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COURSE DESCRIPTION
AMERICAN LITERATURE & COMPOSITION, 
HONORS

The purpose of this course is to develop reading, writing, and critical thinking skills through the study of American literature and the many questions posed by a text.  As you read each piece, central questions that you should emerge are:  What makes foundational documents persuasive in history?  What makes good writing?  What makes good writing last?  Why do some stories fail while others surpass an author’s expectations?  How can you make your own stories and essays better?  How do you persuade an audience of your argument and convince them they’ve got to read something – that it’s worth their time?
 
We will focus on critical analysis of individual readings by American authors from both class textbook and smaller paperbacks.  You will also be required to keep a timely reading response journal of assigned readings in which you will answer assigned prompts.  Some of these prompts will challenge you to develop a deeper reading of the texts and explore your personal and scholarly viewpoints on the subjects discussed.  Others require specific tasks which will aid in developing your writing skills.  At all times, be prepared to discuss any reading or reading response in a full class or small group setting.  You will be expected to to constructively evaluate and discuss peer comments.  
 

This class will also provide an intensive study of various literary genres as you explore the writings of American authors and analyze writers’ choices and literary features.  Students will examine thematic connections between works of literature, and will develop their communication skills via persuasive, analytical, and creative writing, as well as by oral commentary and creative presentations.

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