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English Literature & Composition

Master Teacher: Caleb Nelson
Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 12th grade level.
Tuition: $746 for HSLDA Members / $829 for non-members

Description: AP English Literature & Composition begins with an overview of literature, composition, and literary argumentation. Students then read representative masterworks from the Classical Era to the present, and learn to analyze each text’s literary elements (character, setting, structure, narration, and figurative language) from an advanced perspective. Discussion is strongly emphasized; students are required to actively participate during the live classes and submit three posts per week to the discussion forum. Students approach literature from a biblical worldview; as a profoundly literary religion, Christianity brings a unique, thoughtful perspective to literary study. Papers are primarily analytical essays which must interpret literature, not merely summarize it. Students should expect to evaluate a work’s artistry and quality by studying specific textual details. We hope that students will grow as lifelong readers of great literature—and perhaps some will one day write great works themselves.

Watch a sample clip of an Academy live class session. 

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Live Online Class Session Schedule

Dates: August 19, 2024 - May 2, 2025

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1: Mondays, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Eastern*

Mr. Caleb Nelson

Additional class times may be added to the schedule later in the registration period. Please note: all class times are subject to the availability of each individual instructor. See this page for more information. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

*This class is 60 minutes long.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Students Will Learn

    • How to engage with literary criticism in a sophisticated manner
    • How to understand and analyze the key aspects of literary craftsmanship
    • How to construct literary arguments and defend a written thesis by drawing on literary elements
    • How to practice the fundamentals of classical rhetoric at the college-level
    • How to understand the major literary epochs, thus gaining a deeper understanding of our cultural heritage
    • How to succeed on the AP English Literature & Composition exam
    • How to better understand the major types of literature: poetry, drama, and narrative
  • How much homework is in English Literature & Composition?

    We estimate the course workload will take 10+ hours per week. During a typical week, students will complete the following coursework:

    • 60-90 minutes of live class instruction
    • 70 pages of reading
    • 3 posts in literature discussion forums
    • Grammar quiz or AP practice quiz

    Writing and revision are major parts of AP English Literature & Composition. Short literary analysis essays build toward a final capstone paper in the second semester. This paper is a “critical dialogue” in which students respond to a published critical essay with a thoughtful essay of their own. The short essay topics often draw from previous AP exam prompts. Throughout the year, students also complete two dramatic recitations, three personal reflection papers, three timed writing activities based on AP prompts, four full-length practice AP exams, and a cumulative final exam at the end of each semester.

  • What books will I use in English Literature & Composition?

    The official AP® English Literature & Composition booklist is now available. In the official booklist, you will find information about the editions, book descriptions, and the reasons why HSLDA Online Academy selected these books.

    You can order course materials for competitive prices through the Christianbook.com bookstore. Use the Textbook Finder to locate the required resources for your courses. Please note that while most books are available through Christianbook.com, some titles are not carried and will need to be purchased elsewhere.

  • Prerequisites

    This is a rigorous, college-level course. To succeed, students should already have strong reading and writing skills. HSLDA Online Academy recommends that students complete at least one high school English course at an advanced or honors level before enrolling. Please visit the College Board page about AP English Literature & Composition for more information about the material and skills students will study in the course and will need to master for the AP exam.

  • What is a Live Online Class Session in Literature & Composition?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed Literature & Composition class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements with their instructors to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts.