English honors-level courses
Course criteria & guidance
Beginning with the 2015-16 submission period, the following course criteria is effective for honors-level courses seeking approval in the English ("b") subject area:
Honors-level courses in English will have as a prerequisite at least two years of college-preparatory composition and reading. Such courses require extensive reading of poetry, prose, plays and novels chosen from a variety of historical periods and styles as well as challenging nonfiction texts. The curriculum must emphasize advanced critical analysis and interpretation in order for students to develop complex written arguments about assigned readings. Informal and formal writing assignments will emphasize the stages of composing sustained arguments based on detailed textual analysis: pre-writing, drafting, revising. Writing instruction should enable students to express complex and interrelated ideas with clarity and a mature, sophisticated style. Assignments and activities require students to show evidence of facility with a variety of technological platforms.
Regular college-preparatory sections in English must also be available in the curriculum. UC-approved honors courses will be demonstrably more challenging than regular college-preparatory sections, requiring more extensive and challenging reading assignments and more frequent, complex, and sustained writing assignments. They must also include a major culminating activity, such as a complex final project or extensive written final exam.
UC-approved honors English courses must also meet the general “a-g” honors-level course criteria.
Samples of honors-level courses approved in the “b” subject area are available for reference as you prepare your own course for UC approval.