Crash Course English Literature aired a new episode on YouTube every Thursday, beginning the week after Crash Course World History's conclusion. The series ran for 8 episodes, but took three breaks, for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.

Such recurring segments as the Thought Bubble, the Open Letter, and the Secret Compartment continued from Crash Course World History, although the subjects of the latter two were necessarily more abstract than those of World History, with letters being addressed to such ideas as "Literary sex" and "the phrase 'self-involved'". John also continued his brief verbal altercations with "Me from the Past".

The series dedicated two episodes each to Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and one to the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

While John retired "Phrase of the Week" for Literature, he maintained audience participation by having them suggest names of authors so that John may use them to replace swear words.

English Literature was followed by Crash Course U.S. History.