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English Courses

Introduction to Literature and Composition

A survey course focused upon various genres of classic and modern literature. The course also emphasizes the basic writing skills needed to be a successful writer. Upon completion of the course, students will have gained a firm base in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Methods and Meaning in Literature

This course is an examination of language and its role in exploring and describing the human experience. The course emphasizes a thorough study of grammar, from parts of speech, clauses and phrases, on into sentence and paragraph design. In-class writing workshops allow students to post their own writing for group evaluation and editing. Central to the course is a tour of literature, drama, and poetry, both as vehicles for exploring our world and as models of artistic excellence. This course focuses on exploring themes in literature and writing analytically in order to come to deeper understandings of texts, the world, and ourselves. Emphasis is placed on American works, though we take time to consider works from different parts of the globe. Writing exercises and projects of various lengths allow students to develop and hone their analytical skills. Formal and informal grammar study supplements the writing process. Additionally, emphasis is placed on class discussion demanding students become active listeners and productive contributors.Literary Themes and Analytical Writing

Advanced Composition and World Literature

Offered in alternate years, this course is designed to be a college-level course with creative and analytical writing assignments, lively classroom debate, and a rigorous reading schedule. Students will engage deeply in the revision process of many writing assignments of various lengths including both personal narratives as well as analysis. The class centers on Classic texts.

AP English Literature and Composition

Offered in alternating years this is a yearlong course designed primarily for upper school students looking to undertake a rigorous study of British and Postcolonial literature in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam. Students will engage in critical analysis of imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) through the study of each work's structure, style, and theme. Writing and the practice of writing about literature also makes up a sizable portion of the course's focus.

AP English Language and Composition

Offered in alternating years, this is a yearlong course designed primarily for upper school students looking to become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. The course emphasizes the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing which makes up the foundation of academic and professional communication as well as personal and reflective writing.

Journalism (Trimester elective OR year-long course)

Journalism will explore the history and tenets of American journalism and provide students with an opportunity to research and write articles and editorials for publication. The focus of the class will be to produce a student-run school newspaper, The Mirror. Writing-intensive, the course aims to help students develop the full spectrum of skills used for feature articles, interviews, news articles, photojournalism pieces, and editorials. Students learn how to generate ideas, gather facts and information, write effective leads, and use the most incisive language to convey ideas in a concise and engaging manner. It is open to all students. Offered first and second semester; students may take the course for one or both semesters. 

Academics at Northwood