Northern Oklahoma College

Course Syllabus


1.  Mission Statement for NOC:

Northern Oklahoma College, a multi-campus learning community,

provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities

and services to allow citizens to develop to the full extent of their abilities,

to succeed in a competitive global environment, and to be effective life-

long learners.


2. Course Title:  Introduction to Literature – Lit 2413

·        Division of Language Arts: Dr. Pamela Stinson, Chair

  • Course Description: This course provides a critical and aesthetic

            introduction to the major genres of American and English literature--

            fiction, poetry, and drama.


3. Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

          a.  to understand the basics of critical theory

            b.  to know literary terminology

            c.  to read the assigned authors before the class meets

            d.  to articulate in both discussion and composition major ideas of the authors

            e.  to compose critical arguments as explicated from the readings

            f.   to compose "reader-response" response papers throughout the course

            g.  to hone critical and academic writing skills

            h.  to develop a scholarly method to the discipline of literature


4. Instructor Information:

·         Faculty:  John Richard Stevens

·         Office:  NOC-Stillwater Campus

·         Email Address: john.richard.stevens “at”

·         Office Hours:  I am always available before and after class.


5. Textbook and Materials

            The Norton Introduction to Literature, 9th ed.


6. Course Policies:


1.  Compose three major essays

2.  Write response paper for each reading


Attendance:       You are expected to be present every day our class meets, but I allow four (4) absences without automatic penalty for unavoidable circumstances. However, it is your responsibility to make certain that paper and electronic copies of work are turned in on time, or the penalties for late/missing work, as delineated on this syllabus, will apply. I recommend that you network with peers, so as to turn in each other’s work when absent. Each absence beyond four (4) is considered excessive and will result in grade reduction of your final course grade of 30 points per instance (the same as 3% per instance). Excessive absences will also bring down your participation grade, and I may withdraw you after six (6) absences. Moreover, three late arrivals equal one charged absence.


Plagiarism: Academic integrity is essential.  Your work must be original.  If not, you will receive an "F" for the course and may be dismissed from college.


Participation:  Being prepared for class includes reading the assignments, writing response papers, and participating class discussions. See section 15 for more information.



7.       Evaluation and Assessment of Course:

·         Grading: 

The grading scale for this course is as follows:

There are 1000 points possible.

900-1000=A; 800-899=B; 700-799=C; 600-699=D; 599 and below=F


·         Extra Credit—Course Policy:            No extra credit is given.


8. Writing Component:

      Northern Oklahoma College is committed to helping students improve writing. 

the college expects all courses to contain a writing component as part of the evaluation of student progress. We expect students to      produce written work that is focused, well developed, organized, and relatively free of grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. Papers that fall short of this standard will not be accepted; the work will be returned to the student for revision within a reasonable time.


9. Academic Integrity:

Academic dishonesty or misconduct is not tolerated at Northern Oklahoma College.  Whether in the form of plagiarism or cheating, it is a serious matter that can result in expulsion from the institution.  Representing someone else’s ideas as one’s own or using unauthorized notes, aids, or other means to improve scores on an assignment, a project, or an exam will result in disciplinary action against the student.  The disciplinary procedures are as described in the NOC Student Handbook).


 Disciplinary action for students who are enrolled in both OSU and NOC classes will follow the OSU policy on Academic Misconduct and Dishonesty (


10.      Use of Cell Phones & Electronic Devices:

The use of cell phones, palm pilots, walkie-talkies, pagers, cameras, or other communication devices will not be permitted during in-session classes at Northern Oklahoma College.  If brought to class, these devices must be turned off and stored out of sight.  In the   event a student is caught using an electronic device of any nature during exams, quizzes, or    other confidential circumstances, the student will receive a zero grade for that portion of the coursework.  It will be at the discretion of NOC to determine additional consequences, which can include removal from the course and/or removal from the institution for the dishonest act or acts.  (Refer to the NOC Student Handbook for additional information.)


The use of laptop computers is permissible in Northern Oklahoma College classes only upon prior approval by the specific instructor for that course.  Any use of laptop computers or any other similar learning aids that are used in a dishonest manner by the student will result in forfeiture of the privilege to use such items in class and the student will receive a zero grade for that portion of the coursework.  It will be at the discretion of NOC to determine additional consequences, which can include removal from the course and/or removal from the institution for the dishonest act or acts.  (Refer to the NOC Student Handbook for additional information.)



11.    Assessment of Student Learning:

   Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.  It involves making the course objectives measurable and explicit.  It is our intent to systematically measure the process of student learning within each course being taught at Northern, by setting appropriate high standards for learning quality and interpreting evidence to determine how well student performance matches the course objectives and standards, then utilizing the resulting information to improve student performance.


