What is the Honors Option?

Excellence in Literature (EIL) Honors Option

The Honors Option in Excellence in Literature

Key components of the Honors Option (in addition to regular assignments related to the focus text) include reading, writing, and a final exam. The reading is the most time-consuming element, as it is the foundation for both the writing assignment and the final exam. Be sure to create a schedule that makes it manageable:

  • Extra reading with an approach paper for each book
  • One 6- to 10-page research paper (depending on student’s grade level)
  • CLEP test for some levels

Extra Reading

Extra reading for honors students will be listed on the syllabus. Some items will be additional works by authors we are studying; other items will be context works that will help to round out knowledge of each literary period or understanding of the theme. Honors reading may be done during or between semesters and should be recorded in the reading log.

Approach Papers

For one full-length honors text per module, the student should complete an approach paper. If more than one honors text is suggested, the student may choose which to read (though it can be beneficial to read all of them) and which to use as the subject for the approach paper. It is not necessary to write more than one honors approach paper per module.

Research Paper

This 6- to 10-page paper, due two weeks after the end of the spring semester, will be a research paper on [topic assigned in study guide]. The paper will be presented in MLA format (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ resource/747/01/) and will include a Works Cited page, with a minimum of four resources. Up to two of the resources may be Internet sources chosen in accordance
with accepted academic standards. For detailed instructions on the process of researching, writing, and documenting a research paper, you will need to consult your writer’s handbook.


The comprehensive final exam, which will be taken at the end of the school year, will be [a CLEP exam designated in the study guide]. This ninety-minute, multiple-choice, computer-based exam can be taken by appointment at a local college or community college. Many colleges and universities grant advanced placement and/or college credit (three to six credits) for a passing score on this exam, so it is well worth the effort. You may learn more about CLEP exams at www.CollegeBoard.com.

Janice Campbell

Janice Campbell writes and speaks about homeschooling, using lifestyle of learning approach influenced by Charlotte Mason, classical learning, and the Thomas Jefferson method. Her books and resources, including Excellence in Literature, Transcripts Made Easy, and Get a Jump Start on College, reflect Janice’s focus on twaddle-free, active learning (she did have boys, after all!).