Learning Recommendations:  Strong critical reading and writing skills. Students are required to complete summer reading. Details are available in June via the link on the IHS website.

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, student analyze the ways in which writer 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 exam may enable students to earn college credit.

Content:  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.

Strategies:  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
  • Presentations
  • Peer workshops
  • Revision
  • Individual writing conferences
  • Direct instruction

Homework:  Expect a homework load of 30-40 minutes a night of reading during novel units.

Course Fee / Materials:  Students are required to purchase the novels and plays. Students have the option of paying to take the AP English Literature exam.

AP courses at IHS challenge students with rigorous college-level work. By succeeding in college-level work while still in high school, students in AP courses develop confidence in their own abilities and learn essential time management and study skills needed for college and career success.

AP courses provide the opportunity for students to earn college credits. In order to earn college credit, students must register for the AP exam for this course. AP exam fees vary each year. Scholarships are available for students who qualify. AP exam registration takes place in September and October. College credit can be earned with a passing score on the AP exam, but what the score qualification and amount of credit earned varies by college.

Note:  English Credit for Seniors only.