• Advanced Placement English: Literature and Composition

    Mrs. Jennifer Ditrich

    874-6300 ext. 2030

    mrsditrich@gmail.com or jditrich@eriesd.org



    MAJOR WORKS:       

    The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Fifth Edition


    The Things They Carried

    The Great Gatsby
    Slaughterhouse Five




    The overall description of this intensive course is defined by the College Board. Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is a college level course that engages students in careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature.  Through the close reading of selected texts that include short fiction, novels, drama, and poetry, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students 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. Students will complete a fully documented research paper that examines the critical literary elements of a selected novel/drama.



    • The nature of this course is fast-paced. Therefore, it is up to you to develop a system that enables you to stay on top of the tremendous amount of reading and writing that you are expected to complete. Because this is a college level class, late work is not accepted.  
    • The first two weeks of the course will consist of a diagnostic AP exam and a series of essays on the summer reading.  The course is then organized into a series of thematic units. 



    Each student should have the following supplies/materials for class each day:

    ü Binder with loose leaf w/dividers

    ü Blue or black pens, some other colored pens or pencils for editing

    ü Highlighters

    ü Post-it notes

    ü Flash drive



    1. Essays:  Students will write several critical analyses/explications of:  short stories, novels, plays, and poems we have studied. 

    a.       You will be required to write several analytical essays based on our class readings and will focus on such things as setting, characterization, plot, style, diction, tone, literary devices, etc.

    b.      For most major works, you will be required to write essays based on past free response prompts from the AP exam.

    c.       Writing Workshops – A few times each quarter, we will participate in a writing workshop in which students will select writing samples from their portfolio to revise.  Students will self-edit, peer edit, and conference with me during the revision process.  These revisions will focus on such topics as developing a strong thesis and using appropriate supporting details.  Students will improve organization, sentence structure and variety, and word choice.  Through these workshops students will develop their own style and voice as writers.

    1. Research Supported Essay: Students will write a critical analysis of a novel or play using a minimum of five secondary critical sources as support.  Successful completion of the research paper is required to pass the course.

    a.       Papers must use appropriate MLA documentation. 

    b.      Students will submit annotations, a sentence outline, and a first draft prior to submission of the final paper. 

    c.       Poor organization or excessive errors in sentence construction, grammar, or spelling on the final draft will result in papers being returned as unacceptable and the grade-reduction penalty for lateness will apply.

    1. Response JournalsStudents will engage in a close reading of each text by completing response journals.  Journals will be completed as per class instructions and submitted via turnitin.com prior to class.  It is my prerogative to ask for submission of other journals as deemed necessary.
    2. Assigned readings/class discussionStudents are expected to carefully read all of the stories/chapters/ poems/plays as assigned per class meeting.  The majority of our class discussion will take place using the Socratic Seminar technique. Use the skills/resources of your journaling to help you prepare for class discussion.  Furthermore, students are expected to make daily thoughtful contributions to the discussion of each text.  A lack of response to the discussion of a text may be seen as a lack of preparation for class and result in a zero for that day’s discussion.  Participation in discussion is expected every class. Absent students may make-up a missed participation grade by completing an alternate assignment.
    3. Exercises/Activities and Quizzes:  Students will take quizzes on literary terminology, assigned readings, etc.  In addition, students will participate in a variety of class activities/exercises that may require individual or group responses.  Students will receive a zero for missed quizzes and for exercises not completed on time.
    4. AP Test Preparation – multiple choice and essay

    a.       The format and expectations of the exam will be reviewed

    b.      We will use copies of past multiple choice tests for practice

    c.       We will read and analyze sample essays and practice writing several timed writing samples; we will have quizzes based on AP multiple choice questions

    d.      AP test prep will become more intense in the second semester


    Anyone found to have cheated on a quiz or exercise, or to have plagiarized or fabricated all or part of any assignment will receive an F for the course.  Please refer to the Collegiate Academy policy for homework and retests.



    Attendance is an essential element for success in this course, and participation in class activities is mandatory.  You should arrive at class on time and be prepared to participate in the discussions and other activities.  It is your responsibility to get missed work by checking in with me. No make-up exercises or quizzes will be given without a valid excuse documented on Infinite Campus. 



    ·         In class assignments: essays, quizzes, tests, class work                    30%

    ·         Out of class assignments: essays, projects, reading responses           30%

    ·         Class discussion/participation                                                          20% 

    ·         Research (1-3)/culminating project (4)                                            20%

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