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English Department

The English curriculum includes an intensive review of secondary school English during the first two quarters, followed by college-level material in the third and fourth quarters. For the more advanced student, additional material beyond the standard program is presented through acceleration and enrichment courses.
The English curriculum is focused on reading and writing. It stresses the elements of standard formal written English, emphasizing correct and effective sentence structure, and the writing of expository and argumentative essays.
English Advanced Track
After the first quarter, those students who meet certain prerequisites will be placed into an accelerated English track. During the second quarter, these students will study rhetoric, logic, and the writing of argumentative papers. During the third and fourth quarters, students will write argumentative papers on current events a well as writing in the literary genres.
English Standard Track
Students in this track take courses in expository reading, writing, and speaking during the first and second quarters. These courses employ a whole language approach in that all of the various aspects of English – reading, writing, speaking and thinking – are integrated into each class. Students also participate in a writing lab as part of this course. The first quarter course is an introduction to basic writing with an initial emphasis on writing correct grammatical sentences and extended personal experience paragraphs. The main elements of standard formal, written grammar and usage are reviewed. Vocabulary development and reading improvement are also covered. During the second quarter, the students are required to write full length expository papers and to demonstrate a mastery of more advanced elements of grammar, rhetoric, and techniques of effective reading. The writing of summaries is also emphasized during the second quarter.
The third quarter course begins an introduction to argumentative thinking and writing. The course begins with an analysis of the ways of thinking and logical reasoning. Papers focus on developing a restricted thesis and using adequate support. Chicago Style Manual documentation procedures are followed. Students must find common threads among argumentative essays and synthesize this material into an argument. During the fourth quarter, students continue to synthesize material from the instructor’s area of expertise and will write argumentative papers reflecting a clear thesis, adequate support, and proper documentation.
English Fundamental Track
After the first quarter, students who are deficient in English will be placed in a fundamentals English track which will repeat the essential elements of the first quarter before moving into second quarter material. The pace of instruction will be slower than that of the standard course and students will receive intensive one-on-one instruction as the need arises. Continued proficient work in three quarters of the fundamental track will qualify the students for recommendation to West Point in English.