English Department

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For creatively-inclined students who may have a gift for the written-word and are fascinated by stories, English class may be a reprieve. They enjoy reading and learn quite a lot from the vast array of books and stories assigned to them by their English teachers. Without a doubt, a debt to our high-school English classes is owed, where so many of our students learn to read, analyze, think critically, write, discuss, and develop a love for literature.

It’s imperative that students who attend CMCP learn to read and write at a collegiate level, so those are the skills that take the forefront in any English class on campus because those skills are necessary for success in college and beyond. As a result, English classes are not typically project-oriented and instead focus on honing these essential abilities. However, the English faculty at CMCP are experts at creating and assigning topical, relevant, and creative assignments that no doubt keep students captivated and interested.

For instance, in Mr. Buttacavoli’s English II class, students are getting into the Halloween spirit and writing about the characteristics of Horror Fiction. Mr. Buttacavoli encourages his students to explore the tools that author Julio Cortazar uses in the short story House Taken Over to establish fear as well as to identify the characteristics of Horror Fiction they feel is most important. He also feels it’s important to write along with his students and can be seen completing the assignment with them so they can then engage in a lively discussion after writing down their responses.

However, not every assignment needs to include a major writing component to it. In Mr. Heffernan’s English III Honors class, students are working on a very topical assignment associated with C-SPAN that gives them the unique opportunity to complete a documentary and potentially enter it into the C-SPAN StudentCam 2020 Student Documentary Competition, in which they explore the issues they most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign. This assignment challenges them to analyze issues affecting our communities and nation while also including differing points of view  thus helping, encouraging , and equipping students with necessary analytical and critical thinking skills that will surely be required of them in the future. 

By the time of their graduation, our students should have forged their own lengthy and developed digital portfolio containing diverse pieces ranging from narrative, expository, and argumentative writing. It is through the English Department’s creative assignments that students are able to remain engaged and learn the necessary skills they need to enter college and is required in today’s workforce.