AP English Literature and Composition
Class of 2012
Introductory Statement
Welcome! I am looking forward to the challenges and rewards of reading, writing, and discussing
literature with you. I teach literature because I believe it shows us who we are as human beings, where
we have been, and what we are capable of. I believe that wherever life leads us, literature enriches the
journey. I hope you will, too.
As you know, this course is intended to be equivalent to a typical college-level introductory literature
course. In addition, we will need to fulfill our state and school expectations for the senior writing portfolio.
These demands will not be separated from, but rather incorporated into, our analysis of literature. Good
writing is good writing, and the principles of awareness of purpose and audience, idea development,
effective organization, language, sentences, and correctness on which your portfolio will be assessed are
applicable to all.
The statements below are taken from The College Board’s Course Description for English Literature and
Composition. All assignments and activities are based on these underlying premises.
On reading:
. . . students in an AP English Literature and Composition course
should read actively. The works taught in the course should require
careful deliberative reading. And the approach to analyzing and
interpreting them should involve students in learning how to make
careful observations of textual detail, establish connections among
their observations, and draw from those connections a series of
inferences leading to an interpretive conclusion about the work’s
meaning and value. (46)
On writing:
The goal of both types of writing [analytical and creative] assignments
is to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently [validly; convincingly],
even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they
interpret them as they do.
To that end, writing instruction should include attention to
developing and organizing ideas in clear, coherent, and persuasive
language. It should include study of the elements of style. And it should
attend to matters of precision and correctness as necessary. (46)
I understand that for some of you this is not the only AP course you are taking, for many of you this may
be the first AP course you’ve taken, and that there are many other demands on your time presented by
your senior year. Seldom will you have an assignment that must be completed in a single evening, but I
will make a personal commitment to the challenges of the course, and it is important that you do so as
The College Board specifies that “reading in an AP course is both wide and deep . . . students read works
from several genres and periods – from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century – but, more importantly,
they get to know a few works well . . . considering a work’s literary artistry, [and reflecting] on the social
and historical values it reflects and embodies” (Course Description, 45).
In this course, we will:
 read, discuss, and write about representative fiction, drama, poetry, and essays, with a main
focus on British literary eras
 read, discuss, and write about selections from a variety of cultures and time periods
 discover intertextual, historical, and cultural connections
 study how an author achieves purpose through style and tone
 learn the language of and strategies for literary analysis
 refine general vocabulary skills
 review elements of composition, including grammar and usage, as necessary
 integrate research and our own contributions to the conversation of literature
 try our hand at our own literary creations
 prepare for the AP exam through careful examination of and practice with sample multiple choice
and essay questions
Nuts and Bolts
Teacher contact info:
Melissa Conway 635-4161 x 1160
plan period: 4th 10:10 – 11:00
[email protected]
website: http://www.campbellcountyschools.org/olc/teacher.aspx?s=1096 (or simply find the link off the
CCHS page)
You will need to keep a 3-ringed, 2-pocket binder, containing the following:
 General AP test information, reading lists, tips, practice tests, etc.
 Informal writing (journal-type, “bell-ringers,” reader-responses, etc.)
 Class notes
 Handouts
 Vocabulary lists
 Grammar and usage references
 Writings (some to be kept in your AP folder; others to be filed in your cumulative writing folder)
You will also need the following:
 At least 2 highlighters of differing colors
 Post-its (optional)
 Set of dividers
We are extremely fortunate to have been chosen as an AdvanceKy Grant school. Part of the
grant is to offer additional help and preparation for AP test success. Therefore, please plan on attending
the following Saturday 6-hr. sessions (exact times and places TBD; more than likely here at CCHS):
December 3rd – Additional help for trouble areas determined by class assessments
Jan. or Feb. – Mock AP test
March 24th – go over Mock test and additional help, tips, etc.
Additional AdvanceKy info:
Cool! They’re paying for half of your test cost!!!
Cool! They’ll pay you $100 for a score of 3 or above!!!
Expect a variety of different types of assessments:
 “Did you read it?” quizzes prior to discussion of each assigned work
 Timed writings approximately 2-3 times per quarter
 Longer, more formal out-of-class literary analyses incorporating primary and secondary sources
 Weekly vocabulary and/or grammar/usage quizzes
 Group and individual projects
 Informal writings (journals, reader-response logs, exit slips, etc. to assess understanding and
explore your own thoughts)
 Personal and creative writing assignments (college application essay, experimentation with
various poetic structures)
 Literature circle and Socratic seminar participation
 “Bell-ringers” – short activities or mini-lessons to introduce or reinforce elements of composition
(e.g. diction, syntax, tone, usage) or to share poetry found or personally written
 Online discussions/blogs and Wiki’s via our class website
Grading (based on points):
 In general
This course is about close reading and careful analysis of text. You will enter the course with
varying skill and comfort levels. My goal is not to penalize you for what you do not do well, but to
help you become more skillful and comfortable. Any assertion you wish to make is valid in this
class as long as the text supports it.
