English 4: American Literature and Composition

This course emphasizes the study of American literature. The course is presented in two semesters.


Semester 1 examines American literary works from Colonial times to the present in a variety of forms, from poetry to nonfiction to fiction.


Semester 2 explores American literary themes found in genres such as dark romanticism and detective fiction. This course also discusses theater in the United States beginning in the 18th century. It also familiarizes students with famous speeches and public speaking. This course also emphasizes the application of higher order thinking.


1 Credit


English 1: Grammar and Composition
English 2: Introduction to Literature
English 3: World Literature


This course is aligned to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) standards, Florida Sunshine State Standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards.


Semester 1

  • ENG 401: Pretest – American Literature
  • American Poetry—A New Voice
  • Poetry and the American Revolution
  • Fireside Poets and Civil War Poetry
  • Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
  • Nature Poems
  • Gothic Poetry and Folk Poetry
  • Contemporary American Poets
  • Prose Poetry
  • Early American Prose
  • American Transcendentalism
  • Early Historical Fiction and Nonfiction
  • Domestic Fiction
  • Folklore and Tall Tales
  • Southwestern Humor
  • Horror Fiction
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • ENG 401: Test – American Literature


Semester 2

  • ENG 402: Pretest – American Literature
  • Crime Fighters (Crime/Detective Fiction)
  • Caught by Surprise
  • American Gothics: Poe and Hawthorne (Dark Romanticism)
  • Award Winning Authors
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome Part 1
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome Part 2
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome Part 3
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome Part 4
  • Theater in the United States
  • Early American Playwrights
  • 20th Century American Playwrights
  • One-Act Plays
  • Expressionism: The Emperor Jones by Eugene O’Neill
  • The Emperor Jones: A Literary Analysis
  • Famous Speeches
  • Public Speaking
  • ENG 402: Test – American Literature

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