South High English - South High Clock Tower

Advanced Placement
English Literature and Composition

Fall 2004

Instructor:  Randy Thomas

Room 225
  voice mail: 21460   

Prep Guide:  Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage the student in the reading and interpretation of literature on an accelerated level in order to prepare the student for a successful completion of the AP Examination (to be given in May).

The course, however, is a culmination of the student’s whole education in language and literary expression.  A successful score on the AP Exam depends upon the student’s willingness to commit to an intensive study on an independent basis to remediate, renew and refine their communication skills and background in literature.  The exam evaluates the student’s ability to use modes of discourse, to recognize the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies, and to develop critical standards for independent appreciation of literary works.  The exam judges the student’s background and abilities in several areas:

  • Ability to interpret given literature, in both written and objective testing modes.

  • Knowledge of literature (authors and their works).

  • Knowledge of the roots of and influences on literature (including, but not limited to) classical mythology, the Bible, and historical literary periods and movements.

  • Written expression in a variety of rhetorical styles.

District Standards

  • The student can analyze individual works in terms of language.

  • The student can analyze works in relation to:  structure, meaning, value, and relationship to contemporary experiences as well as to the times in which the piece was written.

  • The student can effectively use modes of discourse and recognize rhetorical strategies.

  • The student can write a coherent, intelligent, well-organized essay, which will focus on the critical analysis of a work of literary merit.

  • The student can demonstrate the ability to understand and analyze literary passages by correctly answering multiple-choice questions.

Primary Text:  Perrine, Laurence, Ed.  Literature.  5th Edition.  Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.

Other literary resources will be used in this course, and many will be provided for the student.  However, many works of literature will be required reading, and the student will be expected to obtain this material on an independent basis.  All of these works, however, will readily be available through libraries.  Should a student elect to purchase copies of these works, they are available through local bookstores and online sales services.  (Online, internet services should NOT be utilized to obtain texts of literary works.  Contemporary  literature is still under copyright and free texts are generally not available for download.)

Course Structure

  1. The student will receive a calendar of course activities and assignments.  This calendar contains topical information, assignments, preparatory requirements and due dates.

  2. All assignments, except those completed in-class, must be word-processed or typed.  DO NOT wait until the assignment is due to test your printer.  Printer failure is not an excuse for timeline extension.  If all technology fails, assignments may be neatly printed in black or blue ink.

  3. Late work is unacceptable.  All assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on the date assigned.  There will be an automatic 20% deduction for assignments by students who are tardy to class on the due date assigned.

  4. Makeup work is available for excused absences only.  The excused absence must be documented with the attendance office and registered at the time attendance is taken for that class period.  
    If a student is too ill to attend class, or there is a family emergency on the date for which a formal essay assignment/project is due or an examination is scheduled, it is requested that the parent/guardian acknowledge the instructor with that information with a personal phone call.  In the case of a formal essay assignment or written  project, delivery of the assignment to campus by a friend or parent is expected. 

  5. Each unexcused absence will result in a 5% deduction in the final marking period grade.

  6. Do not place assignments in the instructor’s mailbox, unless requested to do so.  Many of those assignments seem to “get lost.”

  7. In case of the instructor’s absence, never submit formal essays or major projects to the substitute, even if it is the due date.  Delay those submissions until the instructor returns to campus.  Daily work will be collected, but never the hard stuff.

  8. Bring your text on a daily basis.

  9. We are all adults.

South High School AP Course Policy

  • “X” or weighted credit is awarded for this class.

  • Students must take both semesters and complete the AP Exam for “X” credit.  The AP Exam is a three-hour college level test consisting of two parts:  (1/3 credit) multiple choice, and (2/3 credit) essay.  This course alone cannot completely prepare the student for the most successful score, as the exam evaluates the student’s whole knowledge of literature, the historical, literary and sociological influencing of writers and their works.  The highest scores are obtained by those students who complement this course with an independent pursuit of the study of literature.

  • The student is responsible for the cost of the exam.  The charge for the exam is approximately $75, and payment due dates will be announced in the spring semester (generally March).

  • The student must complete a research project for AP credit.

Mr. Thomas's Syllabus Page

The English Faculty Page

The Reading and Writing Center Page

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