*Click here to download a PDF (printable) version of our course syllabus

English 2001, D532 (69840)
Introduction to Literature I: Fiction
Fall 2013
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-3:45pm
Classroom: Midway 0307

Professor Jill Belli
Namm 520
(718) 260-4974

Office hours: Tuesday 12-2pm & by appointment

OpenLab Course Site:

Introduction to Literature I: Fiction
We will begin the semester by exploring short stories and learning the elements of fiction, and then we will move on to read two recent longer texts that foreground the act of storytelling itself.  In particular, we will look closely at the ways in which the narrators of these texts constantly revisit, revise, and re-imagine their stories, blurring the lines between fiction and fact, and re-shaping both the plots and themselves in the process.

Course Description
Analysis and critical understanding of selected fiction. Exams and essays based on readings. 3 hours, 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 1101

Required Texts and Supplies
Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. 50th anniversary edition. New York, Vintage. [ISBN 10: 0-679-72316-1 and ISBN-13: 978-0679723165]

Slater, Lauren. Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir. 2000. New York: Penguin, 2001. [ISBN-10: 978-0-14-200006-9 and ISBN-13: 978-0142000069]

The above texts, the exact editions, must be purchased (they will be available from the City Tech Bookstore).

Additional texts (such as short stories) will be provided in-class or on our course site (including readings on writing process/strategies to accompany our frequent in-class writing workshops). It is your responsibility to print out these texts and bring them to class with you. You may print up to 25 pages per day in the City Tech computer labs, but if you do not have a printer at home, you may want to invest in one (remember: you have minimal costs for texts for this class, and a laser printer is a good, long-term investment for your college career).

You should always come to class prepared with a notebook, folder, binder, and something to write with (pen/pencil). All texts must be kept in a binder, and brought to each class session.

All reading and writing assignments are due on the days listed.

Additional short readings will be added throughout the semester to supplement the texts listed here.

You will notice that some days are devoted entirely to discussing reading,  some days are devoted entirely to discussing writing, and some days we will discuss both reading and writing. Some classes require a heavy amount of reading and/or writing, so I encourage you to plan ahead.

*Always consult the dynamic schedule on our OpenLab site (under Course Info., Schedule) for the most up-to-date version of the schedule, access to readings, and more detail about assignments.

Your final course grade is calculated according to the following breakdown:

Participation: 10%
Blogging + Quizzes: 30%
Essays: 40%

  • Essay #1:10%
  • Essay #2: 15%
  • Essay #3: 15%

Exams: 20%

  • Mid-term: 10%
  • Final: 10%

Participation counts as 10% of your final course grade and includes (but is not limited to):

  • consistent and punctual attendance
  • timely completion and thoughtful engagement with of all reading and writing (blogging, or composing on the OpenLab course, site has its own grading category)
  • having the assigned text(s) in class with you (on the dates they are to be discussed); presentations
  • active participation in-class and in our digital (OpenLab) discussions (via commenting)
  • miscellaneous homework assignments
  • (often unannounced) in-class quizzes and writing exercises based on prompts, activities, and readings
  • group work
  • pre-drafts
  • peer review
  • conferences with the instructor

Course Policies
You are responsible for having working accounts for City Tech e-mail, OpenLab, and Dropbox, and for checking these accounts daily.

If you don’t already have one, you must sign up for an OpenLab account and join our course site, where you can find everything you need this semester (all announcements, updates to the schedule, posted readings, reading responses, and online discussions will take place here). However, this is not just a place where you will come to find information and read what I have already written. Instead, you are expected to consistently and actively participate in creating content on our course site such as posting responses to the reading, discussing ideas with me and your classmates, reading and commenting on what others have posted, and linking to interesting/relevant material you have found through everyday experience as well as outside research. This material (your writing) will become part of our class meetings: we will discuss excerpts from student posts (both to facilitate writing workshops and to use as a jumping-off point for the day’s reading/discussion). In addition, everyone in the course will be reading your writing (and our course blog and all of its content is become public to the larger college community and anyone on the Internet), so you should spend as much effort as possible composing your writing there. Please see our course site for detailed blogging guidelines (under Course Info., Assignments, Blogging)

Consistent absence/lateness will lower your participation grade significantly. If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate and to find out/complete missed assignments; however, in-class work (including quizzes, freewriting, discussions, peer review, and in-class essays and exams) cannot be made-up.

All assignments are due on the dates specified. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Disagreement and (constructive) criticism are allowed and encouraged in our class and on our course blog. However, you must be respectful of the work/opinions of others.

A consistent display of organizational, logical, syntactical, and grammatical errors in your work disrupts your writing and will lower your grade. Students are encouraged (and may be required) to take advantage of online resources (linked through our course blog) and available services at City Tech.

I encourage you to visit me during my office hours throughout the semester to discuss your work in the course.

Attendance and Lateness Policy
According to College attendance policy, a student may be absent during the semester without penalty for 10% of the class instructional sessions.

In my class, two latenesses (of any amount) equals one absence. So if you miss more than three classes or are late more than 6 times (or any combination of the two), you may not pass the course.

New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity
Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.