AP English Literature & Compositionis a college course--the curriculum is a rigorous reading- and writing-based class centered on literary analysis, with the objective of refining your ability to discover meaning in literature, as well as your skills in reading, writing, and discussing literature. Understanding that this is a college course, the pace and the workload reflects that this is not a typical senior high school English class. To be successful in this class, students must be committed to being prepared daily with all reading and writing assignments. Students are expected to be reflective learners, considering feedback during class discussion and on assignments, and to apply the feedback they receive to improve their skills in critical reading, writing, and discussion. This course is designed to comply with the course requirements described in the College Board AP English Course Description.
A Typical Week in AP English
A typical week in AP English includes a reading assignment each night (and weekends), and one writing assignment. Some writing assignments are shorter, including notes, outlines and reader response; other assignments may be longer, particularly the formal essays. Occasionally there will be timed in-class writing, typically on the subject of the readings that we are currently studying in class or a sample AP exam prompt. In addition, students are expected to learn and incorporate new vocabulary assigned with during each unit of study. Writing assignments are always scored on a rubric that is specific for the assignment; each rubric includes evaluation of word choice, sentence structure, organization, effective use of evidence, focus on the thesis, development of the thesis, and correct grammar usage. During the first semester students may rewrite any homework essay, however, during the second semester, students may only submit one draft for the grade (though essays may always be rewritten for feedback).
A Typical Unit of Study in AP English
Each unit of study will focus on specific motifs or themes in British literature, such as the epic theme of good versus evil or the motif of the female protagonist, and includes representative works from different literary time periods (while the primary focus will be British history and literature, other cultures will be incorporated as well). Each unit will contain several styles of writing, i.e. poetry, short stories, novellas, essays, novels, and film. Each unit of study includes a major unit assessment (exam), a major formal essay, and some informal writing pieces; some units include a group project or a creative (non-essay) project that is designed to reflect your understanding of a text, theme, or concept. The formal essays assigned are analytical essays, in which students are expected to draw upon specific, relevant textual details to support their thesis. Each unit also includes a timed-writing that directly connects to the major works of literature studied.
Unit 1: Introduction to Analytical Perspectives of Literature This first unit of study introduces literary analysis and perspectives of analysis for literature. During this first unit we establish the difference between “little l” literature and “big L” Literature, considering what the literary canon is and what kinds of works are included in the canon or are of comparable literary merit as those in the canon. Once we have established the characteristics of works of literary merit, we begin the course with understanding what constitutes literary analysis and the major perspectives of analysis. Students will familiarize themselves with Thomas Foster’s How to Read Literature like a Professor and “Critical Strategies for Reading” from The Bedford Introduction to Literature to facilitate understanding of a work’s literary merit and how to achieve a thorough literary analysis of a text. We will illustrate these strategies through model texts from Kate Chopin and Susan Glaspell.
During this unit there are two major assessments. The first assessment begins with the essay assessment of the assigned summer reading. Students will use the text and the feedback they receive from this first diagnostic essay to begin refining their approach to analysis. Students will select one of the literary perspectives (one of the text-based or context-based approaches) and apply it to the novel used for the summer reading diagnostic. This first essay is step-by-step. The second assessment will require that students select another novel from the summer reading list and a different analytical perspective; this essay will include fewer steps and will be allowed two submissions: rough draft and final draft. The second assessment will require that students select another novel from the summer reading list and a different analytical perspective; this essay will include fewer steps and will be allowed two submissions: a rough draft and an edited, revised final draft.
“A Story of An Hour,” Kate Chopin
“A Jury of Her Peers,” Susan Glaspell
“Eveline,” James Joyce
“When I have fears that I may cease to be,” John Keats
Unit 2: Coming-of-Age "That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." - Charles Dickens, Great Expectations Explanation
This unit will focus on the literary technique Bildungsroman, or a novel about the development of a character and the changes they encounter. We will commence our journey through British Literature here as a way to connect prose from ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade to the summer reading assignments for twelfth grade; students have studied coming-of-age stories such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Kite Runner, and Huck Finn in their previous English courses and will have read Great Expectations in preparation for their twelfth grade class. The texts suit the definition of Bildungsroman expertly so they will not only build students’ proficiency with recognizing particular writing styles, but will also give students a foundation for relating an author’s life as well as the culture and history to a text given that most authors use their own background to lay the groundwork for their novels. Furthermore, students will learn to identify specific themes in relation to various literary techniques (the first being the Bildungsroman style) and this will prepare them for both the exam and meaningful dialogues about literature.
