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English 2 - Writing & Literature


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English 2 - Writing & Literature:

Writing 2 & 20th- & 21st-Century Literature


Full Year (2 Semesters)


Grades:    9-12


Credits     2.0


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English 2 - Writing & Literature  - Writing 2 & 20th-21st-Century Literature 


Live, Highly Interactive Online Classes with a Biblical Worldview

Students learn to construct sound, convincing arguments and incorporate them into various essays they will need in college. They explore 20th-21st-century literary works from around the world while developing an understanding of the worldviews that influenced them and their English and American literary periods.  They learn the similarities and differences between American and British literature and their influence on each other.


Additionally, they will begin two projects that they will develop throughout their high school years: (1) an organized e-portfolio of their written work, and (2) an online literary timeline showing the authors and works they have read, the relevant context and literary periods of each, and the worldviews that influenced them. (These portfolios are developed in a protected, completely private area online, but students may take them with them whenever and wherever they go.)



Taught by an IEW-accredited Certified Instructor, Writing 2 equips students with the tools to write compelling and engaging essays and arguments.  

What will your students learn?

Working on each part of the essay individually, students learn to 

      • write powerful thesis statements
      • create captivating introductions to grab the reader's interest
      • develop compelling descriptions
      • provide strong, effective support for their arguments
      • compose convincing conclusions

    • They continue to improve each part of the writing process as they 
      1. gather, read, evaluate, analyze, and prepare sources  
      2. use a variety of methods to brainstorm and generate content
      3. plan and organize thoughts into cohesive, well-structured essays
      4. create a rough draft
      5. edit to improve organization, clarity, transitions, flow, artistry, and impact
      6. proof their work to produce a final draft
      7. employ the MLA style sheet (necessary for college) in their finished work
      8. systematically strengthen grammar and punctuation skills

    • Students also continue to add several advanced techniques and rhetorical devices to their writing toolboxes. 
    • Finally, they employ these skills in learning to write a variety of essays, including

      • expository - includes compare-contrast and cause-effect
      • narrative
      • descriptive
      • analytical
      • persuasive
      • argumentative


Is my student ready for English 2 Writing

                  Ideally, before taking Writing 2, students should be able to

        • write creative essays and informational essays using multiple source texts in which
          • grammar and punctuation errors are few
          • sentence structure varies, and transitions are relatively smooth (i.e., the essay is not overly choppy, and ideas transition smoothly and logically

The best, but not the only acceptable, preparation for this course is Writing and Literature 1, which takes students through the 9 units of the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  It teaches them in an incremental, step-by-step manner to write in a variety of genres and to employ techniques to improve the quality, organization, flow, clarity, and artistry of their work.  

Feel free to discuss any student readiness concerns or send a student work sample by contacting me directly through the Contact Us page.  

20th-21st-Century Literature

What will students learn? 

The first and most important goal of every literature class is to grow in a love for literature.  In this course, students explore writing from around the world. Emphasizing American and English literature, 20th- and 21st-Century Literature delves into the literary periods and worldviews for each. 

    • Students improve their reading skills as they learn to read, infer, and analyze

        • plot
        • characters
        • use of setting in characterization and mood
        • theme
        • worldview
        • point of view
        • tone
        • a variety of literary devices
        • style

They develop an understanding of American and British literary periods as they read a broad selection of writers and genres from the 20th-century to the present.

Finally, students learn to evaluate themes and literature from a biblical worldview as they encounter in their readings this year the same philosophies and influences they will encounter while in college and during their adult years:

        • Modernism,
        • Naturalism,
        • Nihilism,
        • Existentialism
        • Absurdism
        • Postmodernism
        • New Age philosophies

Students grapple with profound questions and issues. At the same time, they develop discernment as they strengthen a biblical worldview and evaluate the ideas they encounter in literature through a biblical prism.


We also watch the inspirational and moving 20th-century biographical drama of missionary Jim Elliot. As this family experiences tremendous and seemingly senseless loss at the hands of those they sought to love and serve, students examine this family's experience and response. Students' biblical perspectives deepen as they watch family members move forward with eyes of faith, love, and hope. Students grow in wisdom as they contrast this true story, depicting the family's faith-filled experience of life and God's resulting victory, with the experience they have seen reflected in much of the literature of this time. They explore themes of redemption, love, and forgiveness.


Additionally, students begin or continue working on two projects that they develop throughout their high school years: (1) an organized e-portfolio of their written work and (2) an online literary timeline showing the authors and works they have read, the relevant context and literary periods of each, and the worldviews that influenced them. (These are developed in a protected, completely private area online, but students may take them with them whenever and wherever they go.)


What will students read? 

Students will read 

        1. Heart of Darkness by British-Polish author Joseph Conrad, published in 1902. Heart of Darkness is considered an early literary experiment in Modernism. Even though English was Conrad's third language, many consider him one of the greatest English writers of all time.  This book has come under recent criticism that we will also read as we enter the debate surrounding this book.

