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Unit Overview

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  • AmericanLit.png


    As you will soon find out, American Literature is divided into Literary Time Periods based on the time in history, themes, purpose, and style of writing.

    Many of the literary periods mirror larger literary periods that were occurring in Europe, but American Literature also branches off into its own unique styles.  Each literary period occurred as a reaction against the previous movement, and as a reaction to what was happening in the country at that time.

    In addition to understanding the characteristics of each time period, it is important to know how to correctly use MLA format, as you will be expected to format all formal essays in this manner.  We will discuss how to avoid plagiarism while learning how to properly cite outside sources.  Visit these websites below for more information on American Literature and to help you with MLA format.  You might want to bookmark them for future reference!

    American Literature Background

    MLA Format


    We will aim to answer these Essential Questions in this unit:  

    • How do the authors and works I will study relate to American history and society at the time?
    • How do I properly format a formal essay?
    • How do I create a works cited page in MLA format?
    • How do I use in-text citations effectively and appropriately to avoid "accidental plagiarism"? 

    Key Terms

    Below, you will find several key terms for this unit.  Spend time familiarizing yourself with these terms as the ideas govern the whole of American Literature.



    Standards Addressed

    • Standard 2: Reading for all Purposes Prepared Graduates: Seek feedback, self-assess, and reflect on personal learning while engaging with increasingly more difficult texts. Demonstrate comprehension of a variety of informational, literary, and persuasive texts. Interpret how the structure of written English contributes to the pronunciation and meaning of complex vocabulary.
    • Standard 3: Writing and Composition Prepared Graduates: Write with a clear focus, coherent organization, sufficient elaboration, and detail. Apply standard English conventions to effectively communicate with written language.
    • Standard 4: Research and Reasoning Prepared Graduates: Evaluate explicit and implicit viewpoints, values, attitudes, and assumptions concealed in speech, writing, and illustration. Discriminate and justify a position using traditional lines of rhetorical argument and reasoning.