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1861 (fiction novel)
Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork (fiction novel)
This unit of study will be assessed primarily through writing. Students will complete an analytical essay on Bildungsroman as applicable to the major text studied in this unit, Great Expectations. Students will have their choice of topics; all topics are related to the focal points of our class discussions and are formalist analytical pieces, however, as this is the first independent essay, students will work on controlling the tone and having an appropriate voice. Students will submit a rough draft and an edited, revised draft for each essay and consult with the teacher after each revision in order to produce a quality essay.
Unit 3: Hero & Anti-Hero “Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
– Carol Lynn Pearson
Epic & Medieval Romance Heroes: We begin at the beginning of English literature with the Anglo-Saxon tradition and Beowulf. During our study of Beowulf we examine the traits of the epic, particularly those most directly evident in English epics. From Beowulf we move to the medieval era, and study the medieval romance narrative (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Malory’s Morte D'arthur). In examining epics that are representative of different literary periods, we will focus closely on the development of the hero and themes. We will consider the significance of the historical contexts of each work, noting that the epic hero is a reflection of the values of the culture that created him. Our focus on the hero will shift to consider how the medieval romance hero is similar to the epic hero, though the themes may be different.
Renaissance Hero: During this unit of study we focus on the Renaissance Hero, specifically Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. We will examine the connections between several pieces of literature and the heroes who are indicative of that time period. In addition, we will explore the development of characters through their actions and speeches, drawing connections between their development and the theme of the play itself. In this unit, our primary focus will be the classification of the tragic hero according to Aristotle’s definition of tragedy.
Byronic Hero: The Byronic Hero, also known as the Romantic Hero, is a figure prevalent in Romantic and Gothic literature and was developed by Lord Byron. He is an archetypal symbol found in several of Lord Byron’s works, including Manfred, but also intersects with other key pieces of literature of that period. Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner and Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein, two characters studied in the next unit, also fit the Byronic Hero mold, so students will be able to identify patterns in literature as well as examine a different kind of hero. The Byronic Hero will continue to shift the idea of the hero and be the bridge between the Renaissance Hero and the Anti-Hero; we will also build students’ understanding of archetype.
The Anti-Hero: The final hero studied in this unit will be Winston Smith of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four; we will discuss how the hero has evolved into an anti-hero. In this unit we will continue our discussion of how our protagonist has started to develop some of the antagonistic traits and how he has broken the mold of the ideal hero. This unit’s focus will primarily be an in-depth discussion of antithesis and of how language works within a text.
Beowulf, Anonymous (epic poetry)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Anonymous (epic poetry/Medieval romance narrative)
Le Morte d’Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory (short fiction)
The Tragical Case of Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe (drama)
Manfred, Lord George Byron (Romantic poetry)
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell (fiction novel)
This unit of study will be assessed primarily through tests and quizzes on these works and the literary traits of each genre, as well as an analytical essay on the evolution of the hero. All topics are related to the focal points of our class discussions, but students will begin forming their own opinions and therefore will choose which analytical approach to take. Students will submit a rough draft and an edited, revised draft for each essay and consult with the teacher after each revision in order to produce a quality essay. Assessments during this unit will also include tests on the individual readings.
Unit 4: Satire “I’ll publish, right or wrong:/Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.” – Lord Byron
This study of satire examines the development of the satire in English literature, and analysis of four major satires that represent different literary periods. Our first reading is a selection of excerpts from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (the General Prologue, the Wife of Bath’s Tale, the Knight’s Tale, and the Pardoner’s Tale); our focus is on the General Prologue, but includes the three tales and discussions of Chaucer’s view of medieval English society. The second reading is Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and focuses on Swift’s views and criticisms of English society and government during the Restoration. We will also study A Modest Proposal and consider the various forms of satire that Swift employs, and the effects of each of them. The third major work studied is Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, which examines the frivolity of Victorian society.
