Dual Enrollment English 12

Course Overview: Dual Enrollment English 12 is composed of two separate Rappahannock Community College courses taught at New Kent High School by a certified instructor. The course taken in the fall is ENG210: Advanced Composition. As described in the RCC course catalog, this course “[h]elps students refine skills in writing non-fiction prose[, g]uides development of individual voice and style[, and i]ntroduces procedures for publication.” The course to be completed in the spring is ENG251: Survey of World Literature I, in which students will critically read and write about major works of world literature from the beginning of written word through the year 1650.

From Your Instructor: I applaud you for deciding to challenge yourself with this rigorous advanced course, and I look forward helping you to grow as readers and writers. Please note that this is a college-level course with aligned expectations, so you will be expected to keep up with higher-level texts and a heavy workload. So that you can better avoid regression during the summer, you will have summer reading and accompanying assignments. Since we will focus on nonfiction in the fall and world literature in the spring, your summer reading assignments combine aspects of both courses (ENG210 and ENG251). Summer reading is vital to your success. The completion of the summer assignments for this course not only indicates your willingness to work hard, but also serves as a measurement of your academic ability and commitment. Please read the expectations and assignments carefully. If you have any questions, you may contact me via email (ameredith@nkcps.k12.va.us). If you do not get a response within two business days, assume that I did not receive your correspondence and re-send your message.

Summer Assignment Checklist:

________1. Review the “Rhetorical Strategies and Literary Devices” list below. Either electronically or using a hard copy, highlight any terms with which you are unfamiliar. Work on acquiring these terms as part of your vocabulary before the start of school. You should have your highlighted copy with you when school begins.

________2. Select one of the following novels to read and annotate (details below):

        • Doctor Faustus by Marlowe
        • Don Quixote by Saavedra
        • Hamlet by Shakespeare
        • The Prince by Machiavelli

________3. Select one of the following memoirs to read and annotate (details below):

        • Infidel by Ali
        • Notes of a Native Son by Baldwin
        • The Color of Water by McBride
        • The Glass Castle by Walls

________4. Write a two-page response exploring a theme found in the novel/play selected (details below).

________5. Save two nonfiction articles that relate to your selected memoir to share with the class.

________6. Write a sample college application essay (details below).

Part I: Rhetorical Strategies and Literary Devices

Directions: Study this list of rhetorical strategies and literary devices. You should not only know the definitions but also be able to identify and analyze the purpose and effect of the strategies/devices within a text. Additionally, it is expected that you are able to engage in analytical, academic conversations using these terms. Either electronically or using a hard copy, highlight any terms with which you are unfamiliar. Work on acquiring these terms as part of your vocabulary before the start of school. You should have your highlighted copy with you when school begins.

DE English 12 Summer Assignments - Rhetorical Strategies and Literary Devices

Part II: Reading and Annotating Two Novels/Plays

Select one of the following novels/plays to read and annotate: Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote, Hamlet, or The Prince. Carefully read the directions below for your annotations; you should share a digital collection of annotations with your instructor (ameredith@nkcps.k12.va.us) BEFORE classes begin (September 4th).

Dr. Faustus bookcover
Don Quixote bookcover
Hamlet bookcover
The Prince bookcover


Annotating may feel like a burden, but it is essential to fostering introspection and improving your literary analyses. In addition to increasing your textual knowledge and understanding, annotations serve as a document to demonstrate that you were an active reader of your chosen books. As you read, take notes on viewpoint, symbolism, character development, conflict, theme, rhetorical devices, word choice, setting, and text form/structure. Your annotations may consist of both statements and questions; sometimes thoughtful questions are the more insightful of the two. For example, the question How does the setting affect the way Hamlet and Gertrude interact, and how would they interact in a different region or time period? is more thoughtful than the statement The setting of the play is in Denmark in the 14th or 15th century.

It is crucial that you note page numbers as you annotate. It will make it much easier for you to reference portions of the text later. These notes should be thorough; they should serve as ample proof that you have critically read the work. Annotations are not just a summary of the plot.

Read the rubric below before you begin reading and annotating so that you are clear as to my expectations. The rubric offers you quantifiable directions. Of course, you are welcome to do additional annotations, but make sure you meet the minimum requirements to get the optimal grade on the assignment.

