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ENGL 264 - Study of Fiction - Dr. Chase Dimock

Course:Study of Fiction
Professor:Dr. Chase Dimock
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Dodger and Dr. Dimock

Welcome to ENGL 264: Study of Fiction! I am Dr. Chase Dimock and I will be the professor. My trusty Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dodger, will be our Teaching Assistant. I earned my PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois, and I am so excited to share my passion for modern and contemporary literature with you.

Let me get you acquainted with the objectives and expectations of my course.

The purpose of this class is to expose students to a diverse range of important works of fiction. Spanning classics from the 19th century masters like Melville and Tolstoy to contemporary perspectives of writers like Sandra Cisneros and Joyce Carol Oates, this course is designed to be like a buffet in which students can sample a wide array of themes, forms, and cultural perspectives expressed in fiction from the last 200 years. Along the way, it is my hope that you discover an assortment of diverse writers who speak to you personally and open you up to new ways to view important social issues and human experiences.

Course Description

Here are the course description, learning outcomes, and learning objectives from the course catalog:


Course Description:

Presents selected prose fiction from various writers in Western Civilization. Emphasizes short fiction of the 19th and 20th centuries plus one novel. Through close reading and discussion, students will learn to analyze and interpret prose narratives.


Learning Outcomes:

  1. Apply critical thinking, including multiple critical perspectives and elements of literature, to analyze and interpret fiction.
  2. Evaluate the significance of a fictional work in revealing the complexity of human experience.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze literary elements such as plot structure, character, and narrative point of view in a fictional work to determine how they work together to achieve a theme.
  2. Analyze the author's use of literary devices such as imagery, symbol and irony to reveal character, create tone, and develop theme.
  3. Apply critical theories to examine literary, social, and historical contexts of a work of fiction.
  4. Examine a writer’s style and analyze the elements such as diction and syntax that distinguish it.
  5. Examine the protagonist’s central conflicts and evaluate the relevance of the story’s theme to contemporary life.

What to Expect in this Course

We will read works of fiction from across different cultures and historical eras that all respond to common themes. In the process, it is my hope that we will learn about how the ways in which we express and conceptualize these topics have evolved over time. By reading the most influential writers of the past and present, we can see both how fiction influenced the way we perceive these topics and how literary conventions were influenced by the cultural imaginary of its eras.

Above all, I hope that you'll discover new voices, literary forms, and narratives that speak to you personally. Fiction is all about telling stories in order to better understand the human experience; therefore, your own personal experience matters here.

Types of Assessments

Short Responses, Discussion Board Assignments, Exams, Literary Analysis Essays

Textbook Information

The following books are required:

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Compact Tenth Edition, by Ann Charters (ISBN: 9781319525460)

Passing By Nella Larsen (ISBN: 9780142437278)


Students may use the paper version or ebook version of the textbooks,

Other Relevant Course Information

My Commitment to Student Success

As your professor, my top priority is your success as a student. I understand that all of you enter the classroom from diverse backgrounds with your own sets of challenges and goals. My mission is to help you meet the challenges that the course presents and show you how to integrate the skills and content from class into aiding your broader goals as a student. I know that every student has unique talents and perspectives and it is my hope to provide a forum for you to showcase and develop them in a way that enriches the learning experience of your fellow students. 

I also realize that reading and writing can be difficult for many students and that people learn in different ways and at different paces. While I have to keep the course moving along at a predetermined schedule in order to meet our learning outcomes, I will do what I can to individualize my instruction to meet your needs. If you reach out to me with reasonable requests, I will do my best to meet you where you are. If you are having trouble with the material, or if other circumstances are affecting your studies, please let me help. 

My success as a professor is dependent on your success as a student. I need engaged, motivated, and thoughtful students for my class to become a great learning environment. When you give it your best effort, you in turn enable me to use my most effective teaching techniques. Together we can achieve our full potential in creating an exciting and enlightening learning experience.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 10/08/2023 Sub#: 34