English 100

The purpose of freshman English is three-fold: 1) to master certain grammatical material that will aid in the discussion of composition, 2) to begin a systematic approach to writing, and 3) to identify certain literary concepts in a variety of literary genres.  To achieve these goals, English 100 presents the incoming students with a course of study that exposes them to the forms of literature: the short story, non-fiction essay, poem, drama, and novel.  Freshman English also presents the students with various writing assignments that will start them on the process of building a personal writing style. The subjects for these assignments move from the students’ own experiences to topics related to their reading, and the movement during the course of the year is from narrative and descriptive writing to writing that is more expository in nature.  Writing assignments generally will progress from one-page papers at the beginning of the year to longer essays at the end of the year.  By the end of the course, the student will have written approximately 10-12 papers in a variety of rhetorical modes including creative, descriptive, narrative, expository, and literary analysis writing.  The student will also have completed at least one multi-paragraph expository essay.

English 103H

The major difference between English 100 and English 103H is in the number of books that are read and their inherent difficulty, in the mode of instruction in the classroom, in the student initiative required, and in the number of writing assignments and their increasing and various difficulty.

 Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA

English 200

English 200 continues the course of study begun in the freshman year.  Skills learned the previous year are refined, expanded, and enhanced.  Basic grammar is reviewed and new material introduced throughout the year.  The lower division writing sequence continues with a review of paragraph writing, which leads into the year’s emphasis on descriptive, narrative, and expository essay writing.  Students will write approximately 10-12 papers in a variety of rhetorical modes.  The writing becomes not only more formal, but increased in length as well with students writing multi-paragraph expository essays by the end of the first quarter.  The reading of literature includes all the major genres: novel, drama, poetry, short story, and essay; however, the study of literature shifts from an organization by form to an organization by themes that reveal an insight into the human condition.

English 203H

The major difference between this honors course and the regular sophomore course is in the number of books that are read and their inherent difficulty, in the mode of instruction in the classroom, in the student initiative required, and in the number of writing assignments (generally 2-3 additional essays per year) along with their increasing and various difficulty.


Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA

English 300

English 300 covers the literature of the United States from the Puritan Era to the present.  All the forms of literature which have been studied specifically in themselves during the first two years are now studied as they emerge historically through the imaginative lives of major U.S. authors.  This course complements the study of American History, which is also taken during the junior year.  The students’ writing aims at greater and greater control over the expository essay and specifically at developing analytical theses on literature. Students will write at least twelve papers during the year in various rhetorical modes including the personal narrative (at least 1), the expository essay (5-7), the synthesis essay, the timed quick-write, and the creative composition.   After consulting with their teachers, students taking this course may opt to take the AP Language and Composition examination.  Both this course and the honors course prepare students to pass the Junior Writing Exam taken in the second semester.  Students who do not pass this exam with an acceptable score must take Literature and Composition:  Non-fiction during the senior year.

English 303H

English 303H fulfills all the goals of English 300 but requires the students to read several more books and to write longer and more (approximately 20) papers.  These papers require a good understanding of the forms of literature in order that the students will be able to formulate and support accurate, interpretative theses about the literature under study.  At the end of 303H, students usually take the AP English Language and Composition examination.

Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations.

English 482: Literature and Composition: Non Fiction

This single semester course aims at developing the essentials of good expository and persuasive writing — the ability to generate, develop, and organize ideas.  The course will address and work through specific writing problems that stand in the way of effective written expression.  Students will be given ample opportunity to improve and refine techniques of composition that will aid them in producing effective college-level papers.  This course is open to all seniors intent upon actively strengthening their writing skills and is required for all seniors who did not pass the Junior Writing Exam.

English 492: Poetry and Dramatic Literature

This course offers students a journey through major innovative dramatic works while asking students to create their own dramatic works on contemporary themes as related to the works studied in class.  Using Aristotle’s Poeticsas the basis for form and structure, works will be chosen from Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Nightto the lyric drama of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.  Contemporary playwrights will include Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt,and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Students prepare a final project including a portfolio and/or a dramatic presentation of their own works.

This class will be offered pending adequate enrollment.

This course is offered outside of the 9:00 am – 3:00 pm school day. Meets Monday nights from 6:00-9:00 pm.

English 473: Burning Illusions: Exploration in American Culture

Designed as a critical thinking and writing course for seniors, this course investigates the evolution of the United States through social, cultural, economic, and ideological lenses.  Examination of the growth of American society and myths through a diverse set of readings enables students to grasp the connections and struggles between the powerful and the disenfranchised throughout American history.  The readings illuminate and deconstruct American cultural myths through a broad range of topics (family, education, power, race — and mediums such as fiction, nonfiction, music (jazz, folk, rock, hip-hop) and film.  By fostering intellectual independence essential to not only critical thinking, but to becoming “men and women with and for others,” this course benefits and welcomes students of all backgrounds.  Featured authors include Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Cornel West, Tomas Rivera, and Malcolm X.  Students will engage in expository, creative, and autobiographical writing.

English 450: Mythology

In this single semester course, students will investigate the patterns and archetypes of world mythology by reading a variety of ancient myths, in addition to plays, short stories, poems, and novels that utilize the themes and characters inspired by myth.  Students will consider different theories concerning the origin of myths and the function that this genre serves in the development of the individual and society. Units of study will include creation myths from around the world, Mesopotamian myths, classical myths, the Hero’s Journey pattern, Norse mythology and modern works inspired by mythology.  In addition to enjoying the irresistible charm of fantasy, students will also analyze the “truths” or the myths by discussing the relevance of mythological themes in the modern world.  Students will purchase core texts; however, we will study numerous excerpts from on-line sources, particularly the Perseus Project.  Another component of this class will be working on writing skills, including the expository essay and creative writing.