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Learning Recommendations: It is strongly recommended that students have at least a B+ in their current English class.
General Description: As stated in the official College Board course description, an AP English Literature and Composition course “engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature.” Utilizing close reading skills, students analyze the ways in which writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure; students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students develop their ability to read complex works with greater understanding and to develop richness, clarity, and complexity in their own writing. This course prepares students to take the College Board AP English Literature and Composition Test given in May. Satisfactory performance on this examination may enable students to earn college credit. There will be required summer assignments given before the end of the current school year.
Students are engaged in the intensive study of literature written in several genres from the sixteenth century to the present, drawn mostly from British and American writers (8-9 major works of drama and fiction, extensive poetry, selected short fiction). Students also read occasional academic essays and articles to establish historical and social context, major philosophical movements, and various critical approaches to literature. However, the usual focus is the primary text; the course teaches students to write interpretations based on the careful observation of textual details; structure, theme, style (sentence structure and diction), together with a range of other elements such as figurative language, imagery, symbolism, irony, and tone. Through instruction and feedback on their writing assignments, students are encouraged to develop apt and precise word choice; inventive sentence structure; effective overall organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence; a balance of relevant generalization and specific, illustrative detail; and an effective use of rhetoric to control tone, establish and maintain voice, and achieve appropriate emphasis.
Students will learn through a combination of :
- Close, deliberate reading of complex texts that yield multiple meanings
- Class discussion
- Writing for varied purposes:
- Writing to understand (annotation; journals; exploratory, reader-response quick-writes)
- Writing to explain (expository, analytical essays based on the focused analysis of aspects of language and structure)
- Writing to evaluate (formal essays that make and explain judgments about a work’s artistry and explore its underlying values through analysis, interpretation and argument)
- Timed, in-class responses (both passage analysis and open-ended prompts) in preparation for the AP exam
- Socratic seminar
- Peer workshops
- Individual writing conferences
- Direct instruction