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Writing and Literature 2 - The Essay & 19th-Century Literature


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The Essay and 19th-Century Literature

Full Year (2 Semesters)

Grade:      9-12

Credit:      1.0

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Writing & Literature 2 (Institute for Excellence in Writing)

The Essay & 19th-Century Literature 


Live, Highly Interactive Online Classes with a Biblical Worldview

Students learn to construct sound, convincing arguments, and incorporate them into a variety of essays they will need in college. They explore the beauty and depth of 19th-century literary works from around the world while developing an understanding of the worldviews that influenced them and the English and American literary periods of which each was a part. All our courses inspire students to evaluate their reading from a biblical worldview.


Additionally, students 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 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, this course 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 robust and 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. brainstorm 
      3. plan and organize thoughts
      4. create a rough draft
      5. edit to improve organization, flow, clarity, artistry, and impact
      6. proof their work to produce a final draft


Additionally, students also strengthen their ability to

      • use a variety of methods to brainstorm and generate content
      • organize their thoughts into cohesive, well-structured essays
      • use smooth transitions between ideas
      • employ the MLA style sheet (necessary for college) in their finished work

    • They 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 - including compare-contrast and cause-effect
      • descriptive
      • analytical
      • persuasive
      • argumentative

Systematically strengthen grammar and punctuation skills.



Students learn to analyze and respond to 19th-century works from around the world in their historical, cultural, and literary settings using the tools of literary analysis.  

What will your students learn? 

Students explore the differences between American and English literature and the literary periods for each in the 19th century.  They hone their skills of literary analysis to deepen their understanding of the works they read.  

In every course, students learn to

      • understand the author's intent

      • evaluate an author's intent and worldview from a biblical perspective

      • recognize influence from a variety of worldviews

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

      • learn to appreciate the interplay between literature and the culture at the time a work was written  

        Classic literature is timeless and becomes a classic in part because it addresses universal themes and truths common to man throughout the centuries.  Additionally, a classic is a response to the times, place, and culture in which it is written, and often also a transformative agent for change. Students grow in awareness of this interplay and deepen their respect for the power of language.


Students develop familiarity with a variety of genres and come to appreciate the role of genres as a road map to understanding literary works. 


Students delve into the British treasures of 

      • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

      • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

      • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

      • two short and surprising stories by Saki (H. H. Munroe) 

      • a variety of poems in various genres by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Christina Rossetti, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Robert Browning, and Percy Bysshe Shelley


They explore the American riches of

      • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

      • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain  

      • short stories by Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and Kate Chopin

      • poetry by Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

      • world-changing essays and speeches of the time

Finally, they partake in a wealth of offerings from around the world as they read

      • the French drama Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (translated by Brian Hooker)

      • short stories by
        • Russian authors Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy
        • French authors Guy de Maupassant and Victor Hugo

      • and poems by
        • the Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson
        • the Irish poet W. B. Yeats

All courses include a short three-to-four-week unit in nonfiction reading and media discernment to strengthen critical reading and thinking abilities.  Using famous speeches, essays, articles, and popular media, students strengthen specific reading skills vital to the research process and their functioning 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. Students gain heightened motivation to seek truth and the ability to

      • recognize and evaluate relationships and patterns of organization 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 appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos

      • analyze arguments for soundness and effectiveness


Instruction takes place for two hours every week for 30 weeks.  Classes break for 5 minutes out of every 30.

Time to allow for this course:  In addition to class sessions, students should expect to spend 4-7 hours per week preparing for class. 


Enrollment closes August 15 or when the class is full (15 students).


Instructor:    Sandra Selling

                      IEW-Certified Instructor



                      800.578.2527 | 941.676.3140

                      Book an Appointment


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Books & Supplies for Writing and Literature 2


Important Note:  These links are offered for your convenience and resource information.  Specific editions are not required.

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

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


Please have the following books and supplies on the first day of class:


    1. A variety of short stories, poetry, high-interest articles, and famous speeches, and sermons will be provided in class and online for free. The Bible is also used and is available online for free.

    2. The Elegant Essay [Student Book] by Lesha Myers ISBN: 978-0-9779860-1-9, Third Edition, 2011  $29.00
    3. The Argument Builder [Student Book] by Shelly Johnson ISBN-10: 1600510264  ISBN-13: 978-1600510267  $23.95

    4. The Blue Book of Grammar  (11th Edition) by Jane Strauss -
      ISBN: 978-1-118-78556-0  $17  This book is used in multiple years. Don't purchase this book twice!

    5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ISBN-10: 1080829636  ISBN-13: 978-1080829637  $5.99

    6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ISBN-13: 978-0141439518 ISBN-10: 9780141439518 $4.69

    7. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne ISBN-10: 1502591278 ISBN-13: 978-1502591272 $4.99

    8. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley  ISBN-10: 1503262421 ISBN-13: 978-1503262423 $6.99

    9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ISBN-10: 1512308846 ISBN-13: 978-1512308846  $9.49

    10. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (Translated by Brian Hooker) - Important!  Students must have THIS translation.  ISBN-10: 0553213601  $5.95

    11. 10 Steps to Advancing College Reading Skills by John Langan - We use this book in multiple years. This item is $35 for a package that includes a hard copy of the book, 10-month access to an e-version of the book, and a library of over 100 e-books and much more. 

      Important:  Be sure to purchase this book directly from Townsend. Access to online material is required for this class. It is $6 (part of the $35) when you purchase it with the book, but it is $15 if purchased separately. 

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

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 pictures at the bottom of this page for a visual of the correct connection.

    3. A webcam is required.


Other Requirements


    1. High-Speed Internet Access (Please Note: Linux operating systems won’t work with our webinar service.)

    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 in which 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 attending the same class at the same time must each have their own computer. They CANNOT share one. Siblings attending 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.


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headset connections





  • 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.


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


  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, if you are a returning parent, please use the same unique email you have used in prior years.

  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) receive and complete an Initial Survey about their teen's learning needs, previous writing and literature experience, and other helpful information. They do this for each student one time only. Students  complete a similar survey and also complete a skills assessment.  


Survey answers and assessment results allow me to tailor lessons to meet the needs of the class and to 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 New Parent Webinar

All new parents of students enrolled with Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) for the first time are invited to attend a required introductory webinar to learn ways they can support their students at home and help to ensure their success.  Here they also will learn what student progress to expect from the course, how to monitor their 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 and once in the evening Monday, September 14, the first regular week of class.  See the Academic Calendar for these dates and times.  


School-Year Involvement

During the school year, parents monitor their students' progress to ensure they remain current with lessons and assignments.   Grades, as well as 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 parent and student 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 your student's paper or share a book as we talk. He or she 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 questions of the group or me 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.