Introduction to Literature

Course Information


Semester: Fall 2008

Course Number: 170/52

Course Title: Introduction to Literature

Time: S/T/R 12:00-12:50

Place: Keifan 252

Final Exam: 27 January, 8:00-10:00 am


Teacher: Hanan Muzaffar

Office Hours: S/T/R 1:00-2:00


Contact Information:


    Mobile: 9989-3734


Course Description:

A General introduction to English literature; its development through the ages from Old English to contemporary literature, and an exposition to the three major literary genres through the study of a selection of short stories, poems and plays with the aim of developing understanding, critical appreciation and discrimination.



Meyer, Michael. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. 7th Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003.



Carter, Ronald and John McRae. The Penguin Guide to Literature in English: Britain and Ireland. 4th edition. England: Pearson, 2004.


Course Requirements/Grades:

10% In-Class Participation

You are expected to be an active member in class, participating every day to enrich our classroom discussions. You will not be judged for your opinions but will be expected to come to class everyday prepared with your reactions, questions and comments on the assigned readings.

10% Forum Participation

As soon as you register for this course, I will send you a username and password to join the forum. Be prepared to enter at least one significant post each week. I will present the general topic of the forum for each work of art, but you may add your own sub-topics. This is a free type of writing where academic proficiency can be compromised in order to enable a smoother interaction, similar to, and possibly enriching what we will aim to achieve in class.

10% Presentation

Groups of 2 students each will present a work of literature chosen from the weekly syllabus. In around 10 minutes, begin with a brief introduction of the author, then present the work itself, covering themes, style, language, and any other literary elements you find in the work. Prepare a one page outline presenting the main points you presented to be handed to your colleagues in class. Send this outline to my email address as an attachment. (You are not allowed to choose this work for your personal response)

10% 5 Personal Responses (2 stories, 2 poems, 1 play)

You must submit 5 personal responses of two pages (500 words) each throughout the course. Choose 2 stories, 2 poems, and one play from the syllabus. Make your own choice based on what work appeals to you, but remember to submit your response before we discuss that work in class. These will be personal interactions to the assigned readings, not a summary of what you read. Feel free to comment, argue, and relate what you read to other material or ideas. Follow paper writing guidelines in website. Send as email attachment.

10% Final Paper (due 13 January)

Write a 4 page (around 1000 words) paper analyzing a work of literature not presented in class. Unlike the personal responses, this is an academic paper where your personal opinion and reaction are not welcome, and in which you argue for a certain point found within your choice of literature, supported by research done on that work. Refer to the Writer's Guide found in your course's main webpage for further instructions on writing these papers.

20% Midterm Exam (11 November)

The exam will be made of two parts. Part one asks you to write an essay of 1-2 pages based on one of the questions presented. Part two provides you with questions that demand a short, 1-2 sentence answer.

30% Final Exam (27 January)

This follows the same pattern of the midterm exam, with double the quantity.


Writing Skills:

Avoid Plagiarism: You plagiarize when you present any information in your paper that is not yours without properly referencing it. Whether that information is quoted directly, paraphrased, or summarized, you have to follow it with parenthetical references immediately, not just list the source at the end of the paper. Your first attempt at plagiarizing will earn you a zero for that assignment. If you plagiarize again, you will earn an FA for the course.

All written material (responses and research paper) should be typed using font size 12 Arial, double-spaced, on A4 size papers with 1" margins on each side.

Your name, teacher's name, course title and number, and date should appear on the left-hand side of the paper. The title should be centered under that, using the same size font.

Save the file as a word document and send to my email ( by the due date.

Click here to download a paper template with the correct format. Delete the Works Cited page if not needed.



The teacher reserves the right to make changes in the division of grades and syllabus. You will be notified of such changes in due time. 

And finally, I hope we all have fun and enjoy what we’re reading. My aim is for you to leave class wanting to read more, and being able to do so with more of a critical eye. But most of all enjoy reading.