April Wilcox
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American Literature

Course Description:

The American Literature course is designed to teach advanced reading and writing through the fundamentals of literary analysis, rhetorical theory, and develop skills in grammar, usage, and vocabulary through reading and writing. Students will read and write frequently and will share their writings for class use in lessons, models, and/or peer critiques. The course includes an intensive study of early 20th century American works from the Gilded Age through the 1920s and some later texts as well.

Focus and Objectives:

In the American Literature class you will read, discuss, and write about a variety of literary works including novels, short stories, poems, periodicals, etc., that all offer points of view on the effects of people, place, and movement on individuals. We will concentrate on identifying and analyzing the formal literary techniques used by the authors, as well as questions of history’s influence on these works. You will improve your ability to think, read, and write critically about texts, as well as to situate them within a broader historical, social, and cultural context that gives them relevance beyond “just stories.” You will understand the cultural, political, and historical contexts of the texts, which will broaden your critical thinking skills and enhance your ability as a reader and writer.


  1. Experiment with new ideas
  2. Challenge your own beliefs
  3. Seek other points of view
  4. Contribute to intellectual discussion