Register for this class »

Literature & Composition 201: Renaissance to Romanticism

Course Description

Literature 201 is designed to teach both literature and composition. Rather than separating the two skills, we use the literature to guide our topic choices in a variety of writing styles, including narrative, poetry, comparison, exposition, and research writing. Additionally, two unit tests introduce the idea of the literary essay test, a staple in college classes.

This class starts with a unit on literary techniques, where we get to try to utilize these tools in our own writing. Our first movement through the Renaissance is poets like John Donne and William Cowper, and then we discuss the masterpiece Romeo & Juliet. Then we move into the Romantics with a novel of your choice from that era. We focus next on the Gothic movement with some short stories from Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, culminating with your choice of a seminal Gothic work: pick from Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, or Great Expectations. We end the year with a research project that allows students to explore one of these authors or events from this time in more detail.

This class meets honors diploma requirements in most states. Please be sure to check your guidelines to ensure honors credit.

Course Objectives

Students who complete the course will be able to:

  • Analyze the themes, symbols, characters, plot, and point of view in literature
  • Cite textual evidence to support literary analysis
  • Lead short activities in discussion groups
  • Understand the tenets of the Renaissance, Romantic movement, and Gothic movement
  • Write in several different styles, including narration, exposition, comparison, poetry, and description


Literature 201 is designed for students in high school who have a proficient grasp on composition and are ready to study texts alongside writing. Students who have completed Composition 104 or equivalent should take this class next.

Class Requirements

Technical Requirements

  • A computer with internet access – high speed recommended.
  • An email address unique to each student.
  • Any version of Word (If a version of Word is 2003 or lower, you will need to download this converter from Microsoft to read Word 2007 documents)

Class Format

The class will last for 30 weeks. The class is asynchronous, meaning that each student can complete his or her work at the time that is most convenient. There is not a designated class time. Homework must be posted by midnight, EST, Monday–Friday.

All students will be provided with a username and password to Write from the Heart's online classroom. They will use this classroom to interact with other students, post papers, and conference with their coaches. Students will also have access to their grades through this classroom.

Classes have daily assignments. Occasionally, there are assignments that span several days. Assignments are intended to take approximately 1 ½ hours a day.

All writing coaches are also available via email throughout the week.

Class Dates

September 8, 2020 - April 23, 2021

(There will be a one-week break the week of Thanksgiving and a two-week break at Christmas. There will be a one-day break on April 2, 2021.)


  • MLA Handbook, 8th Edition
  • Romeo & Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
  • Literature Guide 201 (ebook)

Price (for the 2020-2021 school year)

Full Cost: $615

Installment Plan: We are too close to the start of classes to offer an installment plan.

Refer a Friend

Refer another family to WFTH, and receive a $25 discount per family who registers and pays for a full year class. Have the new family list your name in the registration and you will be contacted with your coupon code.

Click here to create a referral for your friends.

Note: if you have already paid for your class, this coupon can be redeemed via a refund or for next year’s registrations. Codes are valid for one year.

Payment Methods

We accept check, credit card, or PayPal for full payments. We also offer installment plans (credit card and PayPal only).

  • We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. All payments are securely processed through VeriSign/PayPal.
  • Installment plans (credit card and PayPal only):
    • All installments will be invoiced through PayPal. All major credit cards are accepted.
    • Invoices will be emailed at the beginning of every month and due on the 15th of every month for the installment period selected.
    • Late payments may result in loss of the hold for the student's admission spot.
    • Installment plans are designed to be completed by the beginning of the school year. Not all installment options will be available as the school year approaches.
    • Refunds for any cancellations will follow the Refunds Policy below.

Refund Policy

  • $100 is nonrefundable for cancellations made by September 1, 2020.
  • $250 is nonrefundable for cancellations made by October 15, 2020.

No refunds will be made for withdrawals made after these dates. Refunds will be given by check regardless of the original method of payment.

Terms of Payment

  • Payments must be postmarked by the due date shown.
  • There will be a $30 returned check fee.
  • Admission to the class is not finalized until full payment is received. For the installment option, a position in the class is temporarily held, but admission to the class is not finalized until the full payment has been received. Upon receipt of final payment, a confirmation email will be sent to the parent.

Sample Syllabus

For this class, some weeks will have daily assignments, and some weeks will have assignments that cover several days at a time. The daily assignment weeks will tend to be at the beginning of the year, and will move toward more independently monitored weekly or unit deadlines.

Week 24
Gothic Literature

Monday-Tuesday: Complete the following activities in the order given:

  • Read the attachment “Introduction to Gothic Literature.” (15 minutes)
  • Read “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Answer the questions found in the Child Board “Young Goodman Brown Discussion Questions.” Comment on the insights of your classmates to earn your participation points.
  • Read “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allan Poe. Answer the questions found in the Child Board “The Cask of Amontillado Discussion Questions.” Comment on the insights of your classmates to earn your participation points.

Wednesday-Friday: Complete the following activities in the order given:

  • Read “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Answer the questions found in the Child Board “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Discussion.” Comment on the insights of your classmates to earn your participation points.
  • Read the attachment “Reading Group Instructions” and be prepared to implement them beginning next Monday (10 minutes).
  • Read the attachment “Introduction to Gothic Novels” (10 minutes).
  • Post your vocabulary words by midnight Friday
  • Reminder: you need to have your Gothic novel in hand (or bookmarked on the computer) by Monday!!

How Our Classes Work

Write from the Heart is unique among online classes for homeschoolers: it blends the flexibility of an asynchronous online style with the peer collaboration of a classroom. This means that there are no set class times, but students interact with one another on a daily basis.

