Introduction to Literature

Introduction to Literature aligns to an introductory college-level literary analysis course. The course engages students in close readings and critical analyses of the literary genres of the epic, poetry, drama, and prose, including novels, short stories, and essays.

Students will read a survey of literature from the 8th century through the 19th century BCE. Students will examine the ways writers use language to provide meaning and pleasure. As they read, students will consider structure, style, themes, and use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.

Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works. A final project includes a literary analysis modeled after one of the literary lenses discussed and a small reflective paper that allows students to consider what they have learned and how it has helped them analyze texts.


Course Information

Explore literary schools of thought and apply these theories and lenses to literature.

Bloom’s level 3

Read and analyze literary works from major authors in the genres of the epic, poetry, drama, and prose, including novels, short stories, and essays.

Bloom’s level 4

Explore the backgrounds and writing styles of the authors presented in the course, and examine the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure.

Bloom’s level 4

Create writing assignments including expository, analytical, and argumentative essays based on an understanding of specific literary texts and their structure, style, and themes, as well as their use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.

Bloom’s level 6

Create and revise a final project consisting of reading a specific novel, writing a research paper about that novel, and preparing and delivering a visual presentation.

Bloom’s level 6

Analyze the role that imagery and/or figurative language has in a chosen text.

Bloom’s level 4

Evaluate a chosen text from a historical, cultural, and/or social context standpoint.

Bloom’s level 4

Apply Freytag’s Pyramid to analyze key points that occurred in a chosen text.

Bloom’s level 4

Analyze the impact that conflict has in a chosen text.

Bloom’s level 4

Course Outline

Mouse over each module to see its contents.

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How Our Syllabus Stacks Up (Syllabus Equivalency)

Syllabi for equivalent courses from four other institutions were reviewed. The following table represents the coverage of rigor in terms of number of assessments and content in a TEL course as it relates to other similar courses.


2 Year Public College #1

2 Year Public College #2

4 Year Research University

2 Year Public College

 Lesson   Quizzes



4 Essays
1 Research Paper
3 Essays
1 Research Paper
24 with several revisions3 Essays
1 Research Paper (with draft)

 Module   Quizzes





2 Discussions
Class JournalsN/APeer Review
10 Discussion Posts

Lesson Features

Each of our lessons is designed as self-contained learning environment that provides all the context, explanation, and resources you need to learn about a specific topic. We give you the information you need in a format that helps you apply it in your daily life.


Knowing why a topic matters and how it applies to your experience is an important part of learning anything. That’s why we make sure you have the proper context for the information we give you.

Video Overview

Every TEL Library lesson features a video overview of the information being presented. Our videos provide helpful text callouts and a downloadable transcript.


We provide two different readings that elaborate information related to the lesson topic. The first gives you essential, objective information while the second offers a deeper look at a specific sub-topic or a view of different perspectives.

Check Your Knowledge

Developing a clear understanding of a topic generally requires that you spend time reflecting on the meaning or impact of its concepts and information. We facilitate this reflection with polls designed to help you create connections to the topic.



It’s easy to get tripped up on unfamiliar terms when you’re trying to learn something new. We’ve developed in-line glossary definitions of key terms to help make lessons easier to read and understand.

Toolbox Resources

We know that our lessons are simply a starting point for many learners. That’s why we provide a toolbox with related web resources for each lesson so that you can continue your learning journey on a specific topic.



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