Westtown’s English Department offers courses — required, elective, and advanced — that are both content-rich and intellectually challenging. English classes emphasize literary analysis, together with expository and creative writing. You will become a strong critical thinker and a persuasive communicator.
We believe that the study of literature and composition fosters empathy. Our courses challenge students to develop their own thoughts and beliefs, to become aware of the perspectives of others, and to extend their awareness of broader social issues. Further, we encourage students to reject simplistic answers for the sake of resolution and encourage students to pursue sophisticated understanding through close reading and critical thinking. English classes emphasize literary analysis and expository and creative writing, helping students become strong critical thinkers and persuasive communicators.
You will have the following essential experiences in the English curriculum:
- Confident writing voice: you will develop a strong writing voice in the writing program
- Presentation and class leadership curriculum: students lead classes, facilitate discussion, and make formal presentations at every level
- Critical feedback development: students give and receive critical feedback on writing, learning how to deliver constructive criticism and how to use feedback effectively
- Process-centered approach to writing and drafting, employing collaborative feedback to benefit both the writer and the editor
- Seminar-style classes which encourage engagement and active participation
- 12th-grade Personal Research Essay: students write an extended, researched, personal essay with an annotated bibliography and paper abstract
Building and fostering a community of writers
The Writing Center was created to provide a safe environment to which students could come to develop their writing skills. Our goal is to help students write clearly, develop discipline and commitment to the writing process, realize the power of their individual voice and succeed as writers.
The Writing Center is staffed by English department faculty as well as student writing fellows, who have been selected by the strength of their own writing skills, and by their willingness to provide positive, constructive feedback to their peers. We embrace a process-oriented approach to writing, believing an assignment presents the opportunity to engage in a process of learning, writing and revision.
While there are discipline-specific conventions to consider, any successful assignment is written clearly, precisely, and with confidence. With access to individual conferences, the Writing Center is a place where all students have access to the opportunity to discuss and improve their writing.