American Realism and Naturalism – ENGL 341

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

A study of the major writers of American Realism and Naturalism (1865-1930): Twain, James, Chopin, Crane, Dreiser and others. Research paper required.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The study of American literature from the end of the American Civil War to the conclusion of World War I helps the student to understand and appreciate the cultural, social, economic, philosophical, religious, and literary heritage of the United States from 1865-1930.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Examine, in their entirety, the assigned literature selections from the American Realistic (1865-1900) and Naturalistic (1900-1930) periods.
  2. Describe the historical and literary background of the Realistic and Naturalistic periods.
  3. Compare and contrast the Realistic and Naturalistic periods.
  4. Describe the specific talents and diversity of the authors and works studied.
  5. Evaluate the merits of literary works on the basis of style, content, and absence or presence of biblical truth.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided topic for each forum. Each thread must be 250–400 words in length and demonstrate course related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s thread. The reply must be 250–400 words in length. The student is required to cite sources using current MLA formatting.

Essays (2)

Essay topics must be selected from the provided list. Essay 1 must be 4–6 pages in length and must have 1 primary source with at least 2 secondary sources. Essay 2 must be 8–10 pages in length and must cite at least 2 primary sources with at least 4 secondary sources. Current MLA formatting is required.

Reading Quizzes (14)

Each quiz will correspond to the reading assignments, be open-book/open-notes, contain 5-10 multiple-choice or true/false questions, have a time limit of 5-10 minutes, and allow 2 attempts. The attempt with the highest score will be graded.

Exams (2)

The exams will cover material from the Reading & Study folders. Each exam will contain multiple-choice and/or essay questions. The exams are open-book/open-notes with time limits of 1 hour and 30 minutes each.