Course Catalog: English Department

INTRODUCTION — The graduation requirements at St. Ignatius College Preparatory include eight semesters of English.  The English Department attempts to accomplish two major changes in the students before graduation.  Our first goal is to enable the students to express themselves in clear and precise prose.  The second is to give them the critical thinking skills necessary to understand and interpret works of literature in narrative, poetic, and dramatic form.  Our belief is that with these two skills the graduates can present themselves for their college education and be able to learn from the people and texts that they will encounter in college.  Toward this end, we present reading assignments which are of lasting human value and which are predicated on the ultimate judgment that the human is of inexpressible worth.  This worth is specifically perceived in the quality of hope that underlies the human imagination.  Our department, therefore, is at once concerned with both technical and transcendent values because we believe the human being is given the responsibility for immediate and eternal relationships: relationships with the human and the divine.

CRITERIA FOR HONORS ENROLLMENT — Students wishing to enroll in Honors or Advanced Placement courses in the English Department must apply for admission.  This process asks students to complete an application with a xeroxed, corrected copy of an analytical essay from their current English class and a report of the student’s semester grades in his/her current English course.  Students enrolled in a Regular English class who wish to advance to honors must have a first semester grade of A or A- to be eligible for honors' consideration.  In addition, the student should have maintained a 3.3 GPA in his/her English courses and in the overall course of study at St. Ignatius. These latter, however, can be supplemented by a high recommendation from the current teacher and/or a particularly good application.  Application forms are made available to the student well in advance of the course registration sheet in order to allow ample time to complete the application and submit it to the teacher for a recommendation. The Department Chair in consultation with the honors committee will make the final selection for Honors/Advanced Placement classes. 

Freshman English 100 (1100)

Grade Level — 9
Length — One Year

Type of Course — Core lower division course required for graduation
Prerequisite — None
Criteria for Enrollment — All freshmen students must enroll

UC/CSU Subject B Approval  

Course Description — The purpose of freshman English is three-fold: 1) to master certain grammatical material that will aid in the discussion of composition, 2) to begin a systematic approach to writing, and 3) to identify certain literary concepts in a variety of literary genres. To achieve these goals, English 100 presents the incoming students with a course of study that exposes them to the forms of literature: the short story, non-fiction essay, poem, drama, and novel. Freshman English also presents the students with various writing assignments that will start them on the process of building a personal writing style. The subjects for these assignments move from the students’ own experiences to topics related to their reading, and the movement during the course of the year is from narrative and descriptive writing to writing that is more expository in nature. Writing assignments generally will progress from one-page papers at the beginning of the year to longer essays at the end of the year. By the end of the course, the student will have written approximately 10-12 papers in a variety of rhetorical modes including creative, descriptive, narrative, expository, and literary analysis writing. The student will also have completed at least one multi-paragraph expository essay.

Freshman English 103H (1103)

Grade Level – 9
Length – One year

Type of Course – Core lower division course
Prerequisite – None
Criteria for enrollment – High performance on entrance exam

UC/CSU Subject B ApprovalClass receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA calculation

Course Description — The major difference between English 100 and English 103H is in the number of books that are read and their inherent difficulty, in the mode of instruction in the classroom, in the student initiative required, and in the number of writing assignments and their increasing and various difficulty.

Sophomore English 200 (1200)

Grade Level – 10
Length – One Year

Type of Course – Core lower division course required for graduation
Prerequisite – English 100 or 103H
Criteria for Enrollment – All sophomore students must enroll

UC/CSU Subject B Approval  

Course Description — English 200 continues the course of study begun in the freshman year. Skills learned the previous year are refined, expanded, and enhanced. Basic grammar is reviewed and new material introduced throughout the year. The lower division writing sequence continues with a review of paragraph writing, which leads into the year's emphasis on descriptive, narrative, and expository essay writing. Students will write approximately 10-12 papers in a variety of rhetorical modes. The writing becomes not only more formal, but increased in length as well with students writing multi-paragraph expository essays by the end of the first quarter. The reading of literature includes all the major genres: novel, drama, poetry, short story, and essay; however, the study of literature shifts from an organization by form to an organization by themes that reveal an insight into the human condition.

Sophomore English 203H (1203)

Grade Level — 10
Length — One Year

Type of Course — Core lower division course required for graduation
Prerequisite — English 100 or 103H
Criteria for Enrollment — See Criteria for Honors Enrollment

UC/CSU Subject B Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA 

Course Description — The major difference between this honors course and the regular sophomore course is in the number of books that are read and their inherent difficulty, in the mode of instruction in the classroom, in the student initiative required, and in the number of writing assignments (generally 2-3 additional essays per year) along with their increasing and various difficulty.

