Course Summary
Credit Type:
Organization's ID:
9 weeks (144 hours).
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 American Literature


The American Literature course surveys fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written in the United States from colonial times to the present. The course is primarily a presentation of knowledge about literary works—their content, backgrounds, and authors. It also is concerned about and requires familiarity with concepts and terminology used by literary critics and literary historians. Traditional American writings are selected from a diverse group of authors. Students are required to read and write about them and their literary periods. They will gain an understanding of the historical development of American literature and how American authors were influenced by their time periods and by the heritage of the United States. For each time period, a sample of works and authors will be discussed while also digging deeply into a few selected works via the American Identity theme and related questions – for example, what is America, and what does it mean to be an American? Students will engage in discussions, quizzes, critical thinking. and essay writing. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to understand, describe, interpret, and evaluate the American experience through its literature.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify different figurative language and how it conveys the author’s message
  • Recognize a given passage’s theme, plot, and setting in connection to the time period
  • Distinguish between literary periods and their historical context
  • Explain the American experience through history and literature
  • Identify and evaluate various writers’ backgrounds, noting the basic characteristics of each author's style and writing genre
  • Interpret and explain interpretations of literary passages
  • Compare and Contrast issues, themes, and characters in literature
  • Produce written essays based on analysis of literary texts and historical context exploring the American Identity
  • Recognize literary elements and devices in various types of American Literature

General Topics:

  • American Literature Course Introduction & Literary Terms
  • Colonialism Part 1
  • Colonialism Part 2
  • Romanticism
  • Transcendentalism
  • Realism
  • Naturalism
  • Modernism
  • Contemporary Period Part 1
  • Contemporary Period Part 2
  • Outsider’s Perspectives
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Discussion
  • Lectures
  • Practical Exercises

Methods of Assessment:

  • Quizzes
  • Written Papers

Minimum Passing Score:

Supplemental Materials

Other offerings from Distance Learning Systems Indiana, Inc