   The following examples are measures that will provide evidence of student learning: written and oral assignments and projects, unit, chapter, mid-term, and comprehensive examinations, pre- and post-tests, quizzes, competency based projects, observation of student behavior, internally and externally juried reviews, portfolios, internships, case studies, research papers, response papers, essays, large and small group projects, one on one communications between faculty and students, standardized or national licensure tests, capstone projects, student satisfaction surveys, national standardized tests, employer surveys on the quality of program graduates, and others.


12.    Identification of Student Learning Styles

The Northern faculty believes that all students should have the opportunity to learn in an environment conducive to their dominant learning style.  It is our goal to provide diverse pedagogy within each course to address the identified learning styles for the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.


13.  Statement of Student Support

If you believe you have a disability of any type, please let me know so I can work cooperatively with you and the Counseling Office to provide reasonable and fair opportunities for you to be a productive and successful learner in this course.  It is your responsibility as a student to notify the Counseling Office of your disability.  The Counseling Office numbers are as follows: Tonkawa campus (580) 628-6651, Enid campus (580) 548-2265, or the Stillwater campus (405) 744-2216.  The Student Disability Services (315 Student Union) on the OSU campus can provide testing to determine each student’s specific needs.


14.  Personal Philosophy  literature is the cornerstone of civilization.  It challenges our beliefs, values, and ideas and sharpens our reading and writing skills.  Successful people read and write well and can comprehend the contradictions that constitute the human condition—the "human heart in conflict with itself," as Faulkner noted. Writers challenge us to think differently about what we think we know.


Course Outline and Components of the Final Course Grade:

·         The course is based on 1000 possible points (see section 7 above)

·         Read and discuss fiction (short stories)--write essay 900-1000 words: (150 points)

·         Read and discuss poetry—write essay 900-1000 words: (150 points)

·         Read and discuss drama-- write essay 900-1000 words: (150 points)

·         Response papers: These short writings are sometimes based on questions from LitWeb (, or the course book, or my own website  (, (330 points total, which will work out to be 22 papers worth 15 points each)

·         Participation: (100 points)

·         Final Examination: (120 points)


15.  Further Information:

How to turn in course work: For every assignment a paper copy is due during class on the due date. Additionally, an electronic copy is due, prior to the beginning of class, on the due date, and it must be turned in to as a MS Word doc or docx file. Use the “file upload” method from the submit screen. You will be instructed during class about how to create a account, and how to turn in your work. Your assignments will be considered late until both the paper copy and the electronic copy is turned in. Moreover, your electronic turn-in must be an exact duplicate of the paper copy: in other words, no further corrections or revisions will be accepted. Also, if the electronic and paper copies do not match up it will have a negative impact on the assignment’s grade.


Participation grading: Your Participation grade is determined by the following factors: how much you participate in discussions; the careful thinking demonstrated by your remarks. There are also other variables involved that will negatively affect your grade, which include the following: late arrival to class; late work; missing work; unsatisfactory in-class work; lack of preparation; unprofessional conduct; your failure to meet any other requirements of this syllabus. Every instance of a late turn-in (whether paper or electronic) or your decision to take a zero on an assignment will bring down your participation grade. Moreover, I expect you to participate in every class by significantly adding to class discussions, which means group discussions, as well as the discussions led by me. I expect your reading, writing, analyses, and discussion to reflect careful thought and preparation.  Considering these policies, if you are absent four (4) or less times but you create a situation that negatively affects your grade, you will receive a grade that is lower than 100%, perhaps to the point of zero in this component of the course.


Late/Missing work and your participation grade: this will affect your participation grade, perhaps to the point of zero in the participation component of this course.

Guidelines for late work: For all course work, when class ends on the due date, the work is late. Moreover, both the paper copy and the copy must be turned in, or the work is late. One week from the due date, both the paper copy and the copy must be turned in, or a grade of zero will be recorded for that assignment. All course work will receive a ten percent deduction per class period if handed in within the week.  After one week from the date due, the paper will not be accepted, and this includes weekends, breaks, holidays, etc.


