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Intro to Lit advice

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Hi everyone,

I'm teaching Intro to Literature this fall but haven't taught it in a long time. I usually teach composition courses and feel I'm a bit out of touch with what would be great texts to use as well as assignment prompts. Is anyone out there willing to share? Does anyone incorporate Reading Apprenticeship routines into your Intro to Lit course? You can reach me by my personal email if you prefer.

Thanks for any advice,


Joan Jarrett

Associate Faculty: English; ESL; Basic Skills

Instructional Assistant: Instructional Resource Center

Feather River College

570 Golden Eagle Avenue

Quincy, CA 95971

530-283-0202, extension 245

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I teach Intro to Lit and I use the Norton 12th Shorter Edition. I try to

focus one third of my course in poetry, one third on short stories, and one

third on drama and film.

If you have any questions, just let me know.


On Wed, Aug 7, 2019, 2:14 PM jjarrett <>

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for responding. Do you require them to read any other books or just use the Norton?


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I have had my Inro to Lit students read a short work of fiction/ novel, but

not in every section I have taught. It depends if it is a semester course

or quarter course. I usually have them read a book not written by an

American author. Of course in an upper-division (2- or 3-level) British Lit

survey class, I recommend that the students be required to read at least

one or two novels from the 18th, 19th and/or 20th century. Time becomes the


If the focus of the course is on a specific period or the novel/fiction,

then by all means, more than one or two novels must be read! A thorough

focus on introducing the short story genre and having students read a

variety of short stories from different times is why I like the selections

in the Norton Introduction to Literature, ed. Kelly J. Mays, (Shorter 12th



On Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 2:14 PM jjarrett <>

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee

Hi Joan,


If I may offer a suggestion: there is an excellent new edition of The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature coming out this fall. This book offers critical reading and writing support, as well as many options for teaching literature – including case studies (one of my favorites is a new chapter on song lyrics as poetry) and in-depth chapters on major authors. There are numerous post-reading questions and activities throughout the text, as well as suggestions for longer papers.


If you’re looking for something already out, Literature: The Human Experience provides a broad range of classic and contemporary authors. Themes such as innocence and experience, conformity and rebellion, culture and identity, and life and death explore the facets of human nature. It too provides in-depth resources for reading and writing about literature, and post-reading questions and writing topics.


From your conversation with Jeff, it looks like you might also be interested in trade books – here at Macmillan, you can save 50% on all trade titles when packaged with one of our textbooks.


Please let me know if you have any questions!