Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
Welcome to AP Literature and Composition! This is a class unlike most you may have yet had in high school, because in this course you have the opportunity to earn college credit, depending on how well you perform on the AP Literature and Composition test at the end of the year. It is, therefore, a college level course, and as such it is much more rigorous than a standard high school class. My expectations for you are high: you will read and write every day, sometimes in class and sometimes out of class, and you will think deeply and thoughtfully about what we read and share these thoughts in frequent class discussions. As high as my expectations are, the rewards are equally great if you do all that is expected of you.
The course is structured in terms of genre (poetry, drama, short fiction, and novel), but often we will read chronologically within the genres, so as to give you a sense of the historical context of what we read. Following is a list of some of the major works we will cover:
Catch-22 by Heller
The Things They Carried by O’Brien
Macbeth by Shakespeare
Hamlet by Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Stoppard
Shakespeare in Love by Stoppard and Norman
Pride and Prejudice by Austen
Frankenstein by Shelley
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston
The Glass Menagerie by Williams
Things Fall Apart by Achebe
These novels were specifically selected so as to give you a good range of style and content for the final open-ended essay question on the AP test. Make sure you read them all well and keep good notes!
In addition to the above, we will also read several poems and short stories from Perrine’s Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. You will be required to bring your book to class every day unless I tell you otherwise. I will frequently assign supplementary reading projects that you are responsible for as well.
Materials: 3-ring loose-leaf binder
Blue or black ink pens
USB flash drive / jump drive
Notes: You will be required to take notes on various aspects of literature and composition. Periodically I will review your notes for a grade and/or give you open notes quizzes on the information discussed in class.
Handouts: Several times throughout the year I will give you handouts with information pertaining to literature and composition. These should be kept in your notebook for future reference.
Grading: Your grading scale is as follows: all tests, projects and major writing assignments will make up 45% of your grade. Check quizzes count 40% and class participation counts 15%. Check quizzes are so important because it is vital that you not only read the variety of novels I require, but that you learn to read them well with attention to detail. If you are at all worried about your performance on these quizzes, take notes as you read and turn them in with your quizzes. I will consider the quality of your notes when I grade the check quizzes and will add points to your grade if it is warranted.
Also, if I find that you have copied work from another student, plagiarized an essay, or cheated on a test, you will receive a zero for your work and a referral to the principal. Keep in mind that it is very difficult to pull your grade up if you have a zero on any piece of writing. I hope you will not have to learn this the hard way.
*AP Timed Writings are graded holistically and using the following scale:
Equivalents: 9=100 8=95 7=90 6=87 5=84 4=80 3=77 2=70 1=60
AP Test: All students are expected to take the AP test at the end of the year. We will aim for a score of 5 (the highest possible score) for each of you, but a 3 or a 4 will also likely earn you college credit! If you want to achieve this, you must work hard, follow all instructions and take every aspect of this course seriously.
- You are required to make up any missed writing assignment, test or presentation within 5 days for excused absences only. Missed tests will be administered either before or after school at a time agreeable to both of us (you cannot make up a test or in-class essay during class).
- The 5-day policy does not include tests, essays or project work that had a pre-assigned date. That is, if you are absent the day an essay is due, be prepared to turn in your completed essay the day you return to school.
- If you miss a check quiz on a novel or short story, it is your responsibility to find out the day you return and discuss a time with me when you will make up the check quiz. If you do not do this the day you return, you will receive a zero for the quiz, no exceptions. If you wait two weeks to take a check-quiz, we will have discussed that content in class and you will have an unfair advantage over other students.
- It is your responsibility to find out about missed assignments. All assignments will be recorded on the “Weekly Assignments” sheet at the front of the classroom and on our webpage. All handouts and applicable assignment information will be in your class binder on my bookcase.
Discipline: All discipline policies outlined in the Aiken High Student Handbook will be followed in class.
Contact Information: I encourage students and parents to call or e-mail me with any questions or concerns. You may reach me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 803.641.2500.
Let’s get ready for a great year!