        2. The Great Gatsby by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. Containing elements of Realism, this Modernist work is considered one of the literary masterpieces of the Jazz Age.  The themes in this book comment on social and economic classes, time, fate, love, marriage, and the “decline” of the American Dream.

        3. The Great Divorce by British writer C. S. Lewis, published in 1945. The Great Divorce is an eloquent allegory and vehement reply to William Blake’s long poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.  In his poem, Blake argued that life requires elements of both heaven and hell to avoid being boring and repetitive and that elements of both are necessary to a well-lived and enlightened life.  C. S. Lewis’s superb response via an allegory about a wild bus ride contains many important ideas highly relevant to teens and young adults. 

        4. Fahrenheit 451 by American writer Ray Bradbury, published in 1953. Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel with much to say about freedom, the role of mass media, the ability of mass media to squash critical thinking in the public arena, and the self-suppression of individuals' free speech resulting in a curtailment as complete as any totalitarian regime. This is a searing commentary on a society that examines nothing for fear of offending others, thus maintaining the dominant group’s power.


In addition to watching the movie dramatization of End of the Spear, a novel written by the son of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot, we also read and watch the following three dramas.

        1. The Cherry Orchard by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, published in 1903. The Cherry Orchard is the last drama written by Chekhov, considered one of the greatest short fiction writers of all time. Chekhov intended the play as a comedy and satirical examination of social class and the aristocracy's decline.  It was, however, performed as a tragedy, which angered Chekhov.  The play examines social change in class structure and its impact on the individual, grief over losing a former way of life, the rise of materialism, and selfishness versus love.  

        2. The Glass Menagerie by American playwright Tenessee Williams opened in 1944 in Chicago and 1945 on Broadway. An example of Late Modernism, The Glass Menagerie comments on themes of memory, escape, abandonment, duty, gender roles, illusions, and dreams. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Williams is considered, with Arthur Miller,  to be one of two most notable playwrights in 20th -century America.

        3. The Crucible by American playwright Arthur Miller, published in 1953. The Crucible is a partly fictional drama about the Salem Witch trials.  It is a satirical allegory commenting on mob hysteria and intolerant “witch-hunts” that destroy lives and careers and the effects of peer pressure on open examination of ideas and events.  Intended as a satirical commentary on the era of McCarthyism, this play is highly relevant during almost any historical period.  Do people recognize when they are part of a “mob”?   Why not?  Are the people who complacently watch from the sidelines as culpable as “the mob” that is committing thoughtless acts?

Additionally, we will also read short stories, speeches, essays, and poems by a variety of authors, including

        • T. S. Eliot - British poet, essayist, playwright; Nobel Prize winner
        • Rudyard Kiping - British poet, novelist, and essayist; Nobel Prize winner
        • Sylvia Plath - British author and poet; Pulitzer Prize winner
        • William Butler Yeats-English language Irish poet, playwright,  prose writer, one of the most notable and influential figures during the 20th century.
        • W. H. Auden- A poet born in England.  Although he held both U.S. and British citizenship, he is considered a British writer.
        • Thomas Hardy-British novelist and poet nominated twice for a Nobel Prize.
        • Seamus Heany-Irish poet, playwright, and translator. Won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.
        • Dylan Thomas-A Welsh poet and writer who always wrote his works in English.
        • Maya Angelou - American poet; Pulitzer Prize winner, National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom.
        • E. E. Cummings - American poet, author, and playwright
        • William Faulkner - American author, essayist, poet, and playwright; Nobel Prize winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. 
        • Robert Frost - American poet and playwright; Pulitzer Prize and Congressional Gold Medal winner.
        • Ernest Hemingway - American author; Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner. 
        • Herman Hesse - German poet, author, and essayist; Nobel Prize winner
        • Langston Hughes - American poet, playwright, essayist, novelist
        • Jack London - American author and political activist 
        • Pablo Neruda - Chilean poet, diplomat, senator; Nobel Prize winner
        • Flannery O'Connor - American author
        • Mary Oliver - American Poet, Pulitzer Prize winner
        • Ezra Pound - expatriate American poet and critic
        • Edna St. Vincent Millay - American poet and playwright; Pulitzer Prize winner
        • Richard Wilbur - American poet and literary translator; Pulitzer Prize winner
        • William Carlos Williams - American poet; Pulitzer Prize winner

In every course, students learn to 

        • appreciate a variety of genres and their role as a road map to understanding literary works

        • understand the author's intent

        • evaluate an author's intent and worldview, as well as the story, from a biblical perspective

        • recognize influence from a variety of worldviews

        • think critically, recognize faulty logic, and evaluate media and other resources for validity and truth

        • Learn to appreciate the interplay between the literature and the culture at the time a work is written. Growing in their awareness of this interplay and literature's often transformative role in cultural change, students deepen their respect for the power of language.


