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Introduction to Literature- Excellence in Literature- English I Literature and Composition- English II- Excellence in Literature American Literature- English III- Excellence in Literature British Literature- English IV- Excellence in Literature World Literature- English V- Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers- Excellence in LIterature - by Ian Johnston and Janice Campbell

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Excellence in Literature :: English II: Literature and Composition (Honors Option)

Excellence in Literature

English II: Literature and Composition

Course Description

Literature and Composition- English II of the Excellence in Literature curriculumLiterature and Composition is a college-preparatory literature and composition
course. Focus works, including novels, short stories, poems, and drama, have been
selected for literary quality, and for their place in the historical development of
literature. Context readings provide background information about the author, the
historical period, and the literary and artistic context of the focus work. Students will
gain an understanding of the development of literature and will practice the skills of
close literary analysis through essays, approach papers, and other evaluative writing.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Understand the process of writing, including the use of tools such as a writer’s handbook, dictionary, and thesaurus.
  • Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors of the periods studied.
  • Have a general understanding of the historic and cultural context of each work.
  • Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.
  • Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics.


Getting Started
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Read a Book
Discerning Worldview through Literary Periods
Using EIL in a Classroom

NOTE: Texts listed in bold are core Focus Texts; Honors texts listed are optional readings. Please see widget at bottom of page for recommended editions.

Module 1: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe
Honors: The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss or The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe
Optional: The book of Jonah (any translation) and Grace Abounding to the Chiefest of Sinners by John Bunyan

Module 2: Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Honors: “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau and “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Module 3: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Honors: The Man in the Iron Mask or The Three Musketeers by Dumas

Module 4: The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Honors: Manalive by G.K. Chesterton

Module 5: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Honors: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Module 6: Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Honors: Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett

Module 7: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Honors: King John by William Shakespeare

Module 8: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Honors: Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare or Rob Roy by Scott

Module 9: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Honors: Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Excellence in Literature: Assignment Checklist
Excellence in Literature: Student Evaluation Summary
Formats and Models
Approach Paper Format
Historical Approach Paper Format
Author Profile Format
Literature Summary Format
Literary Analysis Model
Sample Poetry Analysis
What an MLA Formatted Essay Looks Like
Tips for Evaluating Writing
Excellence in Literature Evaluation Rubric
Excellence in Literature: Student Evaluation Summary

You will find many of the context resources at the Excellence in Literature website, so even if a link changes, you'll have what you need.

NEW! Add the ebook to your purchase for only $10 more.

You and your student will have the print book for reference and evaluation, but the student will be able to view the modules online, and click links (on most computers) to the context resources, rather than typing out the URLs.


Literature and Composition: English 2 of the Excellence in Literature curriculum

Literature & Composition: English 2

Print and ebook together- $39


NOTE: One of our loyal curriculum users provided the following list of the units, organized by chronological order. You may opt to study them this way, as well. The original order was selected in order to alternate longer, more challenging works with shorter ones. Either way works just fine. Enjoy!

Renaissance: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare(1564-1616)

Neo-Classical: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe (c. 1660-1731)

English Romanticism: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Romanticism: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

American Romanticism: Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Romantic Victorian: The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People by Oscar Wilde

Modernism: The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Modernist/Regional: Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather (1873-1947)

Modern Myth: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (1898-1965)


Note: Books listed are focus texts only. Context reading will be assigned on the syllabus.


Free Rubric & Newsletter

Would you like a free copy of our reproducible writing evaluation rubric? Just type your name and e-mail below, and you'll be taken to a download link. You'll also receive my free monthly newsletter, with helpful articles and tips. Enjoy!

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