Fall 2015 - WL 101W D100

Writing About Literature (3)

Class Number: 7157

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 5007, Burnaby



Examines international migrancy, cultural identities, or cross-cultural influence in world literatures, while introducing the fundamentals of literary analysis and expository writing. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


How do we perceive ourselves? How do we form our opinions of others? More often than not, the stories we tell are key to understanding, and even creating, personal and/or communal identity. In this class we will discover, through the discussion of texts from various cultural backgrounds, the diverse ways in which narrative allow us to explore, challenge and reformulate definitions of identity. While we discuss notions of identity as they appear in the texts and films on our syllabus, we will focus on developing and improving your critical essay-writing skills. Therefore, we also spend a fair amount of class time doing basic writing activities. Through in-class debate, peer collaboration and writing exercises, we will work towards creating polished comparative essays in which you analyze our readings and films.


By the end of this course, students will be able to: ·        

  • Read a literary text through the lens of critical analysis ·         
  • Formulate an argument based on a literary text ·         
  • Produce an organized comparative literary essay ·         
  • Gain an understanding of the role of narrative in determining individual and cultural identity


  • Essay 1 15%
  • Essay 2 20%
  • Essay 3 25%
  • Peer Grade 5%
  • 1-page response papers (5) 25%
  • Participation 10%



  • Plenzdorf, Ulrich. The New Sufferings of Young W. Waveland Press, 1996. (required) 
  • Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (Maus I). Pantheon, 1986. (required) 
  • Nakazawa, Keiji. Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima. Last Gasp, 2004. (required) 
  • Messenger, William E. The Canadian Writer's Handbook. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press, 2012. (recommended)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html