son (handout/web)
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer (907)
A Simile (handout/web)
That Time Of Year Thou May'st In Me Behold (902)
Winter Trees (handout/web)
My Papa's Waltz (701)
Dulce Et Decorum Est (610)
Death of the Ball Turret Gunner (573)
next to of course god america i (643)
The Unknown Citizen (874)
Rite of Passage (737)
The Golf Links (handout/web)
Richard Cory (640)
Me Up At Does (handout/web)
Rain (handout/web)
The Red Wheelbarrow (734)
Those Winter Sundays (532)
A Noiseless Patient Spider (629)
L (A (547)
Catch (536)
The Panther (In the Jarden Des Plantes, Paris) (611)
The Secretary Chant (531)
One Perfect Rose (699)
First Party at Ken Kesey's with Hell's Angels (739)

Sophocles, Oedipus (981-1073)
Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House (1137-1202)
Shakespeare, Hamlet, Othello, or Looking for Richard

Extra Credit options may exist for interested students. See the instructor for further details.






Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2002 by Stacy Tartar Esch.
FALL 2001 site is available at BRAINSTORM-SERVICES.COM
The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.