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For a 200-level undergraduate intro to literature course, how many books are appropriate to include in a syllabus?
Hello! I am currently putting together a capstone project for an MFA program, which includes putting together a syllabus for a sophomore, 200-level undergraduate intro to literature course, where literature will not necessarily be their major. How many books and how much reading would be appropriate to include? Thank you!
- Spock (rhp)Lv 72 months ago
one novel length book every class week [exam weeks excluded]. "War and Peace", however, counts as two. -- grampa [I took Russian lit in translation donkey's years ago and we read about ten books in 14 weeks]
You can easily google and look at sample syllabi. Try "literature 200" or "sophomore literature syllabus". A lot depends on whether you're going to include short stories and poems, and many overview courses do.
Most professors use an anthology such as The Norton Anthology of American Literature or the Norton Anthology of World Literature. These anthologies often have over 2,500 pages, and no professor uses the whole thing. However, they are much cheaper for the students than buying five or eight different books. They typically contain fiction and poetry and sometimes memoir or articles, too. I have found the content of these sorts of anthologies to be excellent.
What I liked to do, back when I was teaching, was to decide about 80% of the readings myself, depending upon what I was most comfortable teaching as well as with an eye on variety in terms of level of difficulty, type of reading, year produced, etc. etc. etc. The other 20% was based on students' requests.
How much reading is dependent, at least in part, of what other assignments you will be giving. If you intend to require, for instance, two papers, a midterm, a final, and periodic quizzes, then less reading is appropriate. On the other hand, if there is just going to be a midterm and a final with, perhaps, a short paper, then more reading is advisable. Another thing to consider is the level of difficulty of the readings. I remember, as a graduate student, taking a lit class that had only three required books. Only three??? Yes, but, it was Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses, all by James Joyce. In some ways, it was the hardest class (and one of the most interesting) I'd ever taken. Level of difficulty counts!
There is normally quite a lot of variety in terms of what various professors require. I would highly recommend you speak to some of the other professors where you will be teaching. Not all universities have the same expectations.
Hope this helps. Good luck to you.Source(s): Retired college instructor
probably as many as you want to