English honors-level courses

Course guidance

Honors-level courses in English should have as a prerequisite at least two years of college-preparatory composition and literature. Such courses should require extensive reading of poetry, prose, plays and novels chosen from a variety of historical periods and styles. The curriculum must emphasize advanced critical analysis and interpretation in order to develop sophisticated written arguments about assigned literature. Frequent writing assignments, especially of papers averaging 3-5 pages in length, should emphasize the stages of composing sustained arguments based on detailed textual analysis: pre-writing, drafting, revising. Writing instruction and carefully designed prompts should aim at enabling students to express complex and interrelated ideas with clarity and a mature, sophisticated style. Regular feedback on written assignments is essential to the success of honors-level courses. Regular college-preparatory sections in English must also be available in the curriculum. UC-approved honors courses must be demonstrably more challenging than regular college-preparatory sections, requiring more extensive and challenging reading assignments; more frequent, complex, sustained writing assignments; and written examinations, including a comprehensive written final examination.

UC-approved honors English courses must also meet the general “a-g” honors-level course criteria.

Sample courses

Samples of honors-level courses approved in the “b” subject area are available for reference as you prepare your own course for UC approval.