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English 1150: Short Fiction

3 semester credit hours (IAI H3 901)

Comedian Fred Allan once said that "A human being is nothing but a story with a skin around it." So goes the other old saying—"We are the stories we tell." What do our stories reveal about us, and what truths or insights can the stories of other people offer for our own lives? This class will explore storytelling by analyzing how short stories have played a role in artistically representing life and the world around us. Students will be introduced to literary terms and processes for analyzing short stories, as well as learn about different authors and the cultural contexts that inform their work.

The course format of English 1150 is simple. After reading all of the assigned short stories, you take the non-graded Self Tests to enhance your understanding of the story and of its literary components. Then go on to the next story and next literature lesson in the course content.

There are 4 assignments in the class:

  1. the mid-term essay exam; 
  2. the final essay exam;
  3. an essay that analyzes the course readings;
  4. a total of 10 postings to the message board about the course readings.

The class is largely self-paced, but there are 2 days when you must be able to access email, in order to download the exams I send to you and return them to me once they are complete. You'll have one day to complete them and e-mail to me your answers. The same is true of the final exam, which you'll also have 24 hours to complete. Samples of a question and answer for exams are contained in the syllabus, so that you'll know how long the answers should be and exactly what to expect. Also, a sample paper is contained in the syllabus that you can use for a model.


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