Response papers: all response papers will be a minimum of 100 words per question answered, but they can run longer if you need more space to fully answer the question; you will answer specific questions over each reading, which includes short stories, poetry, and drama. Sometimes the questions will be on the Web on a website called LitWeb, sometimes they will be in our course book, and sometimes they will be on my website (see below). To access the LitWeb questions over which you will write your response paper entries, go to, hover your cursor over “Workshops,” and if writing about fiction, choose “Fiction Workshops,” and then choose the short story from the menu on the right side of the page. If the short story is not listed there, then check the “Weekly Reading Schedule” on this syllabus, for the questions may be in our course book, or on my website  Follow the same procedure on LitWeb to access questions for poetry and drama by hovering your cursor over “Workshops,” and choosing either “Poetry Workshops,” or “Drama Workshops.”  For all assignments, a paper copy is Your three essays must be turned in to prior to the beginning of class on the due dates. Go to, click on “new user” in the upper right hand corner of the homepage, and open an account and enroll in our class. On I have simply named our class Introduction to Literature. You will also need our class ID and password, which I will give out during class. My webpage:

Weekly Reading Schedule


The literature listed on each day of class means that you must have already read that material BEFORE CLASS.  THE ABBREVIATION RP STANDS FOR RESPONSE PAPER

Week  1

TU 8-19

Introduction to course and syllabus.

TR 8-21

“A Jury of Her Peers” p.678; “The Yellow Wallpaper” p. 667; RP # 1 due over both short stories, one question for each story from LitWeb, for a total of two questions. 

Week 2

TU 8-26

Plot, pp. 66-67; “The Thing in the Forest” p.35; “Flight Patterns” p. 49; RP # 2 due over both stories; use LitWeb to answer any question about “The Thing in the Forest,” and for “Flight Patterns,” answer any question on p. 61.

TR 8-28

“Young Goodman Brown” p. 264; “Hills Like White Elephants” p. 132; RP # 3 due over both stories; use LitWeb to answer one question per story.

Week 3

TU 9-2

Narration and Point of View, pp. 123-26. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” p. 451; “Bartleby, the Scrivener” p. 164; RP # 4 due over both stories so use LitWeb to answer one question per story.

TR 9-4

“How” p. 135; “Do You Love Me?” p. 142; RP # 5 on both stories, but the questions will not come from LitWeb. Answer questions 2 & 3 on p. 142, and questions 2 & 3 on p. 149.

Week 4

TU 9-9

“A Rose for Emily” p. 594; “Everything That Rises Must Converge” p. 487; RP # 6 on both stories. Use LitWeb for “A Rose for Emily” to answer any two questions (but not question 1), and for “Everything That Rises Must Converge” answer the two questions on my website.

TR 9-11

Tonight I will review the correct approach to your major papers, so go to my website, click on the link “Guidelines for the Three Major Papers,” read it, and follow the instructions regarding what materials to bring to tonight’s class.

Week 5



“Araby” p. 519; “The Lost World” p. 524; RP # 7 on both stories, but the questions will not come from LitWeb. Answer two questions on p. 523, and two questions on p. 534.


“A Pair of Tickets” p.236; “Boys and Girls” RP # 8 due over both stories, so use LitWeb to answer one question per story.

Week 6

TU 9-23

“Sonny’s Blues” p.91; “The Open Boat” p.385 RP # 9 due over both stories, so use LitWeb to answer one question per story.

TR 9-25

“The Country Husband” p.74; “Roman Fever” p.113; RP # 10 on both stories, so answer 2 questions on p.91, and two questions on p.122.


Week 7


TU 9-30

“Bliss” p.692; “Barn Burning” p.710; RP #11 on both stories; use LitWeb to answer on question on “Bliss,” and my website to answer one question on “Barn Burning.”


TR 10-2

Paper #1 on fiction due; do not forget to turn the paper in to prior to the beginning of class. Tonight marks the beginning of the poetry section of this course, and we begin with the poetry of meditation. Bring your book to class.

Week 8

TU 10-7

Read pp. 1057-59; Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” p.1076-77; 1082-1086, until the end of Rosenberg’s “The Silence of Women,” and compose RP #12 over question 8 on p. 1088, 150-250 words. 

TR 10-9

Read pp. 1042-57, until the end of Herbert’s “The Collar,” and compose RP #13 over two questions of your choice from those pages. 

Week 9

TU 10-14

We watch the film Paradise Lost: The Life & Times of John Milton.

TR 10-16

Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” handout # 1 (Book III), which is available on my website, and RP #14 from the questions on my website.  

Week 10

TU 10-21

Milton’s “Paradise Lost” handout # 2 (Book IX), and RP #15, from the questions on my website.

TR 10-23

Continuation of “Paradise Lost,” handout # 2 (Book IX), which is available on my website, and RP #16 from the questions on my website.  

Week 11

TU 10-28

Continuation of “Paradise Lost” handout # 2 (Book IX), and RP #17 from the questions on my website.  

TR 10-30

Paper #2 on poetry due; do not forget to turn the paper in to prior to the beginning of class. We will watch a video of Arthur Miller being interviewed by Charlie Rose.

Week 12

TU 11-4

Death of a Salesman, pp. 2121-53; RP #18 from the questions on my web