Irvine Valley CollegeOnline Literature Study of the School of Humanities and Languages

Literature 110 - Popular Literature

Spring 2013 - Ticket #62740 // Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, MFA, Instructor

Class runs from January 22, 2013 to May 23, 2013


Welcome to Popular Literature!  We have a great semester of reading books that folks have loved and bought in great numbers.  These books are fun to read - but they also can tell us much about our culture, our dreams and ideals, and about Literature in general!

Your Popular Literature class is an Online Literature Class. This means that your class will not meet on campus in lecture halls or classrooms, but will instead take place entirely on your Blackboard Site, on this site, in the class Discussion List, and by e-mail.  For this reason, it is essential that you keep in close contact with the class through weekly posting and participation on the discussion list!

In general, each week, you will want to 

1.  Read the Online Lecture for that Unit.

2.  Read your Assigned Text.

3.  Post at least once on the Discussion Board.  You can discuss the lecture, your reading, or your work on the Research Paper.  Also, you can just engage in discussion topics that have been started by your classmates!  [You also need to read all the student posts for each week!  This Discussion Board is our classroom;  I will often give answers to important questions in my responses to students and other tips for your success.]

4.  Work on your Topic for your Research Paper and pursue your reading for this project.

In order to find out more about each of these activities, please follow the directions below :-))

  The easiest way to take a step-by-step look at the class and your participation is to look through the specific pages that discuss requirements and features.  As you read these, be sure to note any questions you might have and e-mail me.

About Your Class

Class Syllabus

Lecture Notes

Discussion Group

Reading List

Recommended Reading


Resources and Web Sites

Grading Policies

Contact Your Instructor



As an orientation exercise, you should familiarize yourself with the scope of the class and the topics we will be considering.  It's important to read these pages carefully so that you will have a better idea of what's ahead!

I look forward to our exploration of these wonderful texts!


Although this material is covered elsewhere - just a summary of the Requirements for Passing the class:

Writing Assignments

Your grade in Popular Literature will be based on the written assignments for the class:  Discussion Posting, Research Paper, and Take-Home Final Exam. 

If you wish to take the class Credit/No Credit, you need only do the Weekly Written Posts and the Research Project.  If you wish to earn a grade in the class, you must Post Every Week, complete a Research Paper, and complete a Take-Home Final Exam.

[Note:  to obtain Credit/No Credit status you must apply to Admissions and Records yourself!]

A.  Weekly Posting on the Discussion List.  This is a Requirement.  You must post each week to Pass the class and read all your colleagues' posts.

B.  A Research Project.

C.  A take-home, written Final Exam.


Reading Assignments


Unit 1:  Introduction:  What is Popular Literature?

A Web Overview

January 23 - February 3, 2013


Unit 2:  Horrors!

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

February 3 - February 17, 2013


Unit 3:  Detective on the Beat

 The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

February 18 - March 3, 2013


Unit 4:  Enduring Crimes

The Lodger, Marie Belloc Lowndes

March 4 - March 17, 2013


NOTE:  March 18 - March 24 is SPRING BREAK

But you could use this time to start *Gone With the Wind*!!


Unit 5: The Lure of Romance

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

[note - you need only to read the first 10 Chapters.]

March 25 - April 7, 2013


Unit 6: Cowboy Jamboree

Showdown at Yellow Butte, Zane Grey

April 8 - April 21, 2013


Unit 7:  Fantasy Adventures

Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone, J. K. Rowling

April 22 - May 5, 2013


Unit 8:  Science Fiction and The Future

Neuromancer, William Gibson

May 6 - May 19, 2013


Unit 9:  Review and Sharing of Papers

May 20 - May 23, 2013


Research Papers and Take-Home Final Due May 20, 2013.




Required Written Work

A.  The Research Project.

The Final Research Project is a mid-length paper (6-8 pages) that links an author you choose to one of the themes of the class.  As soon as you become acquainted with the class and the Discussion List, you should be looking for a popular author that you would like to write about.  You can discuss this with your classmates on the list, ask me for suggestions, or do some Web sleuthing about subjects/authors that interest you.  Once you have chosen an author you would like to write about for your Research Project, you will use your research material to help you share information and shape your Weekly Posts to the Discussion List.  You will probably be able to use some of your Weekly Responses as the text for your Research Project about your chosen author.  


This Research Paper is a documented essay that follows a specific thesis linking your chosen author to one of the main genre/themes of the Class (Please see the Lecture List for more about these themes).  Please note, then, that this paper is not supposed to be a book report or an author bio.  You will need to read several works by your chosen author; you will need to know about the author's life, work, and impact on popular fiction, but you will only use this information in your essay as it is needed to support your Thesis Statement.  The paper should be 6-8 text pages, have a Bibliography (required) and either Footnotes or Works Cited), and have a title page.  Please use standard MLA format.


There are many resources on the web for format and documentation of your paper - a good guide to the MLA style for preparing papers is

A Guide for Writing Research Papers based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation (Humanities Dept. & the Arthur C. Banks, Jr., Library, Capital Community-Technical C., Hartford, Connecticut)

and there are many other resources I have prepared for you at this site:

Due Date:

The hard copy or the e-mail version is due on Monday, May 20, 2013.


The Research Paper should be typed (word.docx or a word.doc), proof-read, and the grammar should reflect correct English usage.


B.  The take-home, written Final Exam.

The questions for the Final Exam are already up at our site.  You should choose TWO questions to answer with short essay responses.  Prepare these in a word.doc and e-mail them to me by Monday, May 20, 2013.  Be sure to refer to the lectures and the reading in your answers!

Remember:  If you wish to take the class Credit/No Credit, you need only do the Weekly Posting on the Discussion List and the Research Project. For students seeking a letter grade of A or B, the Final Exam is a requirement.

The written, take-home exam may be started at any time after the fourth week of class.

Written Final Exam


Due Date

The take-home Final Exam will be due on Monday, May 20, 2013.  Also, during finals, I will be available for consultation on your progress in the class. 

If you have questions about how these two written assignments contribute to your grade in the class, please see Grading Policies.




Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink:  write to me with questions!

Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, MFA, your Instructor, is a Professor of English in the School of Humanities and Languages, Irvine Valley College, Irvine, California.

See Online writing at Home Page.

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