Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Use the elements of the craft with proficiency in short fiction.
  • Identify the elements of the craft in masterworks in short fiction.


Explicit instruction and practice in writing a variety of short fiction forms, including short narratives, flash fiction and traditional short stories. Assignments include reading, analyzing and responding to published works and student work, as well as writing original work. Analysis of public readings and/or interviews with writers.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Demonstrate an understanding of elements of short fiction.
B. Analyze published short fiction.
C. Critique short fiction by students.
D. Create original short fiction, demonstrating elements.
E. Participate effectively in a workshop setting.
F. Revise original short fiction based on workshop critiques, lecture, and conference.
G. Produce self-analyses of short fiction.
H. Compare and contrast voices which reflect a diversity of cultural and social milieus.

Course Content

A. Understand basic elements of short fiction
1. Form
a. Plot and structure
b. Point of view
c. Setting
d. Character
e. Dialogue
2. Content
a. Theme
b. Irony and symbol
c. Tone
d. Figures of speech: simile and metaphor
e. Narration
f. Description
B. Analyze published short fiction
1. Identify significant elements
2. Determine how these elements contribute to the short fiction writer's purpose
C. Critique short fiction by students
1. Identify significant elements
2. Determine how these elements contribute to the short fiction writer's intended purpose
3. Offer critical suggestions about how short fiction writers can accomplish purpose through revision
D. Create original short fiction
1. Flash fiction
2. Traditional short story
E. Participate in work shop setting
1. Constructive discussion
2. Constructive written feedback
F. Apply suggestions in the revision of original writing
1. Local revision
2. Global revision
G. Self-analysis of work
1. Portfolio review of strengths and weaknesses
2. Portfolio review of progress
H. Distinguish diverse voices
1. Published writing
2. Academic community

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software capabilities; email address; internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Participation in workshop discussions
Production of written critiques of student work
Five analytical responses of at least one page each to assigned published writings
In-class writing exercises
A minimum of fifteen pages of short fiction
A two-page short story analysis for class presentation
Revision of original work
Portfolio review of at least two pages
Quality of original work

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations and classroom discussion on the craft of short fiction
Cooperative learning exercises, oral presentations
Workshop student short fiction assignments as a group
When taught as a fully online course, the faculty shall employ one or more of the following methods of regular, timely, and effective student/faculty contact:
1. Private messages within the Course Management System
2. Personal email outside of the Course Management System
3. Telephone contact/weekly announcements in the Course Management System
4. Chat room within the Course Management System
5. Timely feedback and return of student work (tasks, tests, surveys, and discussions) in Course Management System by methods clarified in the syllabus
6. Discussion forums with appropriate facilitation and/or substantive instructor participation
7. E-portfolios/blogs/wiki for sharing student works in progress; provide feedback from fellow students and faculty in a collaborative manner, and to demonstrate mastery, comprehension, application, and synthesis of a given set of concepts
8. Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Burroughway, Janet, and Elizabeth Stucky-French. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. 2019.

Hills, Rust. Writing in General and the Short Story on Particular. 2000.

Mills, Mark. Crafting the Very Short Story: An Anthology of 100 Masterpieces. 2003.

Shepard and Thomas. Sudden Fiction. 1986.

Although most of these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Read a text of short fiction, which includes instruction on craft.
B. Written analysis of published short fiction.
C. Composition of original short fiction.