Bowen Fall 2009 AP English Literature & Composition Syllabus and Course Policies Instructor: Dr. Lori Bowen Location: 1.375 Instructor e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org School Phone Number: (678) 714-5850 Course Description This Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition course is designed to develop your ability to read and understand literature, communicate in writing and in speech, and polish skills you will need in your academic and professional future. The course follows the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course Description, and, unlike other levels of language arts, the “Advanced Placement” designation indicates that this is a college-level literature course with increased academic rigor and intellectual demands. According to the AP English Course Description, An AP English course in Literature and Composition engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Course Goals The larger objectives of the course—those that we will meet over the entire year—include the following: to study representative works from various genres and periods (from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century) but know a few works extremely well; to understand a work’s complexity, to absorb richness of meaning, and to analyze how meaning is embodied in literary form; to consider the social and historical values a work reflects and embodies; and to write focusing on the critical analysis of literature including expository, analytical, and argumentative essays as well as creative writing to sharpen understanding of writers’ accomplishments and deepen appreciation of literary artistry. Elements of the Course Reading: The most important requirement for AP English Literature and Composition is that you read every assignment—read it with care and on time. You will need to plan time in your schedule for more reading than most courses require. Even though poetry and short stories are not usually long, they are intense and complicated and should always be read at least twice. Novels and plays in particular require planning. You should also be aware that some of the literature you will be reading might be considered “offensive” by some. Please understand that neither you nor your parents nor I have to approve of or condone everything that emerges in a text just because it's assigned. Hawthorne was not advocating adultery in The Scarlet Letter and Twain was not advocating slavery in Huckleberry Finn. Even what has the author's approval does not have to compel our own. If the author supports something morally unacceptable to you, you don't have to buy it just because it's been delivered in a book. Authors are just people—a fact that we frequently overlook. However, if you never encounter books with which you disagree, and if you’re never encouraged to weigh literary matters against your own moral standards, you’re likely to go away with at least the tacit assumption that all published material (at least literary material) is a moral directive. You will then be at the mercy of whatever text crosses your desk. If I don't challenge that assumption in high school, you will have no defenses when you hit these issues without any guidance later on. Writing: The writing assignments in this course are varied but include writing to understand, writing to explain, and writing to evaluate. All critical writing asks that you evaluate the effectiveness of a literary piece, but being an effective evaluator requires you to understand and explain. The quintessence of scholarship is the combination of these three approaches to writing. In the process of writing these varied assignments, you will hone your skills with diction and the appropriate use of words, your ability to create varied and effective syntactic structures, your facility with coherence and logical organization, your capacity to balance generalizations with specific and illustrative details, and your ability to make effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure. You will write critical papers of varying lengths, explicating poetry, short fiction, and drama, and performing a close reading of novels. Each paper will use specific and well-chosen evidence to communicate an argument about poems, drama, and fiction. These critical essays are based on close textual analysis of structure, style, and social/historical values. Bowen Fall 2009 Performance Tasks Timed, In-class Essays: You will write a timed, in-class essay approximately every two weeks. Each timed writing will be based on a question from the AP English Literature and Composition Exam from previous years. You will receive feedback via the scoring guidelines used by the AP English Literature and Composition Exam for that specific question if it is available. Otherwise, you will receive feedback via the “generic” AP scoring guidelines. We will also examine anonymous samples of your peers’ essays and discuss the scores for these papers. Out-of-class “drafts”: You will occasionally write a response based on a prose free response question from the AP English Literature and Composition Exam from previous years. You will receive feedback via the scoring guidelines used by the AP English Literature and Composition Exam for that specific question if it is available. Otherwise, you will receive feedback via the “generic” AP scoring guidelines. We will also examine anonymous samples of your peers’ responses and discuss the scores for these papers. Extended Essays: You will write a minimum of two formal, extended essays. These essays require you to synthesize your understanding of a literary work, but they are designed to help you respond to literary questions in a manner less restrictive than the AP-based exams that form the in-class essays on literature. All extended essays will be evaluated according to a specific grading rubric. We will discuss the specific rubric and expectations when each paper is assigned. However, all rubrics will address diction and the appropriate use of words, varied and effective