• Literary Theory & Criticism
  • ENGL 415 – 01 (3 credits)
  • Spring 2015 (1 Feb, 2015 – 28 May, 2015)
  • Sun/Tues 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
  • Liberal Arts Building B208

The Syllabus

The Syllabus

Course Description

An introduction to central issues in Literary Criticism; the concept of literature, the relationship of literature to criticism, and the establishment of literary canons; key schools of criticism, including formalism, structuralism, post, post- structuralism, deconstruction and reception theory, and post-colonialism and their respective historical contexts; required of Literature Majors. Junior standing or permission of instructor required for enrollment. Prerequisite: ENGL 102.


  • The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch
  • The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald

Grading System

10% Class Participation:

  • Read throughly. Attend regularly. Be active & responsible in class participation.
  • You are graded for your effort, not judged for your ideas or ability to express them.

10% Quiz on The Great Gatsby: 27 February

  • A short quiz to ensure your general understanding of the novel.

10% Group Presentations: 29 April, 3 May

  • Sign in for your groups on Moodle.
  • Each group will be given a short paper addressing The Great Gatsby theoretically.
  • Present a 10 minute summary of the main ideas of the paper.
  • The presentation will be assisted by a one page handout listing the main ideas.
  • No powerpoint or types of computerized visual aids are allowed.
  • You may use the board if you need to.
  • This is to provide you with an example of analyzing a work of literature from a theoretical perspective, a skill you will need for your final paper.

10% Paper 1: due 29 March @3:30 pm

  • Choose a topic from the list provided in Moodle, to address in 4-6 pages.
  • Follow MLA style throughout the paper.
  • Write the number of the topic you are addressing before the title of your paper.
  • Use at least two secondary sources. These can be the texts we read in class, and/or other articles that address your topic.
  • This is to demonstrate your understanding of the analysis of the novel that you read in your group, and your ability to emulate it in a brief paper, using another text. So use the pages provided to your group for a sample of what a critical analysis does.

20% Class Work:

  • This will be in the form of a Q&A that you are expected to answer individually or in groups assigned by your instructor.
  • The purpose of these questions is to ensure your understanding of the material, and to start our class discussions.
  • This shall take the first 15 minutes of class time, so arrive to class on time.
  • The best 6 grades you earn in these Q&A will be counted towards your final total.

20% Book Report:

  • Each student (or 2) will be in charge of reading one book of theory thoroughly.
  • Write a 2-4 pages report summarizing and analyzing the book.
  • Present this report to your classmate in 10 minutes.
  • Bring the book to class to read significant quotations as part of your presentation.

20% Final Paper: due 18 May @10 pm

  • This is a 10-12 page research paper that theoretically analyzes a work of literature of your choice.
  • The paper topic must be approved by instructor.
  • Use at least 3 secondary sources in your paper.
  • A draft, conference, and short presentation of paper in class is part of the grade.

Weekly Syllabus

415 syllabus