All courses include a short two-to-four-week unit in nonfiction reading and media discernment to strengthen critical reading and thinking abilities. Using famous speeches, essays, articles, sermons, and popular media, students strengthen reading and critical thinking skills vital to the research process and their ability to function as informed consumers of information. College entrance exams directly test many of these skills. More importantly, these skills are crucial to a thriving democracy in which citizens freely make informed choices rather than choices manipulated by fallacious reasoning and propaganda. Students gain heightened motivation to seek truth and the ability to

        • recognize and evaluate relationships and patterns of organization in texts

        • review and build on their ability to recognize a variety of logical fallacies that are commonly used in modern media to influence and manipulate readers

        • understand the rhetorical situation, recognize rhetorical appeals

        • recognize effective and ineffective rhetoric

        • analyze arguments for soundness and effectiveness


Is my student ready for 20th-21st-Century Literature

                  Ideally, before taking this course, students should be able to

        • Analyze a plot to find the conflict, climax, and theme

        • Analyze a poem to find principal contrast, controlling metaphor, imagery, and theme

The best, but not the only acceptable, preparation for this course is Writing and Literature 1.  Students are introduced to and learn the basics of literary analysis by reading short stories, poetry, and articles.  They gain a literary vocabulary enabling them to analyze and write about their discoveries as they explore and discuss the big ideas of literature and the times. Students also learn to consider texts through a biblical worldview and to recognize other worldview influences.

Feel free to discuss any student readiness concerns by contacting me directly through the Contact Us page.

General Course Information

Instruction takes place in two one-and-one-half-hour classes each week over a thirty-two-week period. One class focuses on writing and the other on literature. Although homework will be assigned in Monday classes that fall on legal holidays, classes will not meet on these days so that families can celebrate long weekends together.  Classes break for 5 minutes out of every 30

Students receive 2 credits for this course.  It is listed in final grades as two courses, Writing 2 and 20th-21st-Century Literature. 

Time to allow for this two-credit course:  For literature and writing combined, students should expect to spend 4-6 hours per week total preparing for classes in addition to attending classes.


Enrollment closes on September 3 or when the class is full (15 students).


Instructor:    Sandra Selling

                      IEW-Certified Instructor



                      800.578.2527 | 941.676.3140

                      Book an Appointment


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab above before beginning checkout.




Books & Supplies for English 2

Specific editions are not required unless specified.  

Kindle or ebooks are excellent so long as students can highlight using different colors. 

Kindle offers a free app to use on phones and PC that provides the ability to highlight in colors, AND many of the classics are then free!

These are the books and supplies we will use first:


    1. The Elegant Essay-Third Edition

    2. The Blue Book of Grammar  (12th Edition) by Jane Strauss -
      ISBN: 978-1-118-78556-0  $17  This book is used for multiple years. Don't purchase this book twice!

    3. Notice and Note Literature Log by Kylene Beers, Robert Probst ISBN-13: 978-0325056661  ISBN-10: 0325056668 $9.94

    4. Pangda 700 Pieces Flags Index Tabs 3 Sizes Sticky Notes Writable Labels Page Marker Bookmarks Text Highlighter Strips, 7 Colors, 5 Set $6.97 
    5. Color pencils


The remainder can be purchased as the year progresses.  Initial weeks will be using texts supplied in class.

A variety of short stories, poetry, high-interest articles, and famous speeches are provided in class and online at no cost. The Bible is also used and is available online for free.

    1. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3.  The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

    4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    5. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (Julius West, Translator)

    6. The Glass Menagerie by Tenessee Williams

    7. The Crucible by Arthur Miller


Required for All Courses

    1. Microsoft Office Word. If you do not currently own Word, the full Office Suite with PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote is available for both MAC and PC users through Office 365. The cost for PC users is $6.99/month for an individual and $9.99/month for a family of up to five. To purchase or see more options, click HERE

      Word is a powerful and intuitive tool that students will utilize throughout college. MAC users, please use Word. We cannot guarantee the functionality of all assignments in Pages and other Word substitutes. Students are strongly encouraged to use Word for a more seamless class experience. I edit and grade in Word using its comment feature.

    2. Headset with microphone and USB connection to your computer, NOT a pin-style connection, NOT Blue Tooth, and NOT your PC speakers and microphone. Their use will create audio problems for not just yourself but the entire group. A noise-canceling microphone is ideal. See the pictures at the bottom of this page for a visual of the correct connection.

    3. A webcam is required.
  3. Other Requirements for All Courses 

    1. High-Speed Internet Access

    2. Parents need a separate email or Gmail address to which the student does NOT have access. Use this email when setting up your parent account. If you have one, please use a Gmail rather than an email address. Gmail will allow more seamless access to some course features.

