AP English Literature & Composition
Grade level: 12
Unit Value: 1
Length: Two Semester Semesters
Teacher: Ms. Kate Bugni
Room 209 Number: 934-7184
Class Website: http://sites.google.com/site/msbugnisclasses/
Milwaukee High School of the Arts
Welcome to Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition. We have a
challenging, engaging year ahead of us. In this class, we analyze literature and its
myriad of uses through the discussion, writing and close reading of it. Writing
well about literature is a key component of this class. We will work to master the
writing process; we will produce cohesive and exemplary pieces of writing in
class, preparing for the timed essays that are a component of the AP exams. In
working through the writing process, we will spend a significant amount of time
revising and rewriting ours and others’ work – focusing on the process, rather
than rushing to produce a product.
Many papers will not receive a grade – this may sound frightening and unusual,
but it helps you to view writing as a skill and a means of thinking more deeply
about literature and life, rather than something done for a grade. In lieu of a
grade, you receive comments and questions from me and from your peers. These
comments and questions are used to assist you in exploring ideas more
thoroughly, clarifying ideas, supporting ideas, etc. Writing that elicits a reaction
from others is what literature is all about – so we react to each others’ writing,
which in turn helps us to continue exploring what caused that reaction.
This course also examines literary theory, with a focus on historical and cultural
interpretations of literature. We use the various lenses to analyze a multitude of
writings. We also learn, recognize and understand the significance of many
literary devices, figures of speech and rhetorical strategies. Through close
reading, we analyze how these devices contribute to the overall meaning of a text,
and discuss this orally and in writing.
You will keep and utilize a writing log throughout the year to document your
growth in writing skills and to engage yourself in thinking about your writing.
Interspersed with the following assignments and units are weekly vocabulary
quizzes and the practice of using them in context. It is important to not only
understand what a word means, but to use it appropriately. We will also conduct
mini-lessons on using context clues to decipher the meaning of words, along with
any needed mini-lessons pertaining to grammar. Most grammar instruction will
be done in the context of what we are reading or writing.
Timed, in class writings will be done twice a month on Wednesdays. The writings
will respond to texts we have read, current events, and previous prompts from AP
exams. On each Wednesday when we do not have a prompt, you will be assessing
a peer’s writing, using the AP writing rubric. This is done to expose you to other
styles of writing, “real world” writing (real writing is not just works that have
been published) and to gain insight into others’ ideas they may not be willing to
share aloud. All prompts will be numbered, so that anonymity is ensured.
Papers – formal and informal – are assessed based on original thought, strong
support and evidence for assertions made(from the texts we read, along with
outside sources), cohesiveness, use of voice and emphasis, organization, along
with effective use of transitions, word choice and sentence structure. Teacher-
student conferencing will take place during revisions and prior to submission of a
final piece. Teacher-student conferencing after a paper has been submitted will
take place with major assignments and as requested by either you or myself.
As part of this course, twice weekly students will engage in silent independent
reading. This is to expose students to a multitude of genres they may not
encounter in their academic classes, but are necessary to become well-rounded
thinkers and readers. A wide selection of material will be available to them in the
classroom and they are welcome to bring their own materials as well. Every
Friday a “Read Aloud,” will take place for approximately 4-7 minutes. In this
activity, one student will read a selection from a work that is meaningful to them
in some capacity. This is done to expose students to, again, more literature and
the cadence of the spoken word.
MLA documentation is addressed and used in our writings, ensuring proper
citations and the avoidance of plagiarism.
All out of class assignments must:
Have a 12 point Times New Roman font
Have a one inch margin
Have your first and last name, along with class period, and assignment due
date in the upper right hand corner of the page.
Have a creative title reflecting the task
Assignments not adhering to these guidelines will have points deducted.
To give students the knowledge and skills they need to score a 3 or higher on the
AP English Literature and Composition exam. It is an expectation of the class
that all students will take the exam in May. Exam fees are due in March.
