AP English Literature and Composition Syllabus
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is a rigorous full-year course emphasizing the development of skills in critical reading and in writing about literature and related ideas. The course is designed to fulfill the curricular requirements of the AP English Course Description and it is intended for students who are willing to devote the time and energy necessary to succeed in a college-level class.
Students will gain skills that will enable them to understand and analyze stylistic elements, rhetorical devices, and structural techniques. Students will compose timed in-class essays, formal, extended analyses outside of class, response papers and dialectical notebooks, and will revise and rewrite papers extensively. Students will read. Students will read various works by many different authors from different time periods and genres. This
overall study of literature will provide students with the experience, the interpretation, and the evaluation of prose and poetry.
Course Objectives: Students will…
Reading Component Composition Component
Study representative works from various genres and periods.
Analyze how social and historical values are reflected in a work. Engage in active reading strategies and interpretations
through dialectical journals and informal written activities.
Engage in active reading strategies and interpretations through
dialectical journals and informal written activities. Compose formal expository and argumentative essays
evaluating textual artistry, quality, and extended
Read closely with paraphrasing, explicating, annotating, analyzing, and interpretations.
Compose timed essays for each unit based on previous AP Research the historical and cultural significance of works and authors. Exam questions.
Apply close reading skills to Applied Practice and retired College Board Rewrite and revise each timed essay after teacher multiple-choice tests. feedback.
Participate in literature circles, Socratic seminars, and class discussions Compose creative writing assignments including poems and involving selections. narratives.
Apply various analytical tools and strategies such as SOAPStone, TP-Engage in writing workshops that include developing criteria CASTT, etc. for assessment, peer editing, and stylistic maturity.
Analyze the structure and form of poetry. Compose a literary Research Paper using MLA format
including proper parenthetical documentation. Analyze stylistic elements of text including figurative language, imagery,
symbolism, archetypes, and tone. Demonstrate a wide ranging vocabulary used with
denotative accuracy and connotative resourcefulness in Interpret literature through observation of a work’s structure, style, and writing. theme (universal meaning).
Demonstrate an effective use of rhetoric, including
controlling tone, maintaining a consistent voice, and Vocabulary Component achieving emphasis through parallelism and antithesis.
Study, apply, and be tested over vocabulary from the following Participate in grammar minilessons which focus on categories: individual weaknesses in writing.
Literary vocabulary - literary terms with which they must be familiar in Participate in a teacher conference after each formal essay order to analyze, explicate, and evaluate works read as well as define in and revise essays based on word choice, sentence context of AP multiple choice exams. structure, logical organization, rhetorical structure, tone,
voice, and detail. Content vocabulary - study vocabulary from the works themselves
learning unfamiliar words, analyzing word choice, and determining tone. Write various informal responses to literature to show
understanding of ideas presented in class. Word study - complete vocabulary lessons that include the study of
Greek and Latin roots and words from classical mythology and history.
Required Texts Supplemental Texts
How to Read Literature like a Professor Foster The Elements of Style Strunk and White
The Canterbury Tales Chaucer 5 Steps to a 5: AP English Literature McGraw Hill
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student
X.J.Kennedy/ Dana Gioia (see course schedule for specific texts) Levine
Hamlet Shakespeare Applied Practice for each major work
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Stoppard Edith Hamilton’s Mythology
The Stranger Camus Voice Lessons Dean
Waiting for Godot Beckett Advanced Placement English Center for Learning
Jane Eyre Bronte Advanced Placement Poetry Center for Learning
Wide Sargasso Sea Rhys Advanced Placement Writing Center for Learning
Invisible Man Ellison British Literature Center for Learning
The Awakening Chopin A Rookie’s Guide to Research Mills and Stiles
AP English Crash Course Hogue *See Choice novel / drama list
Semester 1 Course Schedule
Course Introduction: (1 week)
Text: How to Read Literature like a Professor
Essential Questions: What is the “language of reading”? What are the patterns and archetypes often present
Unit Expectations/Objectives: The student will
Discuss the use of symbolism in literature, choose an object that symbolizes his/her identity, and write an essay explaining the connections. Present symbols in an oral presentation.
Outline assigned chapter of How to Read Literature like a Professor, upload outline to class website, millsenglish.com,
and contribute specific knowledge of analysis in class discussions for each text we read throughout the year.
