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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael L. Goldberg
B CUSP 187
Bothell Campus

Introduction to Literary Analysis

Examines how literary texts create meaning and emotion. Identifies literary elements and explains their use within formal structures in order to appreciate the pleasures and complexities of literary expression, and their usefulness in other arenas. Instructors may focus on specific genres or topics. Offered: W.

Class description

In this course, we will be applying the concepts and methods of literary analysis to explain how these texts “work” to create emotion and meaning—how words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs are arranged within a narrative structure to communicate with readers. As a course in literary analysis, we will pay much less attention to literary interpretation. . Ultimately, the course seeks to provide you with an appreciation of literate texts, a better understanding of literature in general, and an ability to write and think with greater effectiveness and depth in a variety of settings.

The theme for this quarter’s course is “Transformations: Identity and Relationships.” We will be exploring situations when characters experience a transformative moment through interactions with others whose difference shapes their understanding of themselves. We will be focusing on American fiction, mostly short stories along with one novel, The Great Gatsby, which we will examine using a combination of literary theory and analysis.

Student learning goals

Identify “essential” elements of literary analysis in works of fiction.

Analyze the narrative structure of literary texts and the components that make up that structure.

Explain the functions of these elements within the narrative structure of works of fiction in creating meaning and emotion.

Perform close readings of texts using these skills.

Integrate some elements of literary analysis into your own writing.

Identify and explain the uses of literary analysis as the basis for interpretations using critical theory.

General method of instruction

Introductory lectures, workshops, discussions applying analysis to the texts. The course has been designed to introduce foundational concepts first and then build on them in each class.

Recommended preparation

None. You may need to "unlearn" a few things.

Class assignments and grading

Reading journal, exercises, quizzes, midterm and final exams.


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 Michael L. Goldberg
Date: 10/16/2008