ENG-233: Introduction to the Novel

Liberal Arts
English Literature & Composition
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to the Novel
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-131 with a C grade or better (Note: A "C-" grade is not and is not accepted by some programs at HFC.)
Catalog Course Description

Focuses on reading, discussion, and written analysis of novels in order to develop 1) skill in literary analysis and interpretation and 2) familiarity with the conventions of the novel. Students will read major novelists primarily from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. The titles chosen exemplify important developments and themes in prose fiction, each discussed as a statement of a particular author, a reflection of the times in which the work was written, and an enduring expression of human experience.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Introduction to literary terms and methods of discussing literature.
  2. The role of the epic and the romance in the development of the novel.
  3. The role of the middle class in the development of the novel.
  4. The evolution of narrative point of view.
  5. The various genres of the novel, such as gothic, romantic, realistic, modernist, and postmodern.
  6. Literary purpose (e.g. didacticism or social purpose).
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Students should be able to accomplish the following: 1. Formulate an interpretive thesis (as opposed to one which merely reports something factual about a literary text). 2. Compose an essay which either

  • analyzes a literary text, for example by focusing on literary elements such as theme, character, setting, point of view, plot, imagery, metaphor, symbolism, etc., or
  • analyzes the characteristic themes, features, and / or techniques of a given writer's works; or
  • analyzes more than one literary text by comparing and contrasting works by more than one novelist.
  1. Identify some of the key literary features that are essential to an introductory-level understanding of the novel.
  2. Describe the typical characteristics of novelistic genres such as neoclassicism, romanticism, realism, naturalism, modernism, postmodernism, or magical realism as evidenced in a writer’s works.
  3. Explain a few of the key ways in which the novel evolved over time.
  4. Explain the crucial importance and /or distinctive achievement of some of the key novelists.
General Information

Note that a grade of C- is not transferrable and is not accepted by some programs at HFC

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement


Assessment may include (but need not be limited to) quizzes, class participation, essays, and exams. But assessment must include a minimum of 2,000 words of formal literary analysis.


  1. Students will write at least one out-of-class essay of literary analysis that is at least 1,200 words in length.
  2. Students will take at least one written exam which requires them to analyze literature; whether a single essay or multiple shorter responses, this expository component will count for at least half of the credit for that exam.
General Course Requirements and Recommendations


  1. Students will read from four to seven novels.
  2. Students will read a selection of novels that represent a broad range of literary accomplishments in that genre.
  3. Students will regularly engage in thoughtful discussion of the assigned readings.
  4. Students will study (through assigned readings and / or classroom discussion) the cultural contexts from which the literature emerges.
  5. Students will study concepts that are essential to an introductory-level understanding of the novel, such as character, conflict, plot, setting, theme, symbol, point of view, metaphor, narrative style, epistolary novel, picaresque, stream-of-consciousness, motif, realism, romanticism, naturalism, magical realism, modernism, postmodernism, epiphany, structure, epic, romance, literary criticism, literary purpose (e.g., didacticism or social protest), irony, neoclassicism, romanticism, realism, naturalism, and magical realism.<


  1. Students should learn appropriate biographical information about assigned writers when such information could be helpful in understanding the literature.
  2. Students should take quizzes on assigned readings.
  3. Students should keep a journal in which they record their responses to assigned readings and class discussions.
  4. Students should learn to place the major assigned writers and texts on an historical time line.
  5. Students should satisfactorily read at least one passage aloud, either in class or in the instructor’s office.
  6. Instructors should welcome and support the diverse identities, backgrounds, and academic experience of our students as essential foundations for college community.


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Humanities
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2019
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Fall 2019