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English 2 - Writing and Literature


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English 2 - Writing & Literature:

Writing 2 & 11th-18th Century Literature


Full Year (2 Semesters)


Grades:    9-12


Credits     2.0


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English 2 - Writing & Literature  -

Writing 2 & 11th-18th 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 11th-18th century literary works from around the world while they develop an understanding of the worldviews and literary periods that influenced various pieces.

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 private protected area online, and students may take them with them whenever and wherever they go.



Taught by an IEW-accredited Certified Instructor with 15+ years of experience, 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 
      • gather, read, evaluate, analyze, and prepare sources  
      • use a variety of methods to brainstorm and generate content
      • plan and organize their thoughts into cohesive, well-structured essays
      • create a rough draft
      • edit to improve organization, clarity, transitions,  artistry, and impact
      • proof their work to produce a final draft
      • employ the MLA style sheet (necessary for college) in their finished work
      • 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


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 sources
        • write with relatively few grammar and punctuation errors
        • write using a variety of sentence structures with relatively smooth transitions  

11th-18th Century Literature


What will your students learn?

The first and most important objective of every literature class is that students grow in their love for literature.  In 11th-18th Century Literature, students explore writing from around the world and delve into each work's literary period and worldview. 

    • Students continue to improve the reading skills they learned and developed in English 1, growing in their ability to read, infer, and analyze a variety of genres as they learn the following elements and how each contributes to meaning.

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

In every literature course, students learn to 

        • recognize signposts to meaning

        • 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

        • think critically and recognize influence from a variety of worldviews

        • learn to appreciate the interplay between literature and culture of the times a work is written. Students deepen their respect for the power of literature as they grow in their awareness of this interplay and literature's often transformative role in cultural change.

        • examine the relevance of themes to the times in which we live today


All courses also include nonfiction reading selections 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 propaganda and  a variety of logical fallacies that are commonly used in modern media to influence and manipulate readers

        • understand the rhetorical situation and recognize rhetorical appeals

        • recognize effective and ineffective rhetoric

        • analyze arguments for soundness and effectiveness

What will students read?

The objective for students this year is to open wide the door to works that might seem intimidating but once understood, are fascinating looks into the human psyche with exciting plots, thought-provoking themes, and much to say about life today.

Among other selections we will enjoy this year that are part of the "Great Conversation," students will read three plays by the renowned William Shakespeare, commonly considered the greatest playwright and the greatest English writer of all time.

One of the greatest obstacles for students who read Shakespeare is comprehending writing from earlier times. To meet this challenge head-on, we begin with keys to comprehending the language and appreciating the stylistic devices that embue meaning in Shakespeare's work.  Watching enacted plays as we read and discuss the text together, students become comfortable reading and understanding Shakespeare and other authors from earlier times.  With complex plots, much intrigue, and exciting characters, Shakespeare, once understood, quickly becomes one of students' favorite writers.

How to Read Slowly by James Sire

Portions of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

the comedy Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (English)

the tragedy King Lear by William Shakespeare (English)

the history Henry V  by William Shakespeare (English)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri translated by John Ciardi (The Inferno and substantial portions of The Purgatorio and Paradiso) (Italian)

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (Italian)

Selected portions of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton (English)

Tartuffe by Moliere translated by Richard Wilbur (French)

A variety of sonnets and other poems by Petrarch, Wyatt, Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, Donne, Dryden, Herbert, Herrick, Jonson, Pope, Cowper, Gray, and Smart.




Is my student ready for 11th-18th 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 the principal contrast, controlling metaphors, imagery, and theme

        • analyze characters and their development

The best, but not the only acceptable, preparation for this course is Writing and Literature 1, in which 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 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-week period. One week's 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 11th-18th Century Literature. 

Time to allow for this two-credit course:  For literature and writing combined, students should expect to spend 4-7 hours per week total preparing for classes in addition to attending classes.


Enrollment closes on October 15 or when the class is full (8 students for writing courses and 15 students for literature courses).


Instructor:    Sandra Selling

                      IEW-Certified Instructor



                      800.578.2527 | 941.676.3140

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