Unit 1: The Middle English Period of Literature (2 weeks)
Texts: The Canterbury Tales (General Prologue & selected Tales)
Essential Questions: How is our understanding of culture and society constructed through and by language? How does literature reveal the values of a given culture or time period?
Unit Expectations/Objectives: The student will
Consider the changes in language from the Medieval period. Research the social and historical values of the Middle Ages and show how those values are reflected by Chaucer’s works.
Compose a timed essay using an AP exam question followed by a teacher conference and a revision by the student focusing on improving sentence structure, logical organization, and selection of detail. Collaborate in groups to analyze one pilgrim’s prologue and tale (not discussed in class). Write an interpretation based on the work’s structure, style, and themes and present a sketch, using Chaucer’s language, of an original pilgrim based on modern society.
Complete various activities to enhance understanding of the text including: “A More Than Courteous Knight,” “Name That Pilgrim,” “Chaucer’s Genius for Description,” and “Feudal Class Structure.”
Improve vocabulary through lessons in Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student, through relevant literary terms (frame
tales, characterization, satire, irony, symbol, allegory) and through content vocabulary.
Unit 2: Drama Comparison: The Tragedy and The Absurd (3 weeks)
Texts: Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, passages by Machiavelli and Bacon
Essential Questions: How are aspects of human nature revealed through characterization? What role does predestination have in life? How is mankind driven by power and ambition? What is the significance of loyalty? Unit Expectations/Objectives: The student will
Compare and contrast the ways in which each play reflects the values of the contexts (historical, social, and religious) in which they were written.
Analyze Hamlet’s internal conflict as expressed in his soliloquies, examining his philosophy of life as he develops an
understanding of providence.
Memorize a passage, deliver the passage orally in class, and write a short analysis explaining the passage’s significance.
Explore how Stoppard gives insight into the Theater of the Absurd and existentialism.
Explore the themes of perception vs. reality, corruption, revenge, and forgiveness and examine subtext and motifs. Interpret passages relating to characterization, tone, mood, diction, syntax, and imagery.
Interpret both plays in a dialectical journal with emphasis on style, theme, and symbolism.
Write and rewrite a timed, in-class response based on previous AP tests.
Compose a formal analytical essay comparing and contrasting the two plays, developing a topic and creating a strong thesis through class discussions. Participate in peer review sessions, show growth and improvement through the revision process in relation to stylistic maturity, and rewrite essay after teacher feedback.
Improve vocabulary through lesson in Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student, relevant literary terms (related to
drama), and content vocabulary.
Unit 3: Research – British Literature (3 weeks)
Essential Questions: How does literature reflect the values of a particular culture and time period? How do different genres explore similar ideas? What strategies can be used to synthesize information effectively? Unit Expectations/Objectives: The student will
Choose a literary movement to research.
Read and analyze three different genres of literature (by different authors) written during this chosen movement. Write an analytical, argumentative essay showing how each work reflects the social, historical, and cultural values related to the movement
Synthesize information from primary and secondary sources for research, review MLA style, requirements and format, and discuss avoiding plagiarism.
Participate in writing workshops practicing skills in rhetorical structures, logical organization, graphic organizers, and revising.
Practice using appropriate tone and voice through various activities.
Review literary timeline and major concepts of the following: the Renaissance, the Neoclassical Period, the Romantic Period, the Victorian Period, the Edwardian Period, the Modernist Period, and the Postmodernist Period. Improve vocabulary through lesson in Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student, relevant literary terms (related to literary
movements), and content vocabulary.
Unit 4: Poetry Introduction – Forms and Devices (3 weeks)
Essential Questions: Why is imagery and symbolism important to the understanding and appreciation of poetry? How does a poet use language and stylistic elements to convey tone? How does a poet use sound, rhythm, and rhyme in poetry to create meaning? What is the significance of form to the effect of a poem?
Unit Expectations/Objectives: The student will
Read poems critically with a focus on poetic devices.
Discuss the technical features of the poem in the following order, as organized by chapters in our anthology: Voice (types
of irony), Words (diction, vulgate, colloquial, dialect, connotation, denotation), Imagery, Figures of Speech (apostrophe,
hyperbole, metonymy, synecdoche, paradox, pun), Song and Sound (rime scheme, refrains, ballads, meter, euphony,
cacophony, alliteration, assonance, consonance), Rhythm (stress, caesura, prosody, scansion, types of feet), Forms, and
Analyze different types of sonnets, establish thematic i