Argumentation and American Ideology Syllabus
Read not to contradict or refute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
The word—spoken, written, thought—is full of powerful potential. The study of language and literature, then, becomes a study of works that have shaped our culture and our thinking. But not only that, working hard at the way we use language becomes a key to effective communication, powerful expression, and clear thinking. To this end, all English courses will emphasize clear and logical thinking, strong study in the conventions of language (grammar, syntax, mechanics, metaphor, vocabulary), reading, critical thinking, speaking, and listening. Students will learn to deal with the various writing situations with which they will be faced, and to do so with calm confidence. In the same way, students will learn to read well for various purposes. We hope to activate lifelong thinkers who demonstrate Christ’s wisdom, winsome speakers who articulate truth, thoughtful readers who use Scripture as a standard, humble disciples who love the Lord with their minds.
This course, designed to improve the written, verbal, and evaluative skills of the student, introduces students to authors mostly from America and includes in-depth analysis of literature and skill development in advanced syntax and grammar. Students will develop more persuasive argumentation and a depth of logical inquiry, along with a greater sense of style. Non-fiction reading and writing will be emphasized. The scriptural roots of American thought and writing will be uncovered and used to examine the conditions of various American eras. All this is done within the context of honoring Christ as Lord, his Word as truth.
This is a yearlong course consisting of 6 units. Upon successful completion students will receive 1 credit towards high school graduation.
Major Texts include The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Great Gatsby
Additional poems and excerpts from Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Locke, Walt Whitman, William James, John Dewey, Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Arthur Miller, Wallace Stevens, Tim O’Brien, Annie Dillard, Don Delillo, David Foster Wallace
Purpose of the Course
- to be familiar with major American writers, works, and time periods
- to be able to place unfamiliar American works within the stylistic and ideological movements they best represent
- to identify and write logically valid arguments
- to evaluate others’ arguments for logical validity and stylistic patterns
- to express both academic and personal thoughts in writing
- to present information to a group clearly and comfortably
- to increase a sophisticated, precise vocabulary
Students should have completed Rhetoric and Style before enrolling in this course.
- Reign of God
- Reign of Reason
- Reign of Self
- Realism and American Naturalism
- Review and Final Exam
Required Course Materials
Please access the list of course materials from the OC Online book ordering system and order your materials as soon as possible. Oftentimes, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.
Methods of Evaluation
Students will be assessed via discussion board contributions, oral exams, paragraph responses, developed essays, verbal reasoning quizzes, multiple choice reading quizzes, and video presentations.
- Tests (Includes extemporaneous oral exams and essays) 15%
- Quizzes (Includes vocabulary and reading quizzes) 10%
- Assignments (Includes miscellaneous assignments, discussion boards) 40%
- Participation 10% (discussion posts, synchronous sessions)
- Final Exam 25%