American Literature

Course Outline

 Download and Print the American Literature Course Outline Using the Link Below:

PJPHS-Junior-American-Literature-Course-Outline 2016-2017

Text of the American Literature Course Outline:

Pope John Paul II High School

 American Literature Course Description and Outline 2016-2017

Mrs. Nancy Sullivan – (parents) (Period 6 students) (Period 2 students)


  • Prentice Hall Literature:  The American Experience Common Core Edition, 2012
  •  Grammar for Writing – Level Green – Sadlier, William H. New York: William H.     Sadlier, Inc., 2007.
  • Literature Circle Trade Books/ Study packets & handouts
  • Online version of Pearson Text
  • Resources on


  • Notebook  (for the subject of English only)
  • English Folder (for writing and handouts)
  • Black, blue, and red pens for school and home
  • Yellow, pink, and orange highlighters for school and home
  • Loose leaf (no spiral edges) * Staples sells “loose” leaf paper
  • 3×5 and 5×8 Index cards
  • Ipad


Course Description

This course aims to develop and expand the student’s ability to read with increased critical awareness the various works of American Literature, presented within the literary genres of prose, poetry and drama.   Over the course of this year, there will be special emphasis placed on literary analysis, reading and writing skills, and vocabulary development. The students will have numerous reading and writing assignments with special emphasis placed on literary criticism, expository and analytical writing. Grammar, usage, and vocabulary, in addition to formal classroom presentation, will be discussed during the analysis of literature and during discussion of written work.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Demonstrate an ability to analyze, assess, and appreciate various literary works, including poetry, short stories, essays, novels, and dramas.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of the literary, cultural, and historical influences of major periods in the development of World Literature.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literary devices and terms as applicable to literary analysis.
  • Write in clear, expository prose several critical analyses of literary works concentrating on topics such as theme, characterization, imagery, structure, and tone.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the grammatical structure of the English language and an awareness of correct usage and punctuation.
  • Demonstrate an ability to write clear and logically organized paragraphs and essays, illustrating an ability to locate and correct errors in both structure and usage while employing a variety of sentence structures.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how poetic techniques and figurative language contribute to the total meaning and experience of poetry.
  • Increase knowledge and use of vocabulary through both formal and informal study.
  • Compose a Research-based literary paper following MLA Guidelines.

Grading Policy

The student’s grade will be determined through the averaging of various assessment techniques including, tests, quizzes, essays, homework, projects, class participation, and end of quarter assessments. All assignments are expected to be handed in on time. Points will be deducted for late assignments.  Grades will be posted on Grade Connect in a timely manner.

The system for grading is based on a point system. All assignments have a designated amount of points. The final grade is determined by dividing the number of points the student has earned by the total number of possible points. Please refer to the example below using a variety of assessments during a three week period.

Assignment Point Value   Student’s Grade
Test  60 points 45/60
Quiz 20 points 20/20
Quiz  20 points 17/20
Homework 10 points 10/10
Homework  10 points 10/10
Homework 10 points 10/10
Homework 10 points 10/10
Homework 10 points 5/10
Homework 10 points 10/10
Total 160 points (possible) 137 points earned
137/160 = 86



Homework Policy

  • Homework is to be copied from the smart board at the beginning of class after prayers.
  • Homework will be graded using a Rubric enabling students to earn points by meeting all of the requirements of the assignment. Points will be deducted for lateness, incomplete work, careless work, lack of effort.
  • Written homework, submitted electronically, must arrive no later than midnight on the night assigned and will be checked every day.
  • Homework is to be completed either in notebook, on a Google Document,, Noodle Tools, or on loose leaf according to instructions on website and Smart board.
  • Rubrics (if provided) are to be attached on top of the assignment with a stapler. Stapling should be completed at home; it is part of the assignment.
  • Homework that does NOT require electronic submission  is to be handed in at the beginning of the period in the designated cubby located in the front of the classroom.
  • Homework will also be posted on my website at for parents to view and for those who are absent.
  • Missing homework will result in deduction of points in both the homework grade and the class participation grade since the student will be unable to participate if homework has not been completed.
  • A one-day only grace period will be permitted as a result of absenteeism due to illness or death in the family unless prior arrangements have been made with me.
  • If a student comes to class without the completed homework assignment, he/she must hand in a sheet of loose leaf containing name, date, assignment name, class period, and reason for missing assignment.

Absence Policy

  • If a student is absent from class, it is his/her responsibility to find out any material that he/ she missed, including outlines, handouts, skills taught, etc. by visiting
  • A student returning from an absence on the day of a previously announced test is expected to take the test on the date of return. Exceptions will only be made for extenuating circumstances (severe/extended illness, death in family).
  • Students who miss a quiz or test on the day that it is administered in class will be expected to take it on the date of their return while in class. If a student had an extended absence or emergency, arrangements can be made to take the test at a later date. All tests must be made up by the time the graded test is returned to the class. In order to avoid failure, all tests administered in given quarter must be made up before the end of that quarter.

Extra Credit

  • Extra Credit questions may sometimes appear on tests, and extra credit points can be earned during class games/competitions during review.
  • Extra Credit work will not be given to pull up failing grades. This sends the message that a student does not have to take studying seriously from the outset.


Student Signature ________________________________________________________


Parent Signature __________________________________________________________