The English curriculum is college preparatory where critical and analytical thinking skills are deliberately developed, with an emphasis on the students’ applying these skills and methods in all classes. The freshman and sophomore level courses provide the fundamentals of literary analysis, beginning writing instruction and grammar review. Junior and senior level courses concentrate on more sophisticated application of these concepts, also offering oral presentation practice.



List of 11 items.

  • COLLEGE PREP ENGLISH I – 2211 and 2212

    College Prep English I, a foundational course for freshmen, reinforces instruction in Standard English grammar and usage within an integrated college preparatory program that includes reading, writing and speaking. College Prep English I supports the later DSHA English Department curriculum by focusing on building a strong foundation in grammatical and rhetorical conventions, allowing students to begin to use these conventions as effective writers. Students will write compositions to reinforce grammar and usage skills and to develop their voice as writers. Vocabulary development and reading comprehension are also strengthened with a variety of reading assignments.

    2 semesters, required
  • COLLEGE PREP ENGLISH II – 2251 and 2252

    College Prep English II, like College Prep English I, is an introductory foundational course that prepares students for the more complex reading and writing assignments they will receive as upperclasswomen. A survey of American literature, the course introduces students to the various authors and genres of American literature from the Puritan age to the modern and contemporary age. In the context of American literature, students focus on writing skills such as paragraph development, proper use of sources and citations, grammar, sentence structure, thesis development, essay structure and support. Students write three to four formal analytical essays each semester in addition to a number of shorter assignments. An introduction to the research paper is also included in the second semester. A variety of reading assignments in American literature including short stories, novels, poetry, essays and other nonfiction strengthen reading comprehension and vocabulary. Students also receive instruction in delivering formal speeches and by the end of the year, we expect our students to be competent and capable speakers, writers, thinkers and readers.

    10th grade, 2 semesters, required

    Women’s roles in art and literature reflect the changing values, cultural biases, and social mores of society. This course offers students an opportunity to examine female authors’ perspectives involving the impact of women in various spheres of the world. Students will explore contemporary and historically significant women writers from both a feminist perspective and an historical perspective. As a composition-based course, The Female Identity in Literature will require students to write numerous essays of critical analysis derived from discussion and independent analysis and examination. Works will include novels, short stories and nonfiction essays and articles.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester

    The Writing Course is a pure writing course that will instruct the student in and require her to write the four forms of discourse. However, since ninety to perhaps one hundred percent of the student’s writing assignments in high school and college will involve exposition, we will focus on that form and even
    description and narration in terms of having an expository purpose. Based on the assertion from the UW System that students preparing for college need “frequent and effective practice in writing,” all major assessment in the course will necessarily be in the form of writing assignments. During the semester, the students will be required to write eight full length, multiple paragraph, take home compositions (with a
    minimum of three and a half pages each in the MLA format) and an equal number of impromptu or in-class essays. By the end of the semester, every student will have produced an absolute minimum of 30 printed pages. Given the significance of syntax and vocabulary in every writer’s work, the course will also involve grammar review, vocabulary study and application, and sentence style lessons before and after every writing assignment. In fact, whenever we are not discussing a particular writing assignment, we will be working on grammar, vocabulary, and sentence style. 

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • SHAKESPEARE – 2325

    This course will provide students with a comprehensive view and understanding of the Shakespearean canon through reading and writing about tragedies and comedies. Reading and critical (written) analysis of Shakespeare’s sonnets will also be included. A composition-based course, Shakespeare will require students to demonstrate essential literary criticism skills in class discussion and within numerous papers throughout the semester.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester

    In Topics in Literature, we will critically examine various bodies/canons of literature organized around a theme or big idea. In this course, students may delve into detective fiction, the theology of literature, America in the 1990s, gender bias in fiction, science fiction or some other topic. The choices may be endless! As a composition-based writing course, emphasis will be on developing the skills of argumentative writing, close reading, and critical analysis and on thinking about what it means to participate in a community of readers. Please note: the Topics course is not assigned to any one teacher, nor will the topic be decided until the overall number of sections is determined. Students should choose this course with an open mind and a willing spirit; if you need certainty about what you will be reading, this may not be a course for you.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester

