The purpose of the English program at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is to provide students with opportunities for acquiring skills and knowledge to prepare them for successful performance in college English and to enter the college English curriculum at the highest possible level. Upon successful completion of the program, students should have the ability to comprehend, generate, and communicate ideas.
Guidelines for Required English Courses
MSMS requires that English be taken each semester. Journalism, Yearbook, Debate, Southern Writers, and Creative Writing are offered to all students but may NOT be used to meet graduation requirements in English. Juniors are required to enroll in a 100-level course each semester to satisfy the 1-credit requirement. Journalism and Creative Writing are electives and do not satisfy the 1-credit English requirement. Seniors are required to enroll in eitherEN 200 (University English II), EN 214 (Selected Works of British Literature), or EN 216 (World Literature). Elective credit may be awarded for 100-level courses or other 200-level courses.
- Specifically, the objectives of the program are to equip students:
- To comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and use what they read;
- To write well-organized, effective papers;
- To listen effectively and discuss ideas intelligently;
- To appreciate the breadth and depth of their literary heritage;
- To discover how their literary heritage enhances imagination and ethical understanding;
- To recognize how their literary heritage relates to the customs, ideas, and values of today’s life and culture; and
- To utilize technology as they integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing in English studies.
Seniors are required to take a full year of approved 200-level course. (Creative Writing, Journalism, Southern Voices, Special Topics courses do not count toward the English requirement.) Juniors also have the option of taking any of the 100-level courses as electives. Seniors may take any of the 100- or 200-level courses as electives (with the exception of EN 200, 214, and 216). Registration for courses as electives will depend upon the space necessary to accommodate all students who need courses to meet the English requirement for graduation.
Detailed Descriptions of English Courses
EN 100 – University English I (College Credit)
Students who take University English I must have a composite score of 25 on the ACT. This course is offered for dual credit. By an articulation agreement with the Mississippi University for Women, students who successfully complete the class will satisfy the requirement for junior English at MSMS and receive six semester hours of college credit: three hours for MUW-EN 101 (English Composition I) and three hours for MUW-EN 102 (English Composition II). The course is a survey of American literature from the colonial period to the present. It also has a writing component that includes narrative, descriptive, expository, and critical essays, and a research paper.Note: For EN 100 students, the MSMS first semester grade will serve as the final grade for the first semester university course; the MSMS second semester grade will serve as the final grade for the second semester university course.
EN 110 – American Literature I
This course is a study of the development of American literature with an emphasis on major writings and their relations to the main currents of American thought from the colonial period through the middle of the nineteenth century. Successful students will complete outside readings, will respond to the literature through critical essays and timed examinations, and will participate in class.
EN 115 – American Literature II
This course is a study of the development of American literature with an emphasis on major writings and their relationships to the main currents of American thought from the middle of the nineteenth century through the present. Successful students will complete outside readings, will respond to the literature through critical essays and timed examinations, and will participate in class.
EN 122 – Late American Drama
This course explores American literature and culture of the twentieth century through the works of selected major dramatists. Students are expected to complete outside reading, to respond to the literature through critical and creative writing, and to participate actively in class discussions and role-playing. Students will study a variety of American dramatists with major emphasis on the works of Tennessee Williams. Offered during the fall semester.
EN 130 – Shakespeare I: The Romantic Comedies and Histories
This course is an introduction to the works of William Shakespeare and will concentrate on early plays. Students will read approximately a dozen plays, including The Comedy of Errors, Richard III, and the Henry plays.
EN 132 – Shakespeare II: The Tragedies and Late Romances
The course will focus on the later plays of Shakespeare. Students will read ten to twelve plays, including Othello, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest.
EN 134 – Classical Literature I: Epic Poetry
The focus of this course is on the great epic poems of the Greeks and Romans. Students will read The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. This literature provides students with an excellent background for more modern European and American works.
EN 135 – Classical Literature II: Drama and Philosophy
Students will study the works of the great Greek playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. Students will also read selections from Greek and Roman philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, and Epictetus.
EN 140 – American Poetry
This course will focus on the poetry of Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and Stevens. Students will also study the works of several other modern American poets. Students will get an in-depth look at the works of our finest poets. Offered during the fall semester.
