Leslie Goerner's Website



Satya P. Tandon, Associate Professor, Humanities Department

Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Sherman Drive Utica, NY 13501











EN102: Ideas and Values in Literature| Syllabus






Spring Semester 2007



Instructor:      Prof. S. P. Tandon

      Office: PH 311

      Telephone: 792-5543

      E-mail: standon@mvcc.edu


Office Hours:   T   1:20 – 3:30;

      WF   2:00 – 3:00;

      other hours by appointment only.




Kennedy, X.J., & Dana Gioia. An Introduction to Fiction . 10th edition.

  New York : Harper Collins College Publishers, 2007.


Thoreau, Henry. Walden. New York : W. W. Norton


Kirszner. The Brief Holt Handbook. New York : Harcourt Brace (Optional).



I.   Course Description:


  This course seeks to deepen the students' understanding of human nature and the human condition through the study of ideas and values expressed in both imaginative literature and a full-length book of non-fiction. To this end, students use and develop critical thinking and language skills. They do so mainly in their attempts to raise and answer questions in their readings, discussions, and expository writing tasks, which may include exploratory writing, an academic journal, reports, and essays. A library-oriented research project is required.


Prerequisite: EN101: Composition; EN105: English Composition for speakers of Other Languages, or permission of the Humanities Department head or designee.




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Prof. Tandon

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II.   Student Learning Outcomes:


At the completion of English 102: Ideas and Values in Literature, the student will:


•  Utilize critical thinking skills in analysis of college-level literary texts.


•  Create a documented research project which will demonstrate analytical thinking skills and utilize primary and secondary research sources.


3. Demonstrate an awareness of and comprehension of how social, cultural,

aesthetic, and intellectual issues raised in the class are relevant to their own



4. Comprehend the nature of the Humanities and its relation to other disciplines.


•  Demonstrate how common or culturally specific heritages, perspectives, histories, and/or belief systems influence the creators of literary works and their products.


•  Develop the skill to reasonably interpret a literary text and support that

interpretation with evidence.


III.   Course Process and Rationale:


  As a Tier-One Humanities course fulfilling MVCC's General Education requirements, Ideas and Values in Literature is designed to provide students with a general understanding of the Humanities-its object, scope, logic or methodology, and its relation to other disciplines. Literature is a reflection of the world around us; it encompasses ideas and concepts from various disciplines and subjects. Thus the study of literature will enable students to better understand and appreciate their world. Within this context, the course addresses broad questions of the Humanities and the relationship of the Humanities to other disciplines. EN102 also provides an historical overview of the Humanities, with an introduction to humanistic studies from the Greeks to the present.

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  Ideas and Values in Literature is also designed to develop the intellectual skills of thinking and language. A major segment of the course will cover readings of imaginative literature and non-fiction. Class discussions will focus on interpretation and analysis of the assigned readings to promote intellectual independence in students by developing their abilities to use language for the purpose of learning, thinking, and communication. A library-oriented research project and expository papers are required. In addition, a variety of informal and other formal writing experiences are recommended. These may include writing designed to develop a variety of reflective and imaginative thinking skills.


  As a Tier-One General Education course, Ideas and Values in Literature may also incorporate other elements of general education, such as questions about the cultural effects of the Humanities, questions about our environment, and questions of philosophy dealing with ethics, values, and aesthetics. Through discussing, analyzing, interpreting, and writing about literature, students will be brought to an awareness of the universality as well as the diversity of human experience. The focus is on encouraging students to broaden their perceptions, to see themselves as individuals in an ever-widening circle of relationships which begins with self and includes relationships to others, to the community, and to the larger world.



•  Course Administration:


1.   State University of New York regulations require evidence of pursuit of prescribed course work. Students who fail to satisfy those regulations may be deleted from the class on the official census date (Student handbook). Therefore, attendance will be recorded each class meeting.


•  EN102 is a writing/reading/discussion class. In courses of this nature students benefit most by working collaboratively with others. Hence your regular presence and participation in the class is necessary and required. Attendance will be recorded at the beginning of each class meeting. If you come in after I have taken the attendance, it is your responsibility to notify me at the end of

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class. In cases of excessive lateness, your attendance will be affected. If you have to leave class early, please let me know ahead of time.


3.   You will be permitted one week of absences (MWF--three classes; T, Th-- two classes). For each absence in excess, points will be deducted from the final grade


Please note that your final grade will be adversely affected by poor attendance as explained below:


   Number of Absences      Highest Possible Final Grade


  One week         A

  One to two weeks       B

  Two to three weeks       C

  Three to four weeks       D

  More than four weeks     F


4.   You will be required to complete the following assignments:


  * The research project

  * Three essays

  * Several short writing assignments/ Academic journal


5.   Your final grade will be based on the following:


  Class assignments   30%

  Research Project   30%

  Unit Exams 30%

  Academic Journal     10%






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V.   Division of Subject Matter:



A.   Literature and Ideas: This segment of the course will cover the study of ideas and values in literature--the way literary aim functions in a given piece of writing, and the way in which it communicates social, moral, political, and/or ethical concepts.


B.   Study of the full-length non-fiction work:

  Henry D. Thoreau. Walden   


C.   Research Project: The assignment aims at helping you to learn how to organize and develop information gathered on a subject in the standard form expected in college writing and adult business world. In the process of organizing a library-oriented research project, you will develop library search skills and proficiency in the selection and use of the standard tools of search, and gain awareness about the systems of documentation.

In order to complete the course successfully, students must submit a passing research paper.


Students with Special Needs:


I would appreciate hearing from anyone in the class who has any type of disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) which may require some special accommodation. Please see me during my office hours so that we can discuss your needs. Also, please stop by to see LynnIgoe, the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities, 792-5413 (Voice or TTY), located in Room AB153. and aides available through the college and other organizations.