 What constitutes an A?
The following descriptions are adapted from an actual university catalog and reflect the
explanations associated with letter grades. These are the descriptors that I will be keeping in
mind when creating rubrics and grading all work.
A : represents exceptionally high achievement as a result of aptitude, effort, and
intellectual initiative.
B : represents high achievement as a result of ability and effort.
C : represents average achievement, the minimum grade expected of a college bound
D : represents the minimum passing grade
F : indicates failure on an assignment or course; not demonstrating level of skill
necessary for the college level
 AP timed writings
I have a collection of sample student responses to various prompts from years past with their
corresponding grades, and in some cases the rationales for the assignment of those grades. We
will examine those sample responses, discussing their strengths and weaknesses. Your timed
writings will initially receive a completion grade only, along with feedback from both myself and
your classmates and an estimate of where they would fall on the AP scale of 1-9. You will then
select one essay per quarter to be revised and graded. The conversion of these grades to
percentage will be lenient during the first quarter, although beginning with 2nd quarter, much
higher expectations will be upheld.
 Out-of-class literary analyses
Graded papers may be rewritten and resubmitted for an improved grade at your discretion within
one week of their return to you. I am available after school on Thursdays and sometimes other
days for individual conferencing. You are also welcome to submit questions and drafts by e-mail
at any time for my response. All I ask is that you give me a reasonable length of time to read and
 Personal/creative assignments
Models and a rubric will be provided with each assignment.
Upon entering the classroom:
 Check absent bin if missed class the day before FOR ANY REASON and follow the other “when
you return” steps
 Have a seat in your assigned desk
 Get out any assignments due and needed materials for the class
When you are tardy: (Note: definition of tardy: inside the classroom when the bell rings, and tardy is NOT excused without a
written note)
If you have one, leave a note on my desk and go to your seat.
If no note, go get one. No admittance without. No exceptions.
Get any missed information from a neighbor or from me at the end of class or after school.
When you return from an absence (illness, field trip, counselor visit, nurse, etc.):
 Get missed work from absent bin. It will have your name on it.
 Write down the assignments from the assignment board in your agenda.
 Get missed notes from a neighbor.
 Other questions? See me at the end of class or after school (the latter is best).
 If a quiz or test is missed, plan arrangements to make it up on Thursday after school.
 One make-up day is allowed per day absent (school rule).
 Previously assigned work that was due the 1st day of your absence is due when you return.
 If your absence or tardy is unexcused you may not make up missed assignments, quizzes,
etc. and will receive zeros for those activities.
 IMPORTANT: It is YOUR responsibility to make up assignments on time, get missed work,
etc., NOT MINE!
NOTE ABOUT ABSENCES: Make some choices. Do you have to miss for EVERY field trip, etc?
 Late work is automatically only worth 60% credit.
 Definition of late work: not turned in at time of collection
 If absent, feel free to check the website for what’s happening in class.
Leaving the classroom:
 No one leaves the first 10 minutes or last 10 minutes of class.
 Complete the hall pass section of your agenda and bring it to me.
 Use passes sparingly. I’ll figure you out if you’re taking advantage. You don’t want that to
Mailbox: This is available for any comments, unanswered questions, exit slips, etc. Use it as you wish. I
will check my “mail” each day as I leave school. Feel free to be anonymous if need be.
All School-Wide Rules Will Be Followed. It will behoove you to re-familiarize yourself with the
discipline code and student handbook.  Pay particular attention to dress code and food and drink rules.
Texts: The anthology, Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, Sixth Edition, by Edgar V.
Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs (Prentice-Hall) is available in the classroom and may be checked out for
individual use as necessary.
Language of Literature: British Literature, The. McDougal Littell. This will be available in the classroom,
and each student will be required to check one out to keep at home.
Copies of all other required novels, plays, reference texts, etc. are available for you to check out from the
English Department. Optional readings you may need to obtain on your own.
AP can be overwhelming. Don’t let it be that way for you.
Please feel free to talk to me at any time about anything on your mind.
Yes, there are high expectations, but my job is to meet you where you are and help you grow.
The key to success is attitude, communication, and a good work ethic.
Looking forward to a great year!!
Course/Content Overview
Survey of British and American Literature thru the Ages
To introduce the type of “close reading” necessary for success on the AP test
To identify examples of intertextuality
To read selections from diverse cultures, make cross-cultural connections, and identify universal
To identify and explain historical connections as well as identify and understand examples of
broad literacy assumptions frequently present in literary works (mythological allusions, Biblical
allusions, archetypes) - How does the recognition and understanding of these references
enhance your understanding of the novels as a whole?