EN 152 – Journalism I
In Journalism I, students both produce the school newspaper and study the elements of journalism. Students are introduced to the basic elements of composition, layout, and editing. Students will be expected to become proficient in word processing; article, feature, sports, and editorial writing; using the digital camera or video camera; and retouching pictures using PhotoShop.
EN 155 – Journalism II
In Journalism II, students will continue their study of journalism. Issues of leadership such as Editor and Internet Editor are the focus of this curriculum. Students will learn and use Quark Passport to layout the newspaper; manage files and articles from Journalism I students; conduct editorial board meetings; make decisions about the content and format of Vision, the school newspaper; edit articles and evaluate them for inclusion into the paper; and learn about HTML composition, web site management, and web site publication.
EN 200 – University English II (College Credit)
Students who take University English II must have a 25 composite score on the ACT by the April national test date of the junior year and complete enrollment requirements for MUW students. The course offers senior students an opportunity to receive dual credit in English from MSMS (English IV requirement) and from Mississippi University for Women (three hours for MUW-EN 201, Survey of Early English Literature, and three hours for MUW-EN 202, Survey of Late English Literature). The course is a study in chronological order of selected works representative of different periods of English literature from Beowulf through the modern period. Emphasis is given to the historical, intellectual, and social contexts which produced the literature and on the resulting intertext of literature and society. The course includes collateral readings. Students will write a variety of compositions, including critical essays and a research paper.
Note: For EN 200 students, the MSMS first semester grade will serve as the final grade for the first semester university course; the MSMS second semester grade will serve as the final grade for the second semester university course.
EN 214 – Selected Works of British Literature
Students in this yearlong course will read stories, dramas, poems, and essays and view films representative of British and Commonwealth literature. They will consider the works in relation to significant themes and literary movements of the ages which produced them, as well as explore the social and intellectual contexts in which they were written. Special attention will be paid during the second semester to the periods in which the British Empire expanded, then lost, its colonial power. Students will utilize library and Internet sources to produce presentations for class and for compositions, including critical essays and a research paper.
EN 216 – World Literature
In order to build on the diversity of students at MSMS, World Literature explores in translation the major writers from the main continents, Europe, the Americas, Africa, the subcontinent of India, China, and Japan from approximately 1650 to the present. Students will be encouraged to pick a culture and an era in the culture and develop a paper as well as a presentation about literature works and their background. Readings will include the major genres of literature: poetry, short story, novel, drama, and essay. Authors such as Goethe, Hugo, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Tagore, Lu Xun, Joyce, Borges, Maufouz, Nobuo, Robbe-Grillet, Yehuda, Saadawi, Eileen Chang among others will be selected to illustrate the qualities and culture of their origin. Students will read about 2000 pages, write about 8 essays, a research paper, and complete a spring project for Globe Day.
EN 235 – Southern Writers
Students will explore the American South in literature and film and examine influences shaping Southern writing, especially its exceptional flourishing in recent decades. Students will prepare for oral and written presentations in a seminar-type setting. Offered during the spring semester.
EN 240 – Creative Writing I
Students will practice techniques of poetry and short fiction composition as well as write creative non-fiction pieces. Part of the course requirement is to write for, design, and lay out a literary magazine for both print and electronic publication. Students will prepare manuscripts for local, state, regional, and national competitions. The course will meet for ninety minutes each week for the entire year. Juniors or Seniors may enroll in this course.
EN 245 – Creative Writing II
Students in Creative Writing II will continue to develop and practice composition techniques for writing poetry, short stories, and descriptive/narrative essays which exhibit mature elements of style: “lucidity, elegance, and individuality.” Students will pursue individualized writing projects in genres they select. Students will also write for, design, and lay out a literary magazine for both print and electronic publication. Students will prepare manuscripts for local, state, regional, and national competitions. The course will meet for ninety minutes each week for the entire year. Juniors or seniors may enroll in this course if they have earned credit in Creative Writing I.
EN 246 - Contemporary Literature
This course teaches critical reading/critical writing skills through the examination of contemporary literature. Students are expected to complete outside reading, and to respond to the literature through analytical essays, timed examinations, and class discussions. Most of the works considered in the course will have been published within the last five years or by authors who are still living. Analysis of the texts will focus on craft and structure, and arguments and themes. Topics will range from coming of age to social justice. Offered in the fall semester.
EN 250 – Special Topics in English
This elective course is based on student interest and may be offered on a one-time or a rotating basis. It may concentrate on a specific topic.