First you crawl, then you walk, and then you run. Literature has a similar progression: first you read, then you analyze, and then you write about it.
If you’ve already learned how to read and the beginning steps of how to analyze, this class is for you. We’ll explore the finer points of end-stage analysis and learn how to shape that into an analytical essay.
First we’ll learn to understand the difference between a topic (main idea) and a theme. One-word topics are the beginning, but a real theme states what the author thinks about that topic. Using the understanding of this difference, we’ll examine a work to decide how the structure and literary elements it possesses illustrate its theme. Finally, we’ll shape the analysis we’ve done into a five-paragraph, analytical essay and prove our points.
You will be going through this process for a poem and then for a piece of prose, writing a complete essay for each. This semester-long course is a good stepping stone for upper level literature classes and is also excellent preparation the analysis and writing required in Athena’s Advanced Placement English Literature class.
Note from “Prof.” Deborah:
Writing is a process with several distinct stages, and I believe that much of the confusion and disinterest students (and adults!) feel about writing comes from teachers’ lack of involvement at each of those stages. Writing needs to be a conversation between student and teacher. Like navigating on the open sea, a degree or two change can make a huge difference in the destination. If I can help students make necessary course corrections along the way, they will be so much more confident in both their ability and their final product. So I spend quite a bit of time steering students’ essays from prewriting to drafting to revising/proofreading.
Note to parents:
- This class is meant to be a stepping stone between upper level literature analysis and Advanced Placement English Literature. We’ll be discussing how to find the theme of a work and how literary elements contribute to that theme. This is a next-level analysis from defining and finding a work’s theme and elements. Finally, we’ll talk about how to write a persuasive essay that expresses that analysis in an academic voice.
- This course is one of Athena’s Upper Level Language Arts courses. Click for more information.