As we study all of these works, we will compare the satirical elements and approaches by each author and consider the effectiveness of those traits. In addition, we will study the appropriate literary elements for each work, such as elements of poetry during our study of Chaucer, elements of drama during our study of Wilde, and the novel with regards to Swift and Orwell. During this unit, we will also study literary criticism of these works, considering the views of the critics with regards to our own ideas regarding the works.
“That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken." - Jonathan Swift Texts
The Canterbury Tales “The Prologue” and “The Pardoner’s Tale”, Geoffrey Chaucer (epic)
“A Modest Proposal” and Gulliver’s Travels (“Part 1: A Voyage to Lilliput” & “Part 4: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms”), Jonathan Swift (essay & novel)
The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde (drama)
Sonnets from William Blake and William Wordsworth (poetry)
Assessments for this unit of study include test and quizzes on the readings, as well as two different literary analysis essays, and one opinion essay that focuses on the literary criticisms studied during this unit. The first analytical essay assigned is on the subject of the techniques of satire employed by Swift and the effectiveness of those techniques. This first essay will include a rough draft and an edited, revised final draft. For the second writing, students will complete a creative writing assignment and develop their own satire; through this creative piece students will be asked to demonstrate the skills from their previous essay on controlling tone and having an appropriate voice by blending opinion with facts. Students will first conference with the teacher on their idea (whether they choose a fiction or nonfiction writing) and then develop both a rough and final draft (after conferring with the teacher and a peer).
Unit 5: Hubris “I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.”
– Macbeth, Act I, scene vii
The works of literature studied in this unit examine closely some aspect of human nature that is inherently dark, including what influences or triggers such behaviors, as well as motivations for such actions. During this unit, students are expected to make connections between these text and several other works that we have studied previously. These connections can be made on numerous levels, such as character development, themes, motifs, symbolism, and usage of other literary devices.
“Something Wicked This Way Comes.” – Macbeth, Act IV, scene i
Epic Hero: First, we will examine John Milton’s Paradise Lost, a classical epic which will connect the “Hero vs. Anti-Hero” unit to the “Hubris” unit. This text provides the framework for the study of Aristotle’s tragedy and tragic hero. Through his own hubris, Satan is cast from Heaven and then attempts to avenge himself through the corruption of mankind, only to find that his downfall is ultimately of his own doing; this characterization will bestow us with a fundamental illustration of a character committing the act of hubris or overreaching.
Renaissance Drama: During this unit of study we focus on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In this unit we analyze the influences on drama, particularly other literary sources and historical influence, as well as the elements of Aristotelian Tragedy and Tragic Hero. We also examine the connections between several pieces of literature that we have already studied, such as the thematic connections between Paradise Lost and Faustus on Macbeth, etc. The discussions of these texts centers on the protagonist and how the elements of tragedy contribute to the overall meaning of the text. In addition, we will explore the development of characters through their speeches in each play, drawing connections between their development and the theme of the play itself.
Romantic/Gothic: This unit of study is an intensive study of poetry, the novella, and the novel. First we will build our understanding of the elements of poetry and how they work in a single poem to create theme, mood, and tone. We also focus closely on the characteristics and traits of the English Romantic & Gothic movements and two of the major poets of this period, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Lord Byron. We will use these two poets to establish the development of the Romantic or Byronic Hero and how it pertains to the overall theme of hubris. Next, we will examine the rise of the gothic pattern and the influence of literary movements such as Romantic poetry and Neo-Classical literature on the gothic novel and drama. The novel studied during this unit is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the novella studied during this unit is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We will study the elements of the gothic pattern and how the elements contribute to theme of these pieces. In addition, we will discuss the influence of the Romantic period, as well as other context-related factors, on Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde.
The Modern Novel: This unit of study is centered on Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness. This unit focuses on the craft of the novella to convey a singular theme through the use of symbol and motif. Throughout study of Heart of Darkness we will analyze the doppelganger characters of Kurtz and Marlow, as well as the psychological aspects of Conrad’s work. We will make literary connections to other works such as T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men.”
