Literature Help


School of Arts and Humanities LITR221

American Literature Since the Civil War Credit Hours: 3

Length of Course: 8 weeks Prerequisite(s): ENGL 101

Table of Contents

Course Description Evaluation Procedures Course Scope Grading Scale Course Objectives Course Outline Course Delivery Method Policies Course Resources Academic Services

Course Description

This course examines the rapid social and technological changes that have taken place in American culture during the mid-to-late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and how these upheavals have been expressed in our nation's literature. (Prerequisite: ENGL101).

Table of Contents Course Scope

In this course, we will explore American literature from the Civil War to the present. The literature selected is diverse and represents the vast tracts of America’s culture. Timely issues and traditions are studied in their historical, social, political, and economic context. With the passage of time, these issues and dilemmas multiplied, as did the philosophic, economic, and cultural assumptions that helped frame our country. Frank Norris, an American Naturalist author stated, “The function of a novelist . . . is to comment upon life as he sees it.”

Table of Contents Course Objectives After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

 LO-1: Categorize the major authors of American literature since the Civil War by both genre and movement.

 LO-2: Analyze the elements of specific literary genres, including poetry, prose, and biographical accounts.

 LO-3: Compare and contrast different periods and movements of American literature.  LO-4: Apply knowledge of literary concepts to determine where a given piece fits into

the American literary canon.  LO-5: Distinguish the characteristics that make a literary work uniquely American.

Table of Contents Course Delivery Method

American Literature Since the Civil War is delivered via distance learning. It will enable students to complete academic work in a flexible manner, completely online. Course materials and access


to an online learning management system will be made available to each student. Assignments for this class include written assignments and forum assignments. Finally, in the course project the learner will be required to relate these movements, periods, and authors together in order to assert a general conclusion about American literature. Throughout the course, the learner’s writing and documentation skills will prove essential to demonstrate comprehension of the material and his/her mastery of the art of academic analysis. The instructor will support students throughout the duration of this course.

Table of Contents Course Materials

Required Texts: American Literature Since the Civil War. Create edition. McGraw-Hill, 2014.

ISBN-13: 9781308026794

Copyright Alert

Electronic Materials are provided under licensing or in keeping with Fair Use exemptions for your educational use only. You may quote and utilize this material for this, other APUS courses, and related scholarly pursuits. Unless the materials are in the Public Domain or specific written arrangements are made with the Copyright holders, you may not sell, share or otherwise distribute these documents for personal or other use without the likelihood of violating Copyright Law.

Software Requirements:

 Microsoft Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint)  Adobe Acrobat Reader (Click here for free download)

Table of Contents Evaluation Procedures

FORUMS: (a minimum of 3 weekly posts required, over at least two separate days)

Students will be asked to respond initially to eight forum topics, as well as an Introduction forum. Each student will then be responsible for building onto the points of two other students by Sunday. Initial posts in weeks 2 through 8 are due by Thursday of the assigned week. In week 1, all posts are due by Sunday.

Forums cannot be made up, so make sure you post your responses by the weekly deadlines. Again, your initial post is due by Thursday 11:55 p.m. ET, and the feedback posts are due by Sunday at 11:55 p.m. ET. Students are required to post over at least two separate days each week to encourage week-long, evolving discussion.

Each forum entry must be pertinent to the subject matter and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the topics discussed with an appropriate introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion. Direct references to the weekly readings (specific lines, page numbers, etc.) should be included to support--but not dominate--student posts.

The initial forum entries should contain 300-400+ words and cite references to the text under discussion. Responses to classmates should approximate a 100+ word requirement


each; however, responses to classmates should address the nature of the topic and advance the discussion forward.

Attention to proper spelling/grammar/punctuation and organization of ideas is important and will factor into the final score. "Texting"-type language (lowercase i's, no punctuation or appropriate capitalization) is unacceptable in the forums.

FORUM RUBRIC: See forum description for rubric


The prompt to a forum might ask how an author uses figurative language to create a picture in the mind of the audience.

After reading “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, I was captured by how Baldwin describes the terrible numbing shock that his narrator experiences in learning that his younger brother has been arrested for possession and sale of heroin: “It was not to be believed and I kept telling myself that, as I walked from the subway station to the high school. And at the same time I couldn’t doubt it. I was scared, scared for Sonny. He became real to me again. A great block of ice got settled in my belly and kept melting there all day long . . . . It was a special kind of ice. It kept melting, sending trickles of ice water all up and down my veins, but it never got less. Sometimes it hardened and seemed to expand until I felt my guts were going to come spilling out or that I was going to choke or scream” (319). The image of the “great block of ice” creates the picture of the numbing sensation that the narrator feels at the moment of discovery and wondering what the future will hold for his brother. In addition, the “great block of ice” signifies the ice that one uses to numb one’s pain…plus another 200 words for an exemplary post.