To promote students’ imaginative abilities in reaction to literature.
To help students find and explain (through discussion and writing) what is of
value in literature.
To understand the nature of literature in an artistic sense and in its historical
and universal sense.
To study vocabulary in the context of the literature with college level word lists.
By the end of this class students should be able to do the following:
Apply the writing process to create and critique writing in a variety of
Summarize and evaluate the validity and relevance of ideas and
Compare and analyze the use of symbols and expressions in other
Evaluate and explain how classical and contemporary literature themes
Develop and apply criteria to evaluate literary merit.
Identify and evaluate main ideas and key points from various perspectives
concerning individual, community, national and world issues.
Be able to respond to ways authors represent certain themes and reflect on
them from a personal perspective
Use research skills to conduct, plan and communicate an assigned or self-
selected topic appropriate to course work.
Formative assessment is done throughout the semester, using the student’s essays,
participation in discussions, tests, quizzes, writing logs, binders, along with
Points are earned for each assignment, test, essay and project, and participation.
Grades are calculated using a total points system.
Students will be evaluated on:
Their ability to identify major authors and the style in which they wrote.
Their ability to research an author or novel through writing, oral
presentation, or media presentation with proper citation.
Their ability to make connections to the characters, situations, and
perspectives that take place in the novels studied, either personally, or
with other works.
Their ability to comprehend and critique text.
Their understanding of factors that influence human existence and
Their ability to analyze literary works.
Their ability to understand/locate the main idea of a literary work.
Their understanding of the human condition based on literary works.
1 pack of computer paper (for supplemental reading materials)
1 2 in. binder
5 file folders (for portfolios)
1 poster board - white or colored (for projects)
Black or blue pens
1 12 count pack. of #2 pencils (for the classroom)
A flash drive or blank computer CDs (CD-R or CD-RW) – student
keeps with them
1 roll of clear packaging tape or masking tape (for projects)
One package of post-it notes (for marking books)
To help students improve consistently in their writing over the year, each student
will keep a writing log that will show progress and areas needing improvement.
The most important aspect of the log, however, is that it engages the student in
the process of thinking about and reflecting on writing.
Various texts will be used in this course. The school will provide the
majority of these resources, but students will occasionally need to access
materials through the library or the Internet. A library card and access to
the internet will be a necessary component of this class.
Students are to behave in an appropriate manner in all times.
This is a rigorous and demanding course which does not allow
Students must respect themselves, the teacher, their peers and
the classroom environment. Any disrespectful words or actions
will not be tolerated.
Students are to come to class daily and punctually.
Students must be prepared for class – with needed supplies and
completed readings and work.
Students must inform the teacher of any anticipated absences
and must always bring in an excuse.
In addition, all MHSA rules and policies are
Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of the class
on the day they are due.
Students engaged in projects that are ongoing are expected
to meet benchmark deadlines. Due dates for all assignments
will remain posted in the classroom and on the class website
until the deadline has passed.
Students participating in school related activities –
performances, filed trips, etc., - will be allowed to turn in work
late without penalty, with the time allotted according to the
No late work will be accepted without an excused absence.
Acknowledgment of Course Expectations & Policies
This course description is provided to give the student and parent/guardian an
overview of this course and expectations. I am here to help your child become
proficient and exemplary critical thinkers, readers, writers and speakers. Please
contact me if you have any questions or concerns about this course. I look forward to
a challenging and rewarding year with your child.
Please carefully read the course description and sign below, acknowledging your
understanding of and agreement to adhere to the expectations and policies written
Photo Release Authorization
Occasionally, photographing and videotaping may occur in the classroom.
These photographs and videotapes will be used for classroom and school purposes –
including performance pieces, reflections and group projects.
Please sign here, allowing us to take and use photographs and videotapes of your
Please contact me at 934-7184 if you have any questions.
I, ______________________________, give permission for my child,
___________________, to be photographed and videotaped for the above stated