A.P. English Literature _ Compos

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A.P. English Literature & Composition

Course Description

This Advanced Placement Literature and Writing course is designed to teach
beginning college writing through the fundamentals of rhetorical and literary
theory, and follows the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course
Description. The overall purpose of this class is to teach students to “write [and
read] effectively in their college courses across the curriculum.” (The College
Board AP English Course Description, May 2007, May 2008, p. 6) Students will
be expected to think critically, think analytically, and communicate effectively
through oral and written assignments. The A.P. Literature and Composition course
helps students to become proficient readers of various British and *American
works that yield multiple meanings, through a variety of periods between the 16th
and 21st century, and to become effective writers who can utilize various literary
devices to achieve a variety of effects. The class will focus on a variety of genres
of literature including and not limited to fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, and
short stories and advancing students writing skills. This course will prepare
students for the AP exam in the spring which all students will be expected to take.

*We may not cover as many American works because students are exposed to
many American writers in their eleventh grade A.P. Language and Composition

Goals and Objectives

Students will be able to:

· Write an Interpretation of a piece of literature that is based on close reading and
careful observations of textual details while making careful considerations of
structure, style and theme.

· Write about the historical and social context the literary work reflects and

· Use figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone in their writing when

· Read and appreciate a variety of representative works from various literary
periods and genres.

· Close read a text for the purpose of analysis of theme, characterization, style, and

· Analyze author’s literary and rhetorical devices, including diction, syntax, point
of view, word choice, satire, tone, comedy, allusion and a variety of others.

· Write essays with a coherent thesis, providing a balance of textual citations,
details and insightful commentary

· Learn and apply the MLA format while synthesizing information from various
sources to support a coherent thesis with a skillful incorporation of textual

Reading Assignments:

The most important requirement for this course is the outside reading. You will be
focusing on the social and historical context the text was created. Be prepared for a
rigorous reading schedule and plan ahead for heavy reading assignments whenever
possible. Poetry, although not long like a novel, may require reading more than
once due to its dense and complex nature. Don’t fall behind in the reading. You
will be held accountable through various comprehension strategies.

Writing Assignments:

An equally important requirement for this course is the in class and out of class
writing assignments. Students’ papers should always include thoughtful and
extended analysis. Students will be exposed to both formal and informal timed in
class writing assignments. The formal assignments will often be processed writing,
where they will have ample opportunities to revise based on peer commentary. If
they are not happy with their final evaluation they may revise again based on my
comments and a teacher/student conference.

The types of writing assignments will include:

Writing to Understand:

Students will be expected to write informally to explore and discover what they
think in the process of reading and writing. These assignments will include but not

limited to book annotations, journal writing for each literary work or unit we read,
free writes, and response/reaction papers.

Writing to Explain:

Students will be expected to write expository and analytical essays that provide
textual evidence to develop an extended explanation and interpretation of the
meanings of a text.

Writing to Evaluate:

Students will be expected to write analytical and argumentative essays that draw
upon textual details to make and explain judgments about a work’s creative quality
and social and cultural value.

Important note about Feedback on writing:

I will always read your entire paper carefully and provide helpful and honest
commentary. I may comment on your choice of words and provide alternative
vocabulary words to help build and expand your vocabulary. I will help you with
mechanical errors whenever possible which includes sentence structure and use of
subordination and coordination. I will be looking at the way you organized your
paper and provide some alternative methods of organization when necessary and
ensure your paper is coherent. I will make you aware of redundancy (sometimes
redundancy is appropriate if it’s done emphatically) and lack of transitions or
transitions that sound too juvenile. I will ensure you have a balance of both specific
and illustrative detail. Finally, I will be ensuring that you have a command of
rhetoric, tone, voice, and that you are achieving appropriate emphasis through
diction and sentence structure.

Literary devices:

To increase your exposure to literary devices and increase familiarity for the AP
exam each student will be responsible for eight ten devices and will share out their
knowledge of their device through weekly DEFs. Expect to be quizzed on literary
devices throughout the year.


In order to maximize the benefits of rigorous reading, students will create a
glossary for each novel or play they read. For every 50 pages you read you must
look up and produce a definition for at least ten words. For a 300 page novel you
will have a 60 word glossary which will be evaluated for points at the end of each
novel and or play.

Card Tricks:

For each literary work you are assigned you will create a 3X5 note card with all the
pertinent information including, but not limited to the title, author, main characters,
themes, memorable lines. We will be using the cards as a study tool to prepare for
question three.

Grading Policy:

Grades are determined each semester by following a standard percentage
breakdown as follows:

97%- 100%           A+           73%-76%             C
93%-96%             A            70%-72%             C-
90%-92%             A            67%-69%             D+
87%-89%             B+           63%-66%             D
83%-86%             B            60%-62%             D-
80%-82%             B-           59% -0              F
77%-79%             C+

Grades each semester are calculated as follows:

Essays =35%
Assessments =35%
Class& homework =20%

*Out of class and in class writing assignments including A.P. timed writing tests
will be weighted at 35%. Tests, Quizzes, midterms, and finals will all be worth
35% since they are all different types of assessments measuring what students have
learned. Socratic seminars and in class discussion and group activities will be

assigned to the participation category, which means you have to be present to earn
points in that category.

Makeup and Late Work:

I do not accept late work, period. If you are absent due to illness and it is excused
you will have no more than the amount of time you were absent to make up the
work that was missed. Late essays will be accepted, but marked down a letter
grade for every day it is late including weekends and holidays. It is your
responsibility to get missed work from the teacher.

Course Breakdown:

Unit One: Pride and Prejudice: Four weeks

The Proper British novel: Themes: Social Class, Woman’s Place-the Two
Spheres, sexual Repression.