The essays should show evidence of careful and thoughtful development of the subject with attention to appropriate depth and detail. They should be clear, coherent, and well organized. It should be free of errors that hinder meaning and free of plagiarized material.

Submission Instructions:

Your essays should be in MLA Style and 500-750 words, not including the Work(s) Cited page. As with most academic writing, this essay should be written in third person. Please avoid both first person (I, we, our, etc.) and second person (you, your).

In the upper left-hand corner of the paper, place your name, the professor’s name, the course name, and the due date for the assignment on consecutive lines. Double space your information from your name onward, and don't forget a title. All papers should be in Times New Roman font with 12-point type with one-inch margins all the way around your paper. All paragraph indentations should be indented five spaces (use the tab key) from the left margin. All work is to be left justified. When quoting lines in literature, please research the proper way to cite short stories, plays, or poems.

You should use the online APUS library to look for scholarly sources. Be careful that you don’t create a "cut and paste" paper of information from your various sources. Your ideas are to be new and freshly constructed. Also, take great care not to plagiarize.


COURSE LITERATURE PROJECT ASSIGNMENT RUBRIC: See Assignments in Classroom for rubric

Your final grade will be based on the following:

Grade Instruments Percent to Grade

Forums (8x30) 35% Essays 1 & 2 40% Essay 3 25% TOTAL 100%

Table of Contents Grading Scale Please see the Student Handbook (click here) to reference the University’s grading scale.

Table of Contents 8 – Week Course Outline

Week Topic Learning Objectives

Readings Assignments and



Introduction to the course

Meeting your classmates and


Course expectations


Social criticism

Identity in Literature




Reading(s) Assignment Introduction/American

Literature Post Civil War

“From Sand Creek” by Simon Ortiz in the textbook, American Literature Since the Civil War “A Postcard from the Volcano” by Wallace Stevens in the textbook, American Literature Since the Civil War “Why I Write” by Joan Didion in the textbook, American Literature Since the Civil War “ I'm nobody, who are you? ” by Emily Dickinson, available at “An Agony. As Now. ” by Amiri Baraka, available at Poetry Foundation “We Wear the Mask ” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, available at Poetry Foundation “The Turning Point of My Life” by Mark Twain, available at The Literature Network “America,” available at Poetry Foundation “Long Too Long America,” available at The Literature Network I Hear America Singing from The Patriotic Poems of Walt

Introduction Forum Week 1 Forum


Whitman America by Allen Ginsberg, available at Poetry Foundation America by Claude McKay, available at Poetry Foundation Autumn Begins in Martin's Ferry, Ohio by James Wright, available at Poetry Foundation Let No Charitable Hope by Elinor Wylie, available at Poetry Society of America The Problem of Old Harjo by John Oskison


Civil Rights


LO-1 LO-3 LO-4 LO-5

Reading(s) Assignment Ancestral Identity

All selections can be found in "Racial and Ethnic Identity" in American Literature Since the Civil War

"A Month in the Country" by Jay Wright "Song for a Dark Girl" by Langston Hughes "How it Feels to Be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston "Sula" by Toni Morrison or "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" by Sherman Alexie "The Third and Final Continent" by Jhumpa Lahiri "The Conversion of the Jews" by Philip Roth "The Day the Cisco Kid Shot John Wayne" by Nash Candelaria or "The Last of the Menu Girls" by Denise Chavez

Week 2 Forum Essay 1



Gender Roles





Reading(s) Assignment

Expanding and Evolving Gender Roles

“Picture Bride” by Cathy Song in American Literature Since the Civil War

“Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros in American

Week 3 Forum


Literature Since the Civil War

“Big Two-Hearted River: Part I and Part II” by Ernest Hemingway in American Literature Since the Civil War

“Two Postures beside a Fire” by James Wright in American Literature Since the Civil War

“El Patron” by Nash Candelaria in American Literature Since the Civil War or “Government Goat” by Susan Glaspell in Best Short Stories of 1919 (found on

”The Revolt of Mother” by Mary Wilkins Freeman from Short Stories for English Courses



LO-1 LO-2 LO-5

Reading(s) Assignment Other Perspectives

Watch In Cold Blood

Read one of the following pieces from "Other Perspectives" in American Literature Since the Civil War.

