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Azin Arefi - English

ELIT 10: Intro to Fiction

ELIT 10 is a 4-unit literature course focused on the intensive study of fiction through the reading, discussion, and analysis of the structure and meaning of short stories and novels representing various literary genres, histories, and styles. We will study the elements of fiction through these various works, such as plot, characterization, point of view, setting, etc.. Fiction selection will include texts diverse in subject, form, and structure and will represent writers from wide perspectives of culture, race, history, class and gender.

Course Prerequisite:

Eligibility is established through successful completion of EWRT 1A.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn to become careful readers of short stories and novels and be able to analyze and discuss fiction.
  • Understand and appreciate the distinctive elements of fiction, such as character, conflict, plot, theme, setting and atmosphere, point-of-view, imagery & symbolism, language, and dialogue.
  • Find the significance in each piece, and recognize the deliberate efforts of the authors regarding language, tone, details, symbols, etc..
  • Acknowledge and account for alternate textual interpretations.
  • Be able to write cohesive and focused essays based on the readings that demonstrate understanding of the elements of fiction, the work itself, and make connections to other readings.


Course Requirements:

  • Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions.
  • Keeping up-to-date on the assignments and readings.
  • Two papers.
  • A Midterm & a Final examination.
  • Keeping a Journal
  • Unannounced quizzes, in-class assignments, and presentations.

Required Texts:

  • Perrine’s Story & Structure, 10th ed., Thomas R. Arp & Greg Johnson
  • A Course Reader, available at Kwik Kopy, 10675 South DeAnza Blvd.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut


Course Evaluation

The grade break down is shown in the table below:








Final Exam








Projects/Group Work/Presentations






Course Assignments:


JournalYou will keep a course journal in which you write responses to particular questions or ideas discussed in class or in specified readings. You will write most of your journal entries in class, but some will be given as homework. I will periodically collect and evaluate them. 

QuizzesThe pop quizzes measure your preparation for class and your understanding of class lecture and concepts covered. Quizzes will be given at the beginning of the class period so do not be late.  They are meant to reward you for your preparation and your on-time attendance.

ParticipationYou are expected to come to this class prepared with paper, pen, appropriate text, having completed the reading and all assignments due, and ready to participate in class discussion. Whether as a class or if you are in small groups, your contribution is required and necessary. 

Papers. You will be required to write two papers during the course. In each of these essays you should pay close attention to style and mechanics and implement the writing skills we discuss in class. Your papers should be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt font, with one-inch margins all around. Your name, date and paper topic should appear on the right-hand corner and please be sure to staple your paper before handing it in. Each essay must be organized and written clearly. Careful proofreading and correct grammar and punctuation usage are crucial. Three to five pages are appropriate for each. Use MLA format. Papers are due at the beginning of class.

Midterm and Final Exam. Your midterm and final exam will be mostly essay-based, short answers, and identifying passages, based on our readings and will test your ability to demonstrate critical reading and writing skills you have mastered in class.

Course Policies:

AttendanceAttendance every day is required. You should come to class on time, having done the reading and prepared to discuss. If you have to be absent, please call to excuse yourself.  If you have four (4) unexcused absences, I will assume that you have withdrawn, and give you a W for the course

PlagiarismPlagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas in direct quote, paraphrase, or summary form and submitting them as your own. I expect no copying or cheating whatsoever, at any time, by any student. Plagiarism may result in automatic failure of the course

RespectIn class we will be discussing a lot of issues and each individual person's opinion must be respected. You are to listen to each other and be considerate of one another at all times. You can disagree with someone, but always in a respectful manner. Any disruptive or disrespectful behavior to me or to your fellow classmates may be cause for dismissal from the class. As part of respect, please remember to turn off cell phones and pagers, as they are disruptive to the class.



Julia Alvarez, “Snow”
Story & Structure: “Plot & Structure” pg. 59-67
Sandra Cisneros, “Barbie-Q"
Story & Structure: Alice Munro, “How I Met My Husband” pg. 82-98
Story & Structure: Jhumpa Lahiri, “Interpreter of Maladies” pg. 99-118
Story & Structure: Edith Wharton, “Roman Fever” pg. 379-391
Reader: Kate Chopin, “Story of an Hour”
Reader: Delmore Schwartz, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities”
Reader: Margaret Atwood, “Happy Endings”
Story & Structure: “Characterization” pg. 120-125
Story & Structure: Tobias Wolff, “Hunters in the Snow” pg. 139-153
Story & Structure: Katherine Anne Porter, “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” pg. 224-232
Story & Structure: Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” pg. 462-479
Story & Structure: Anton Chekhov, “The Darling” pg. 439-450
Story & Structure: “Theme” pg. 155-162
Story & Structure: Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” pg. 162-169
Story & Structure: James Joyce, “Eveline” pg. 170-174
Reader: Grace Paley, “Wants”
Story & Structure: “Point of View” pg. 190-197
Story & Structure: Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” pg. 215-223
Reader: Amy Tan, “Two Kinds”
Reader: Bharati Mukherjee “The Management of Grief”
Reader: Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”
Reader: Julio Cortazar, “A Continuity of Parks”
Story & Structure: “Symbol, Allegory, & Fantasy” pg. 243-253
Story & Structure: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” pg. 281-287
Reader: Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis”
Story & Structure: “Humor & Irony” pg. 289-294
Story & Structure: Frank O’Connor, “The Drunkard” pg. 294-303
Story & Structure: “Humor & Irony” pg. 289-294
Story & Structure: Lorrie Moore, “You’re Ugly, Too” pg. 304-322
Reader: Donald Barthleme, “The School”
Reader: Leo Tolstoy, “Master and Man”
Reader: Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”Reader: Pam Houston, “The Best Girlfriend You Never Had”
Reader: Molly Giles, “Pie Dance"
Reader: Diane Williams, “Here’s Another Ending”

email icon Email: Azin Arefi
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8547


Last Updated: 4/25/16