       Social commentary and proper behavior in the early Victorian age, Discuss
       summer work, intro. to AP Lit. and Comp., Course expectations, Poetry
       Boot Camp, Intro. to DEFs., Intro. to Poetry response, AP exam breakdown,
       AP practice written exam, Applied practice, speed scoring and peer
       commentary, the AP rubric, AP rubric/grade conversion, quote integration,
       intro. to Socratic seminar, intro. to dialectical journals/blogging.

Unit Two: Frankenstein: Four weeks

The British Romantic/Gothic novel: Themes: Nature is Sublime, Social Class
Divides, the Supernatural, Death is an Escape, Love is Destructive, Dangerous
Knowledge, Passive Women, and Secrets are Destructive, Social Responsibility.

       Themes of the Romantic Era, AP practice written exam, In class: analysis
       “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Film analysis: Frankenstein, the AP multiple
       choice exam, student created M.C. questions.

Unit three: Oedipus the King: Two weeks

The Classical Greek tragedy: Themes: The Limits of Free Will, Fate is

    Hamilton’s Mythology connection, characteristics of a Greek tragedy,
     catharsis, anagnorisis, and parapeteia, AP written exam, mythological
     allusions, Freud and The Oedipal syndrome.

Unit Four: Macbeth/Hedda Gabler: Five weeks

Shakespearean Tragedy/Femme Fatale: Themes: Unchecked Ambition
Corrupts, Masculinity and Cruelty vs. Femininity and Weakness, Guilt Destroys
the Human Soul, Gender Roles and Power.

    Characteristics of the Femme Fatale, the Macbeth Project, proper research
     techniques, Femme Fatale process paper, and A.P. practice essay Macbeth,
     full A.P. multiple choice exam.

Unit Five: Three weeks: Holiday break: The Glass Menagerie/The Death of a

The American Tragedy: Themes: The Origins of the American Dream, Racial
Discrimination in America, American Plurality, Expectations and Unfulfilled

Unit Six: Four weeks: All Quiet on the Western Front

War: The Horrors of War, Patriotism, Political Power and Nationalism.

    In-class analysis of the Wasteland, A.P. practice essay, A.P. M.C. practice
     exam, student created M.C. questions, War poetry analysis.

Unit Seven: Seven weeks: All The Pretty Horses/The Kite Runner

The Bildungsroman: Themes: Coming of Age, Innate Violence, Moral Codes,
Gender Roles, Sin and Redemption, Homeland and Nationality, the Importance of
Family and Heritage, Literacy and Storytelling, Ethnic and Religious

     McCarthy’s style: imagery and sentence structure analysis, Full A.P.
      practice test, , A.P. practice essays, A.P. MC practice exam, post colonial
      writers and Said’s Orientalism, AP test prep drills, AP test, Illuminated
      poetry project.

Required Texts:
Students will be required to read from the list below. Most of the text will be either
available in the school library or in the English office library. Many of the texts are
also offered online.

Summer Reading:
1. Selections from the Old King James Bible
2. Selected readings from: Mythology: Timeless tales of Gods and Heroes.

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Frankenstein
3. All the Pretty Horses
4. Wuthering Heights
5. The Kite Runner
6. All Quiet on the Western Front

1. Oedipus Rex
2. Macbeth
3. Hedda Gabler
4. The Glass Menagerie
5. Death of a Salesman


In order for students to become familiar with the nuances of poetry and to learn
various strategies to breakdown and analyze a poem there will be a poetry boot
camp at the beginning of the year. Thereafter students will turn in poetry responses
every other week throughout the year with the following list of poems:

1. I Am-John Clare

2. The Ballad of the Landlord-Langston Hughes

3. it’s a Woman’s World-Eavan Bolandi

4. Woman Work-Maya Angelou

5. Ozymandias-Percy Blysse Shelley

6. Ode to a Grecian Urn-John Keats

7. The Chimney Sweeper-William Blake

8. Tyger-William Blake

9. Kubla Khan-Samuel Coleridge Taylor

10. Rime of the Ancient Mariner-

11. Darkness-Lord Byron=H

12. Invictus-William Earnest Henley

13. The Road not Taken-Robert Frost

14. Medusa-Sylvia Plath

15. Carl Sandberg-Killers

16. Daddy-Sylvia Plath

17. Diving into the Wreck-Adrienne Rich

18. My Last Duchess-Robert Browning

19. Whose lips my lips have kissed and where and why-

Edna St. Vincent Mallay

20. The Beggar Woman-William King

21. The Wasteland-TS Eliot

22. Charge of the Light Brigade-Lord Alfred Tennyson

23. Dulce et Decorum Est-Wilfred Owen

24.The Man he Killed-Thomas Hardy

25.My Papa’s Waltz-Theodore Roethke

26. Those Winter Sundays- Robert Hayden

27.When I was One and Twenty-A.E. Housman

28. Storm Warnings-Adrienne Rich

29.As I Grew Older-Langston Hughes

30. Disgraceland-Mary Karr

31. Sestina: Altaforte-Ezra Pound

32. The Tropics in New York- Claude McKay

33. From The Dark Tower-Countee Cullen

34. America-Allen Ginsberg

35. I Hear America Singing-Walt Whitman

36. Dream Deferred-Langston Hughes

37. I, too Sing America- “ “

38. Richard Cory-Edwin A. Robinson

        Additionally, we will be reading various poems for the poetry boot camp at
        the beginning of the year selected from both the Bedford Introduction to
        Literature and some various online sources. We will also be reading various
        short stories and handouts from the Bedford Introduction to Literature and a
        variety of other sources.
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