June 1, 2018

Dear Sophomore Honors English Student:

Welcome to Honors English at Bingham High School!  We are excited to work with you throughout this challenging and exciting course.  It is essential that you spend the summer reviewing and preparing for the challenge ahead of you.  Don’t be intimidated by the work; it is easily manageable if you begin immediately and break it into sections.

Summer Literature Study

  1. Read Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth. Please plan early to secure a copy of this book as it will probably be unavailable in the county libraries as the summer progresses. If you cannot find a copy on your own, you may borrow a copy from the school by visiting Bingham’s main office, but again, plan ahead.
    •           **The Main Office's hours will be from about 7am-2 pm each day.  Please call ahead to make sure the office is open before coming to the school.
  2. Write a literary essay about the novel. You must choose a major character from the novel that you are most like and explain why you are most like that character.
    • Please be aware of the following:
      • A literary essay is NOT a book report of a summary of the plot. Instead, it is the writer’s analysis of a specific aspect of the book (i.e. how you are most like a chosen character).
      • A formal essay has a specific organization that usually consists of five well-developed paragraphs: an introduction, three development paragraphs, and a conclusion. A literary essay uses quotes from the text to support the writer’s ideas.
      • The introductory paragraph is very important. State your thesis.  A thesis is a sentence that states your position (why you are most like the chosen character).
      • The three body paragraphs each expand on the reasons/examples that support your thesis. Each should begin with a topic sentence.  In each paragraph, be sure to include at least one quotation from the book with a page number reference.  Use transition words and phrases between paragraphs.
      • The concluding paragraph should tie your writing together in a clear, cohesive essay. Restate your thesis in a new way, and conclude with a final sentence that leaves a lasting impression on your reader.
      • Do not consider the paper finished until you have revised and edited carefully. You will submit this paper as a draft on the first day of school.  We will talk about the draft and writing process once school starts, and you may re-write as needed in the first two weeks of school.
  3. Literary Elements. The final component of your homework consists of an extensive list of literary elements, their definitions, and examples.  Work throughout the summer in studying these terms—in this case especially, procrastination will render the task nearly impossible.  You will be held accountable for the definitions of these terms.  It is important to memorize; however, if you focus on thoroughly understanding the examples, then the memorization will come more easily. 

We look forward to seeing you for a great year!

Remember - **The Main Office's hours will be from about 8am-2 pm each day.  Please call ahead to make sure the office is open before coming to the school.


Emily Hills

Amber Thomas

Bingham High School

Honors English Program