Academics
Program of Study

English

The Riverside Military Academy English Department emphasizes character development through the study of great literature and the improvement of written communication. As with the entire RMA program, we seek to prepare cadets to be successful in college, with the development of a strong vocabulary, solid study skills, and clear expression, as well as an understanding of research papers written in MLA style. Earlier grades continue a focus on grammar as well as reading and writing; later grades apply the grammar skills to writing clear and varied sentences, paragraphs, and papers.
 
Our faculty selects literature that grapples with questions every young man faces: what does it mean to become a man? How do I live a meaningful life? How can I grow as a leader? How do I treat my fellow man? Content comes from all historical eras, from Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to modern texts. Cadets must argue persuasively and articulate their ethics as they wrestle with the texts.
 
Gainesville is blessed with a strong theater program through the University of North Georgia and Brenau University, and with Atlanta only an hour away, our cadets frequently experience theatrical supplements to their study. In recent years cadets have attended performances of The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, As You Like It, Macbeth, and Antigone, among others.  

English Courses

List of 16 items.

  • English 7

    Students cover the basics of literature, grammar, composition, study skills, and vocabulary. They will be introduced to a variety of literary genres, including short stories, poetry, drama, and novels. In grammar, students will focus on parts of speech, usage, and mechanics. Composition will take the form of journal entries, reader responses, and short essays.Students are introduced to literary analysis, and are taught to write a literary analysis essay. Kinesthetic teaching methods are utilized when possible.
  • English 8

    Students continue building a solid foundation for their work in high school. For example, students learn to pay attention to essential details while reading and to recognize patterns in common literary genres.  They learn to use these details and patterns to draw inferences and make predictions as they read.  Special attention is also given to developing vocabulary, academic curiosity, communication skills, and study skills. Course texts are chosen with an eye for the best balance between appeal and literary merit.  In composition, the focus is on building grammatically sound and detailed sentences, coherent, evidence based paragraphs, and organizing both short essays and longer creative writing projects.
  • English 8 Honors

    Presently, 8th grade honor students are embedded in the College Prep course.  In addition to the work their peers do, honor students receive additional assignments and may have additional class meetings in OT. Critical thinking and clear communication is a priority. Honors students are held to a higher standard on daily work, tests and projects.  Honors students are expected to be class leaders, and to demonstrate a high level of motivation to advance their skills in reading, writing and reasoning.  
  • English 9: Introduction to Literature and Composition

    Students receive a solid grounding in the basics of literary analysis and appreciation; a strengthening of the fundamental components of grammar and syntax begun in seventh and eighth grades; and a regular focus on the mechanical and stylistic elements of excellent writing. Critical thinking will be enhanced through class discussions, and an emphasis on vocabulary will lead to greater competency (and confidence) in both oral and written communication.
  • English 9 Honors: Introduction to Literature and Composition

    Students receive a solid grounding in the basics of literary analysis and appreciation; a strengthening of the fundamental components of grammar and syntax begun in seventh and eighth grades; and a regular focus on the mechanical and stylistic elements of excellent writing. Units based on classical, American, ethnic and multicultural literature are the prime focus of the course. Critical thinking will be enhanced through class discussions, and an emphasis on vocabulary will lead to greater competency (and confidence) in both oral and written communication. Students in this course will complete at least four multi-page research papers during the academic year. This course is writing intensive.
  • English 10: Multicultural Literature

    Students will review and extend what they have already learned about using print and non-print texts to learn, solve problems and express themselves. They will gain an understanding and appreciation of world literature while furthering their development of strategies for effective, grammatically correct writing. Students review and strengthen their skills in using standard English as they gain familiarity with literary themes, types, terms, and devices that they then use to demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills—specifically in formal essays.  Building on their training in ninth grade, students concentrate on literature from a broad range of contemporary social backgrounds as they become attuned to cultural differences. Students in this course will complete at least one multi-page research paper during the academic year.
  • English 10 Honors: Multicultural Literature

    Students will review and extend what they have already learned about using print and non-print texts to learn, solve problems and express themselves. They will gain an understanding and appreciation of world literature while furthering their development of strategies for effective, grammatically correct writing. Honors students will develop skills for rhetorical analysis, close reading, and advanced literary analysis.  Students review and strengthen their skills in producing proper or standard English as they gain familiarity with literary themes, types, terms, and devices that they then use to demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills—specifically in formal essays.  Building on their training in ninth grade, students concentrate on literature from a broad range of contemporary social backgrounds as they become attuned to cultural differences. This course is writing intensive.
  • English 11: American Literature

    Literature and Composition students in the eleventh grade build a strong foundation in American Literature from Native American and colonial literature to the present.  The course is sequenced such that what students read will often reinforce their studies in 11th grade U. S. History classes.  Junior students write in a variety of formats usually based on the literature assigned, using correct sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation and capitalization, proper spelling, and apt vocabulary.  
  • English 11 Honors: American Literature

