AUTHOR SELECTION: Select a book to read by a quality British writer. I would urge you to
go back in time as writing this paper is more difficult with extremely contemporary writers. In
general, anyone who published originally at least 40 years ago will be fine. The book should be
at least 200 pages although this will vary if you are reading a play or collection of poetry. This
reading assignment will be connected to an author search paper you will be writing in about 3-4
weeks. Students in the same class will not be allowed to duplicate authors unless I grant
permission and students are reading separate works. In general, there are thousands of British
authors to choose from, so look for options.
SIGN UP & PERMISSION LETTER DUE DATE: ___________________________
ASSIGNMENTS: DUE: ____________________________
1. READING JOURNAL: While reading the book, you must keep a reading journal. This
should be a MINIMUM of 5 FULL page entries (typed or neatly written in blue or black ink, in
MLA format). Entries should trace your thoughts as you progress through the book. Be sure
to cover the entire book. Journals that are not response journals but mere
summaries or that do not reflect the entire book will not be given full credit.
50 points
Required topics:
1) STRUCTURE: Identify the type or structure of your novel and defend your choice.
2) RELEVANCE: Explain the relevance this novel has to today.
3) CHARACTER: Choose a significant character to describe; discuss any change or
discovery he or she makes.
Suggested topics: relationship of chapter titles to novel, a minor character study,
respond to a particular passage/idea/action, consider and evaluate the point of view,
reread the first chapter – tell what you notice the second time through, consider the
ending, look at the relationship between men and women or between parents and
children or between friends, compare it to another book or movie, etc.
2. NOVEL REDUCTION: Complete a typed, MLA formatted novel reduction for the
book. Identify each of the following sections: Consider being creative and setting up as
a program, poster, etc. 50 points
1) Title
2) Author
3) Setting
4) Short Synopsis (75 words)
5) Characters – List all characters and a brief phrase or description. Find a logical
way to group them.
6) Theme – Identify 2 central themes to the novel. For each, briefly explain how it is
depicted. (Briefly means a sentence or two.)
7) Significant literary element(s) – Identify the dominant literary elements in the work
(setting, satire, imagery, point of view, etc.)Provide a brief example of each from the
8) Historical Reflection- Explain how the literature is (or is not) a reflection of the time
period of the author.
9) Unique quality – Explain what is unique about the literary work, what makes it a
quality piece of literature.
AP Language & Composition
Agatha Christie mysteries.
Subject matter and difficulty vary. Select a work suited to you.
Please visit my blog and look for an alphabetical listing under British Authors
Sample List*.
*This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a fairly good representation of authors and texts. Plays,
novels, nonfiction, and poetry are all represented. The key to selection is to pick an author who
has made a significant contribution to British literature and to read a work or a body of his/her
select an author or two and read a sample of his/her work before
making your final commitment. Once committed-this is a long term
relationship! 
Sampling of authors:
Kingsley Amis, W.H. Auden, Jane Austen, J.M. Barrie (best known for Peter Pan), Aphra
Behn, Elizabeth Bowen, Anne, Charlotte, or Emily Bronte, Robert Browning, Elizabeth B.
Browning, Lewis Carroll (other than Alice in Wonderland stories), Agatha Christie (mysteries),
J. M. Coetzee, Joseph Conrad (not Heart of Darkness), Charles Darwin, Daniel Defoe, Charles
Dickens, John Donne,
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca – gothic),
George Eliot, T.S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, John Fowles, John Galsworthy, Graham Greene,
William Golding, Thomas Hardy, James Joyce, L.P. Hartley, Aldous Huxley,
Henry James,
John Keats, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, Rosamond Lehmann, Doris Lessing, C. S.
Lewis (other than children’s books), R.K. Narayan, Flann O’Brien, George Orwell, Harold
Pinter, Anthony Powell, Barbara Pym, Jean Rhys, George Bernard Shaw, Sir Walter Scott,
Mary Shelley, P.B. Shelley, R.L. Stevenson, Jonathan Swift, W.M. Thackery, Lord Alfred
Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Evelyn Waugh(he), H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, William
Wordsworth, Virginia Woolf
Sampling of titles:
Doctor Faustus, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Villette
Silas Marner, Middlemarch, Emma, Jude the Obscure, A Tale of Two Cities, The Return of
the Native, Ulysses, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Shirley, Picture of Dorian Gray,
The Return of the Native, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Gulliver’s Travels, Moll
Flanders, Lord Jim, Caleb Williams/Things as They Are, The Collector, The Heart of
Midlothian, Mansfield Park, Man and Superman, Pygmalion, Saint Joan, Of Human
Bondage, Dracula, Robinson Crusoe, The Mill on the Floss, The Razor’s Edge, Pilgrim’s
Progress, A Clockwork Orange, 1984, 1985
AP Language & Composition
Dear Parent(s) or Guardian:
In preparing for a research paper we will be writing, students have been
asked to select a book by a British author that is at least 200 pages. Students
were asked to select a book they would like to read and study in depth. Some
books are more suited to use on the AP test next year than others. While only
one student may select an author out of my class, there are literally thousands
of choices. I have given students some ideas and time to determine what they
would like to read.
I have asked students to list the book and author below and I will initial it.
They are then to have you sign this page in the space below.
______________________________________________________ has chosen
to read ________________________________________________ by
_________________ for the author-search project. I give my permission for
him/her to do so. I am also verifying that he/she has not read this book
before. If it is determined later that the student has read this book before, a
new book will be assigned by the teacher.
Student’s signature
Parent’s signature
This letter with signatures is due on _______________________________
AP Language & Composition