11th Grade AP English
Raleigh Charter High School
School year: 2007-2008
11th Grade AP English will focus on American
literature “as it reflects social perspectives and
historical significance,” meaning that we will not only be reading to understand the relationship
between form and content within and among various texts, but we will also be considering the
ways in which an author’s moment in time affects the text he or she produces. In addition, we will
be examining effective rhetorical strategies and what writing choices produce evocative prose in
student and professional writing. Throughout the course we will be working to strengthen those
crucial critical reading and writing skills that the AP exam evaluates, and which all well-prepared
college school students need. We will move beyond looking at what happens in the literature we
read to fairly sophisticated analyses of how the writing itself is made.
Over the course of the year, we will focus on the following goals:
Critical reading, including increasing students’ ability to recognize and analyze figurative
language, rhetorical devices, tone and theme
Creating effective, well-supported audience-directed prose
Creating effective arguments
Increasing students expressiveness and facility with language, both spoken and written
Increasing awareness of the diversity of the American experience through exposure to a
variety of media and texts
Best Essays of the Twentieth Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oats
Rulebook for Argument, Anthony Weston (should have from 10th grade)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston
King Lear by William Shakespeare
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
50 Great Short Stories edited by Milton Crane (should have from 9th grade)
101 Great American Poems edited by Andrew Carroll
a. In-class notebook (composition notebook or spiral binder) Bring a composition
notebook to class with you that will stay in the classroom. In this notebook you will
respond to various journal prompts, sometimes pertaining to your homework reading,
sometimes in response to poetry or art. occasionally to reflect on topics of your choosing.
b. Three blank disks for working on your essays (or access to the school's "s" drive)
c. Notebook paper
d. Two folders (one for maintaining your course handouts, and one to house your written
It is my goal to create a classroom where we can be comfortable to be ourselves, and where real
thinking and learning takes place. Please adjust your behavior accordingly. For more specific
guidelines, please refer to "The Social Contract."
Assume that all out of class work is typed on white bond paper with standard 10-12 point font and
one-inch margins with standard fonts (unless the assignment gives you creative space, as some of
them will). You will write both in-class and out of class papers, and for most of the assignments,
you should complete a minimum of two drafts. All drafts and notes for each paper should be
saved. Most of what makes good writing good is rewriting. It is important for you to understand
that one of the course’s two major goals, writing more effectively, means that you will be writing
a lot – and I will be using a variety of assessment strategies to give you as much feedback on your
work as I possibly can. If there is ever a time you would like more feedback, feel free to set up a
time with me to go over your writing.
Homework Policy/Late Work
AP students should expect between thirty and forty-five minutes of homework per night. The
exact times will vary dependent on your reading speed. My goal is to create homework that
challenges you to think – I'd rather have you think for twenty minutes and write for twenty, than
scribble thoughtlessly for forty minutes. Our motto: Engage the brain!
All work is expected to be turned in on or read by the date for which it is assigned. Written
homework should be neatly typed and stapled. Appearance counts, so don’t tear jagged pages
from notebooks, or leave ragged edges of from spiral bound journals. Completing your reading
homework means that you have read carefully and closely, looked up words you don’t
know, and considered what you have read. It also means that you have made notes of any
questions you had while reading that you will bring up in class. Major assignments turned in
late will be penalized 5% per day (ten or more days late, the work will only receive half credit.).
Homework not turned in on the due date will receive half credit.
All late work requires that you attach an orange “Departmental Late Slip” to it, complete with a
parent or guardian’s signature. If the late slip is not filled out completely, I will not accept the late
work. I do not comment on late work.
Students are expected to make up late work within a week of their absence unless other
arrangements are made.
Please note that all homework is listed on our web page. The site can be located by going to the
English department's webpage, www.RCHSEnglish.org, and clicking my name.
Plagiarism in this class will be defined as the intentional borrowing of another person’s ideas or
language for the purpose of not producing your own. You must use quotation marks to indicate
material that is borrowed exactly, and cite material that is paraphrased or summarized. Any
plagiarized work will receive an F. If you have any questions about either what constitutes
plagiarism or how you can avoid it, see me. There is also good information on plagiarism and its
penalties in the student handbook.
Students coming to class late will required to make up the time at lunch detention; students who
repeatedly come late and disrupt the other learners will be penalized with after school detention.
I work on a point system; I do not use percentages to figure your grade (for example, having tests
count as 30% of your grade, except for figuring the semester and year-end grade (see below)).
Papers and tests (except for the midterm and final) are worth 100 points. Please be
warned in advance that you will be penalized 5 points at the least for not proofreading
your essays carefully, and that my tests require that you have read carefully and deeply.
We do not have time to discuss every aspect of every novel in class; you will need to
bring your own insights to the exams and papers.
N.B. A cursory skimming of the text in order to understand only what happens will most
likely yield a grade of “C” or worse.
Quizzes are worth 10 points. Students can expect approximately weekly vocabulary
quizzes and occasional reading quizzes. I will only give unannounced reading quizzes.
Why take an AP course if you come to class unprepared?
Projects and homework are weighted variably. You will be notified in advance of its
point value. Late homework can receive no higher than a grade of 50%.
Getting Physical: Students are required to write in their books for class. Highlighting is
encouraged, but only if marginal comments are also included. I will do a book check at
the start of each book to make sure that your book is not written in; books will be
collected the day of the exam and your annotations checked. Book checks are worth 25