Paradise Lost, John Milton (Renaissance/epic poetry)
Macbeth, William Shakespeare (Renaissance drama)
Goblin Market, Christina Rossetti (Victorian narrative poetry)
Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Coleridge (Romanticism/narrative poetry)
Frankenstein, Percy Shelley (Romantic novel)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Stevenson (Victorian novel)
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad (Modern novel)
Assessments in this unit include analytical essays and reader’ responses on the texts, as well as in-depth studies of the many literary terms and the overall theme of hubris used throughout the texts. Students will prepare both a written component and a creative component to illustrate how hubris materializes in the texts that they have selected, demonstrating their understanding of the use of various literary devices and their relation to the overall meaning of the text. For example, Students may choose to complete a comparative paper in which they connect Frankenstein or Jekylland Hyde to another work of their choice (this text may be one studied during this course, a previous course, or independent reading). Students will only submit their final essay for this assignment. Assessments during this unit also include tests on the readings and the class teaching projects. The Student as Teacher Project requires students to closely study a drama or novel and develop their own interpretation of the work, provide analysis of literary elements, and consider literary criticism of the work. In addition, students will present their findings in a clear student-led lesson. Students will also complete tests and quizzes on these works and the literary traits of each genre.
Unit 6: Female Stock Characters/Archetype/The “Exemplary Woman” Tradition “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” - Virginia Woolf quotes
Throughout this unit we will blend previously studied lessons from the earlier units using female-centric literature. We will not only study the use of stock or archetypal characters, and therefore help students identify writing patterns, but we will also analyze the writing styles of various genres of British Literature. Through the various poems, we will examine Anglo-Saxon epics, Romantic poetry, and Victorian poetry, discussing how the contexts and texts shift over time and how to identify the poetry by their characteristics, such as alliteration or caesura in “The Wife’s Lament” or the use of apostrophe in “She Walks in Beauty.” Through the essays we will establish how to identify how an author presents his or her lessons; our discussion will primarily focus on tone and diction in preparation for the AP exam. Throughout the study of Mrs. Dalloway, our longest piece in this unit, we will analyze the use of stream of consciousness narrative, which is a form of interior monologue or a way of hearing what the characters in a piece of fiction are thinking. We will also make literary connections to other works which utilize the stream-of-consciousness style, such as James Joyce’s “Eveline” and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
While the principal focus of this unit will be the author’s use of literary techniques which traverse several genres, we will also apply the gender perspective from Critical Strategies for Reading to the readings. Students will examine perspective in texts by both male and female writers, considering the effect on the content and morals of the pieces. While the historical and biographical perspectives are also significant to understanding the various texts, we will focus on gender first and foremost for two reasons: first, students will explore historical and biographical approaches many times throughout the previous units, and second because gender is often an underutilized perspective that will receive more attention with this more concentrated unit.
The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.” - Ayn Rand
“The Wife’s Lament,” Anonymous (poetry)
The Canterbury Tales “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, Geoffrey Chaucer (epic)
“She Walks in Beauty,” Lord Byron
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft (essay)
Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (poetry)
“A Cup of Tea”, Katharine Mansfield (short story)
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf (novella)
Assessments in this unit include analytical essays and reader’ responses on the texts, as well as in-depth studies into the use of stock characters in both these texts as well as previously studied material. Students’ writing will be more focused in order to prepare for the precise nature of the AP Literature and Composition Exam. In the writing for this unit, students will examine both how the authors present the characters in their text and why they present them in this particular way. Students will only submit their final essay for this assignment. Assessments during this unit also include tests on the readings and the class teaching projects.
Unit 7: Sonnets, Odes, Elegies, and Epics, Oh My! Explanation
This unit of poetry concentrates on the literary elements and terminology applied to poetry, and will be an intensive study of poetry with regards to recognizing and understanding the elements of poetry and how they work in a single poem to create tone, mood, and theme. Major poets studied during this unit are Shakespeare, Spenser, Wordsworth, Blake, Shelley, Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tennyson, Robert Browning, Yeats, and Eliot. In our study of these poets we will consider the features of pastoral poetry, the forms of the English sonnet, characteristics and traits of the English Romantic movement, and the amalgamation of earlier poetic traits into Victorian and Modern poetry.
