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Open Educational Resources: English

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Future Learn - Literature Courses

MIT Open Courseware

Open Learn - Creative Writing/English Language

TED ED: Lessons Worth Sharing

Text resources

Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonical to Post-Revolution

New textbook, Univ. of North Georgia Press. Featuring sixty-nine authors and full texts of their works, the selections in this open anthology represent the diverse voices in early American literature.

The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature

Developed by Robin DeRosa, 2015. Organized into 13 sections, starting with Native American and Ethnographic Texts and ending with Mark Twain.

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature, 1865 to Present

Peer-reviewed textbook, 2015, Univ. of North Georgia. 6 chapters, organized chronologically. Surveys key literature movements and a diversity of American authors associated with each movement.

American Literature I (Lumen Learning course)

Lumen Learning course developed by Columbia Basin College instructor. Faculty resources, including a PDF version and assignments, available upon request. Online course organized into 5 modules: Reading and Interpreting Literary Texts, Early American and Puritan Literature, Enlightenment Literature, Romantic Literature, and Writing About Literature.

American Literature II (Lumen Learning course)

Lumen Learning online course. Instructor resources available with verified log-in. Student Resources module includes how to annotate a text and write about literature. Remaining modules and texts organized thematically (e.g. Immigration, American Protest, Humor, etc.), not chronologically.

Digital American Literature Anthology

Primary literary materials collected by literature professor. Organized into two main parts, 12 total chapters, from Native Peoples, Native Influences to Writing Slavery. Last updated in 2019.

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present  Publication Date: 2015

Open Modernisms Anthology Builder  by Stephen Ross

Opensource Shakespeare

An "experiment in literature technology" which has compiled the full collection of Shakespeare texts through George Mason University.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Compiled by MIT, the complete works of William Shakespeare in HTML format, both poetry and plays

British Literature I Anthology: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century

Peer-reviewed textbook, 2018, Univ. of North Georgia Press. Featuring over 50 authors and full texts of their works, this anthology follows the shift of monarchic to parliamentarian rule in Britain, and the heroic epic to the more egalitarian novel as genre.

British Literature II: Romantic Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond

Peer-reviewed textbook, 2018, Univ. of North Georgia Press. Featuring 37 authors and full texts of their works, the selections in this open anthology represent the literature developed within and developing through their respective eras. Organized chronologically into 3 main parts (Romantic Era, Victorian Age, and 20th Century and Beyond).

English Literature I (Lumen Learning course)

Lumen Learning online course authored by a community college instructor that examines major British tests from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 18th century. Includes several complete texts that are in the public domain. Faculty resources available upon verified request.

English Literature II (Lumen Learning course)

Lumen Learning online course, developed via the Achieving the Dream OER initiative. Course organized into units, including The Romantics, The Victorians, and The Moderns. Faculty resources, including assessments, available upon verified request.

Writing for Success

Scott McLean’s Writing for Success is a text that provides instruction in steps, builds writing, reading, and critical thinking, and combines comprehensive grammar review with an introduction to paragraph writing and composition.

Writing In College: From Competence to Excellence

Writing in College is designed for students who have largely mastered high-school level conventions of formal academic writing and are now moving beyond the five-paragraph essay to more advanced engagement with text. It is well suited to composition courses or first-year seminars and valuable as a supplemental or recommended text in other writing-intensive classes.

Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing Vol. I

Topics in Volume 1 of the series include academic writing, how to interpret writing assignments, motives for writing, rhetorical analysis, revision, invention, writing centers, argumentation, narrative, reflective writing, Wikipedia, patchwriting, collaboration, and genres.

Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing Vol. II

Volume 2 continues the tradition of the previous volume with topics, such as the rhetorical situation, collaboration, documentation styles, weblogs, invention, writing assignment interpretation, reading critically, information literacy, ethnography, interviewing, argument, document design, and source integration.

English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

This OER textbook has been designed for students to learn the foundational concepts for English 100 (first-year college composition). The content aligns to learning outcomes across all campuses in the University of Hawai'i system. It was designed, written, and edited during a three day book sprint in May, 2019.

