Frosh are presented with a course of study that exposes them to the forms of literature: the short story, non-fiction essay, poem, drama, and novel. Students are also presented 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.
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.
Sophomore English continues the course of study begun in the first year. Skills 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 increases 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.
Juniors cover 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.
Seniors may structure their senior English courses with one AP course, or two single-semester classes from Individual Authors, Genre, or The Act and Art of Writing. Students may choose their two courses from the same area.