Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: One of the following: ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will be able to read literary texts of various genres and subsequently actively and critically assess those works for denotative and connotative meaning, structure and development, and connections between literal and figurative detail.
  • A successful student will demonstrate understanding of key literary theoretical concepts and will effectively apply those theories to the critical reading of literary texts.
  • Students will demonstrate (verbally and in writing) competent analysis, or "close reading," of literary texts.


Introduction to literary study through texts from a wide range of genres, including poetry, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Focus on analytical reading and literary analysis, including effective use of critical theory and secondary source research. Intended for students desiring further development of literary analytical skills and literary appreciation.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Read a text actively and critically.
B. Identify key elements of major genres in order to analyze and interpret texts.
C. Define common literary terms and apply these to analysis of texts.
D. Define common critical theoretical concepts and apply these to analysis of texts.
E. Interpret literary works within relevant racial, ethnic, gender, class, aesthetic, historical, and cultural contexts.
F. Compose formal literary analysis essays demonstrating appropriate academic language and scholarly rigor.
G. Research appropriate secondary sources and integrate those into literary analyses without plagiarism.
H. Demonstrate appropriate formatting and documentation.

Course Content

A. Active, critical reading of literary texts
1. Denotative and connotative meaning of words and statements
2. Structure or development of events, emotions, images, and ideas
3. Figurative and symbolic language in relation to central theme(s) of the work
4. Artistic synthesis of literal and figurative details with theme(s)
B. Identification of key elements of major genres
1. Poetry
2. Short story
3. Novel
4. Drama
5. Creative nonfiction
C. Literary terms
1. Poetic structures (e.g., stanza, meter)
2. Symbolic language (e.g., metaphor, synecdoche)
3. Narrative devices (e.g., unreliable narrator)
4. Structural devices (e.g., epigraphs, paragraphing)
D. Critical theoretical concepts
1. Historical contexts
2. Gender studies
3. Queer theories
4. Psychological theories (Freudian, Jungian)
5. Marxian theories
6. Ethnic and racial theories
7. Postcolonial studies
E. Racial, ethnic, gender, class, aesthetic, historical, and cultural contexts
1. African American, Latino/a, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiethnic representations
2. Issues of gender and sexuality
3. Socioeconomic diversity
4. Aesthetic movements as contexts for the text
5. Historical and cultural influences upon texts
F. Formal, scholarly literary analysis essays
1. Development and delivery of a clear literary analysis thesis
2. Effective use of textual evidence
3. Comparisons among texts
4. Stylistic conventions of literary analysis
5. Attention to scholarly language
G. Research
1. Navigation of research databases and print archives
2. Evaluation of sources and identification of those scholarly
3. Critical reading of research sources
H. Formatting and documentation
1. Modern Language Association (MLA)
2. American Psychological Association (APA)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access, ongoing access to computer with email software and capabilities and current internet browser, email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

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

A. Formal essays
B. Informal writing projects, such as journal entries, reader responses
C. In-class examinations
D. Class participation, student presentations
E. Feedback on tests and assignments delivered electronically, class discussion via web devices

Method(s) of Instruction

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

Reading literary texts, lectures on the texts and their historical and social contexts, class discussion, small group projects and presentations, analytical writing projects.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

The following are suggestions of representative texts; individual instructors may select from any appropriate anthologies or single-author texts:
Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience, Reading and Writing. Boston: Bedford, 2009.
Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009.
Barnet, Sylvan, William E. Burton, William E. Cain, eds. An Introduction to Literature. New York: Longman, 2008.
Bronner, Stephen Eric. Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.
Griffith, Kelley. Writing Essays about Literature. Boston: Cengage, 2011.
Mays, Kelly J. The Norton Introduction to Literature. New York: Norton, 2016.
Meyer, Michael, ed. The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Writing, Thinking. Boston: Bedford, 2008.
When taught via Foothill Global Access, supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered electronically.

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

A. Reading and analyzing literary texts
B. Formal essays
C. Informal writing projects, such as journal entries, reader responses
D. In-class examinations
E. Class participation, student presentations