What topics will I learn about in English Literature & Composition?

English Literature & Composition will introduce students to the basic elements of literary study and good writing. Together we will read representative masterworks from classical times to the present. These works will be vigorously discussed both orally and in writing. In addition, students will write several papers about these works, receiving detailed feedback from each other and from the instructors.

Christianity is a profoundly literary religion, and some of the greatest literary works of all time are found in the Bible. As such, it works very well to approach both our reading and our writing from a biblical worldview. By analyzing the artistic qualities of great works, we will come to understand and appreciate them more deeply. It is hoped that students will grow as lifelong readers of great literature, and some may even go on to write it.

Course objectives include:

  • Become familiar with the classical and medieval backgrounds to English literature.
  • Become familiar with the major literary epochs, gaining a deeper understanding of our cultural heritage.
  • Better understand the major types of literature: poetry, drama, and narrative.
  • Learn important literary terms, and be able to analyze the various aspects of literary art or craftsmanship.
  • Learn through practice the fundamentals of classical rhetoric (rich content, logical organization, effective style, specific word choice), thus gaining confidence in writing.

By the end of the course, outstanding students will be prepared for upper-division college courses in literature including British Literature, American Literature, Literary Theory and Criticism, Poetry, Drama, and the Novel.