Fostering academic excellence and biblical virtue to equip students for lives as local and global Christian servants.

English 4/5/6 College American Lit and Comp

Course Catalog ID:
Subject Categories:
College Dual Credit, English Language Arts, Literature and Media, Writing and Composition

This course is structured as a historical survey that spans the earnest Puritan writings of early settlers to the pioneering Modernist movements of the twentieth century. We will read, analyze, and engage the gothic Romanticism of Hawthorne and Poe, the introspective philosophies of Emerson and Thoreau, the unique poetic voices of Whitman and Dickinson, the gritty realism of Bierce and London, and much more. In reading novels as Black No More by George Schuyler and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, we will explore how the unique social structure of America and its deeper philosophical struggles shaped the authorial imagination. We will discuss and analyze not only the Native American voice in early American literature but also the Latin American and Asian American experiences in the latter half of the twentieth century and examine how these diverse voices influence and reflect the landscape of American history, culture, and literature. Students will engage these primary texts by placing them in conversation with secondary criticism, both historical and contemporary. This class will challenge students to not only examine texts from a Christian worldview, but also analyze them within their original social context and grapple with the impacts and implications of their ideas. To accomplish these goals, students will compose essays that will task them with careful research, close reading, and the development of their own compelling voice; these assignments will include rhetorical, interpretative, and comparative analysis, along with a larger research-oriented critical piece that examines a particular movement in American literature.

Notes and Requirements
Grade Levels*:
10, 11, 12, College (Dual Credit)
(* Determined by Date of Birth and declared Grad Year. Enrollment outside these grade levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.)

College Credit: This course is pre-approved for college credit (Belhaven ENG 201, 3 credits). Upon successful completion of this course, the student may apply for a college transcript from Belhaven University for this course. These transcripted credits may be transferred to other colleges. More information is here.

Course Sequence: Students typically take two or more English 4/5/6 courses. They may generally be taken in any order, though some sequences may be better for some purposes (e.g., preparation for a particular AP course). On a transcript, the courses will be listed to differentiate them in the best interest of the student while meeting guidelines of the applicable accrediting and certifying organization(s). Please consult TPS Support with questions about course sequence or transcripts.

Flexible Scheduling: This course may be taken with live class attendance reduced or waived (recording only) if the student has a time zone or schedule conflict. Select this option when you enroll or notify TPS for approval.

Reviews from Students and Parents

“Despite my preference for British literature, to my surprise, I enjoyed studying American literature in this survey course. The course provides a broad view of American literary works and their impact on society in the past and the present. I appreciated how discussion-based the class was and the wide variety of opinions, backgrounds, and worldviews that composed the student body. Through questions and feedback, the teacher helped me hone my literary voice and critical thinking skills. As someone interested in majoring in English, her passion for discussing literature inspired me. I highly recommend this course!”

Abby R

“This rigorous class allowed me to take my writing skills from a high school level to a college level. I feel confident in my ability to enter college English classes because this class taught me how to analyze literature well, discuss it with classmates, and then write out my interpretations. Class time is highly interactive and helpful in understanding difficult readings. The teacher made class simultaneously fun and efficient.”

Anna H

“College American Literature is a thrilling course that pulls together different forms of literature from the Federalists Papers to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to poems of Walt Whitman. It is an especially great class to take alongside a U.S. History course as students will be able to read firsthand accounts through this class of the history they learn about. Additionally, this course has interesting paper assignments that allow students to dive deeper into American literature and the history surrounding it. Overall I highly recommend College American Literature.”

Makenna M