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Introduction to Literature is a relatively difficult, full-year course. For those of you who love English, it’s probably heaven. However, for those of you who aren’t as interested in reading and studying various short stories or writing numerous essays, this class will most likely not be remembered fondly.

1. This is a class for English majors, so the standards are high!

There are numerous classes that fulfill the requirement of a writing class, but this course is the real deal! This is the class that English majors take, so if you don’t legitimately have a love of English and/or literature, think carefully about signing up for this class – there is a lot of work outside of class, and the TAs are not particularly friendly when marking essays!

2. Your professor will most likely be Dr. Diepeveen, who is hilarious!

For years, Dr. Diepeveen has been the professor of the full-year English course, and that is certainly a plus! English classes can occasionally get a little dry, so when you have a professor who likes to lighten things up with the occasional joke, count yourself lucky! It’s true that he can certainly be serious and stoic, but he does understand that classes aren’t supposed to be completely joyless.

3. Participation and attendance in the weekly tutorials contributes to your mark

Every week, students are required to attend tutorials that have approximately twenty students. First year English classes are usually quite large, so the tutorials are there to give students the opportunity to ask questions about concepts they don’t understand. As is often the case, tutorial leaders will often ask the students questions to attempt to acquire an idea of their understanding (or lack thereof) of the material. Your participation mark is almost entirely dictated by how often you attempt to answer their questions or even raise your hand, so make sure to be an active participant!

4. There is a LOT of reading to do, and the details of the stories will be on the final!

As soon as you see the syllabus, you’ll see that there are a lot of short stories studied in the class – do yourself a favour and actually read them before you are scheduled to discuss them in class! Yes, it’s a lot of reading but this way you’ll be able to ask questions about anything you’re confused by, which will significantly help you when you are studying all the stories whose plots and characters will no doubt be included on the final!

5. There are a LOT of essays to write!

As mentioned earlier, this class is not for the student simply looking to fulfill their writing requirement. This class is for people who enjoy studying English and who are willing to work hard at the class. As such, there are numerous essays assigned (especially since it’s a full-year course!) and they require a lot of work. The takeaway? If essays aren’t your thing, pick a different class!

Hopefully, this article gave you an idea of what being in Introduction to Literature is like and will therefore help you make a more informed choice when deciding whether you want to take it. Just remember – if you give it a chance and don’t end up liking it, you can always drop out!


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Lia Reed

Lia hopes to get her PhD in Clinical Psychology, so she'll be in school for a long time! Aside from that, she loves playing with her cat and tutoring (so she gets at least some human interaction!).


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