Reading Fiction, Poetry and Plays

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ENGL 1109
Reading Fiction, Poetry and Plays
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours/week; Seminar 2 hours/week


Hybrid: 2 hours/week in class; 2 hours/week online


Fully online

Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. Lecture/discussion
  2. Group work
  3. Peer review
  4. Instructor feedback on students’ work
  5. Individual consultation
Course Description
This course emphasizes the close reading of three genres – fiction, poetry, and plays – and examines their defining features.
Course Content

All first-year English literature courses share the following features:

  1. Students are instructed in the writing of analytical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are taught to recognize and understand a variety of literary devices and textual elements, such as metaphor, symbolism, distinctions between author and narrator/narrating persona, and issues of language and of structure, as appropriate to the genres and texts studied.
  3. Readings and topics vary among sections of the same course, according to each instructor’s selection; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives of the course. 

In English 1109, students will examine works in three literary genres: 

  1. Fiction (novels and/or short stories)
  2. Poetry
  3. Plays
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any first-year English literature course, the successful student should be able to

  1. read analytically and reflectively with attention to the subtleties of language;
  2. recognize and understand literary devices;
  3. practice writing as a process involving pre-writing, drafting, revising and editing;
  4. write an essay of literary analysis that develops an argumentative thesis supported by appropriate, correctly integrated and cited evidence; and
  5. give and receive constructive criticism on written work.

Upon completion of English 1109, the successful student should be able to recognize and understand,

  1. in reading fiction,
  • the features of genre in fiction;
  • different strategies of narrative development in fiction;
  • elements such as plot, setting, character, and point-of-view; and
  • the development of themes in fiction.
  • in reading poetry,  
    • poetic forms (open/free verse versus closed or constraint-driven forms, such as the ballad or sonnet);
    • the difference between poet and speaker;
    • tone, including irony;
    • figurative language, such as metaphor and symbolism;
    • diction, including the differences between denotative and connotative meaning;
    • syntax and other details of grammar and style, such as enjambment; and
    • prosody and sound effects, such as alliteration, rhythm, and rhyme.
  • in reading plays,
    • character;
    • components of structure, including plot and sub-plot, exposition and conflict;
    • dialogue, monologue and soliloquy; and
    • performance and staging.
    Means of Assessment

    The course evaluation is consistent with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy.

    1. A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
    2. A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments such as essays, essay-based exams, journals and paragraphs. A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing such as quizzes and short answer tests, and/or non writing-intensive assignments such as oral reports, presentations, participation and preparation.
    Textbook Materials

    A list of required textbooks and materials will be provided for students at the beginning of the semester.

    Sample reading lists:

    Sample 1:

    McMahan, Funk, Day and Ashley, eds. Literature and the Writing Process, Canadian ed.

    Thompson, Lion in the Streets

    Sample 2:

    Jones, Live from the Afrikan Resistance

    Gordimer, Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black and Other Stories

    Mtwa, Ngema, and Simon, Woza Albert

    Pierre, Shakespeare's N****


    Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement with the exceptions of the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU and the assessments listed below. These require the specified higher standard for entry into CMNS, CRWR and ENGL courses.
    • a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
    • a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
    • Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340, OR
    • TOEFL overall score of 83 with a minimum of 21 in Writing, OR
    • IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0; for individual bands below 6.0:
           • if in Speaking, ELLA 0210 required
           • if in Reading or Listening, ELLA 0220 required
           • if in Writing, ELLA 0230 and ELLA 0240 required
    • CLB score of 8, OR
    • CEFR level B2+, OR
    • CAEL minimum overall and essay score of 70 (computer or paper based), OR
    • recognized equivalent or exemption.

    Which Prerequisite

    In combination with another 1100-level English or CRWR course or with English 1200 (as per College calendar requirements), this course may serve as a prerequisite for any 2300-level English course.