Writing and Literature: Composition as Inquiry, Learning, Thinking, and Communication

Peer-reviewed textbook, 2017. Students learn the various writing styles appropriate for analyzing, addressing, and critiquing these genres including poetry, novels, dramas, and research writing.

Literature, Critical Thinking, & Writing (Lumen Learning course)

Lumen Learning online course developed via Achieving the Dream OER initiative. Course focuses heavily on critical thinking and literary analysis, and modules include analyzing short fiction, poetry, and plays. Faculty requests, including essay prompts, are available upon verified request.

Writing about Literature: The Basics chapter (CK-12)

This chapter introduces students to the basics of reading literature. It introduces students to subjective and objective reading, and goes over the basic ideas behind reading for plot, character, setting, and theme. Chapter includes vocabulary list.

Writing about Literature: Analyzing Prose chapter (CK-12)

This chapter covers the basics of close reading, with a focus on connotation vs. denotation, simile, metaphor, repetition, and imagery. The chapter also introduces students to different narrative modes. Chapter includes vocabulary list.

Introduction to Creative Writing (Lumen Learning course)

Lumen Learning online course via Achieving the Dream OER initiative. Major emphases on writing fiction and poetry. Includes assignments, rubrics, and samples.

Keywords in Creative Writing

A volume for creative writing students and other writers just getting started. In two- to ten-page discussions, these authors introduce forty-one central concepts in the fields of creative writing and writing instruction, with discussions.

Teaching Autoethnography: Personal Writing in the Classroom

2016, Open SUNY textbook dedicated to the practice of immersive ethnographic and autoethnographic writing that encourages authors to participate in the communities about which they write.

Writing What You Know

Mini-course by OpenLearn. Click on Course Content to view topics: Writing what you know; The everyday; The senses; and Memory and Narrative. As each page/mini-lecture includes writing activities, this might be most useful as supplemental material and ideas for assignments/class activities. (Academy of American Poets)

Browse poems and poets
Publishes American Poet magazine

Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

Modern American Poetry

Contains criticism, biographical information, bibliographies, and commentaries on major American poets.

 Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations

Peer-reviewed textbook, 2018, Open SUNY. Organized into 10 chapters, with word lists. Textbook includes exercises aimed to make writing in its early stages a form of play that gives way to more enriching insights through revision, embracing the writing of poetry as both a love of language and a tool that enables us to explore ourselves and better understand the world. Poets featured range in age, subject, and style.

 Towards an Open Anthology of Poetry (open textbook)

Developed by a Clackamas Community College instructor and students and published by Open Oregon, 2017. Organized into 11 chapters by themes of poetry (e.g. Poems about Nature) plus an appendix of poetry terms; poems included are in the public domain.

Mythology and Folklore UN Textbook

Bulfinch's Mythology A classic collection of Greek myths and stories for the general reader.

Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts Full-text transcripts of world folklore and mythology from the University of Pittsburgh and made available through the OER Commons.

Icelandic Saga Database Free, full-text translations of Icelandic sagas that can be read online, or downloaded as PDF files. Select a saga and then click on the English link in the left-hand menu bar.

Internet Sacred Text Archive Free, full-text access to a wealth of myths and religious texts from around the world. Arranged by geographic location and topic.

Project Gutenberg's Mythology Bookshelf Free full-text access to texts on mythology from Greece, Rome, China, Egypt, Maya, and more.

Theoi Greek Mythology The Theoi Project explores Greek mythology in classical literature and art. Free classic texts from Hesiod to Virgil are arranged in chronological order.

Public Domain Resources

Bartleby: Great Books Online

Publishes the classics of literature, nonfiction, and reference free of charge.

Community College Consortium for OER - Literature

A good collection of classics, works by Shakespeare, and links to other works in the public domain curated by

Provides links to works in the public domain and receives submissions from current writers in the areas of: reviews, comedy, free writing, non-fiction, plays, poetry, and scifi.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg Consortia Center is a member of the World Public Library Association, the world’s largest eBook Consortium.