Overview Objective Materials grading Exam ELI Policies and Procedures Contacting the Instructor Beginning the Course
ENG 242: Survey of American Literature II (3 Credits)
Professor: Dr. Dan Lewis


In this course, you will learn about American literary works from 1865 to the present.  We will use short stories, poems, plays, and novels to understand the interelationship between our national history and American history. You will learn by reading, completing writing assignments, discussing with your classmates in small groups and taking exams.  You will also learn by participating in online forums and providing feedback to the comments and writing of your classmates.

This course has mid-week and weekly deadlines.

Entry Level Competencies:

  • Prerequisite ENG 112 or ENG 125 or equivalent or division approval.
  • The ability to read and write critically at a college level
  • A compelling interest in reading literature 



If you complete this course and do well, you will

  • show how your critical reading, thinking, and writing skills have improved by studying a selection of American literary genres;
  • use literary terminology to evaluate works of literature;
  • acknowledge the timeless nature of classic works of art and the impact they continue to have regarding the human experience
  • study literary texts for content, structure, and style unique to the time of creation;
  • illustrate and explore the ways that American literature connects to American and world history
  • identify and explain the literary characteristics of writings by American authors from the Civil War to the present;
  • discuss how American literature examines issues of Americana, for example the American Dream, immigration and assimilation, and the consequences of race, gender, and religion.


You are not required to purchase a textbook for this course. All course materials are a combination of free OER (open educational resources) materials and selected readings available through the college library at no cost to you. Library materials are presented to match the content of this course. Access the readings online at http://vccs.libguides.com/eng242.

Your course grade will be determined by your grades on your reaction papers, essays, and exams, and by your participation in the forum assignments, according to the following percentages.



Percentage of Grade 

Formal Writing Exercise 1



Formal Writing Exercises 2-3 (150 points each)



12 Forum Assignments (15 points each)



5 Reaction Papers (30 points each)



Mid-Term & Final Exams (150 points each)



The general rule is that work that is submitted late will be penalized 20%. No work that is more than one week late will be accepted without written documentation of sufficient reason and a plan approved by the instructor for completing the work.

The exception to this rule is group work on the reaction papers. There will be no credit for posting a reaction paper after the due date.

Note : You must also pass both of the exams in order to pass the course, regardless of your scores on the other assignments.

Your final grade will be based on the following scale.






















There are 2 exams in this course. You are expected to take your examinations at one of the NVCC campus Testing Centers. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your exam before the Testing Center closes; Testing Centers have specific policies relating to the administration of ELI exams. You will need to take a photo ID, your NovaConnect empl ID number, and the appropriate Exam Pass when you go to the Testing Center.  

For Testing Center locations, hours of operation and policies, click here.

For information on taking exams outside of the metropolitan area, click here.


ELI Policies and Procedures

  This is an Extended Learning Institute (ELI) course. ELI courses differ from campus courses in several important ways, including enrollment dates, communication with faculty, assignment completion requirements, and exams. You must follow ELI's policies and procedures if you take this course. Read (or review) ELI's Policies and Procedures before you begin the course. If you have questions, call ELI at (703) 323-3347 or (888) 435-6822.

Contacting the Instructor


I am here to help you succeed in this course. Occasionally questions or problems may arise. Here is how to contact me when they do:

E-mail : dalewis@nvcc.edu
Telephone :
(703) 878 -5716:
You may also call me to schedule a meeting in person, either at ELI or my campus office in Woodbridge. 


Beginning the Course

  1. Use your web browser to connect to http://www.nvcc.edu/bbstart. Follow the directions to determine your email, Blackboard and VIVA account user names and passwords.
  2. Access your email account and make sure you know how to use it; you will be required to use this account for all course-related email.
  3. Log on to Blackboard at http://learn.vccs.edu.
  4. Click on this course under "My Courses." Review the entire course to make sure you understand what will be required of you. Then start completing the assignments.

Please note that account generation takes approximately one week from the time of your paid registration. If you cannot log on after one week, contact the IT Help Desk. If you can log on to Blackboard, but your course isn't listed, please contact ELI or your instructor.