Skip main content and go to side navigation

Jeanne Wilson

Return to Site

Where am I?

English 101: Sophomore American Literature

Wilson English 101:

Sophomore English Syllabus 2009-2010

This course is a yearlong chronological survey of American literature. In conjunction with their study of literature, students will continue to development their grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills.


The student will

1. Survey American literature from the colonial period through the twentieth century, becoming familiar with the major genres, literary movements, and authors of the periods;

2. Learn to appreciate the literature as a product of the time in which it was written;

3. Learn expository writing techniques and apply them to the study of American literature;

4. Write a research paper on a topic related to American literature according to the methods outlined in Writers Inc.;

5. Continue the study of grammar, building upon the program begun freshman year , though the use of a workbook and demonstrate an increasingly awareness of correct grammar in her own writing;

6. Expand her vocabulary through the use of a workbook and in the context of the literature.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES: The student will In composition

1. Write a variety of pieces, including formal, creative, and personal, that express the student’s own ideas and voice;

2. Grow in her ability to write an arguable thesis and defend or illustrate that thesis in a well-constructed essay with a distinct introduction, body, and conclusion;

3. Give special attention to paragraph style through practice of sentence variety, parallel structure, fresh and vivid word choice, and consistent use of tense, person, voice, and number;

4. Apply writing skills to specific projects, culminating in the research paper on a literary topic written according to MLA format as presented in Writers Inc.;

5. Write in Standard English;

6. Continue to use the computer as a writing and learning tool.

In literature 1. Enlarge her understanding of literary genres: drama, short story, novel, poetry, nonfiction; 2. Become familiar with major literary eras and movements of American literature, such as colonial, neo-classicism, romanticism, transcendentalism, realism, modernism, post-modernism, and contemporary; 3. Become familiar with major American writers such as Poe, Irving, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, Twain, Melville, Whitman, Chopin, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hughes, Frost, Steinbeck, and others of note 4. Trace the presence and development of major themes in American literature, such as the American Dream, self reliance, the hero, etc.; 5. Read a minimum of three novels, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


Binders and note taking A three ring binder will an essential component of this course. The binder will be divided into two sections – literature and writing – for handouts, worksheets, a writing log, etc. Literary units will also include note taking guides on historical background and discussion questions on select literary pieces. Students may choose to do their note taking in longhand in the appropriate binder section or they may take notes on their laptops. Class handouts will also be available for downloading from our class folder on the Teacher Folder site on students’ computers. A student who misses class should get notes from a classmate. Homework Homework will take the form of vocabulary and grammar exercises, various kinds and stages of writing assignments, and reading, among other kinds of assignments. Being ready for class means coming to class with the homework completed. Not doing the homework, including not keeping up with the reading, significantly compromises a student’s ability to participate in and benefit from the class session and thereby to succeed in this class. Policy for late work Assignments that are turned in late (not due to illness) will be docked points each day the assignment is late. The number of points will depend upon the overall value of the assignment. A major paper or project will lose four or five points per day late; a smaller assignment will lose two or three points per day. Nightly homework assignments, such as discussion questions or vocabulary and grammar exercises, will not be accepted late because the class will have already gone over the material. Writing During the course of the year, students will engage in a variety of writing assignments, formal and informal. A detailed written description of and expectations for the assignment will be given and discussed when each assignment is made. All assignments must be typed and submitted to on or before the due date of the paper. The turnitin receipt must accompany the paper’s submission to the teacher. (DO NOT turn in to the teacher the turnitin copy of your paper.) All writing must be the student’s own work. Using the work of someone else – words or ideas – without proper documentation constitutes plagiarism. A paper that is plagiarized – in keeping with school policy – will earn an F. Students will maintain a writing section in their three ring binders in which they will keep the year’s writing handouts as well as a Writing Log. When a graded writing assignment is returned to a student, she will "log it" in her binder, making note of strengths and weaknesses. During the course of the year, she will consult this log as she moves from one assignment to the next, building on what she is learning from her writing experiences as the year progresses. The graded paper, itself, will be returned to the teacher to be placed in the student’s Writing Folder, which is maintained in the classroom. While this course is made up of the study of four components – literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary – all four come together in the student’s writing, in her understanding of and appreciation for the ideas and writing of others and her ability to discuss them and her own ideas and experiences in a clear and thoughtful way in her own writing. Tests All literature unit tests must be taken in blue or black pen, not pencil. Students may use pencil on grammar and vocabulary tests or quizzes. A student who misses a test due to absence should make it up in the Testing Center within five days of when the test was given. Exceptions in the case of extended absences can be discussed with the teacher.


A point system is used for grading. Each assignment is weighted by virtue of its point value. A major test or paper may be worth eighty to one hundred points. Process work on a paper may be worth fifteen to twenty points per piece (outline, introduction, etc.). Grammar and vocabulary quizzes and discussion questions are worth fewer points than major assignments. Grades will be posted online as soon as assignments are returned to students. Students are encouraged to follow their progress throughout the semester on this site. Please be aware that no quarter grades or progress reports will be sent out. It is the responsibility of the student and her parent(s) or guardian to be aware of her standing in this class. While no grade is given for class participation, students are strongly encouraged to be active listeners in class and participants in class discussion and activities. Such participation will enhance their understanding of the material and their overall experience in class.


Prentice-Hall: The American Experience Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop E Writers Inc. The Scarlet Letter - Hawthorne The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Twain The House on Mango Street - Fitzgerald Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Language Skills Practice (workbook) - Holt Audio-visual materials (provided in class) Laptop computer and SMART Board Computer software and Internet, including Microsoft Publisher, Writing folder (provided in class) A three ring binder Summer reading – Ellen Foster, Of Mice and Men METHODOLOGY Lecture Small and large group discussion Student presentation Individualized instruction / conferencing in writing Research and writing instruction using laptops, SMART Board


Writing assignments, both formal and informal Research paper Writing folder Homework Tests Quizzes Projects Semester exam (twenty percent of the semester grade) EVALUATION OF THE COURSE Written evaluation by students Instructor and department ongoing evaluation

Go back to main content | Go back to main navigation

Go back to main content | Go back to main navigation

Go back to main content | Go back to main navigation