Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
1. About this Course
It covers the fundamentals of Analyzing Literature that are usually covered throughout a one-semester, undergraduate college course. The goal of the creator of this course – Modern States Education Alliance, a non-profit organization – is to prepare you to pass the College Board's CLEP examination and obtain college credit for free.
This examination contains multiple-choice questions based on passages of poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction from American and British literature. It includes approximately 80 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 98 minutes. Some colleges may require candidates to take an optional essay section in addition to the multiple-choice section.
Through the guidance of Dr. Dana (Dean) Simpson, from Tufts University, the "Analyzing and Interpreting Literature" course will review materials intended to improve your ability to analyze prose, interpret metaphors and reinforce terminology used to discuss literary texts.
"After you complete this course, study the modules, and take the practice tests, it is my aim that you will be ready to take the CLEP exam and get college credit for this course," says Professor Simpson.
This course is organized into three modules that contain short video lessons,
Our “Analyzing and Interpreting Literature” course is completely self-paced. There are no prerequisites to take this course, and it is entirely free. Any student who wants to save time and money while completing freshman year in college can take it.
2. About Dr. Dana (Dean) Simpson, from Tufts University
Dr. Dana "Dean" Simpson is a university lecturer and educational consultant from the Boston area. He teaches courses on writing,
Mr. Simpson teaches writing courses for first-year college students that cover the essentials of college composition in a variety of contexts. He also teaches more advanced courses on literary analysis and creative writing in Spanish as well as in English.
Literature courses that he teaches include classes on Western literature, Colonial literature, Spanish literature and literature from the Americas. Language courses that he teaches are in Spanish,
His research interests include Vanguard and Symbolist poetry, Medieval Studies, Gender Studies, Basque studies and Innovations in teaching. He has also published four books of poetry in Spanish, as well as numerous scholarly articles in Spanish and English.
Mr. Simpson holds Masters and Doctorate degrees from Middlebury College, and a Masters in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has taught at Tufts, Boston University, Bentley, Brandeis, Stonehill,
3. Required Knowledge and Skills
The CLEP exam requires you to demonstrate the following abilities:
Ability to read prose, poetry, and drama with understanding.
Ability to analyze the elements of a literary passage and to respond to nuances of meaning, tone, imagery, and style.
Ability to interpret metaphors, to recognize rhetorical and stylistic devices, to perceive relationships between parts and wholes, and to grasp a speaker's or author's attitudes.
Knowledge of the means by which literary effects are achieved.
Familiarity with the basic terminology used to discuss literary texts.
4. The CLEP Examination
The CLEP exam emphasizes comprehension, interpretation, and analysis of literary works. A specific knowledge of historical context (authors and movements) is not required, but a broad knowledge of literature gained through reading widely and a familiarity with basic literary terminology is assumed.
The following outline indicates the relative emphasis given to the various types of literature and the periods from which the passages are taken. The approximate percentage of exam questions per classification is noted within each main category.
35%-45% Prose (fiction and nonfiction)
35%-45% Prose (fiction and nonfiction)
3%–7% Classical and pre-Renaissance
20%–30% Renaissance and 17th Century
35%–45% 18th and 19th Centuries
25%–35% 20th and 21st Centuries
5. Course Modules
Following are the main topics of our course, mostly based on the College Board's description of the course:
Module 1: Structure of the test
1.1 Structure of the test
1.2 What we will do
1.3 What you need to demonstrate
1.4 Breakdown of the test
Module 2: Poetry (35%-45%)
2.1 Poetry: Why?
2.2 Poetry: How?
2.3 Poetry: Tone
2.4 Poetry: Verse and Rhyme
2.5 Poetry: Meter
2.6 Poetry: Form
2.7 Poetry: Meaning
2.8 Poetry: More on Construction
2.9 Poetry: Rhetorical Techniques
Module 3: Prose (35%-45%)
3.1 What is it?
3.3 The Novel
3.4 Short Stories
Module 4: Drama (15%-30%)
4.3 Characters & Theme
4.4 Types of Plays
Module 5: Writing the Essays
5.1 Writing the Essays
5.2 Analysis of Poem "Walking Around"
5.3 Analysis of Short Story "The Necklace"
Module 6: General Observations and Connections
6.1 General Observations and Connections
6. How CLEP Works
Developed by the College Board, CLEP (College-Level Examination Program®) is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program.
CLEP’s credits are accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities, according to the College Board. These tests assess college-level knowledge in 33 subject areas.
Modern States Education Alliance is the non-profit organization behind these edX-style courses. Its project is called “Freshman Year for Free” and its mission is to make college more accessible and affordable through free, high-quality online education.