Critical Reading and Writing

ENGL XL 4W

This introduction to literary analysis includes close reading and carefully written exposition of selections from one or more of the principal modes of literature: poetry, prose, fiction, and drama.

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What you can learn.

  • Read texts of manageable length: short prose, fiction, and essays of stepped complexity
  • Evaluate their arguments; fiction uses characters and settings to make large and significant points
  • Learn to evaluate one’s own work through close reading and the editing of the work of others

About this course:

This introduction to literary analysis includes close reading and carefully written exposition of selections from one or more of the principal modes of literature: poetry, prose, fiction, and drama. This course looks at twentieth-century American short stories set in diverse regional, ethnic, gendered, and imagined communities. These are stories that speak to America's reality, sometimes puzzling, often frightening, more often than not just plain hilarious. This course also looks at short philosophical essays published in the eighteenth-century by perhaps the greatest English essayist, Samuel Johnson: his brief and pointed comments on social life and human experience provide just the opportunity to read broad and true observations of human nature expressed in prose of a very high stylistic and conceptual order. Transferable for UC credit. 
Suggested Prerequisites

It is advisable that you complete the following (or equivalent) since they are prerequisites for Critical Reading and Writing.

Satisfaction of Subject A requirement and English XL 3 (or equivalent) or consent of instructor. A score of 4 or 5 on either AP English exam also satisfies the prerequisite.

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