ENGLISH 304 - Critical Reading
Fall 2023, Section 003 - Introduction to Literature
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Completion of 200-level Foundations and Methods course.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


In this course we will discover and propose questions fundamental to the study of literature, and we will explore how each of us might address those questions in ways that are not only thoughtfully calibrated to the prose, poetry, and drama we read but that also matter in our own lives. We will be studying techniques for reading and writing about a variety of literature (from the English Renaissance and the early American period to the 21st century). We will also consider fundamental questions about the nature of literary texts: why and how they are made, and what kinds of work writing can and should try to do in the world.

We will spend a good deal of time, using the Norton Portable Introduction to Literature (cited and linked below), building a critical vocabulary for our conversations and analyses.

This is also a writing course—designed to help each of you continue to develop the academic writing skills that you have begun to master in your first few semesters at Michigan.

We will be using one text for this course:

  • The Norton Introduction to Literature (Portable 14th edition—the latest edition—2022) edited by Kelly J. Mays.)
  •              Get only this Portable 14th edition (green cover); don’t be confused and make the expensive mistake of buying the Shorter or the Standard edition, both also edited by Kelly Mays.


This course satisfies the following CURRENT English major/minor requirement: None

This course satisfies the following NEW English major/minor requirements: Foundations & Methods (300/400-level)

Course Requirements:

Students will spend a substantial amount of time working on writing in this class. There will be three formal papers for the class--and the first two can be rewritten, if the student is interested in doing so. The final paper will be due shortly after the end of our class meetings. There will be no exams in this class.

Intended Audience:

This course is for students who are interested in an introduction to studying English literature at the college level. It is also for students who are interested in improving their writing.


ENGLISH 304 - Critical Reading
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
002 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
003 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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