English

In their study of English at Thacher, students build the deep critical thinking skills they need to listen, speak, write, learn—and to explore the human experience through literature.

Their teachers are both guides and participants as all work together to take on challenging texts from a variety of genres and a diversity of voices. In small classes, students engage in rigorous discussion and regular essay writing. These skills and more prepare them to succeed in demanding college courses in any discipline.

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  • Real World Context

    Our faculty knows that stories powerfully reflect and influence the wider culture and social thought, and that the critical thinking tools Thacher students sharpen in their English classes can help them build a community of understanding and empathy wherever they are. It’s why our English classes regularly focus on mapping the assigned texts to current and historical events in the real world.
  • Course of Study

    Thacher students take English classes every year. Freshmen read, discuss, and write about a wide range of texts, including poetry, short stories, plays, novels, and essays. Sophomore year builds on that foundation, broadening the variety of voices and increasing fluency in an expanded list of literary terms, poetic devices, and elements of narrative. Juniors take a deep dive into American Studies, honing their powers of analysis and strengthening their understanding of writing genres on topics that correspond to their U.S. History coursework. Seniors explore a variety of seminars in specialized areas, from personal narrative and short fiction writing to classes focusing on a particular theme, author, or genre.

    At all levels, students work both independently and collaboratively, write analytically and creatively, come to understand their role in creating a productive classroom environment, and grow to embrace intellectual curiosity and risk-taking.

- Anand

“The creative nonfiction class I’m taking at Notre Dame has furthered my love for writing and provided a fantastic opportunity to build on skills I developed at Thacher. Im especially grateful for Ms. Sawyer-Mulligans senior elective, Turning Toward Home, which made the whole writing experience so fantastic for me. Her class met all the ideals of a great class.”

South Bend, Indiana