Junior English 300 (1300)

Grade Level — 11
Length — One Year

Type of Course — Core upper division course required for graduation
Prerequisite — English 100or 103H; English 200 or 203H
Criteria for Enrollment — All junior students must enroll

UC/CSU Subject B Approval

Course Description —  English 300 covers the literature of the United States from the Puritan Era to the present.  All the forms of literature which have been studied specifically in themselves during the first two years are now studied as they emerge historically through the imaginative lives of major U.S. authors.  This course complements the study of American History, which is also taken during the junior year.  The students' writing aims at greater and greater control over the expository essay and specifically at developing analytical theses on literature. Students will write at least twelve papers during the year in various rhetorical modes including the personal narrative (at least 1), the expository essay (5-7), the synthesis essay, the timed quick-write, and the creative composition.   After consulting with their teachers, students taking this course may opt to take the AP Language and Composition examination.  Both this course and the honors course prepare students to pass the Junior Writing Exam taken in the second semester.  Students who do not pass this exam with an acceptable score must take Literature and Composition:  Non-fiction during the senior year.

Junior English 303H (1303)

Grade Level — 11
Length — One Year

Type of Course — Core upper division course required for graduation
Prerequisite — English 100or 103H; English 200 or 203H
Criteria for Enrollment — See Criteria for Honors Enrollment

UC/CSU Subject B Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — English 303H fulfills all the goals of English 300 but requires the students to read several more books and to write longer and more (approximately 20) papers.  These papers require a good understanding of the forms of literature in order that the students will be able to formulate and support accurate, interpretative theses about the literature under study.  At the end of 303H, students usually take the AP English Language and Composition examination.

Senior English Classes

Seniors may structure their senior English courses with one AP course (Area I), or two single-semester classes from Areas II (Individual Authors), III (Genre), or IV (The Act and Art of Writing). Students may choose their two courses from the same area.

Entrance to the Advanced Placement course (Area I) is by the same application as for honors classes.  Interested and qualified students may apply for the Advanced Placement course even though they are not currently enrolled in the junior honors course.  Students who have not been preselected into the Advanced Placement course may not list that course on their course request sheet.

English 403AP: Advanced Placement English (1403 - Area I)

Grade Level – 12
Length – One Year

Type of Course –  Elective fulfilling eight semester graduation requirement
Prerequisite – English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment – None

UC/CSU Subject B Approval
Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

Course Description — This full-year course is intended for the seniors who qualify in two ways:  First, they must have the desire to sustain a high degree of effort throughout their senior year; second, they must have the proven ability to do accelerated work.  The course itself has two goals: 1) to prepare the students to pass the AP exam administered in May of the senior year, and 2) to prepare them to take their place in a sophomore English class at whatever college they attend.  The content of the course is divided into two major parts.  The first is the study of literature required by the AP exam.  Here the students become familiar with the novel, short story, poem, drama, and essay, particularly in their historical development.  In the second part, the students work at perfecting their writing skills.  Here they do two separate kinds of practice: 1) that aimed at proficiency for the exam itself, and 2) that aimed at proficiency in written expression for college level audiences.  Admission to this course is by application, recommendation of the junior year teacher, and approval of the Chair.  English 403AP is the only senior English course in which the 1.00 increment is awarded by the UC system.

English 430: Modern American Authors (1430 - Area II)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling
Prerequisite — English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment — None 

UC/CSU Subject B Approval

Course Description —  In this course we will do an in-depth study of modern authors, contextualizing these voices as they fit into our cultural identity.  In this one semester course, we will read short stories, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and song lyrics.  We will examine the narrator and the self, analyzing the way American individuality has shifted American literature.  We will identify and analyze literary devices and structures in popular texts, and use these as models for our own creative writing.  Formal grammar and vocabulary lessons will focus on clarification of voice.  In addition to standard 5 paragraph analytical essays, we will write creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and a multi-genre research paper. 

English 440: Shakespeare (1440 - Area II)

Grade Level – 12
Length – One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling eight semester graduation requirement
Prerequisite – English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment – None

UC/CSU Subject B Approval

Course Description — This single-semester course will try to demonstrate why so many people think Shakespeare is "the greatest writer in the English language."  The course will study selections chosen to represent the major groupings of his work: tragedy, history, and comedy.  The class will explore the nature of tragedy and the Shakespearean tragic hero; the concepts of action, character, and catharsis that underlie tragedy; the characteristics of the tragic hero and the tragic flaw; and the death of the hero as a component of tragedy in Hamlet, III and Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time will provide insights into the Chronicle plays.  The realm of comedy will include the happy ending and spiritual self-recognition in 12th Night and Much Ado About Nothing. The tragic comedy will be explored in The Merchant of Venice.  History and tragedy will meet in Richard III.  The method of the class will include reading, acting, viewing, discussing, and writing about Shakespeare's works and words.

