The American literature course challenges students to function as strong critical writers and readers. The course includes intensive work in expository and argumentative writing and focuses on the analysis of varied literature across genres and time. To this end, students examine complex relationships within texts with a writer’s eye to explore how authors communicate experiences, fundamental truths, and alternative perspectives. From this study, students will refine and evaluate their own authorial choices. Students also hone research, writing, and revision skills through ongoing writing instruction in small and large group workshops. Extensive discussion activities such as round tables, peer groups, and literature circles demand student leadership which, in turn, builds sophisticated speaking and listening skills.