    3. Each student needs a separate Gmail address to which the parent DOES have access. Collaborative activities use Google Docs with settings that require a Gmail to access. Use a different Gmail for each enrolled student. The unique email address for each student is how the system identifies them, their work, and their grades. (Please note: Parental access to the account is NOT optional.)

    4. Quiet room: Online students MUST have a quiet space to attend class to avoid a noisy environment for the entire group. Since we often have oral discussions, muting student microphones until they are ready to speak does not work because it significantly slows down group interaction. Students need a quiet place from which to attend class.

    5. Siblings who attend the same class at the same time must each have their own computer. They CANNOT share one. Siblings who attend different classes or the same class at different times CAN share a computer.

    6. Siblings attending an online class at the same time must attend from separate rooms. Otherwise, they will create echoes for the group.

headset connections

Please see the BEFORE ENROLLING tab before enrolling.

Before Enrolling


Please ask yourself three questions before you begin checkout:

A. Are you a returning student or parent?  

  • If yes, please be sure to use your existing password and email address used in prior years. Otherwise, all previous coursework and grades will become unavailable to you.

B. Are you enrolling more than one student?

  • If yes, please register only one student at a time! Please complete BOTH the enrollment and payment processes for your first student before enrolling your second student. 

C. Do you have the following ready?

  1. A separate PARENT email (preferably Gmail) address to which the student does NOT have access.  Use this email when setting up your parent account and for all correspondence with Inspired Writing and Literature.  If you have a Gmail account, please use this one. Again, please use the same unique email you have used in prior years if you are a returning parent.

  2. For EACH student, a separate and unique email (preferably Gmail) address to which the parent DOES have access.  If your student has a Gmail account, please use this one. Use this Gmail or email for enrolling your student. Again, if yours is a returning student, be sure to use the same email used in prior years.



Please feel free to call your instructor Sandra Selling at (800) 578-2527 for guidance on courses or any other questions or concerns.  You may also email me at Sandra@InspiredWritingandLit.com or make an appointment at Book Now.

Parent Involvement


Parents are always welcome to attend student classes or watch class recordings at their convenience.


Initial Parent & Student Surveys & Student Assessments

Within a week of enrolling pupils, parents new to Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) will receive access to and complete an Initial Survey about their teen's learning needs, previous writing and literature experience, and other helpful information. They will do this for each student one time per year only. Students will complete a similar survey and also complete a skills assessment.  


Survey answers and assessment results allow me to tailor lessons to meet the class's needs and ensure each student receives the greatest benefit possible. Please take the time to answer the survey questions thoughtfully; they are your chance to tell me how best to help your student.

Introductory Parent Informational Webinar

All new parents of students enrolled with Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) for the first time are asked to attend a required introductory webinar to learn ways they can support their students at home and help to ensure their success.  Here parents also learn what student progress they can expect from the course, how to monitor that progress, and how this course contributes to meeting college admissions requirements, as well as the best ways to communicate with the instructor. 


Returning parents are encouraged to attend if they feel the need for review.


A time for questions will follow the session. This webinar is offered once in the morning, Wednesday, September 8, and once in the evening, Thursday, September 9, during the first regular week of class.  See the Academic Calendar for these dates and times.  


School-Year Expectations

During the school year, parents monitor their students' progress to ensure they remain current with lessons and assignments.   Grades and completed and edited assignments are always accessible online to both students and parents 24/7. 


To maximize the use of class time for learning, parents administer and proctor longer tests at home during a time convenient to them.  Parents will receive both guidance and support in this if they desire.


Help for Parents and Students

I am readily available to both parents and students for consultation and help with current lessons during the week in my online office hours and at other times by appointment.   I am also available throughout the school day via chat and video webinar through Zoom services.  If you are unfamiliar with these services, they are provided to you free of charge, along with any help you need to use them. You will love the degree of teacher accessibility this service offers you and your students! 


In my online office, I can see and type on students' papers or share a book as we talk. They can do the same and can also write and draw on the whiteboard or document on my screen. We can find resources together on the internet or pull up any needed materials or papers from our computers. I can help with drafts, the organization of files in file folders, and even occasionally walk them through using helpful features on their computers. Parents are encouraged to join student consultations whenever possible.


Parents Group

In the Parent Group, parents will find a forum where they can ask the group or me questions and share information, ideas, and advice. I love it when moms, dads, or students from last year can answer questions or reassure newcomers from the perspective of one who has been there. Please feel free to jump in if you have something to add.  Of course, if you have a highly personal question that would not be of interest to others, you may Zoom, call, book an appointment, or email me privately.  Be sure to put the word PARENT or STUDENT in all caps on the subject line of any emails. Doing this will highlight your email so that it stands out.


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab before beginning checkout.