Studies in World Literatures – ENGL 656

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course is a study of some of the world’s literary masterpieces from antiquity to the present with particular emphasis on religious texts, diverse literary traditions, and universal themes.

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


World Literatures record enduring human values that reveal commonly held experiences across all people groups. Studying such literature can be aesthetically pleasing; equip one with analytical skills; encourage the exploration of a diversity of content, authors, and genres; and reveal valuable insights about the human condition, thus broadening one’s intellectual outlook.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (7)

Discussion Threads: For each thread, the student is to reply to the prompt below in 500–600 words. Students should focus on a close reading and the meaning of the text for the original readers as well as people today. The standard rules of academic writing must be followed with the exception that the first person singular (“I” or “me” or “my”) may be used. Either APA or MLA rules must be carefully followed for any sources used.

Discussion Replies: In each Discussion, the student will need to post at least 2 replies. Each reply will be 100–200 words. It is encouraged that students see replies as the opportunity to gain new insights into the meaning of the reading assignments. A second goal is to spark ideas that may be useful for the larger assignments required in this course. The student can use his/her replies as a way to test or develop his/her thesis for one of the looming larger assignments in the course.

Literary Analysis Assignments

In this assignment, each student will compare two readings from the first four modules of this course. This assignment will be submitted in two parts. 

Literary Analysis: Rough Draft Assignment will be 700–800 words. The student will select a topic and develop it into a thesis statement. The student will then write a rough draft of the paper. MLA, APA, or Turabian format must be used.

Literary Analysis: Final Draft Assignment will be 1400–1600 words plus the title and reference pages. The student will build upon and revise his/her rough draft. MLA, APA, or Turabian format must be used.

Analysis of a Theme in World Literature Assignments

This course introduces students to a wide range of literary pieces from around the world and throughout time. Within this breath of material, there are numerous topics or questions which are shared by the works.  The goal of this two-part assignment is to use focused research to carefully extend one’s understanding of a theme found in this course’s readings.

Analysis of a Theme in World Literature: Thesis and Introduction Assignment

For this assignment, students will first write an introduction to their paper with a strong thesis statement clarifying where the study is heading. In addition to the introduction, students will also include a reference page of at least 10 sources. This portion of the assignment will be at least 200 words plus the reference page. MLA, APA, or Turabian format must be used.

Analysis of a Theme in World Literature: Final Draft Assignment

This assignment is a continuation and completion of the earlier work on a theme in world literature. This portion of the assignment will be 2000–2500 words plus the title and reference pages. A minimum of 6 sources must be used. MLA, APA, or Turabian format must be used.