    The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled readers and writers through engagement with composing in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) about a variety of subjects; through writing that proceeds through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by teacher and peers; by writing informally (e.g., imitation exercises, journal keeping, collaborative writing), which helps students become aware of themselves as writers and the techniques employed by other writers; through writing expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions based on readings representing a variety of prose styles and genres; by reading nonfiction (e.g., essays, journalism, science writing, autobiographies, criticism) selected to give students opportunities to identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques; through analyzing graphics and visual images both in relation to written texts and as alternative forms of text themselves; by developing research skills and the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources; by conducting research and writing argument papers in which students present an argument of their own that includes the analysis and synthesis of ideas from an array of sources; and, through citing sources using a recognized editorial style (e.g., Modern Language Association, The Chicago Manual of Style).

    11th grade, 2 semesters
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
  • AP ENGLISH LITERATURE – 2151 and 2152

    Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition consists of a composition-based curriculum and prepares students for success as independent, analytic readers, thinkers, and writers. Based on the assumption that every graduate must be capable if not sophisticated in the higher-level learning skills of analysis and synthesis, the course presents frequent and effective practice in every aspect of composition, directed toward leading each student to achieve her potential as a high school writer preparing for college. All writing assignments will involve analytic exposition, based on the essay topics and multiple choice questions created by the College Board for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam. (All writing instruction in the course follows the style and form prescribed by the College Board.) Students will be required to write a minimum of 11 analytic papers and 12 impromptu analytic essays, therefore ensuring that all students will produce 50 pages of expository prose by the end of the year. During the first quarter, the students will study the analysis of poetry; the second quarter will involve drama and prose analysis; the third quarter will focus primarily on the novel, and the fourth quarter will involve a combination of assignments. (Just about every student in the course takes the AP English Literature and Composition Exam given in May by the College Board.)

    12th grade, 2 semesters 
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here

    This is a study of American writers of diverse ethnic backgrounds (including, but not limited to, Native, African, Asian, Hispanic and European Americans) and how ethnicity plays a role in the themes, structures, and genres of literature. Various historical periods may be considered. Aesthetic, historical, cultural, and gender issues will be explored.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    **Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from Cardinal Stritch University by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
  • EN 215: IRISH LITERATURE – 2260**

    This course explores how the powerful stories found in Irish mythology and folklore influenced the “Celtic Twilight” of W.B. Yeats and still show up in contemporary literature and art. Ranging from ancient stories of heroes, gods, and sacred sites, to cultural beliefs in the supernatural (particularly fairies, the banshee, and ghosts), legends and storytelling traditions will be explored, as well as Irish history and Irish mythology. Students will understand that the mythology and folklore of Ireland influenced and contributed to some of the most important literature of the Western world. We will read folktales, legends, plays, poetry and short stories, study artwork and film, and draw connections from the pre-Christian Celtic myths and beliefs to contemporary literature and current cultural practices and politics.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    **Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from Cardinal Stritch University by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here

    ENG 263 will constitute a wide-ranging study of contemporary literature written in English, written roughly between the end of WWII and the present. The class will approach this literature from a variety of thematic, historical, and/or generic vantages. Authors and topics under consideration will vary from class to class, but a focus on understanding the elements of contemporary literature will be our cornerstone. We may include a chronological introduction to the development of contemporary literature, and a consideration of themes, historical events, and aesthetic elements and their effects. Students will be evaluated by means of impromptus, reading check quizzes, essays and a mid-term and final exam.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    **Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from UW-Whitewater by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
**Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit Offerings Here
The DSHA English Department prides itself upon being a writing-intensive department. In addition to curriculum-based instruction, DSHA students have opportunities to develop and hone their writing and speaking skills both in and outside of their English courses. Discover some of the English-related opportunities below:

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