Mrs. Westenskow                                              

Room 203                                                                  

(720) 423-6183                  


Introduction to Literature and Composition X

Course Syllabus


Course Description


Intro. to Lit. and Comp. is a year long course designed to help students develop their skills in reading, writing, critical analysis, research writing, and the presentation of material. The course will also include an emphasis on vocabulary enhancement and grammatical improvement. Students will explore a variety of literary genres: short story, novel, poetry, non-fiction, drama, biography, and autobiography. A heavy emphasis on writing, will include paragraph development, literary response, expository essays, short narratives, and a mini research paper. Students will continue to practice and develop appropriate grammar and mechanics. The completion of daily homework assignments is a requirement of this course.



Assignment book

3-ring binder with college ruled paper and folders for hand outs

Blue or black pen


Computer disk or flash drive (preferred)

Journal book



Variety of short stories

Textbook and workbook: Elements of Literature, Holt, Rhinehart, & Winston

Novels (may vary): The Hobbit, , “The Pearl”, Lord of the Flies,

Animal Farm, , The Loop, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn teacher choice

Drama: “Antigone,” “West Side Story,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Miracle Worker”


Student Responsibility


As students, you are expected to demonstrate a positive work ethic. You will be expected to complete all assignments (homework, daily, long term), meeting deadlines. You are expected to know and follow all school and classroom policies (as per a handout). As responsible members of the classroom community and members of assigned work groups, you are expected to attend classes and be punctual. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to get the worked missed. I do no teach lessons twice. Exchange phone numbers with a reliable classmate and get missed assignments from that person. I will be available to help with work before school and by appointment during lunch and after school. Mr. Westenskow is in the writing/tutor/computer lab, and he is available to help with your writing assignments.


Attendance & Tardy Policy


Daily journal writings and/or comprehension quizzes, done at the beginning of class, will count with your daily grade for 10% of your overall grade. Each journal entry or quiz will be worth 10 points. A missed journal writing or quiz may not be made up, so it would be prudent to attend every day and be on time. Students with excessive absences, 3 per nine weeks may fail the class.




Reading, writing, and thinking are critical life skills. We will use the readings to generate critical thinking skills and writing assignments. Because I emphasize writing, the writing assignments will be worth 65% of your grade. The major tests will be worth 20% of your grade, and daily work 15%.


Because the writing grade and the process of writing is so important to your success in school, you will have numerous opportunities to work on the craft. Once I grade a paper and bleed all over it with my red pen, you are expected to rewrite your paper for a better grade. The rewrite process is critical to a successful paper and good grade. I will explain more about this process as we go.


It is imperative that assignments be turned in on time. Daily work is due at the beginning of class; late daily work, one day only, will receive half credit. Essays have a specific due date. Points will be deducted for each calendar day that the paper is late. Essays over one week late will receive no more than 50%, even on a rewrite. Essays may be emailed to me but must be produced using Microsoft Word. All essays must be word processed with 1” margins, 12pt. Times Roman font, left aligned, and double spaced.



Essays, major writing assignments, oral presentations, research paper



Major tests, vocabulary



Journals, quizzes, homework, classwork