Honors Contract: Introduction to Fiction


Introduction to Fiction

This Honors Contract can be taken concurrently or sequentially (the semester immediately following the semester the course is taken) with the following course:

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Course Title:  Introduction to Fiction                                   Course No:  ENGL 230

Author of Contract:  Danny Alexander                                Hours Credit:  1

In addition to satisfying the normal objectives/competencies of the course, the student must complete the following objectives to accomplish a higher level of scholastic work:


1. Choose A) or B):

A. Understand some of the short fiction by a writer from a culture different from  mainstream American culture.


B.  Understand a social or psychological issue such as alcoholism, aging, career                 planning, divorce, death and dying, quest for identity, or sexual roles in the short                   fiction of a contemporary writer.

 2. Synthesize that fiction with secondary sources about it.  (A secondary source will a            analyze the story or provide literary, social, and cultural background to the story.)

3. Explain the literature and secondary sources in a presentation lasting 30 minutes, and in  an essay of 1,000 words.


For the module: 

Choose A) or B):

A) A writer from another culture:

1.  Choose an African, Asian, Latin American, Afro-American, Native American, or
European fiction writer of interest to you.

2. Read five stories (but not stories in the Introduction to Fiction textbook) of                        moderate length and difficulty by that writer (in English translation).

3. Read several secondary sources.

4.  Explain, in a half-hour presentation to an Introduction to Fiction class and in an  essay of 1,000 words:

a. The major themes of the stories;
b.  Their fictional techniques;
c.  The cultural issues that the stories explore; and
d. The cultural assumptions present in those stories compared to the
assumptions of mainstream American culture and the significance of
studying such differences.

B)  A writer on a social or psychological issue agreeable to you and the instructor.

  1. Choose a contemporary short story writer of interest to you.
  2. In five stories (but not stories included in the Introduction to Fiction textbook), study a social or psychological issue.
  3. Read several secondary sources on the writer’s work and one on the topic.
  4. Synthesize the secondary and primary sources, write a 1,000 to 1,200-word essay and make a one-half hour oral presentation to an Introduction to Fiction class (explaining the significance of the relationship between this issue and the writer’s work).


  1.  Group meetings will be scheduled at a time satisfactory to everyone and held every other week.
  2.  Presentations will be made and papers due at least two weeks before classes of the semester.
  3.  Punctuality (showing up for all meetings on schedule and doing all work on schedule).
  4.  Willingness to revise writing to a high level of proficiency and to plan and rehearse an oral presentation, also to a high level of proficiency.
  5.  Independence in defining the area to be investigated, in finding sources, and in reading and note-taking.

Grading Criteria:

See Mentor’s expectations, above.