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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Anne Beaufort
TCXG 270
Tacoma Campus

Understanding Literature

Develops essential tools for close and informed reading of fiction, drama, and poetry. Considers how a text generates aesthetic pleasure, how it achieves moral or social impact. Develops skills in literary analysis through reading literary texts, through discussion, and through critical writing.

Class description

We will spend the first two weeks developing skills in reading in the 3 genres of literature--fiction, drama, and poetry. Works read will be from the 20th-21st centuries. We will also attend one play and one or more poetry readings (student discounts on tickets will be available, and times for attending will be flexible). In the second two weeks, students will be exploring a chosen theme (for example, love, war, coming of age, aging, identity, or acculturation) in several genres.

Student learning goals

1. developing skills in reading more challenging literature for aesthetic pleasure

2. developing a vocabulary for discussing literature and an understanding of the features of several genres

3. expanding knowledge of exemplary contemporary authors

4. experiencing the pleasures and benefits of sharing literature in community

5. practicing skills in writing interpretive essays comparing literary works

6. exploring creative outlets for responding to literature

General method of instruction

This course will be taught seminar-style. There will be discussions of readings, short presentations by the professor and other seminar participants, and in-class ungraded writing to respond to readings and discussions. Trips will also be incorporated, to view a play and attend a poetry reading.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites. Highly recommended: completion of TCORE 101 Introduction to Academic Writing or TCXG 131 Introduction to Academic Writing II or equivalent courses at a community college.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be taught methods for close reading so that they are well-prepared for seminar discussions. In addition to in-class ungraded writing, there will be two short essays taking an interpretive stance on a particular piece of literature and one creative project (for example, a multi-media presentation, an art work, or a dramatic presentation). There will be lots of support for creative projects--no previous background in creative arts is needed.

Grades will be based on class participation, critical thinking skills, written expression, and creative work. Assignments are weighted to reward improvement over the span of the course.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Anne Beaufort
Date: 06/13/2008