English 435: Women in Literature (1435 - Area III)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling eight-semester graduation requirement
Prerequisite – Engliush 100 or 103H; 200 or 200H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment – None

UC/CSU Subject B Approval

This course is designed to investigate various portrayals of women in literature, film, and other media in order to learn how gender roles develop and change in different historical, political, and cultural contexts. Through a study of diverse literary greats – Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, Kate Chopin, Rita Dove, William Shakespeare, Barbara Kingsolver, and others -- we will examine the myriad images of women in literature. We will explore how women have accepted, struggled against, and transformed traditional roles of daughter, sister, friend, wife, and mother. This course involves critical thinking about contemporary issues and will prepare the student for a college introductory composition class. The writing in the course will be both expository and creative; we will react critically to the works we read, and we will continue to develop our personal literary “voices.” The goal of the course is to broaden our understanding -- historically, socially, economically, spiritually -- of women, of men and women in relationships, of the cultural forces that make “gender” such a compelling, interesting topic.  This course promises to be exciting and valuable to women and men; all are encouraged to join in the adventure of “Women in Literature.”  

English 450: Mythology (1450 - Area III)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling eight-semester graduation requirement
Prerequisite - English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment — None 

UC/CSU Subject B Approval

In this single semester course, students will investigate the patterns and archetypes of world mythology by reading a variety of ancient myths, in addition to plays, short stories, poems, and novels that utilize the themes and characters inspired by myth.  Students will consider different theories concerning the origin of myths and the function that this genre serves in the development of the individual and society. Units of study will include creation myths from around the world, Mesopotamian myths, classical myths, the Hero’s Journey pattern, Norse mythology, and modern works inspired by mythology. In addition to enjoying the irresistible charm of fantasy, students will also analyze the “truths” of the myths by discussing the relevance of mythological themes in the modern world. Students will purchase core texts; however, we will study numerous excerpts from on-line sources, particularly the Perseus Project.  Another component of this class will be working on writing skills, including the expository essay and creative writing. 

English 460: Fiction into Film (1460 - Area III)

Grade Level — 12
Length — One Semester

Type of Course — Elective fulfilling eight-semester graduation requirement
Prerequisite — English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment — None

UC/CSU Subject B Approval
 

Course Description — Photographer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy writes: "The illiterate of the [21st] century will be as ignorant of the camera as of the pen." This single-semester course aims to create conscious and knowledgeable readers and viewers of film and adds a proper balance to the study of fiction and film through the act of writing. Fiction into Film seeks to help the student see that literature and film go hand in hand by the nature of their common narrative elements despite the differences in their delivery. As you have learned to apply reading strategies and analytical skills to the printed text in your traditional English classes, in English 460 you will also learn to “read” a film, to “read in the dark.” In the course of the semester, we will study works of cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance, among them, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Graduate, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rear Window and Sunset Boulevard. The writing component of the course will be largely expository and in the form of critical papers discussing aspects of literary analysis and film technique as found in the particular works.

English 473: Burning Illusions: Exploration in American Culture (1473 - Area III)

Grade Level – 12
Length – One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling eight-semester graduation requirement 
Prerequisite – English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment – None

UC/CSU Subject B Approval
 

Course Description — Designed as a critical thinking and writing course for seniors, this course investigates the evolution of the United States through social, cultural, economic, and ideological lenses.  Examination of the growth of American society and myths through a diverse set of readings enables students to grasp the connections and struggles between the powerful and the disenfranchised throughout American history.  The readings illuminate and deconstruct American cultural myths through a broad range of topics (family, education, power, race -- and mediums such as fiction, nonfiction, music (jazz, folk, rock, hip-hop) and film.  By fostering intellectual independence essential to not only critical thinking, but to becoming "men and women with and for others," this course benefits and welcomes students of all backgrounds.  Featured authors include Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Cornel West, Tomas Rivera, and Malcolm X.  Students will engage in expository, creative, and autobiographical writing.

English 492: Poetry and Dramatic Literature (1492 - Area III)

Grade Level – 12
Length – One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling eight-semester graduation requirement
Prerequisite – English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment — None

 UC/CSU Subject B Approval
 

Course Description — This course offers students a journey through major innovative dramatic works while asking students to create their own dramatic works on contemporary themes as related to the works studied in class. Using Aristotle's Poetics as the basis for form and structure, works will be chosen from Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night to the lyric drama of Stephen Sondheim's Company. Contemporary playwrights will include Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, and Kander & Ebb’s Chicago. Students prepare a final project including a portfolio and/or a dramatic presentation of their own works.

English 482: Literature and Composition: Nonfiction (1482 - Area IV)

Grade Level – 12
Length – One Semester

Type of Course – Elective fulfilling eight-semester graduation requirement and required for graduation for those who do not pass the Junior Writing Exam
Prerequisite – English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment – Open to all seniors but required for all who do not pass the Junior Writing Exam with an acceptable grade.

UC/CSU Subject B Approval
 

Course Description — This single semester course aims at developing the essentials of good expository and persuasive writing — the ability to generate, develop, and organize ideas. The course will address and work through specific writing problems that stand in the way of effective written expression. Students will be given ample opportunity to improve and refine techniques of composition that will aid them in producing effective college-level papers. This course is open to all seniors intent upon actively strengthening their writing skills and is required for all seniors who did not pass the Junior Writing Exam.

AMDG
St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Courage to Lead; Passion to Serve

2001 37th Avenue San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 731-7500
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