In this sequence, the English Department introduces ninth-graders to the reading practices, discussion principles and writing strategies they will use throughout their four years at Exeter.

In this sequence of courses, the English Department introduces ninth-graders  to the reading practices, discussion principles and writing strategies they will use and on which they will build throughout their four years of English study at Exeter. Students read, discuss and write about poems, short stories, novels and plays designed to introduce them to the art of writing about their own lives (students produce personal narratives throughout their four years at Exeter but focus heavily on this genre during their first two years). Students work to produce a vivid sense of place and create convincing characters in their narratives, and hone their skills as readers and editors of one another’s work through frequent writing workshops. Special emphasis is also placed on student participation in class discussions; students take time to reflect on and refine their individual discussion skills and identify ways in which they and their peers might work together more productively. Initially, students write short descriptive and narrative pieces before beginning to produce longer, more sustained personal narratives as the year progresses. They also explore their readings through analytical writing, whether in journals, in short in-class writing assignments or online discussion boards. In all these ways, the English 100/210/220 sequence prepares students for the increasingly demanding work they will do — as readers, as discussion partners, as writers — in future English courses. Students read a play by Shakespeare in the spring term.