American Literature and Research


Say goodbye to research paper fear! This course not only introduces you to amazing classics from the good old U.S.A., but also gives you research tools that instill confidence. But, that’s not all. Students will learn to work with original works from the Age of Reason. At first, that will be challenging, but after a few weeks, they will get the hang of summarizing and paraphrasing and in the process discover some fascinating things about Early America. Many skills are covered in this course including writing an effective thesis statement and tweaking it as needed. At the end of the year, students and parents alike will be amazed at the writing and research skills acquired through this course.

I just love the literature in this course–it’s such a fun mix of authors and genres. Enjoy Davy Crocket’s homespun wisdom and Mark Twain’s silliness. And read the book everyone talks about, but no one reads–Uncle Tom’s Cabin–you will love this book! Discover hearts dedicated to the Lord in unexpected places as you get a bird’s eye view of American history along the way.


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American Literature & Research is a one-credit high school English course where students enjoy reading, writing, and discussing American works, going all the way back to Colonial Times. Students will learn to work with original documents from the Age of Reason, summarize, paraphrase, create a thesis, and walk through the research process step-by-step. Use American Literature & Research at home or in a homeschool co-op setting.

Students Will…

  • Read & discuss Great works of literature in a book club setting
  • Read original documents when you write your précis and paraphrase
  • Write a Research Paper step-by-step
  • Read sermons, speeches, & plays Aloud
  • Write an essay
  • Write a Letter to the Editor
  • Learn about Sunday Funny Papers
  • Create your own cartoons
  • Learn Some American history along the way

The following writings are included in American Literature & Writing:

  • “Day of Doom” by Michael Wigglesworth (long poem)
  • Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel by John Eliot
  • Narrative of the Captivity & Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson by Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (biographical adventure)
  • “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards (sermon)
  • Six of the Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, & Others (letters, editorials)
  • “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” by Patrick Henry (speech)
  • Six of the Anti-Federalist Papers by Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, & Others (letters, editorials)
  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe (suspense, short story)
  • “Diary of Adam and Eve” by Mark Twain (humor, short story)
  • “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” by Herman Melville (short story)
  • “Should America Intercede for the Jews?” by William E. Blackstone (letter of appeal)
  • “Booze Sermon” by Billy Sunday (sermon)

You will need to purchase, or download from the internet, the following books:

  • Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford
  • Diary of David Brainerd by David Brainerd, edited by Jonathan Edwards (journal)
  • Autobiography of Ben Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (autobiography)
  • The Deer Slayer by James Fenimore Cooper (historical fiction, novel)
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (historical fiction, novel)
  • A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett by Davy Crockett (autobiography)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (novel)
  • Ben Hur by Lew Wallace (historical fiction, novel)
  • In His Steps by Charles Sheldon (novel)
  • Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington (autobiography)
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemmingway
  • “Our Town” by Thorton Wilder (play)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (historical fiction, novel)
  • Tilly by Frank Peretti (novel)
  • Snoopy & Peanuts Comic Strips by Charles Schwartz (humor, comics)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (fantasy)

This course covers 1-credit of high school English grades 8-12.


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