ENGL 261: Introduction to U.S. American Literature I

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: C2. Humanities
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

Students will explore the context and influence of American literature from the Colonial period to the Civil War. Students will examine specific literary works and their contributions to our personal and cultural context. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • discuss assigned literary works and assess their merit
  • connect the events of the time to major literary trends and specific literary works
  • evaluate the contributions of various writers
  • identify significant trends, issues, and themes in American literature
  • Integrate course content with the contemporary picture when appropriate

Major Course Content

Course Content

  1. Ideas, Trends, and Issues that Affect Colonial America
    1. Puritan writers: Winthrop, Bradford, Bradstreet, Wigglesworth, Rowlandson, Taylor, Sewall, Mather, Edwards,
    2. Other Colonial Writers: Morton, Byrd, Woolman
  2. Federalism and the Deists: Franklin, J. Adams, A. Adams, Jefferson, Freneau
  3. The Issue of Slavery: Byrd, Crevecoeur, Wheatley, Douglass, Lincoln
  4. The Emergence of American Literature
    1. Romantic Elements: Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Poe, Hawthorne
    2. Transcendentalism: Emerson, Alcott, Thoreau, Walden
    3. Disciples and Dissenters: Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson
  5. The American Novel: The Scarlet Letter

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Students will be required to complete the following types of assignments outside of the regular class time:
Answer discussion questions Write essays, research summaries, or journals

Examples of Outside Assignments

Two hours of independent work done out of class are required for each hour of lecture. Students will be required to complete the following types of assignments outside of the regular class time:
Course Work
Formal Essays: Each student will write two 1,200-1,600 word essays. Essays will show the student's ability to interpret literature studied in class. The thesis for each must be approved by the instructor. All rough drafts and revisions are due with each final, typed essay. All formal and in-class essays will be assessed on content, organization, style, and mechanics.
Unit Exams : Each exam will be part objective and part essay. The exams will call students to analyze literature studied in class and to demonstrate a critical understanding of literary theory and key concepts of a particular period of literature.
Quizzes: Quizzes will be based on readings and lectures to help students monitor their comprehension skills.
Responses: Written responses to readings will be completed weekly. Students will respond to a topic on an assigned reading in order to develop independent critical thinking skills.
Final Exam: A comprehensive final exam will be given at the end of the semester.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 3: Arts and Humanities

3B. Humanities