AP English Literature: Curricular Requirements

  • The teacher has read the most recent AP English Course Description.
  • The course includes an intensive study of representative works such as those by authors cited in the AP English Course Description. (Note: The College Board does not mandate any particular authors or reading list.) The choice of works for the AP course is made by the school in relation to the school's overall English curriculum sequence, so that by the time the student completes AP English Literature and Composition she or he will have studied during high school literature from both British and American writers, as well as works written in several genres from the sixteenth century to contemporary times. The works selected for the course should require careful, deliberative reading that yields multiple meanings.
  • The course teaches students to write an interpretation of a piece of literature that is based on a careful observation of textual details, considering the work's:
    • Structure, style, and themes
    • The social and historical values it reflects and embodies
    • Such elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone
  • The course includes frequent opportunities for students to write and rewrite formal, extended analyses and timed, in-class responses. The course requires:
    • Writing to understand: Informal, exploratory writing activities that enable students to discover what they think in the process of writing about their reading (such assignments could include annotation, freewriting, keeping a reading journal, and response/reaction papers)
    • Writing to explain: Expository, analytical essays in which students draw upon textual details to develop an extended explanation/interpretation of the meanings of a literary text
    • Writing to evaluate: Analytical, argumentative essays in which students draw upon textual details to make and explain judgments about a work's artistry and quality, and its social and cultural values
  • The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students' writing assignments, both before and after the students revise their work, that help the students develop:
    • A wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively
    • A variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination
    • Logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence, such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis
    • A balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail
    • An effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure

Resource Requirements

The school ensures that each student has a copy of all required readings for individual use inside and outside the classroom.  

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