Pre-AP English: Advanced Composition and Literary Analysis

From: $85.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 9th-12th

Live class:  Mondays, 6:00-7:00 pm EST

Course dates: August 24th-April 26th

Price: $599 ($649 after July 1st)

Instructor: Dr. Lauren P. Bailes

Instructor email:

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Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Lauren P. Bailes

There’s a moment in every reader’s life when he or she makes the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. This class is extension of that approach. Literature, suggests one of its greatest theorists, should be both a window and a mirror. We read to learn about ourselves and the world. Those goals are at the heart of this class.

I. Overview:

  • Students will produce, revise, and publish several analytical essays covering a range of topics
  • Students will learn to recognize, use, and critique common structures of argument and rhetoric
  • Students will read literary texts deeply and respond using imaginative and analytical frameworks
  • Students will practice literary analysis based on key features of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry texts

o Text structure and style

o Elements of plot

o Setting

o Historical and social context

o Mood and tone

o Theme

o Figurative language, imagery, and symbolism

  • Students will write critical literary analyses by engaging in three modes of response: experience, interpretation, and evaluation
  • Students will collaborate in groups for the purposes of peer revision, class discussion, and critical interpretation
  • Projects and groups will be differentiated based on the student’s abilities so that all students have a challenging and nurturing environment in which to grow their writing abilities.

II. Course Objectives:

  • Students will develop writing processes that are both efficient and effective
  • Students will make careful observations of textual detail, establish connections among their observations, and draw conclusions about observation that lead to interpretive conclusions about the value and meaning of literature
  • Students will recognize rhetorical, structural, and linguistic choices that writers make and aid students in making their own choices about writing
  • Students collaborate with classmates and engage in scholarly conversations about reading and writing

Course Structure

This course is broken into six units. Three of which are centered on a fictional text and three of which are anchored in a nonfiction work. Each unit concludes with a polished written product. The unit include: Just a good story – Peace Like A River, Put it all together – Synthesis Essay, It’s all about attitude – The Book Thief, Argument and rhetoric – Problem-Solution Essay, Dreams tell the myths we’ve forgotten – Til We Have Faces, Using sources for research – Mini-research paper. Most weeks will include a live, hour-long Zoom class that is recommended (although not required) for all students.

Who should enroll?

The ideal students is in at least 9th grade (or at least 14 years old) with significant levels of self-motivation, organization and focus. They should also be committed to collaborating with others weekly and wiling to ask questions and take risks.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

Students will receive prompt written and graded feedback on their assignments via Canvas. I give students lots of advice about how to clarify both their thinking about the texts and their analytic writing. Final grades are based on class participation, weekly homework assignments, and major projects.


I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers and I respond to parents promptly via email or Canvas message.

View Course Syllabus

Required Texts

Write for College (978-0-669-00031)

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (0802139256)

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (0156904365)

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (0375842209)

Additional reading assignments will include poetry, short stories, nonfiction articles and essays. These are available online or will be provided to students by the instructor.


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All classes taught by Lauren Bailes

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  • Writing Research Right: The Research Paper (Summer 1)

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  • Pre-AP English: Advanced Composition and Literary Analysis

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