English III

We begin in the fall with a close reading intensive. We interrogate the mechanics of language in works of microfiction and poetry, learning to identify and describe the careful choices involved in constructing a text. In the winter, we bring our close reading skills to bear on the everyday language recorded in Studs Terkel’s Working. Our interest here is both specifically literary and broadly humanistic: how does language reflect the realities of life at work? How does a person’s experience at work inform and shape their idea of the self moving through the world? Students are encouraged to get curious about the interplay of necessity and choice involved in working life, and to begin to envision how they might navigate working life when school comes to an end. In the spring, English III takes a turn towards rhetoric and the art of persuasion. We will read excerpts from Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, investigating the classical art of rhetoric and learning to identify and use basic rhetorical figures. Our unit on rhetoric will culminate in a powerpoint party, in which groups of Juniors will have an opportunity to persuade the rest of the student body on a wide array of topics ranging from the frivolous to the existential. Finally, we will all decide on a short novel to read together to bring the year to a close. Throughout the year, Juniors are also hard at work on Junior Thesis— a research-based project that gives each student the opportunity to take a deep dive into a topic of their choosing. Students receive guidance and instruction on some of the nuts-and-bolts aspects of research, including note-taking and citation practices.


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