ENGL 1021: Composition and Indigenous Literature in Canada I

This course introduces students to an exciting range of Indigenous Canadian literature and orature, including autobiographies, speeches, essays, short stories and storytelling. Students will also have the opportunity to listen to audio CDs of interviews and readings by many of the authors studied in the course and to view a video of a storytelling performance and an interview with a contemporary Indigenous multimedia artist.


This course will acquaint you with the range and power of written English, from the core components of its sentence structure to the beauty, subtlety and strength it commands when used by skilful Indigenous writers. By the time you have completed this course you should be able to:

  • Describe stylistic writing devices, such as imagery, metaphor, simile, and irony.
  • Write a personal narrative developed around a limited, focused theme..
  • Describe recurrent characteristics and themes in Indigenous oral and written literature, in both fiction and non-fiction genres..
  • Evaluate various tones and levels of language in literature.
  • Distinguish between literature and orature in Indigenous works.
  • Analyze in essay form the role of narrative elements in short stories, such as point of view, theme, plot, characterization, and setting.
  • Apply elements of orature, such as tone, theme, humour and voice, in a personal oral story.
  • Write a persuasive essay that makes a convincing argument.
  • Write a research essay that meets academic disciplinary standards, including the MLA citation style.
  • Apply the essentials of grammar and composition skills effectively in various forms of essay writing.

Course outline

  • Unit 1: Personal Narrative
  • Unit 2: Exposition and Persuasion
  • Unit 3: Short Stories-Realism
  • Unit 4: Oral Tradition
  • Unit 5: Short Stories II-Legends and Myths
  • Unit 6: Writing a Research Paper

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. Moses, D. D. & Goldie, T. (Eds.). (2013). An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English. (4th ed.). Toronto: Oxford UP.
    Type: Textbook ISBN: 978-0-19-544353-0
  2. Norton, S. & Green, B. (2017). The Bare Essentials with Workbook LLF + APA Card. (9th ed.). Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd.
    Type: Textbook ISBN: 978-0-17-692353-2

Additional requirements

Print students are required to have access to a CD and/or DVD player.


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

To successfully complete the course, you must achieve at least 50% overall in the course, and at least 50% on the mandatory final exam. The table below shows how your final grade will be determined for this course.

Assignment 1: Personal Narrative 10%
Assignment 2: Literary Analysis 10%
Assignment 3: Oral Story 5%
Assignment 4: Persuasive Essay 15%
Assignment 5: Research Paper 20%
Final Exam (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is by phone if you are taking the print version of the course and through the “mail” tool in the Learning Environment if you are taking the web version. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.

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