To identify and explain historical connections, understand genre in historical perspective, and
explain how literature both reflects and helps to define specific historical and cultural values
To write a personal essay, appropriate for a college or scholarship application
To explain how the elements of fiction are used to achieve an author’s purpose
To explain how the elements of poetry are used to achieve a poet’s purpose
To explain how the elements of drama are used to achieve a writer’s purpose
To explain how rhetorical devices and figurative language are used to achieve purpose
To incorporate research with appropriate documentation into a short paper or project
Major Readings
The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver)
Heart of Darkness (Conrad)
Selections from The Bible as/in Literature (Ackerman and Warshaw)
Beowulf (excerpts)
Grendel (Garnder) (excerpt)
Poems: The Seafarer, The Wanderer, The Wife’s Lament
The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)
Ballads: Barbara Allen, Sir Patrick Spens, Get Up and Bar the Door
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight
Selected poems from Roberts & Jacobs text
Selected short fiction from Roberts & Jacobs text
Pastorals: The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd
Macbeth (Shakespeare)
Select sonnets (Shakespeare, Petrarch, Spenser)
Selections from the metaphysical & Jacobean poets; conceits
Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal (Swift)
Frankenstein (Shelley); articles on cloning
Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Coleridge)
Selected poems from Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, P.B. Shelley, & Keats
Victorian choice: Jane Eyre (Bronte) orOliver Twist (Dickens)
Selected poems from the Fireside poets
Selected poems from Emily Dickenson
The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
Selected excerpts from Melville
The Stranger (Camus)
Assignment/Discussion Sampler
Hand in and discuss summer assignments/comparisons between HD & PB
Cultural connections via Discovery Channel video on Conrad and HD
On-Demand writing information and practices
Poem analysis intro – Nine Eleven by Vito Gentile
AP test practices with self-reflections/discussions/analyses – What do you need to know/be able
to do to be a success?
AP timed essays; discussions & analyses; suggestions for revision
Article: “What Colleges Really Want!” – writing personal essay for college and/or scholarship;
incorporation of the personal anecdote; effective introductions & conclusions; methods of
organization (chronological, spatial, least-to-most important, general-to-specific, specific-togeneral, etc.)
Reading Journals – close readings with responses/reactions
Poster project: You will each design one or more posters illustrating the use of a specific literary
or rhetorical device. You will then present your posters to the class and they will remain on the
classroom walls throughout the year for us to refer to.
Practice with poetic forms – write a sonnet and a villanelle
Differences between sign, symbol, and archetype
The 4 types of stories/seasons (comedy – spring; romance – summer; tragedy – fall; satire/irony
– winter)
Epic conventions, cultural values of the Anglo-Saxons
Cant. Tales:: inclusion of satire, understatement, historical context, divisions of medieval
European society, attitude toward the Church
Medieval Christmas feast – justifying seating arrangement via understanding of Chaucer’s
characterization of individual pilgrims
Principles of Tragedy; dramatic irony
Responses to critical essays about specified works
Interpretations of scenes
Comparisons of film versions of specified works
Independent readings/theme studies
Focused analysis of passages for style – diction, syntax, rhetorical devices
Individual author studies
Teacher and Student Resources (other than primary works noted above)
Materials packets from the following AP workshops:
Brown, Becky. Louisville, KY, 2002
Collins, Jolinda. Morehead University, Morehead, KY 2002
Counsil, Shirley. Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 2002
Highland, Janice. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 2001(?)
Anne Padilla. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 2011
Archetypes: A Curriculum Unit. The Center for Learning
Bender, David et al. Readings on the Tragedies of William Shakespeare. The Greenhaven Press
Literary Companion to British Authors, 1996.
Bloom, Harold. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer. Chelsea House
Publishers, 1996.
Estell, Doug, Michele L. Satchwell, and Patricia S. Wright. Reading Lists for College-Bound
Students. Thomas Learning, Inc., 2000.
Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Novels Like a Professor. Harper, 2008.
Gibson, Rex. Ed. Macbeth. Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Hogue, Dawn. AP English Literature and Composition Crash Course. Research and Education
Association, 2010.
Jago, Carol, Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin Aufses. Literature & Composition:
Reading, Writing, Thinking. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
Kimbrough, Robert. Ed. Heart of Darkness. Norton Critical Edition, 1963.
Literary Analyses by AP English Teachers: A Collection of 10 Essays. College Board, 1994.
Love, Power, Revenge: Three Shakespeare Themes. The Morgan Bank
McMullen, Douglas. Cracking the AP English Literature Exam. Princeton Review, 2004.
Northern Kentucky Council of Partners in Education. American Diploma Project Curriculum Units,
Rankin, Estelle and Barbara L. Murphy. 5 Steps to a 5. McGraw Hill, 2010.
Sebranek, Patrick et al. Write for College. Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
Vogel, Richard and Charles F. Winans. Multiple Choice Questions in Preparation for the AP English
Literature and Composition Examination, D&S Marketing Systems, Inc., 1997.

AP English Literature and Composition