Introduction to Literary Study - Online english courses | Arts and Science Online

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Introduction to Literary Study

ENGL 100/6.0

An 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

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;
  • Demonstrate 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.


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.”


Fall-Winter 2018-19
Course Dates: 
Sept 6, 2018 - Apr 5, 2019
Exam Dates: 
Apr 11 - 27, 2019


40% - Essays, 1000 words (x4)
20% - Close Reading Forums (x4)
10% - Live Online Symposium
30% - Proctored Final Exam

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Live Sessions

This course has required live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities). Please consult the Timeline in the first week of class.

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.


Professor Robert May (

Instructor message

My research interests include modern Canadian poetry in English, especially F. R. Scott and the Montréal poets; contemporary Canadian poetry in English, especially John Barton and Gary Geddes; human rights and social justice writing; and LGBTQ theory and literatures.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 10-12 hours per week (240 hours total) 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.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ 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 onQ 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 or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


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

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
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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

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

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.