Syllabus and Course Outline for English 10
Tuesday, August 28, 2007By: Creighton King
Syllabus and Course Outline for English 10
Instructor: Mr. King

Overall Objectives:

This course emphasizes close reading, clear and incisive writing, attentive listening, and articulate public speaking.


Since reading constitutes much of the homework for this course, you need to devote careful attention to what you read while on your own.  Annotate each reading assignment carefully by noting motifs, themes, and key passages, especially those passages that may pose problems for interpretation or understanding.  In class, your margin notes and underlined or highlighted passages become your primary source for leading class discussions.  I may call on you at any time to lead a discussion, so you should always be prepared with specific ideas and questions linked with specific textual passages for each assigned reading.


During the year your analytical writing undergoes a shift from the analytical paragraphs and multi-paragraph essays you learned as a freshman to longer essays that develop more complex ideas in support of an original thesis.  To improve the form and style of your writing, you need to advance your knowledge of grammar, syntax, mechanics, usage, technique, proper documentation, and vocabulary; and, to improve the content of your writing, you need to develop greater rigor and depth in your analysis, interpretation, use of logic, and use of textual evidence.  Since improvement in any endeavor requires practice and discipline, expect to correct, rework, edit, and revise every formal writing assignment at least once.  Here are some additional guidelines:

∑       Formal writing assignments must be word-processed in strict accordance to the format shown in “The Wright Way” handout.
∑       Edit and proofread your work carefully.
∑       Be prepared to submit a hard-copy of each writing assignment at the beginning of the period on the due date.
∑       Cite all textual evidence (see “The Wright Way” for correct MLA format).
∑       Save all drafts throughout the year.
∑       Plagiarism will be treated as a form of theft  (of another’s intellectual property) and, like theft, could be grounds for immediate expulsion.


You need to pass a grammar examination at the end of the year as a condition of acceptance into Junior English (see Grammar Syllabus).

Class Discussion:

With occasional exceptions, we conduct class discussions in a seminar style.  Whenever your homework is reading, prepare for the next class as if you were responsible for leading a ten to fifteen minute discussion.  Expect me to call on you at random.   If you pass when I call on you, you lose points for class participation (see “Homework and Grading,” below).

Outside Reading:

You must read at least five hundred pages of outside reading per quarter.  You are responsible to schedule book talks with me before or after school, during lunch, or during my free periods, which are B and C Blocks.  Please be aware that books written for a sixth grade level or below, in spite of their often laudable literary merit (Harry Potter novels, for example), earn half credit.  Books read for another class also earn half credit.  If you are uncertain, please feel free to seek approval for your selections beforehand.

Required Texts:

A Raisin in the Sun (Summer Reading)
A Separate Peace (Summer Reading)
eFictions (Short Story Anthology)
Sophocles’ Theban Plays (Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone)
Selected Poems (handouts)
The New St. Martin’s Handbook

Required Materials:

One three-ring binder for English class only
One floppy disk or RCD for English class only
Loose-leaf paper (for taking notes and for in-class writing assignments)
Pens (blue or black ink only)
VHS cassette or blank DVD disk (for making a personal video-recording of your scene from Macbeth)

Homework and Grading:

Except for absences that are both excused and unexpected (illness, injury, flood, blizzard, family crisis), you can receive full credit for an assignment only by having it ready for submission at the beginning of class on its due date.  For each day an assignment is late (including weekends and holidays), you lose a third of a letter grade (e.g., a paper earning a B would earn a B- after one day, C+ after two, C after three, and so on).  When you have a scheduled event that makes it impossible for you to attend class, you are responsible to submit assignments and collect assignments before the class or classes you have to miss.

Similarly, if you elect to pass when your name comes up for class discussion, each pass reduces by a third your class participation grade for that day (you receive a grade for class participation every day).  Since you need to be to class on time in order to participate fully, each unexcused tardy also reduces your class participation grade for that day by a third.  Obviously, each unexcused absence registers an F for class participation.

Weighting for Graded Categories:

Written Assignments             35%
Tests and Quizzes               25%
Class Participation             15%
Homework                        15%
Outside Reading                 10%

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