    Students in the eleventh grade build a strong foundation in American Literature from native American and colonial literature to the present.  The course is sequenced such that what students read will often reinforce their studies in 11th grade U. S. History classes.  Honors students write in a variety of formats usually based on the literature assigned, using correct sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation and capitalization, proper spelling, and apt vocabulary.  They read more and write more than those in the college prep course. This course is rigorous and writing intensive.  
  • English 11 Advanced Placement: American Literature and Language and Composition

    Students in the eleventh grade build a strong foundation in American Literature from Puritan literature to the present.  The course is sequenced such that what students read will often reinforce their studies in 11th grade U. S. History classes.  AP students write in a variety of formats usually based on the literature assigned, using correct sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation and capitalization, proper spelling, and apt vocabulary.  They also analyze the aims, modes, and techniques of rhetoric at length, concentrating on classic pieces of prose in American literature. This course is writing intensive, and students are required to demonstrate mastery of all of the classic modes of composition.  Students enrolled in this course beyond the drop /add date must take the AP exam.
  • British Literature & Composition

    Primarily designed for high school seniors, this course is designed to strengthen reading, writing and reasoning skills while students explore culturally significant works from the British canon.  Moving from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present, the course provides students with insight into historical and biographical details related to literature, while tasking students to make connections to the enduring themes of character and leadership the texts explore.  The course uses weekly reading, writing and speaking exercises designed to build confidence and ability, while familiarizing students with the conventions and expectations of college writing.
  • British Literature & Composition, Honors

    Presently, honors British Literature students are embedded in the College Prep course. In addition to the work their peers do, honors students meet regularly before school to study additional texts, organize research projects and to hone their academic writing skills.  Critical thinking, problem solving, and clear communication are priorities. Honors students are expected to be class leaders, and to demonstrate a high level of motivation to advance their skills in preparation for college.    
  • English 12 Advanced Placement: Literature and Composition

    The AP Literature and Composition course involves a lot of thinking, a lot of reading, and a lot of writing, and the texts read in the course come from World and American literature from the Greeks to the present. The course is oriented toward developing the student’s literary analysis skills, formal writing skills, and AP exam skills.  Aside from the hours of reading and writing and "how to" drills, this is a course about the many facets of human experience and the efforts that people have made down through the ages to cope with the challenges in front of them, and to live well.  AP Literature & Composition is a class that works best in a community of gentleman-scholars.  Each student should commit to doing the reading and writing; sharing questions and concerns on this work; listening to and learning from one another; hence this class will ultimately become one in which all are teachers and students. Barring extraordinary circumstances, students enrolled in this course beyond the drop /add date must take the AP exam.
  • Graphic Novel

    Far from being simply a comic book class, this course uses the rapidly growing genre of graphic novels to teach traditional literary skills. Research indicates that gaining meaning from both text and image may require more cognitive skills than reading text alone, and the skills developed in this class prepare students for further academic study (Lyga, 2004; Lavin, 1998).  This is an elective course which strengthens skills in analysis and interpretation while providing cadets an enjoyable experience.
  • Advanced Composition

    In Advanced Composition, cadets refine their skills as written communicators. Cadets learn to write clear, concise, grammatically correct, and logically coherent essays. To aid their development as writers, cadets read and analyze examples of high-quality essays and a selection of the great works of British literature.  Advisory:  While this class is designed to be challenging and writing-intensive, it does not satisfy the University System of Georgia’s requirement for British Literature. 
  • Yearbook

    Yearbook is a practical study of the publishing process. Students have the unique opportunity to run, design and publish the yearbook for Riverside Military Academy. Using computer technology, digital camera equipment, and real business techniques, students will create a book that will serve as a time capsule for the school year. With an editor in chief, section editors and staffers, students also get to experience a real life business structure with leaders responsible for leading, delegating and editing; and staffers experience first-hand what it’s like to be responsible for meeting deadlines and dealing with sales. Great importance is placed on the ability to complete layouts before the deadline with minimum supervision. Many projects are performed in groups or partnerships emphasizing cooperation and teamwork. Responsibility for organizing personal time and duties is essential to the success of the yearbook.

Downloads

  • 2018 Summer Reading Assignments
    If you are in one of the following classes listed, please view the attached PDF file for your summer reading assignments for 2018 by clicking on the link: 
    • 8th Grade Honors - Mr. Billy McBride
    • 10th Grade Honors - Mr. Elijah Merrett
    • Honors American Literature - Dr. Brenda Barger
    • AP Language and Composition - Dr. Brenda Barger
    • AP Literature and Composition - Dr. Brenda Barger 

Contacts

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