syntactic structures, coherence and logical organization, the balance between generalizations and specific, illustrative details, and the effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure. Dialectical Journals: You will respond regularly in a dialectical journal. A dialectical journal is another name for a reader-response journal in which you record a dialogue, or conversation, between the ideas in the text and your own ideas. Multiple-choice Practice: You will regularly practice responding to multiple-choice questions, and I will grade those assignments using a scaled system in which 55% correct is roughly equivalent to a C. Novel Assignments: Virtually all novels will include assignments you will complete as you read. These assignments include such activities as annotating the text, explicating quotations, analyzing stylistic elements, and responding to analytical questions. Objective Tests: For most major works, you will take an objective test on the day the final reading assignment is due. The purpose of the tests is to determine if you actually read the work. The questions will not be interpretive; as long as you read the book and complete the accompanying assignments, you will perform well on these tests. If you read only SparkNotes or some other kind of study aid, you will not experience success—not on the tests, not in the course, and not on the AP exam in May. Voice Lessons*: Each semester you will complete short lessons to improve your understanding of diction, detail, imagery, syntax, and tone. Each lesson includes a quotation from critically acclaimed literature, discussion questions that direct your attention to the analysis of the quotation, and writing exercises that help you put new knowledge into practice. *These lessons are taken from Dean, N. Voice Lessons—Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone. Gainesville, Florida: Maupin House, 2000. Poetry Explications: Each week you will choose a poem from a poetry packet that I will distribute to you, and you will complete a one- to two-page, typed explication of the poem. Throughout first semester, I will provide questions to guide your understanding of each poem. Additionally, I will provide a thesis blueprint to help you write a thesis statement for your explication. During second semester, however, I will not provide any guidance as I expect your analytical writing skills to be more developed. Vocabulary: At the beginning of the semester, I will assign vocabulary words for the semester. For each set of words, you will determine other forms/parts of speech, derivation and root, and synonyms/antonyms. You will also write a sentence using the word and determine a symbol or icon to help you remember the word. Additionally, I expect you to utilize the vocabulary words on a regular basis in your writing. Independent Reading: Each semester you will read one novel (chosen from a list) independently and complete an assignment based on that novel. Bowen Fall 2009 Grading/Evaluation Novel assignments and objective tests—20% Poetry explications, Voice Lessons, and dialectical journal—20% Test preparation (Writings based on prompts and multiple-choice exercises)—20% Vocabulary, daily work and homework—20% Final exam--20% At the end of each semester, I will add 10 points to your final grade. Please understand that the purpose of the 10 points is to make your grade more equal to what you might have earned if you had not taken AP English Literature and Composition—in other words, the ten points is not a gift. If you usually earn an A in English, you will probably earn a B in AP English. However, the 10 points will push your grade back to the normal range for you, and you will have experienced a challenging course, something that all colleges consider to be more indicative of success that a high GPA. Texts Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama The Importance of Being Earnest—Oscar Wilde ($99.40 replacement cost!)—Robert DiYanni She Stoops to Conquer—Oliver Goldsmith* Wuthering Heights—Emily Bronte Joseph Andrews—Henry Fielding* Jane Eyre—Charlotte Bronte Heart of Darkness—Joseph Conrad The Tragedy of Hamlet—William Shakespeare Invisible Man—Ralph Ellison* The Sound and the Fury—William Faulkner Song of Solomon—Toni Morrison *As of now, you need to find (purchase or check out from a library) a copy of these novels. If you cannot locate a text by two weeks before the beginning of study, please let me know, and I will find a way to loan you a book. (I will keep you apprised of the instructional calendar.) Needed supplies: 3-ring binder with tabbed dividers, composition notebook or large spiral notebook, agenda book, blue or black ink pen, multi-colored highlighters, USB flash drive Course Requirements Notebooks: Your notebook should be an organized collection of work. I expect you to keep all class notes and handouts in your notebook. I will expect you to access information quickly, so organization of the notebook is necessary. Assignments: All assignments must be typed or written neatly in blue or black ink. Some assignments must be typed— pay attention to the directions I give for each assignment. All written assignments should represent your best work, given the constraints and requirements of the assignment. Grammar, organization, and spelling always “count” (although sometimes to a lesser degree). All assignments, including reading, are due on the date specified. Daily assignments will be written on the board and posted on the class’s web page. Policies and Expectations Respect: If we all practice courtesy, consideration, and cooperation, we will have a classroom community conducive to learning. A typical class period might include teacher-directed notes or information, small group work, individual work, and/or class discussion. I expect your conduct to fit each activity. If I am giving you notes, be attentive and inquisitive. If you are working in groups, stay on task and in your assigned team. Consequences for disrupting the classroom community include verbal