In this course, students will explore life writing, reading works such as biography, memoir, travel literature, diaries and letters. Students may read some fictional works as well, for comparison purposes.
All first-year English literature courses share the following features:
- Students are instructed in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
- 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.
- 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 1118, students will examine works in at least three of the following forms of life writing:
- Autobiographical prose (long or short works, ranging from the personal essay or creative non-fiction to novel-length works);
- Autobiographical poetry;
- Autobiographical drama (full-length play, performance essay or dramatic monologue);
- Travel narrative;
- Journals/diaries; and
For purposes of comparison, students may also examine some mock-autobiographical works (such as fiction, diaries or memoirs that purport to be based on “real-life”), and/or autobiographical film, theatre, music or performance art.
Methods of Instruction
Some or all of the following methods will be used:
- Group work
- Peer editing
- Instructor feedback on students’ work
- Individual consultation
Means of Assessment
- A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
- A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments (essays, essay-based exams, journals, paragraphs). A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
- A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).
Upon completion of any first-year English literature course, the successful student should be able to
- read receptively and reflectively, with sensitivity to the subtleties of language;
- recognize and understand literary devices;
- practice writing as a process involving pre-writing, drafting, revising and editing;
- write an essay of literary analysis that develops an interpretive thesis supported by appropriate and correctly cited evidence; and
- give and receive constructive criticism on written work.
Upon completion of English 1118, the successful student should also be able to understand
- key problems in the literature of life writing, including questions of the veracity or reliability of self-disclosure in confessional writing, of the role of the reader in influencing authorial choices, and of self-censorship;
- key issues regarding the roles of memory, language and historical/cultural context in the construction of identity; and
- the inherent difficulty in life writing of distinguishing among fact, fiction and non-fiction.
Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.
Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system.
A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.
For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.
If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.