If you’re having difficulty knowing what to annotate, consider this list of suggestions:

  1. Ask questions—Are you confused about something? Does section of text spark any kind of contemplation? Write the question down.
  2. React to what you read—Maybe you just read something that made you angry, startled you, or brought you to tears. Write down your reaction to the text so you remember it later. Many times, an emotional response can be the first glimpse of a complex theory about a text or analysis of a text. Pay attention to your reactions!
  3. Give an opinion—Do you like or dislike an idea? Do you think the author is too boring? Record this opinion next to the passage that inspired it.
  4. Make real world connections: Novels/plays of literary merit are timeless and contain universal themes that are relevant to any time period. If you see connections to current issues facing students or people in general today, make a note of them and explore them.
  5. Make cross curricular connections—Maybe something you read reminds you of a literary movement you have studied or a philosophy with which you are familiar. Perhaps your knowledge of history provides insight into some aspect of the setting or an event in the text. Record these connections and they will help you find meaning and relevance in what you read.
  6. Quotations—Do you see a quotation that is important or thoughtful? An idea that might be worth remembering? Is there a “big concept” at the foundation of the novel/play? These are important to locate, as they are what you might quote in your investigation or written essay later. Write brief comments that indicate your motivation in making this selection. Focus on the essential elements of literature (plot, setting, characterization, point of view and theme).
  7. Consider characterization – is there a passage that reveals something about an important character? Make note of this. Where is each major character introduced in the text? What is significant about this first appearance? Sometimes even subtle details can indirectly reveal important things about characters.
  8. Define new words—Too often, reading comprehension problems occur because readers don’t understand words. As you are reading, use dictionary.com or a phone app to look up words. Sometimes, words have multiple meanings, and knowing a second or third meaning of a word with which you thought you were familiar may unlock new avenues of understanding.
  9. Track motifs—If you notice a recurring idea or pattern as you read, start noting the motif when it takes place.
Annotation Rubric: Novel

Part III: Reading and Annotating A Memoir

Select one of the following novels/plays to read and annotate: Infidel, Notes of a Native Son, The Color of Water, or The Glass Castle. Carefully read the directions above for your annotations; you should share a digital collection of annotations with your instructor (ameredith@nkcps.k12.va.us) BEFORE classes begin (September 4th).

Infidel bookcover
Notes of a Native Son bookcover
The Glass Castle bookcover
The Color of Water bookcover
Annotation Rubric: Memoir

Part IV: Two-Page Response Exploring Theme

Before beginning your two-page (minimum of two pages; maximum of five pages) response on a theme, you should have already: familiarized yourself with the rhetorical strategies and literary devices provided above, read and annotated your selected novel/play, and identified the theme you wish to address. Much of the work of this response should have already been completed through your annotations; now it is time to put together your notes into a cohesive and eloquent essay.

Your paper will be submitted electronically BEFORE the first day of school (September 4th). It should meet the requirements of MLA format and be in Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11. For more information on MLA standards, visit https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/.

Some guiding questions for your response include:

  • What is the theme of the novel/play?
  • How does the author reveal this theme to the reader?
  • Is there a universal message or lesson revealed through this theme?
  • Have you previously seen this theme in other works? How do those compare?
  • What sections of the text support your analysis of theme?
Thematic Exploration Rubric

Part V: Two Nonfiction Articles that Connect to Your Selected Memoir

After you have read your selected memoir (Infidel, Notes of a Native Son, The Color of Water, or The Glass Castle), you need to find two nonfiction articles from reliable sources. You are not required to write anything about the two articles, but you should be well-versed in their information, as you will be expected to use them in class discussion. These two articles may be electronically saved or printed and kept in your binder, but you are expected to have them in our first class meeting (September 4th or 5th); please note that you will most likely not have received your chromebooks yet, and so electronic access would use your data.

Additionally, I recommend taking notes about the connections you see between the articles and your selected memoir so that you can speak from an informed position.

Part VI: Sample College Application Essay

Your final task for this summer is to complete a sample college application essay. Many of you will be applying for early decision into the colleges of your choosing. As your instructor, I would like for you to get a head start on this process by writing an essay based on commonly used prompts from colleges across the nation. The writing of this essay will help me see where you are in this genre of writing and help you improve before you complete your college essays.

When you return to school, we will continue to work on this and other college essays: editing, revising, and polishing through the writing process. Your draft should be personal and reveal your intellect, ambition, and character. These kinds of essays should tell a story; you are showing who you are and what you have learned from your personal experiences. You should be writing this essay in first person, but avoid overusing personal pronouns. The structure is flexible, but your reader should be able to see a clear beginning, middle, and end.

The narrative should be 250-650 words. It should be typed in Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11 and double-spaced. This assignment is a completion grade, as we will be continuing to work on these drafts after you return.

Choose one of the following prompts and respond:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Essay topics from:

"Popular College Application Essay Topics (and How to Answer Them)." The Princeton Review. TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC, 2017. Web. 5 June 2017.

Below is a printable version of the summer reading requirements outlined above:

DE English 12 Summer Assignments