In the English department, students focus on analysis of reading and analytical writing grounded in evidence from various forms of literature from the canonical to the contemporary, including fiction, non-fiction, and other mediums. Through this study, students build knowledge, analyze ideas, delineate arguments, and develop writing, collaboration, and communication skills.

Specifically, students determine and evaluate an author’s ideas, argument, specific claims, and counterclaims. They examine reasoning, both others’ and their own, for validity and relevant evidence. They also identify fallacious reasoning and false statements.

Students also analyze text at a variety of levels including theme development, author’s assumptions and beliefs, complex development, point of view, and its impact on meaning and text structure and rhetoric while using textual evidence and their own life experiences.

In addition, students create their own writing samples using academic vocabulary, sufficient facts, concrete details, quotations, and other information with an awareness of projected audience knowledge. They make important connections and distinctions, using varied transitions to link major sections of the text and provide description and evidence in their pieces of writing to create a cohesive and coherent whole in all writing. Students also initiate and engage in meaningful collaborative discussion on grade-level topics heightened by their ability to reason, provide evidence, and evaluate the views of others while exploring their own beliefs and assumptions.

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