Ap English Literature and Composition

Table of contents

Course Overview

This class will prepare students for AP English Literature and Composition Exam, as well as the AP English Language and Composition Exam. When registering for exams in the Spring, students will choose which exam to take.  This course is set according to the requirements listed in the AP English Course Description. The reading in the course will cover a wide variety of genres.You will be introduced to everything from formal literary theory to creative writing. Deep reading, the kind that poses as many questions as it answers, will be expected. We will read for a variety of reasons, sometimes to grasp a thematic element and sometimes to simply enjoy the sounds of words.

We will not only identify literary elements, but also why they are used and discuss their effectiveness. We will read across curriculums and relate English literature and its themes to those in philosophy, science, and psychology.  This course also intends to hone your skills as writers.We will learn how to appeal to a certain audience and how vocabulary and structure change depending on the type of writing. We will practice deep revision and constantly recognize that writing is not simply putting thoughts down on a page, but a craft that takes a lifetime to perfect. We will discover our own individual styles as writers and use these to our advantage. Mechanics, citations, and technical writing will all be monitored closely.

Above all though, we will see how our own words can excite, persuade, and create understanding. Finally, the course will hopefully make you a critical thinker.We live in the information age and no skill will be more in need than the ability to interpret information. The critical thinking skills you develop in this class will go on to help you on the AP Exams, the SAT, and in almost every aspect of your life. This course is divided around the different thematic ideas of conflict in literature, non-fiction, and life in general. While the traditional elements of conflict seem simple, we will explore the motives behind them. Finally, we will attempt to figure out how the characters choose to live (or die) with conflict and find resolution.

Through non-fiction, we will explore how conflict has been created and resolved through rhetoric and argument. And how a well-written and polished argument can create a path of possibility even through the most mired of conflicts. Elements of the course: • Writing. Drafts will be submitted to me and returned with comments. All papers will have a first and a final draft. Students may be asked to correct their drafts twice before submitting a final draft. All compositions will be graded on the AP rubric.

One Friday a month, students will access their writing from the past month from their portfolio in class.During this time, we will have a writer’s workshop and address specific revision strategies. We will focus on revising sentence structure, organization, rhetorical structures, transitions, detail, imagery, conventions, and grammar. While timed writings are a part of this class, the Friday writer’s workshops will illustrate the importance of constant and careful revision. Students will also sign up for a meeting with me after-school every 2 months. At the first meeting, students will discuss with me their strengths and weaknesses. Together, we will assess their improvement throughout the year.

Wordly Wise

Vocabulary book will be due weekly.Periodic quizzes will test students’ knowledge. Wordly Wise is an excellent preparation for the SAT. The class will also have a Word Wall. The Word Wall will function to remind students of past vocabulary learned and encouraged the use of new vocabulary in writing. • One interactive class project will happen for every unit. The project will often involve synthesizing knowledge from the unit and applying it to something outside English class: art, nature, current events, family life, etc.

Reading journals

Students will keep dialectical reading journals throughout the course. These journals will help facilitate deep and thorough reading. he reading journal is also a great place to practice writing and collecting your thoughts cohesively. We will continuously use the reading journal in class discussion and come back to it to get ideas for essays. The reading journal will be counted as a grade underneath the writing category.

Plato tells us that ideas, not necessarily our experiences, are reality. This argument will encourage us to look deeper into the ideas behind what we are reading and writing. Essays from Didion and Nabokov will give us specific tips on how to begin our journey as accomplished readers and writers. Then, we will switch gears to a short segment on narrative writing where will read 3 excellent examples of narrative in time for us to write our own narrative essay.While studying narrative writing, we will focus on specific examples of excellence in sentence structure, form, organization, and conventions.

Finally, we will spend two weeks studying the text Everything’s an Argument, which we will continue to refer to throughout the year. We will learn how to identify successful rhetorical structures and use them in our own writing. During this examination of rhetorical analysis, we will use current New York Times editorials. Our writer’s workshop will for this unit will focus on varying our sentence structure for emphasis and effect.

Finally, we see how the person vs. nature conflict changes as technology begins to take care of our rudimentary needs. In Desert Soltaire, nature maintains little of its aggressor status.Instead, man takes over as the force bent on destruction. Finally, we will end our discussion of person vs. nature by taking a field trip to McKinney Falls State Park. There, we will take pictures to provide visual evidence of multiple points of conflict.

Finally, we will focus on style and the creative use of structure across two genres: novel and poetry. All the Pretty Horses will take us through several conflicts as John Grady Cole becomes an adult. Most striking though is McCarthy’s mastery of prose and creativity in structure. We will then make a comparison to e. e. cummings poetry, which also manages to leave out what we expect in format, in order to open our eyes to the exuberant images the poet provides. Our writer’s workshop will focus on how to add specific and concise, yet eye-opening detail to our writing.

Katherine Anne Porter’s short story will also show the failure to grasp reality. Through the stream of consciousness point of view, the reader will feel like they are losing their grip on reality as well. Emerson’s poem will help us to understand if Lear’s problems were fate, or if fate merely took the fall for Lear’s bad judgment. Heart of Darkness is tied very closely to two types of conflict: person vs. himself and person vs. society. We will see how Kurtz’ descent into madness (yes!There will be many descents into madness in this unit! ) was caused by the evils of colonialism.

Achebe argues in his essay “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” that while Conrad was arguing against imperialism, he was doing so from a racist standpoint. We will analyze Achebe’s argument. Orwell will close out the unit by illustrating his own personal conflict with duty and attempt to “avoid looking a fool” in imperialist times. The Writer’s Workshop will focus on conventions, specifically advanced punctuation and its uses.Assessments: Composition: Characterization. Choose a character from King Lear, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, or Heart of Darkness. Analyze the literary techniques that are used to illustrate insanity and the onset of madness.

Finally, we will read several writers who focus on resolution rather than conflict. Through emotional experience, logical thinking, and even humor, we will see how characters and people in real life live and deal with conflict. Assessments: Composition: Analyze the role the house plays in the novel Howard’s End. Composition: Write a mock graduation speech that includes at least 4 quotes from readings throughout the year.

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