AP Literature Syllabus 2019-2020

  • AP Literature and Composition 2019-2020

    Sarah Tyson

    Room 1155



    Course Description:

    AP Literature and Composition is designed to create an experience equivalent to a college level introduction to literature course. Our studies will focus on deep analysis of literature, covering rhetorical devices, structure, style, theme, figurative language, tone, diction, and syntax.  Through close reading, students will discover and deepen their understanding of author’s purpose for both meaning and reading pleasure. Works studied will be of literary merit and representative of genres ranging from 16th – 21st century. Explicating literature, poetry, and strong writing skills are key components of this class. Students will take the exam Thursday, May 9, 2013, and those who earn a three (3) or better can expect to be granted college credit at most colleges and universities in the United States.

    Course Outcomes:

    In Advanced Placement Literature and Composition, students will:

    • Improve close reading and analytical strategies

    • Refine and hone critical writing skills

    • Advance vocabulary skills to cope with difficult language

    • Respond maturely and appropriately to literature

    • Participate maturely, respectively, and insightfully in a variety of discussion modes

    • Understand and acknowledge various views and perspectives of literature, both critical and personal

    Writing expectations:

    • Writing to understand: Informal, exploratory writing exercises that enable students to discover during reading: annotation, double entry journals, reading reaction papers

    • Writing to explain: Analytical essays in which students draw upon textual evidence to determine a variety of meanings

    • Writing to evaluate: Analytical essays in which students make judgments and justify their claims based on a work’s quality, social and cultural aspects

    • The teacher will give feedback on writing assignments to ensure that students develop the following: diverse vocabulary, sentence variety including subordination and coordination, logical organization, balanced detail, and effective use of rhetorical skills.

    Methods of Instruction:

    Understanding of complex text develops best through various modes of discussion. Therefore, this course will be largely discussion based through whole group, small group format, and student led. Socratic Seminars and Reading Circles will be used as well. Major projects will be done both individually and in groups. Drama was never meant to be simply read, so we will embark on some “acting” and bring Shakespeare and the like to life. Writing will occur over the course of the entire school year and most essays will be timed and written during class. All essays will be scored using the AP Rubric.


    Primary Source:

    Arp, Thomas R. and Greg Johnson. Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 10th Edition. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009.

    Secondary Sources:

    Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

    Macbeth – Shakespeare

    The Kite Runner – Hosseini

    A Doll’s House – Ibsen

    The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

    Tartuffe - Moliere

    The Things They Carried – O’Brien

    Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

    Various texts

    Independent Reading – choose from AP list of titles used on previous AP exams



    AP essays are not graded like “normal” essays. Instead of counting off for what is incorrect, students earn a score based on what they do correctly.


    Essays – 15%

    Poetry papers – 25%

    Daily/Homework/Participation – 15%

    Multiple Choice tests– 20%

    Major tests, Independent Reading Assignments, and projects – 25%


    Supplies needed:

    • Three ring binder and loose leaf paper

    • Divider tabs

    • Multi colored highlighters

    • Post-it Notes

    • Flash drive

    Ongoing AP Assignments:

    • Literary Analysis Tests – Students will take timed multiple choice tests weekly, beginning 2nd trimester.

    • Independent Reading – Students are required to read two novels outside of class during each trimester. Instructions will be given at the beginning of the school year and the assignments that go along with them count as 25% of the total classroom grade. (See above grading breakdown.)

    • Timed writing – Students must practice 40-minute timed writing responses to AP prompts.


    Writing Process:

    Students will write clearly and perceptively in analytical, informative, and creative styles. Students will revise writing using teacher and peer feedback.

    • Vocabulary: To increase vocabulary repertoire for more efficacious reading, speaking, and writing, every two weeks students will study, incorporate in writing assignments, and be tested on 20 words from their master vocabulary list.

    • Critical vocabulary: Students will master key literary and writing terms and become proficient in using them in both writing and speaking. They will engage in activities and assignments where they will identify textual evidence such as literary devices which include but are not limited to rhetorical techniques that affect tone and voice. They will then analyze their effect on a written piece.

    • Formal essays are assigned every two weeks. Sample essay assignment: Heart of Darkness – Select a particular element such as diction or tone and conduct a literary explication of Conrad’s style. Use the passage in Chapter One, pages 12-15, as your source.

    Course Outline:

    The order and duration of units are subject to change without notice due to assemblies and other necessary school business.