My Course Wish List

Your list is empty.

Explore online education in Tennessee

ENGL 2300 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ENGL 2300 - Creative Writing

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This is an elective course in developing and revising creative writing (fiction, poetry, drama and/or creative nonfiction) for publication or personal satisfaction.

Course Outcomes:

The primary goal of the course is for students to produce and polish creative writings for publication or for the students' own satisfaction. Students who complete this course will have demonstrated the ability to invent, criticize, and revise creative writings.

By completing ENGL 2300, students will have shown the ability to do the following:

  1. Use prewriting techniques in invention of poetry and prose;

  2. Use the elements of imagery, sound, diction, and figurative language;

  3. Use the elements of atmosphere, plot, character, point of view, and theme ;

  4. Critique constructively and with appropriate terms the creative writings of others;

  5. Use their own judgment and the critiques of others to revise creative writings effectively; and

  6. Use the narrative modes (description, exposition, dialogue, actions, and thoughts). 

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

ENGL 1020 or permission of the instructor. Requires discipline and writing skills.

Course Topics:

The order of the course content follows, but students are free to move back behind or ahead
of the calendar since writing a single work may require several areas, some listed for the future, and since the process of writing is recursive, that is, often returns to previous stages. Submissions may not be made before or after the calendar dates except for unusual, documented, approved reasons.

  • Introduction including the nature of the course, factors controlling creative writing, the process of creative writing, the instructor, classmates, and resources

  • Common elements in all creative writing, including language, imagery, character, setting, and structure

  • Genres, including poetry, fiction, drama and film, and creative non-fiction

  • Narrative modes, including exposition, description, action, dialogue, and thought

  • Revision 

Specific Course Requirements:

Students must have word-processing capabilities to make submissions and critiques. All submissions must be in MSWord or rich text files (rtf) so that they can be read by the instructor and/or other students. Each attachment must include student name and description of what is being submitted (exercise, workshop submissions, etc.) for identification and credit. They must be submitted to the correct receptacle--Dropbox or Discussions--by the due date to receive credit. Students are responsible for submitting assignments and reading the text as assigned. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Citation Styles Online

Writers Handbook 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Since there are no tests given, no special proctoring is required.

Grading Procedures:

1. Journal 10% (100 points). Four per week for fifteen weeks of the term submitted in two documents (midterm and final) to Dropbox

  • Midterm journal--one document (several entries), 50 points

  • Final journal--one document (several entries), 50 points

2. Exercises 15% (150 points). Three per week submitted in one document to Dropbox for ten weeks chosen from 

  • Warm-up in text

  • Try This in text

  • Stimulus pages in online course

3. Workshop submissions 10% (100 points). One per week submitted to Dropbox for ten weeks

4. Critiques 15% (150 points). Three per week submitted separately to Discussion Forum for ten weeks, one of each kind that follows:

  • One workshop submission, the same sent to Dropbox

  • One critique of someone else's submission to which no one else has posted a critique

  • One critique of any other submission

5. Portfolios 50% (500 points). Two submitted in two documents to the Dropbox, assessed qualitatively

  • Midterm portfolio--one document (several works), 25% (250 points)

  • Final portfolio--one document (several works), 25% (250 points) 


Grading Scale:

Journals. Ten percent of the course grade will be earned by submission of regular journal entries, which will be judged on number, not quality, as follows:

  • 58-65 entries = A

  • 52-57 entries = B

  • 45-51 entries = C

  • 30-44 entries = D

  • <44entries=F 

Exercises. Fifteen percent (150 points) of the course grade is determined by the submission to me alone via the Dropbox of creative work not ready for qualitative judgment—exercises or drafts. 

The exercises will be graded by number, not quality, as follows:

  • 26-30 = A

  • 21-25 = B

  • 16-20 = C

  • 11-15 = D

  • < 11 = F 

Workshop submissions. Each week except those when portfolios or journals are due, you must submit a draft of a work for critiques by classmates via Discussions and to me via Dropbox. 

The submissions to the instructor are graded by quantity, not quality. Ten workshop submissions earn an A, nine a B, eight a C, seven a D, and six or fewer an F. 

Critiquing. This is the Workshop aspect of your course, graded by quality (full credit if valuable, half if superficial, and none if offensive) and quantity.  

Your grades will be reported on a one-thousand-point scale, so each week, for instance, a submission can earn you 10 points to total by the end of the term 100 points (10%) toward the 1,000 possible. 

Assignments and Projects:

See the calendar for specific dates. In general, reading assignments in a fifteen-week term will follow this schedule:

Fall and Spring 15 week semesters: You are expected to submit 3 exercises, one submission for critique, and 3 workshop postings (including your submission for critique) for Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12. You should do journal entries every week; to get an A on the journal, you need to average five a week by the time the last half is due. Note: length is not an issue so much as is thoughtfulness.


Class Participation:

Since students elect this class and presumably take it for their own development, I assume that you will want to do the work. If you get behind, it will be difficult to catch up. If you do not read the text and the lessons, you won't receive as much instruction, guidance, and support from the text, the class, and the teacher as those who do prepare actively. If you have problems, contact me as soon as possible by email or telephone. 

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021