An Advanced Placement course in English Literature and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of imaginative literature of recognized merit written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and contexts and in becoming skilled writers who can compose a critical analysis of these works. Both their writing and their reading should make students consider a work’s structure, style, themes, as well as the myriad literary elements that are employed in order to contribute to the effectiveness of the work as a whole. Therefore students will deal daily with close reading and writing because an understanding of the piece as well as the ability to explain the piece is vital to being able to effectively write an evaluative analytical essay. Through frequent reading, conferencing, writing, and revision/revisiting the writing, the students will view and improve their ability to effectively use diction, syntax, coherent and logical organization, and to use both specific illustrative details and generalizations to prove their thesis.
Equivalent to a college-level literature course, which is taught significantly above grade level, this course is designed for students who have demonstrated superior ability in communication, reading, research, and writing skills. The focus of the course is an in-depth reading of imaginative literature such as prose, poetry and drama in order to improve both analysis and writing ability. Writing ranges from informal, reflective journals to formal, critical papers. There will be many opportunities during this course to provide peer-peer feedback, teacher-peer feedback, and take papers through a writing process. Students will also be expected to perform impromptu writing based on readings. The overarching goal is for students to discover their strengths in analysis and writing and to build on these as well as discover weaknesses in order to improve these areas.
In addition to writing students will also participate in a variety of discussion modes: Socratic seminars, small group and large group. While an understanding of standard English grammar is presumed students will also be expected to become more mature writers by employing varied sentence structure, parallelism, proper modifiers etc. based on modeling the writing of published authors. Similarly, since annotated papers in are required, students are expected to be acquainted with the Modern Language Association's guidelines for writing and citations.
The course overview, goals, and objectives for this class are taken from the AP English Course Description published by the College Board. Many of the texts and authors used in this course have been chosen based on the representative list that is also included in this publication. In addition many of the assignments implemented in this course are derived from The AP Vertical Teams Guide for English which is also published by the College Board. A complete list of publication information for these sources and others can be found in the student resources and teacher resources sections of the syllabus.
Instructional Goals: English 4 AP provides opportunities for students to:
- analyze and interpret how meaning is embodied in literary form
- consider the social and historical values a work reflects and embodies
- develop a tolerance and understanding of different genres of literature and diverse ideas in literary criticism
- develop critical reading skills through close reading of poetry, prose, and drama
- analyze effective traits in style of diverse writers, including elements such as purpose, audience, tone, syntax, irony, figurative language, diction, and point of view
- create a personal writing style through effective use of rhetoric in expository, analytical, documented argumentative, and creative essays, including controlling tone, using logical organization, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure
- develop effective personal research skills
- develop speaking, listening, and presentation skills
- expand vocabulary
- practice and master strategies for taking the SAT, ACT, and AP exams