The students are all given a password and unique log in to our online classroom. Each week, the students will utilize a syllabus that lists their daily tasks for the week. All tasks are due by 11:59pm, EST. Some tasks last several days, while others require the students to finish in one day.

Classroom screenshot

Workshop Format

One of the most important features of Write from the Heart is the collaborative writing process. Every paper is reviewed several times before it is turned in for a grade. Students learn about composition not only by writing themselves, but by learning how to critique others and think critically about their own piece.

In the workshop approach, your child’s paper is reviewed:

  • At the outline stage by a writing coach
  • After each revision by two separate peers in the class.
  • In an instructional “conference” with a writing coach.
  • After the final draft by a writing coach using a grading rubric.

This process takes about two weeks to complete. This workshop method allows students to learn as they work, seeing their ideas develop and grow before their eyes. The peer interaction, monitored by coaches at every step, allows the students to increase their skills in a collaborative way. Many times, they become personally invested in the success of their peers. Write from the Heart is a community of learners, committed to positive interactions and encouraging growth.

How Are Students Graded?

Class grading

All students receive homework grades for work completed throughout the class. This includes grammar activities, instructional assignments for composition skills, workshop interactions, and posting of paper drafts at each stage of revision. A gradebook is provided in the online classroom so that students can track their grade throughout the class.

Final writing assignments are assessed using a rubric that focuses on content, development, organization, voice, and mechanics. The grading also takes into account the growth that the student has made through the workshop and revision process. Students receive written comments throughout their final paper. On the rubric, they are told where they are strong as well as where they need to improve.

The goal in all grading is to encourage the student. By the end of the class, students will have a concrete collection of works showing revisions along with professional feedback on all assignments.


How do I know if my child is ready for this class?
What are the differences between Literature I and Literature II?
How are students graded?
What diploma requirements does this class meet?
Will this class prepare my student for the SAT test?
What do we do about missed work if we are traveling?
What should we do if we experience computer problems?
What is the difference between the instructor and a composition coach?

How do I know if my child is ready for this class?

Your child should have completed some sort of basic composition class that has allowed him or her to become proficient in applying logical order, writing descriptively, and the ability to recognize and write in a variety of different genres. Your child will need to submit a sample piece of work with the application; that will help the instructor determine if the skills needed are evidenced sufficiently. Your child will be expected to be able to meet weekly, and sometimes daily, deadlines as shown. If you feel that your child might need a review of composition principles first, please review the Intermediate Composition class overview. That class will also meet the diploma requirements for your high school age child.

What are the differences between Literature I and Literature II?

Both classes are designed for students in 9th-12th grade. Literature I introduces the idea of literary analysis and it establishes a common literary vocabulary. Literature II builds on this, and the student is required to integrate the skills learned in Literature I (or a comparable class) as well as learn new avenues for analysis. Literature II also picks up chronologically in literary movements where Literature I leaves off. As the literature the class studies moves closer to the 20th century and postmodernism, more themes and language appear that are intended for students who have demonstrated the maturity to think critically about a higher level text. However, for both levels, an opportunity will be provided to discuss values and themes that do not match up with a Christian worldview.

How are students graded?

Students receive a weekly homework grade based on the completion of assignments. Discussion of texts read for class will be considered part of that grade. For each of the units of texts read, there will be a textually-based test, which will include both retention and critical thinking through essay answers. In addition, an assessment rubric will be provided for each major writing assignment. Students will know before being graded what criteria are expected to be met. Before submitting papers for a final grade, students will receive feedback from a writing coach and peers and will have opportunity to make revisions and edit.

What diploma requirements does this class meet?

This class meets diploma requirements by providing the following: 5 major assignments showing revisions and editing changes; a 7-10 page research paper (minimum) with documentation; a 10-15 minute oral presentation; and four classic books. Many states have a minimum book requirement: simply supplement your child’s reading list to meet the state requirement. In addition to the above-mentioned diploma requirements, the classes also provides two tests, a portion of which will be essay-based; several timed essays, and grammar and vocabulary activities. If you are concerned about your state's laws being fulfilled, email Veldorah Rice with your state's specific guidelines.

Will this class prepare my student for the SAT test?

Yes. Vocabulary expansion and retention will be part of every major assignment. By the end of the year, the student will have added at least 140 new words to their lexicon. On every major writing assignment, students practice identifying common sentence errors and checking for spelling, capitalization, usage, and punctuation as well as sentence structure and paragraph improvement. The literature based lessons are designed to include practice with comprehension and critical reading skills. The essay tests will help the student insightfully develop a point of view with appropriate reasons and examples and use language skillfully. However, if your child is preparing to take the SATs during this school year, it is recommended that you purchase a text specific to teaching the test-taking skills needed for the SAT examination.

What do we do about missed work if we are traveling?

Even though the class officially begins in September, students are given access to the forum in early August. That way, anyone wishing to begin early to accommodate family vacations may do so. Students also have off the full week of Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas. If a child has access to a computer while traveling, he may complete his work anywhere.

What should we do if we experience computer problems?

Students are advised to frequently make a back-up of their work. If they experience computer failure, they can easily take their back-up to a relative's or friend's house, or to a public library.

What is the difference between the instructor and a composition coach?

Instructor — This is the person who manages the course material, who creates new courses, and who oversees everyone else. This person is Veldorah Rice. She leads all class discussions and oversees all aspects of the course and is available on a daily basis to answer questions or help with any problems.

Composition Coach — a composition coach has a degree in English as well as professional training and expertise in teaching high school students. He or she works alongside of the instructor and will guide the students through the composition portions of the course including: grading grammar exercises, commenting on the rough draft stage of writing, conferencing on revised drafts, and scoring final assignment rubrics.

Register for this class »