This course is the gateway to the English major. What is literature? Why study it? How should you write about it? By the end of the semester, you will be able to answer these questions. We will discuss literary genre; major critical approaches to academic literary study; and the place of literary study among other humanistic and scientific disciplines. You will be trained to incorporate primary and secondary research into your writing. Grades are based on regular participation, three short papers, and a final exam.