A.P. Literature and Composition

Course Description

Literature and Composition is designed to be a college/university-level course. This course equips students to critically analyze all forms of literature in order to comment insightfully about an author or genre’s use of style or literary device. Students will also interpret meaning based on form; examine the trademark characteristics of literary genres and periods; and critique literary works through expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. As students consider styles and devices, they will apply them to their creative writing. In addition to exposing students to college-level English coursework, this course prepares them for the AP exam.

As the Student

What are students going to do in this course? This is a legitimate question. In fact, there are several essential questions that will guide students’ discovery and inquiry of literature throughout the course.
• How does literature simultaneously provide a vicarious experience while helping to understand one self?
• How does literature express universal themes?
• How does a close reading of literature serve as an avenue to enjoying and appreciating literature?
These questions may seem lofty and idealistic, but students will be surprised to see the ways in which they
connect to their everyday activities. Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to approach
a piece of literature (prose, poem, play, etc.)—moving beyond initial and purely emotional reactions—and
respond to it critically both orally and in writing. Instead of merely identifying literary and stylistic devices,
students will use them to illuminate their insights. These ideas help to form the foundation of the course’s goals:
• To read carefully and analyze imaginative literature
• To identify the style of a selection and make connections between meaning and form
• To examine a variety of works from different genres and periods
• To learn and understand a selected work very well
• To write, focusing on critical analysis of literature including expository, analytical, and argumentative essays as well as creative writing, to sharpen understanding a text’s accomplishments and to deepen appreciation of literary artistry

Reading Assignments
• The selections in this course ask students to consider the manner in which literature paradoxically
allows readers to experience things they would otherwise never know while simultaneously
exploring individual concepts of self and identity. By representing authors from various cultures
over hundreds of years, the course allows students to take self-directed steps toward their own
understanding of the human experience.
• The course textbook is Perrine’s Structure, Sound, and Sense (9th ed.). Additional course materials
are provided by Education 2020 in the virtual environment. The assignments are labeled accordingly
in the course outline; several lectures, vocabulary activities, online content, quizzes, and homework
assignments exist in the Edgenuity virtual format.
Reading Journals
• Students will provide personal responses in their online reading journals. The goals of the journals
are to provide students with opportunities to write about their readings on their own terms and to
explore what they think about the texts in an informal setting. The reading journal is an avenue by
which students may communicate with instructors with questions, reflections, or insights about the
readings or related materials. Students may revisit entries in the journal to revise or expand upon previous statements.

Timed Writings
• Students will complete timed writing assignments in 40 minutes after no more than 10 minutes of planning. Students may select one of the timed essays to undergo peer/instructor review before submission. It is understood that lower order concerns will not be a major element in the scoring of the essays due to the fact that all timed essays are inherently first drafts.

Essays
• All essays will be submitted as part of the writing process in which students take part in prewriting of their choice, conferences, drafting, revision, submission, and rewriting. In each of the stages, instructors and students will address higher-order concerns and lower-order concerns according to the hierarchical importance.
• Higher–order Concerns – focus, audience, purpose, organization, development, style, generalizations, specifics, etc.
• Lower–order Concerns – sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, spelling

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