To become proficient in English and to be college and career ready, students must grapple with works of exceptional craft and thought whose range extends across genres, cultures, and centuries. In addition to the analysis of literature at advanced reading levels, students analyze and interpret historical documents aligned to content in history or social studies classes-documents such as the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, Washington's Farewell Address, and the Gettysburg Address. Shakespearean plays are studied in at least three of the last four years of high school, sometimes involving a comparison with language and literature from other countries and eras. The refinement and extension of reading skills include analyzing how characters in fiction develop over the course of time and advance the plot or theme and how authors of informational texts develop claims and use rhetoric to advance a point of view. Other reading skills include the examination of authors' craft such as the effect of specific word choices and the use of satire and irony. Standards for informational text require that students evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats.
Writing and editing skills that will be needed in college and careers are refined as students develop claims and counterclaims, use precise language, and create a coherent whole with an appropriate tone. A command of formal English is demonstrated in both students' writing and speaking. They must come to appreciate that language is as much a matter of craft as of rules and be able to choose words, syntax, and punctuation to express themselves and achieve particular functions and rhetorical effects. Students must integrate multiple sources of information in order to make informed decisions and solve problems. This requires that they evaluate the credibility and accuracy of each source and note discrepancies among data. They must have the flexibility, concentration, and fluency to produce high-quality, first-draft text under a tight deadline as well as the capacity to revisit and make improvements to a piece of writing over multiple drafts.