AP Syllabus/ English Literature and Composition
Room 115- 915-937-2604—email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to AP English and Literature and Composition. I hope this document serves
not only to inform you, but to guide you as well. This course can be time consuming
outside of class, but hopefully, the reward will be well worth your time.
To understand literature, you must experience it. For that experience to be valuable, you
must analyze each piece with an intense curiosity that enables you to evaluate literature
from several perspectives: as a reader, a writer, and as an author. Discussions
and writing assignments will often be intense, for they will ask you to examine the
author’s motivation and implications through your analytical response. Questioning is
essential to this experience and therefore required of all participants.
The course is divided into four nine week units, following the curricular requirements of
the AP Course Description, with a focus on analyzing literature through the following:
Examining of point of view of writer, reader, and critics
Probing into the effectiveness of structure, syntax, diction, tone, imagery, theme,
Determining the perspective of the reader, philosophers and historians
Evaluating through critical writing a variety of genres and multicultural works,
both classical and contemporary
Writing formal and informal responses to the readings
Evaluation of writing through editing and revising, effectiveness of argument and
supportive evidence, sentence structure and variety, invention and proofs
Students are required to read one outside novel of their choosing each nine weeks
and give a presentation, including analysis and recommendations to the class. Other
assessments will be conducted through tests, essays, daily written responses, and
participation in class. AP practice tests will also be utilized every two weeks the first
semester and weekly the second semester. Students will also be required to collaborate
with classmates on a seminar presentation over material read in class each semester.
Grading is in accordance to district policy and is as follows:
Daily Work – daily work, journals, essays, responses 40%
Tests – literary critiques, seminars, tests 40%
Nine Weeks Tests 20%
Students are required to use a variety of venues to attain information for research and
discussion. These may include but not restricted to: Internet sites, journals, periodicals,
newspapers, magazines, primary sources, software, or any other source approved by the
Philosophers’ attempts to determine the actions and reactions of humans have resulted in
a plethora of perspectives. As readers, we also attempt to assign meaning to these
behaviors. In the examination of literature, we will analyze the nature of humans through
several angles, outlining our personal philosophy and forming a framework of purpose
Unit 1-- The Nature of Humankind Character analysis/ Theme 1st nine weeks
· Is it nature or nurturing that determines the reactions of humans to the world?
· What laws of thinking are needed for survival?
· What determines if our thinking is valid?
· Is thinking significant in the universe or is it a predetermined issue?
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
Short Stories / Essays
The Use of Force – William Carlos Williams
The Damned Human Race – Samuel Clemens – Literary Critique
The Myth of Sisyphus – Albert Camus
Poetry – Introduction to poetry
syntax, setting, title, tone, theme, diction, description, development
The Unknown Citizen – W.H. Auden
The Whipping – Robert Hayden
The Man He Killed – Thomas Hardy
Major Assignments: Choose one of the questions posed in Unit 1 and write a 900 –
1000 word argument using any one of the three assigned texts for support and evidence.
Due during 9week finals week.
Seminar – Selection of questions for Frankenstein
Unit 2 – What is good and what is evil? 2nd nine weeks
· How do we determine the good from the evil?
· Has a divine power set the standards of good and evil or are they matters of
· Are good and evil a part of every human?
· What role does free will have in good and evil?
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad-- Literary Critique
In Cold Blood -- Truman Capote
What is Good and what is Evil? Basic Teachings of Great Philosophers
from The Plague – Albert Camus (excerpt)
Poetry – cont. – Denotation/connotation / elements of a
Mirror – Sylvia Plath
There is no Frigate like a Book – Emily Dickinson
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day – William Shakespeare
Critical analysis of critical essays – Heart of Darkness
In Cold Blood 500 word essays
AP Prompt: (2002) Morally ambiguous are at the heart of many works of
literature. Explain how a character can be viewed as morally ambiguous and why
his or her moral ambiguity is significant to the work as a whole. Choose one of
the novels read this nine weeks for reference and discussions.
Seminar – In Cold Blood—Capote
Break: Read Hamlet (we will have seminar on return before Unit 3)
Unit 3 – The Search for Knowledge? 3rd nine weeks—Tone
· Are our ideas inherent in the very nature of our minds?
· What is the soul?
· Did this universe come about through an act of divine creation of is it the result of
a gradual process of growth?
· What is our role in the universe?
Siddartha – Herman Hesse
The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo
Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer – Literary Critique
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Ethics in Embryo – Robert Jastrow
Book IX – Paradise Lost – John Milton
Poetry – Imagery, Figurative Language
The Hound – Robert Francis
Metaphors – Sylvia Plath
To His Coy Mistress – Andrew Marvell
Literary Critique / The Canterbury Tales—Chaucer—Details will be discussed in class.
Due the week during nine weeks test.
Unit 4 – Self and Society / Elements of Drama—4th nine weeks
Extensive test review will also take place during this time.
· What is man’s place in society?
· How does society affect man?
AP Prompt: ( 1995) Choose a novel or play in which a character plays a
significant role and show how that character’s alienation reveals the surrounding
society’s assumptions or moral values. 750-900 words.
The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde –
A Doll’s house—Henry Ibsen
Short Story / Essays
The Zoo Story – John Albee
Very Old Man with Enormous Wings – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Rocking Horse Winner – D. H. Lawrence
The Sick Rose, The Tiger, The Lamb, The Chimney Sweeper--William
My Last Duchess – Robert Browning
Final Paper 10—15 Critical analysis and comparison of two major pieces read to date.
Paper must include discussion of usage of literary devices and their effectiveness,
scholarly articles or essays written on the selections, and analysis of how the
pieces differ and compliment each other. Presentations will be given to the group.
This syllabus is subject to change.