"The Wrysons" by John Cheever

"Going After Cacciato" by Tim O'Brien

"Somewhere for Everyone" by John Grisham

"Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor

"Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin

"The Angel Esmerelda" by Don Delillo

Week 4 Forum Essay 2



The American Dream

LO-1 LO-2 LO-3 LO-4 LO-5

Literary Elements

Begin reading one of the following:

Week 5 Forum


Point of View



Each of these is available at and Amazon as a Kindle download, as well as the links listed. At Fault by Kate Chopin (Available as a Kindle download from Amazon) The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris, available from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, available from Literature Project The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains by Mary Noailles Murfree, available from Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, available from





LO-2 LO-5

Reading(s) Assignment Literary Movements and

Cultural Impact

Continue reading one of the following:

Each of these is available at and Amazon as a Kindle download, as well as the links listed. At Fault by Kate Chopin (Available as a Kindle download from Amazon) The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris, available from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, available from Literature Project The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains by Mary Noailles Murfree, available from Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, available from

Week 6 Forum

7 LO-1 Reading(s) Assignment


Literary Analysis

LO-5 Elements of Literature

Finish reading one of the following:

Each of these is available at and Amazon as a Kindle download, as well as the links listed. At Fault by Kate Chopin (Available as a Kindle download from Amazon) The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris, available from This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, available from Literature Project The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains by Mary Noailles Murfree, available from Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, available from

Week 7 Forum

Final Project


Final Thoughts

LO-4 LO-5 Reading(s) Assignment

What Is American Literature?

Choose a reading from one of the following: “Other Perspectives” in your text A story or poem from The Bird and Dog rchives/ “Poem of the Week” or “v.i. Prose,” depending on your interest dex.cfm rticles/departments/literature/ “Literature”

Week 8 Forum


Table of Contents Policies Please see the student handbook to reference all University policies. Quick links to frequently asked about policies are listed below.

Drop/Withdrawal Policy Plagiarism Policy Extension Process and Policy Disability Accommodations

WRITING EXPECTATIONS Students are expected to have the background in grammar and mechanics necessary to complete the course. Please see the rubric attached to each assignment for detailed information regarding writing evaluation.

CITATION AND REFERENCE STYLE Attention Please: Students will follow the MLA as the sole citation and reference style used in written work submitted as part of coursework to the University.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS Students are expected to submit classroom assignments by the posted due date and to complete the course according to the published class schedule. As adults, students, and working professionals, I understand you must manage competing demands on your time. Should you need additional time to complete an assignment, please contact me before the due date so we can discuss the situation and determine an acceptable resolution. Routine submission of late assignments is unacceptable and may result in points deducted from your final course grade.

Netiquette Online universities promote the advancement of knowledge through positive and constructive debate – both inside and outside the classroom. Forums on the Internet, however, can occasionally degenerate into needless insults and “flaming.” Such activity and the loss of good manners are not acceptable in a university setting – basic academic rules of good behavior and proper “Netiquette” must persist. Remember that you are in a place for the rewards and excitement of learning which does not include descent to personal attacks or student attempts to stifle the Forum of others.

 Technology Limitations: While you should feel free to explore the full-range of creative composition in your formal papers, keep e-mail layouts simple. The Sakai classroom may not fully support MIME or HTML encoded messages, which means that bold face, italics, underlining, and a variety of color-coding or other visual effects will not translate in your e- mail messages.

 Humor Note: Despite the best of intentions, jokes and especially satire can easily get lost or taken seriously. If you feel the need for humor, you may wish to add “emoticons” to help alert your readers: ;-), : ), 

DISCLAIMER STATEMENT Course content may vary slightly from the outline to meet the needs of a particular class section.

Table of Contents


Academic Services (Online Library)

The Online Library is available to enrolled students and faculty from inside the electronic campus. This is your starting point for access to online books, subscription periodicals, and Web resources that are designed to support your classes and generally not available through search engines on the open Web. In addition, the Online Library provides access to special learning resources, which the University has contracted to assist with your studies. Questions can be directed to [email protected]

 Charles Town Library and Inter Library Loan: The University maintains a special library with a limited number of supporting volumes, collection of our professors’ publication, and services to search and borrow research books and articles from other libraries.

 Electronic Books: You can use the online library to uncover and download over 50,000 titles, which have been scanned and made available in electronic format.

 Electronic Journals: The University provides access to over 12,000 journals, which are available in electronic form and only through limited subscription services.

 AMU and APU civilian & Coast Guard students are eligible for 10 free hours of tutoring provided by APUS. connects you with a professional tutor online 24/7 to provide help with assignments, studying, test prep, resume writing, and more. is tutoring the way it was meant to be. You get expert tutoring whenever you need help, and you work one-to-one with your tutor in your online classroom on your specific problem until it is done.

Request a Library Guide for your course ( The AMU/APU Library Guides provide access to collections of trusted sites on the Open Web and licensed resources on the Deep Web. The following are specially tailored for academic research at APUS:

 Program Portals contain topical and methodological resources to help launch general research in the degree program. To locate, search by department name, or navigate by school.

 Course Lib-Guides narrow the focus to relevant resources for the corresponding course. To locate, search by class code (e.g., SOCI111), or class name.

If a guide you need is not available yet, please email the APUS Library: [email protected] .

Table of Contents Assignments will be submitted to upon submission through the assignment link. will analyze a paper and report instances of potential plagiarism. The report generated will be available to both the student and the professor.