Welcome to Advanced Placement Literature and Composition. As you know, this class is designed as a college/university level course and will show an "AP" designation on your transcript. As such, you will find the workload and intellectual challenge in this class consistent with a typical undergraduate university course in English Literature or the Humanities.
Throughout the duration of this course, you will complete work both in and out of class that will prepare you for several exciting things, the first of which is the AP English Literature and Composition exam. We will explore writing prompts and multiple choice examples from past exams as one of many ways to prepare. A score of 3 or higher will earn you college credit in many institutes of higher learning in the United States. You may click here to see if the college you are considering gives credit for passing the AP exam.
That said, while this exam is important and is the culmination of all your hard work, it is by no means the only goal we will set for this class. More important than taking the exam is the intellectual journey we will engage in over the course of this year. Studying literature is an examination of the human condition; a valuable endeavor that helps us learn more about ourselves. To my mind, we have succeeded if you leave this class with a love of literature and an arsenal of techniques that help you communicate about it. Maya Angelou sums it up beautifully when she declares, “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature." My vision for all of you is that you'll appreciate the innate power that literature possesses for the human mind.
At this point, perhaps you are wondering what exactly this course will entail. The syllabus provides a comprehensive breakdown of units, so I will say here that you should prepare yourself for at least an hour of homework per every hour of class time, which includes weekends and over quarter and semester breaks; for copious amounts of reading and deeply analyzing literature of various genres and then discussing and writing about this literature; for group assignments to encourage collaboration; for vocabulary acquisition; for personal and peer editing of written compositions; and for conferring with me about your writing. Needless to say, we will be very busy this year, and I expect nothing if not your full dedication to the rigors this course will present you.
In order to succeed in AP Literature and Composition, you will need a few things, the most essential of which is a solid work ethic. This means that you place your learning and school work as top priorities. As with a college-level course, you will not be coddled, and excuses for slacking will be met by me with scrupulous skepticism. While I understand that real emergencies do come up, know that it is entirely your kuleana to keep up with the assignments. However, please do not hesitate to contact me should you need clarification on assignments or have a genuine reason for turning in an assignment late or missing a test, quiz, or in-class timed essay.
Furthermore, your regular attendance is required, as the meat of this learning sandwich is delivered through class instruction and discussion. My expectation is that you will come to each class fully prepared to robustly contribute to class dialogue. Academic conversations will be a large focus of this class; your solid contributions in this area will help you and your classmates obtain deep understanding of material.
As may be obvious to you by now, this course relies heavily on computer and Internet access. These will indubitably be required of you by any institution of higher learning, and one of my goals is to prepare you for that aspect of college life now. If you do not own a computer, I have several in my classroom of which you can avail yourself. I do understand that many of you may not have a computer at home. If this is the case, please take time to confer with me so we can come up with a strategy for you to succeed in this class.
Grading is based on class discussions and activities during class time, out of class reading and assignments, and on papers written both during and outside of class time. Homework assignments are expected to be completed on time and turned in at the beginning of each class period. Late assignments automatically drop five points for each school day it is late.
Grades are based on the following:
• In class discussions/participation
• Work completed outside of class: Homework,
research papers, presentations, projects
• In class timed writings
• Quizzes and tests
65-69% D (No credit for AP)
64% and below: Shame on you!
Based on the School Board Policy, a student merits a letter grade of “A” if he or she:
• Produces work which is superior in every respect, consistently scoring an “A” on tests, projects and major assignments.
• Thoroughly and thoughtfully completes all assignments.
• Learns facts and principles and applies them to new and unfamiliar situations.
• Shows creativity, high ability, initiative and originality.
• Works accurately (carefully edits, revises meaningfully and uses MLA conventions properly).
• Participates in class activities in such a way as to help and encourage his/her classmates, consistently contributing to a safe and positive learning environment.
• Consistently comes prepared to class.
Lastly, a word on plagiarism. Obviously, any plagiarized paper will receive an automatic "F", and could result in your expulsion from this course. There is absolutely zero reason that you should feel compelled to steal other people's intellectual property. "Borrowing" ideas from SparkNotes, CliffNotes, or other classmates or on-line sources is cheating and does nothing to enhance your critical thinking and learning, nor does it at all improve your character. Therefore, we will work on learning to properly cite material in order to avoid a Melania Trump/Michelle Obama situation, and if you don't know what I mean by this reference, Google it.
So get ready, because we are about to gather a plethora of figurative pearls. I hope you are as excited as I am to engage in this journey into the spectacular sea of knowledge!
Office Hours: 7:45-8:10 am