Sonnets: Shakespeare & Spenser
Romantics: Wordsworth, Blake, Shelley, & Keats
Victorians: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tennyson, & Robert Browning
Modern: Yeats & Eliot
Since the objective of this unit is to introduce the major terminology associated with poetry analysis, and to introduce the connection between sound and sense in poetry, the assessments in this unit target the student’s knowledge and application of the literary terms studied. This unit is assessed through reader-response to poetry and quizzes on the literary terms and their application to the poems studied. Students are asked to identify the poetic and literary devices used in a specific poem, and create an interpretation of the poem based on those devices. Students will also consider the impact of poetic elements on the theme of a poem(s) and how the elements connect to the traits of the periods present in the selected poem(s). As a creative assignment, students will also identify and interpret one poem and create a visual interpretation based on their analysis of the poetic devices and elements employed by the poet.
This course is primarily a study of British literature and its cohesive thematic connections between historical and cultural time periods; however, students will also spend ample time preparing for the AP Literature and Composition exam in May 2012. The preparation for the exam is layered:
Students will complete in-class and at home assignments that will gauge their test taking abilities and support their weaknesses through practice.
Students will practice AP approved samples of the exam, applying both past and present literature to the poetry and prose questions (questions will be both multiple-choice and extended response questions from past exams).
Students will complete an array of assignments including quizzes, tests, reader-response writings, analytical writings, creative writings, and more.
Students will complete a couple of Literature Circles throughout the year. In order to prepare for the passage analysis and open response portions, students will study various short stories from past AP Literature & Composition exams, while they will select from the following prose pieces found on past AP exams.
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw
Emma, Jane Austen
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Water for Elephants
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
A Doll’s House, Henry Ibsen
Each group will read each story, develop discussion questions, and identify key literary devices employed by each author. Then each group will instruct the other on their book, completing another teaching project where they are expected to closely study a work and develop their own interpretation, provide analysis of literary elements, and consider literary criticism of the work.
Last, to conclude literature circles, students will work in small groups to study a Shakespearean drama (Twelfth Night, Henry IV, or Hamlet) and present a lesson to the class, teaching the text and presenting critical analysis of the text as a tragedy or comedy. Styles of Writing
Throughout each unit, we will focus on several styles of writing, including poetry, essays, drama, novellas, and novels. Each of these styles is important for the preparation of AP Literature and Composition students for a variety of reasons:
Students will be able to successfully understand and interpret a diverse assembly of passages that could be incorporated into the exam.
Students will be able to apply their critical reading and writing skills at the university level and will be able to manage challenging courses and texts.
Students will have an advanced comprehension of literature, both in text and context.
Our poetry units will concentrate on the literary elements and terminology applied to poetry, and we will focus on the poetry of the Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration, Romantic, and Modern eras. These units will also focus on recognizing and understanding how the elements of poetry work in a single poem to create theme, mood, and tone. Major poets studied during these units are Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, Marlowe, Barrett Browning, Rossetti, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, W. B. Yeats, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, and several others. In our study of these poets we will consider the features of epic poetry, pastoral poetry, the Cavalier poets, the metaphysical poets, and the forms of the English sonnet. The objective of this unit is to introduce the major terminology associated with poetry analysis, and to introduce the connection between sound and sense in poetry. Therefore, the assessments in these units target the student’s knowledge and application of the literary terms studied. Students will be assessed through reader-response to poetry and quizzes on the literary terms and their application to the poems studied. Students are asked to interpret the meaning of a particular poem through its language use (diction, tone, voice, etc.) and literary devices (metaphor, simile, personification, etc.), and create an interpretation of the poem based on those devices. Analytical essays will ask students to consider the impact of poetic elements on the theme of a poem(s) and how the elements connect to the traits of that era; students may choose the poem(s) for their essay from a short list. Students will also be asked to identify and interpret poems and create a visual interpretation based on their analysis of the poetic devices and elements employed by the poet.
Our prose units will examine the works of many different British eras; we will focus on the Anglo-Saxon epic, the Medieval Romance narrative, the Classical epic, the Renaissance drama, the Victorian play, the Restoration and Enlightenment satires, the Romantic and Gothic novellas and novels, the Modern novella and short stories, and the Contemporary novel. We will focus on writers’ use literary devices to convey their themes through their works. Because students have had significant exposure to prose fiction prior to their senior English course, we will refresh their interpretive and analytical skills and review the concepts that they are expected to understand and apply for the AP exam. Each unit will focus on a specific set of literary devices and how they function in the texts as well as in their own writing; additionally, each unit will involve the discussion of a specific theme’s purpose to the overall understanding of a text.