warnings, detention in my classroom, parent contact, and/or administrative referral. Come to class on time, and be prepared: We will observe the Mill Creek tardy policy, which is posted near the door. You should have all of your necessary materials and be ready to work when the bell rings. All work should be ready to turn in at the BEGINNING of class. Please be aware if you miss a quiz due to a tardy, you will receive a zero. If you miss part of a test or quiz due to a tardy, you will not be given additional time to complete it. Come to class: Because the AP English Literature class proceeds at an enhanced pace and because much of the work in the class is group or discussion-based, attendance is crucial to success in the course. Students must, therefore, set priorities and make choices about the trips they will take and the activities in which they will participate—remembering that, though extracurricular activities are important, academic studies are the main focus for AP students. Bowen Fall 2009 Participate: You should be prepared for class and ready to discuss and/or read the work assigned for that day. Sleeping in class is not acceptable. Observe due dates: I will not accept late work if you have had at least five school days to complete an assignment. (You will find that most of your assignments fit this description.) Work is late if you do not have it with you in class when I ask for it. Be certain you are aware of due dates and turn your work in on time. If you are absent, you can e-mail the assignment to me to verify that you have completed it, but I need a hard copy on the day you return. I will accept short-term assignments if you can get the work to me by 3:00 on the due date, but I will deduct points. Also, if your computer crashes, you may use blue or black ink and hand write the assignment. Always keep a hard copy of your work in case of computer/printer problems. Excuses of “no ink” or other technical difficulty will NOT be accepted. You may print your work in my room BEFORE OR AFTER school; however, DO NOT come into class knowing your assignment is due that period and attempt to print. Language Arts Departmental Policies Make-up work: The student must schedule any work missed within five school days. However, if the student has been absent only one day and a test or quiz has been given covering the material the student was given before the absence, the teacher reserves the right to give the test or quiz missed on the first day after the student returns to school if the student was present for the curriculum presentation. It is the student’s responsibility to ask for make-up work and to turn it in on the agreed date. If the student misses the language arts class because he or she checks in or out of school on the day that an assignment is due, the student should make sure that the assignment is turned in to the teacher before leaving or after returning to school. Additionally, if a student has a field trip or some other school-related activity and is at school before or after the field trip, he/she must turn in work that is due that day. If work is not completed within the requested period of time, the student receives a zero for the incomplete work. The five-day rule does not apply to long-standing due dates on assignments such as essays, research papers, or projects. In those cases, it is generally expected that the student would turn in the assignment on or before the due date. Academic Honesty: Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. The primary goal of the class is for you to learn. Therefore, I will hold each student to the highest standards of academic honesty. All work you submit should be your own efforts, created from your mind and, occasionally, well-documented sources. All work that you submit for a grade must be your own original work created solely for this course. For any instance of plagiarism or cheating, the student will receive a zero (0) on the assignment, and the teacher will call the parent and write an administrative referral. See Handbook. Continued academic dishonesty may result in dismissal from the Advanced Placement program. Bowen Fall 2009 Dear Parents or Guardians: Your signature and initials below will assure me that you have read the syllabus for this course. If you have any questions, please contact me by email or at the Mill Creek High School phone number. Please note a quicker response will come via e-mail due to limited phone access during school hours. I look forward to working with you and your teenager. Sincerely, Dr. Lori Bowen email@example.com Parents, please initial each line, sign below, and return. ______My son or daughter has permission to use the Internet on school computers for research purposes. ______I authorize Dr. Bowen to email me at the address provided below with grade, attendance, or conduct concerns about my son or daughter. ______Open House: Monday, August 31 ______School-wide progress reports: Friday, September 25 and Friday, November 6. ______The AP English Literature and Composition Exam will be given at 8:00 am on May 6, 2010. Student’s Name (Please Print)_____________________________________ Student's signature______________________________________________ Parent/Guardian's signature_______________________________________ Date__________________ Parents or Guardians: please provide telephone numbers where you can be reached between the hours of 7:00 AM and 3:00 PM and indicate whose phone numbers are listed. Home: ( )__________________________ Work: ( )__________________________ Cell: ( )_____________________________Other: ( )_________________________ Parent e-mail address _______________________________________________________ To whom does this e-mail account belong?______________________________________ Student’s e-mail address_____________________________________________________ On the back of this form, please provide any additional information regarding your child that may be helpful or that you think should know.
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