Welcome to AP Literature and Composition and to your senior year.
Here’s what I expect from you: hard work, honesty, great discussions, thoughtful writing, and insightful reading.
Here’s what you can expect from me: hard work, honest feedback, coaching, and cajoling (when necessary).
AP English Lit and Comp is an entry-level college class that asks you to carefully read and critically analyze imaginative literature and then write with elegance and insight about those texts. In essence, AP Literature is a culmination of your high school English education.
Reading in this AP course is both wide and deep, and it complements the reading done in previous English courses. Through the close reading of selected texts, you will deepen your understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. We will consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone.
Writing is an integral part of the AP English Lit and Comp course and exam. We will cover expository, analytical, and argumentative essays, but also include well-constructed creative writing assignments that will help you see from the inside how literature is written. Such experiences will sharpen your understanding of what writers have accomplished and deepen your appreciation of literary artistry.
Please come prepared every day with a copy of the relevant reading materials (novel, play, reader, etc.). Other materials include
- 3 ring binder
- Loose-leaf paper
- Blue or black ink pens
- Post-it notes
- Highlighters (multiple colors
Attendance and Participation
Your participation is vital to your success in this course. In order to fully participate, you are expected to attend every class period and take part in all class activities and discussions. You are expected to be on time and in your seat when the bell rings. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to obtain all missed assignments from the teacher or a peer. This should occur outside of class time. Some assignments cannot be made up regardless of whether an absence is excused. Examples include (but are not limited to) peer writing reviews and Socratic seminars.
Repeated tardies and/or absences that are not for illness or injury will negatively affect your participation grade.
Unit Exams (including Final) 30%
Late work will be accepted one day after the due date for 75% credit. After one day, no late work will be accepted. When absent, work is due upon return. Late work will not be accepted for unexcused absences. An assignment is not considered turned in until all requirements are met. If you turn in a hard copy but forget to turn it in on Turnitin.com, it will be considered late.
Students have no more than seven days to make up missed tests, quizzes, or AP writes. Tests can be made up during lunch or after school. It is the student’s responsibility to attend within one week. If the assessment is not made up in that time frame, the student will receive a zero on the assessment.
All work done for this class must be original and independent, unless clearly stated in the instructions. Any use of another’s work (peer-to-peer, online sources, or text sources) passed off as your own will earn an immediate academic dishonesty referral and a zero on the assignment. Two academic dishonesty referrals will result in the student being dropped from the class with no credit.
Electronic Devices and Technology
Students should start class with their Chromebooks closed and their cell phones out of site. Laptops should only be used for teacher directed activities. If you are surfing the web, checking email, playing games, on social media, or any other off-task behavior during class you will lose participation points. If I see your cell phone during class you will also lose participation points. While I don’t want to play technology cop, I reserve the right to deduct points for each such occasion.
Students who are repeatedly in violation of the technology policy can expect to earn no higher than a 50% in Participation Category for the grading period.
The AP Exam requires three on-demand essays in two hours time. Students will need ample practice to prepare for this high-stakes exam. Most of the writing we will do in class will be timed. Some of the essays will be graded and marked with comments, some graded without marks, and some will earn completion credit. All of these timed essays must be done under the supervision of one of the AP Lit and Comp teachers or through a pre-arranged agreement with the teacher. Timed AP Writes will need to made up outside of class time within one week of the assigned date. Writing done at home must be original work (see Academic Integrity above) and sources (if explicitly allowed or required by the writing prompt) must be cited according to MLA formatting (see owl.english.purdue.edu).
Any assignment that requires printing must be printed prior to class (by you or someone else). Sharing with me via Google Drive or sending via email when printing is required is not a substitute. Doing so will be considered late.
I will not print student assignments. No exceptions.
Writing to Understand:
Poetry Papers: Each semester students will respond to 1o poems in typed one-page poetry responses. These papers allow students to personally reflect on poems as well as examine various formal elements of poetry in their own voice.
Notes/Annotations: See Homework/Reading Load section below for explanation.
Quick Writes: Throughout the semester students will respond to various prompts in and out of class. These prompts will often focus on reader response, plot, and characterization.
Writing to Explain/Evaluate
In class timed AP Writes: A majority of the analytical writing will occur during in-class timed essays. Students will respond to prior released AP questions. These essays will be both summative and formative in nature--they will serve as exams as well as providing a method of writing instruction. Questions will cover a variety of topics from style, historical context, to the theme of a given work.
Out of class Process Essays: Each semester students will complete one out of class essay, which they will workshop and revise. Both of these essays will cover independent works the students read out of class. The first semester students will write a compare/contrast essay on the bildungsroman, while second semester the students will craft a book review on a recent prize-winning novel.
Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to respond to a series of creative writing projects.
Most of the homework in AP Lit and Comp consists of reading. Students should expect around 5-7 hours of reading a week. All reading completed for the course must be annotated, as annotating effectively is an important reading skill that improves comprehension and retention. Reading is re-reading, so students will be expected to use sticky notes, journals, or purchase their own texts so they can write directly in them. Without notations, it is virtually impossible to find important moments and quotes; therefore, students are expected to make notations on all novels, dramas, articles, short stories, and poems. Due to their density, students are expected to read poems at least three times when they are assigned. Many of the points in the Classwork/HW category will come from annotation/note checks.
Discussion is a key component of the course, and these literary conversations will range from small group to formal Socratic seminars. All Socratic seminars will be graded. Discussion grades will factor in Classwork and Participation categories
Exams and Quizzes
Each semester students will take a Midterm and a Final Exam. In addition to these formal exams, students will take a number of quizzes throughout the semester, mainly consisting of reading and allusion quizzes.
Group work is an integral part of the class, and students will work in assigned teams with over the course of the year. These teams will serve as small discussion groups, project groups, and peer-editing workshops.
The best and most reliable method of contacting me is through my district email address. I check this daily. Messages sent by other means may not receive timely response.
Students are expected to use a variety of technology including district provided student email (new), Turnitin.com, and Google Drive. Turnitin.com enrollment information can be found on my webpage. Students are also expected to routinely check the course website for announcements, documents, and other course material.
Text @bene16 to 81010
Class ID Period 1: Password:
Class ID Period 5: Password:
Advanced Placement Exam
Teachers expect that all AP Lit and Comp students will take the AP Exam. While some schools give only credit for one AP English exam, some universities are offering more units for AP Literature. As the director of admissions at UCLA wrote in 1999, a “critical piece of information about students taking AP is that they have taken the AP test, even if they receive a 1 or 2 score. We know a student is participating fully in the AP course when s/he takes the test. A student taking the class without testing offers the least valuable profile for us when we review records.” As your teacher, I recognize the importance of this exam and will do my best to provide support toward your success on the AP Exam. Financial assistance for exam fees is often available for those who need it.
Please indicate that you have read and understand the course policies by signing the Google Form on the Google Classroom. Keep your copy of the syllabus in the front of your binder for your reference.
As this is an AP course, I have high standards for all written work you turn in. You should re-read this course syllabus carefully.
This syllabus is not for show; I mean it, and I will enforce it. If you are willing to work to improve your writing and your thinking, you will find success in this course. You will be graded on the quality of your ideas and your writing. I look forward to working with you this coming year.
Please click to complete Syllabus Signature and Survey