Honors American Literature Course Description

Course Description


American Literature provides college preparatory experience in communication skills for juniors with advanced skills in language arts.  This course is one year/one credit and has the prerequisite of recommendation of one’s previous English teacher.  The emphasis is placed on written and oral analysis of genres and trends in American literature from the seventeenth century to the present.  Research skills are further developed through a required research paper on an American literary novel.


Course Objectives


The student will be able to:


Ø  identify the basic structural elements/literary terms in American fiction and poetry.

Ø  demonstrate knowledge of the major literary periods, works and persons in American literature and recognize their continuing significance.

Ø  identify a thesis in fiction and non-fiction selections.

Ø  Identify relevant social and cultural issues reflected in the writings of American authors and recognize their continuing significance.

Ø  identify an author’s arguments presented in fiction and non-fiction selections.

Ø  demonstrate research strategies analyze and interpret American literary selections through a variety of written and spoken activities.

Ø  identify key ideas through the use of note-taking strategies.

Ø  demonstrate personal management and organizational skills.

Ø  apply appropriate strategies when reading selections that vary in content, difficulty and style.

Ø  demonstrate improved formal/analytical writing skills.

Ø  Improve vocabulary and grammar skills.


Student Texts


Required reading assignments will be derived from but will not include all of the following:


The Crucible                                                    Slaughterhouse Five

The Scarlet Letter                                           Raisin in the Sun

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn             Black Boy

The Great Gatsby                                            The Catcher in the Rye

Of Mice and Men

Prentice-Hall Publishers, The American Experience, 1990

The United States in Literature seventh edition                                             


Major Writing Assignments


Students will employ the writing process on a variety of assignments including:


v  literary research paper on an American novel.  (Mandatory to pass/receive credit.)

v  expository essays.

v   argument essays.

v  personal narrative.

v  literary analysis essay tests.

v  ICEs (In Class Essay).




  • Students will be issued a variety of books throughout the course of this year.  Books must be returned in a timely manner and in reasonable condition before the next book will be issued.
  • Students need a folder and/or notebook for American Literature notes and other homework.  A separate folder that can remain in the room is also needed for ICEs. Staying organized is one step toward success in American Literature.
  • A writing utensil is needed everyday.
  • Students can check academic progress on PowerSchool

Using the website:  For handouts and worksheets, go to the "Am. Lit. + Eng 11 Worksheets" subpage and select according to the apprpriate unit.