This course exposes students to a number of literary and non-literary (informational/nonfiction) texts. As we explore these texts, students will gain a greater appreciation of how the written word can both amuse and enlighten. Students will engage the text not only for its ability to entertain, but also as a model whose construction, form, and function can be analyzed, offering deeper insight into the human condition and the context in which the text was created. Furthermore, each reading selection presents the opportunity for students to sharpen their comprehension skills and expand their vocabularies.

Like the upper-level classes this course is meant to prepare students for, students will analyze prose and practice writing in order to develop and communicate ideas. In addition to outside independent work, there will also be an emphasis on in-class collaborative discussion, and thus high expectations of participation and contribution on the students’ parts.

Finally, in conjunction with the reading element of this course, students will also have the opportunity to hone their own writing through both in-class and independent essays. The writing component of this course focuses on vocabulary development, grammar and syntax, language exercises, and essay structure activities. Students will gain proficiency in writing through guidance by the instructor in the pre-writing phase (particularly through the suggestion of organizational approaches to the task), instructor feedback, and opportunities to revise writing. Additional feedback is available by appointment after school, and tutoring hours will be every Wednesday after school in the DRC.