Introduction to Literary Study

ENGL 100/6.0

Introduction to literary study, with an emphasis on the formal analysis of a diverse range of poetry and prose. Specific content and approach vary from section to section, but all sections share the goals of developing sensitivity to genre, cultivating writing skills, and providing students with a set of literary terms and critical techniques as a foundation for further literary study.

Learning Outcomes

WEEK ONESection One: Novels
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
WEEK TWOSection One: Novels
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
WEEK THREESection Two: Plays
Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie [First essay due]
WEEK FOURSection Two: Plays
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal
WEEK FIVESection Two: Plays
William Shakespeare, Richard III
WEEK SIXSection Three: Essays
F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack-Up"
Scott Russell Sanders, "Under the Influence"
James Baldwin, "Alas, Poor Richard" [Second essay due]
WEEK EIGHTSection Three: Essays
Virginia Woolf, "The Death of the Moth"
Jorge Luis Borges, "Blindness"
Joan Didion, "Goodbye to All That"
WEEK NINESection Four: Poetry
Book I of John Milton's Paradise Lost
Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" [Third essay due]
WEEK TENSection Four: Poetry
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How Do I Love Thee?"
Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind"
John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale"
WEEK ELEVENSection Four: Poetry
William Blake, "London"
William Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey"
Emily Dickinson, "Because I could not Stop for Death"
Thomas Hardy, "The Darkling Thrush"
WEEK TWELVESection Four: Poetry
Wilfred Owen, "Disabled"
W. B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"
W. H. Auden, "Stop All the Clocks"
Sylvia Plath, "Daddy" [Fourth essay due]


This English course introduces you to the four main literary genres: fiction, poetry, drama, and the essay. It is also designed to improve your writing skills, and to develop your knowledge of literary terms and critical techniques as a foundation for further literary study. Why study literary genre? “We need poems and stories and novels and plays, as well as essays,” replies the great American writer Scott Russell Sanders. “Each genre offers us paths through the dark woods of this life, and we need all the paths we can find.”

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify and explain the hallmarks of the four main literary genres;
  • Identify, analyze, and employ the language of literary analysis when discussing texts (this language includes terms such as metaphor, irony, pathos, parody, rhetoric, and ideology);
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of key critical theories (such as psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, and queer theory);
  • Evaluate the importance of gender, class, race, and geographical location such as categories for literary analysis;
  • Show a sound knowledge of grammar, punctuation, diction, and syntax;
  • Compose original arguments that evaluate, analyze, and synthesize primary and secondary texts, and that do so within a structural framework that includes a thesis statement, strong topic sentences, textual evidence, and a compelling conclusion.


Essay 110%
Essay 210%
Essay 315%
Essay 415%
Close Reading Forums15%
1 Live Online Symposium5%
Final Proctored Exam30%

** Subject to Change **

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 18 - 20 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.