The writings in this class vary and include both creative and critical styles. Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the Critical Strategies for Reading (Unit One), illustrate a comprehension of the texts or style of writing, and develop their own tone and diction throughout the writing. With critical writing, students will apply different lenses in their writing, both demonstrating an overall understanding of the text and evaluating the text within its own context or genre. With creative writing, students will display their understanding of the genre by using the characteristics of that genre in their own writing. However, it is important to note that students should look at the writing throughout the year as a workshop; students will build their essays from beginning to end through conferring with the teacher.
In the beginning of the year, students will be introduced to AP Literature and Composition exam questions in order to learn how to build arguments (thesis statements) and organizational patterns. As the year progresses, we will start to apply these writings to the text and students will work with the teacher in order to bring their own perspectives to the writing, thus demonstrating tone, style, and diction through their writing. The various writings will include journaling (short paragraph writings that bring both opinion and textual support to the question posed), annotated bibliographies (which will have students practicing thesis writing, organizing, and finding factual evidence to support argument), and both short and long essay writing (which will prepare them for both the AP exam and college writing). The teacher will make notes to first draft; all writings require multiple drafts in order to introduce students to the revision process and help students come to their best work. The teacher will make notes on writing using the AP Literature and Composition rubric, which students will be introduced to in the first week of class. Students will then confer with the teacher before, during, and after class for revisions of all writing.
In order to truly prepare students for writing at any level, the teacher will begin the school year with sample essays which demonstrate the necessary elements of an essay (both critical and creative). Students will first be introduced to the AP Literature and Composition rubric and all of its components in order to better understand what is expected of their writing. Then students will take the rubric and revise the sample essays (teacher written and AP samples) in order to determine for themselves a clear foundation of what is expected (thesis, organization, style, tone, diction, textual evidence, etc.). Last, students will use Barron’s The Art of Styling Sentences and Nancy Dean’s Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone in order to scaffold their understanding of particular writing techniques that they will need to demonstrate over the course of the year. With Styling Sentences, students will learn to assemble a variety of sentences using semi-colons, colons, and transitions in order to improve sentence variety. In Voice Lessons, Dean provides students with a step-by-step guide on identifying language devices in various pieces of literature and how students can then apply those lessons to their own writing.
The Texts Studied
The required text for this class is The Norton Anthology of English Literature, the Major Authors, 8th edition [Abrams, M. H. & Greenblatt, S. (Eds.). (2006). The Norton Anthology of English Literature, the Major Authors, 8th edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.] Students are encouraged to purchase their textbook at cost; by purchasing the text, students are able to practice text notation, a critical skill for college literature courses.
We will also draw from the following texts:
Literature: An Introduction to Critical Reading [Jacobus, L. A. (1996). Literature: An Introduction to Critical Reading. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc.]
Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 6th edition[Perrine, L. & Arp, T. R. (1993). Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 6th edition. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.]
The readings for this AP course draws predominantly from British writers. Students enter the class with extensive exposure to American writers, as their 11th grade literature course is centered exclusively on the American literary tradition. Upon completion of 11th grade, students will have read works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Arthur Miller, as well as works representative of the major poets and short fiction writers of American literature.
Grades are based primarily on tests, essays, projects, and class participation. If you are unprepared with your reading, you will find it difficult to contribute to class in a meaningful way. All essays, exams, and projects are worth a minimum of 100 points each.
In accordance with the School District Grading Policy grades are calculated as follows:
The following factors will be used as guidelines in determining level of achievement:
(10%)Process – Formative evaluation of student work used for the purpose of providing feedback to the student and teacher regarding progress toward standards. This may include but is not limited to: homework, class work, participation, quizzes, summer reading, writing process, lab participation
(90%)Product – Summative assessment used to measure the degree to which a standard has been attained. This may include but is not limited to: tests, essays, major papers, and rubric scored presentations.
The final course grade is calculated in accordance with District policy: each marking period accounts for 20% of the final course grade, and the midterm and final exams each count for 10% of the final course grade. The midterm exam covers all literature, concepts and skills taught during the fall semester; the final exam covers all literature, concepts and skills taught in the spring semester.