American Literature – Ind. Study



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American Literature – Ind. Study

This independent study opportunity focuses on American Literature. Students can choose to study a time period, a literary period, a specific American author, or they can take a more eclectic approach. American Literature is rich, and the possibilities are endless. In this study, students should expect to choose three longer works or two longer works and a collection of short stories or poetry to read and analyze. Students will be expected to consider social and historical context, author background, the use of literary devices, etc. Students will be expected to compose three essays covering the three works read. Guidance can be given on selected works and on essay topics if needed. Students should be familiar with the basic formatting of a 5 paragraph essay in MLA format. If a student’s writing ability is more advanced, longer essays will be accepted. Students will meet with the instructor before each writing assignment. All other correspondence will occur via email. Students may choose to replace one paper with a project. The project must be approved by the instructor.


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Jess Woods graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English Education. Upon graduating she taught in a public high school for three years before deciding to stay home with her children.  Since 2013, she has been teaching middle school and high school English courses online.  Jess is a life-long reader and writer.  She comes alive in the company of words and music, and she has a passion for literature that reaches through every part of her being.  She believes wholeheartedly that each person has a relevant voice and perspective, and she eagerly teaches her students to embrace their individual voices by exploring their own thoughts and learning to confidently articulate them.  It is her desire to encourage growth in all students (regardless of their love for English courses…or lack thereof).  She considers it a tremendous success if she can awaken a love of literature and/or composition in her students. Jess currently resides in Alabama with her pastor-husband, Josh.  The couple has three children, two dogs, and two cats.  While reading and writing are clearly on the top of her hobby list, Jess also enjoys all things musical, cooking competition shows, hiking, running, and traveling.

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