• 2019-2020                                                                    AP Literature and Composition

    Ms. Wright-Alessi                                                         Email: bwright@rahway.net

    Text: Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, & Sense, by Johnson & Arp

    Supplementary readings may include but are not limited to the following:  A Doll’s House, The Awakening, Wuthering Heights, Othello, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hamlet, The Stranger, Invisible Man, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Siddhartha, The Kite Runner, and/or Interpreter of Maladies

    Course Description

    The AP Literature and Composition course will challenge each student to develop and perfect his/her writing skills and use these skills in analytical, expository, critical, and reader response writing as a means of understanding and analyzing literature. This course is designed to prepare students for the upcoming AP exam. Consequently, students will be expected to complete all reading and writing assignments, as they have all been carefully selected to give the students what they need to confidently take the exam. The workload and expectations will be demanding. Students can expect a lot of independent reading and writing. The class is designed to analyze literature and to develop writing; students will use this class to work on their reading strategies and writing skills. Students will also be introduced to a variety of works from around the world, thus exposing the students to new cultures, ideas, and ways of life. We will be reading works from British and American writers, writers from around the word, and from the 16th century to the 20th century. It is through this intensive study of literature that we can not only see the world, but also learn from what these authors have to say. We will be discussing not only why the selected authors and poets wrote what they did the way they did, and the effects of their specific work(s), but we will also be reading to understand how and why these works are still read and loved today. A successful student in this course will not only read, analyze, and critique literature, but he/she will be able to see beyond the teacher's notes. A successful student will understand the difference between concrete details and generalizations, between plot summary and analysis. He or she will develop a depth of understanding of human nature in order to make mature observations consistent with the text.


    Course Objectives: AP Literature and Composition is a college-level course examining literature and poetry. Students will evaluate and write a variety of essays analyzing both poetry and prose.  By the end of the course students will be able...

    • To identify and analyze aspects of writing including style, structure, theme, and artistry.
    • To improve critical analysis and explication of literature.
    • To understand and differentiate literature from the 16th through the 21st century, recognizing writing styles from different time periods and genres created in those time periods.
    • To understand and write about the historical values the chosen works have conveyed.
    • To perfect the art of supporting an idea or opinion, whether expressed orally or on paper.
    • To prepare for the AP Literature and Composition exam.
    • To use close reading strategies such as annotation and "talking with the text" to flesh out meaning in a difficult or ambiguous text.
    • To cite sources using MLA citation.
    • To organize and develop writing in a timed setting.   


    Grading: Assessments such as tests, papers, & projects earn two grades and quizzes earn one grade. Assessments account for 70% of the total grade. Class-work & homework earn one grade and account for 30% of the total. *Student journals are an essential component of this course and are used on a daily basis. They are reviewed for grading purposes.      

    Late Policy:

    Papers and projects are due at the beginning of class on the day the assignment is due. Typed assignments must be printed before class. Assignments submitted within 24 hours of the deadline will lose fifteen points. Assignments submitted two days late will receive a maximum of 50 points. Assignments will not be accepted more than two days late.

    Writing & Rewrites:

    1. Students may rewrite an essay once during the first three marking periods. Rewrites will not be accepted during the fourth marking period. Rewrites are due within 48 hours of being returned. Only the highest essay score will count when students rewrite a paper. Late papers may not be rewritten.
    2. The student’s name, the date, and the class period must appear in the upper right-hand corner of every assignment submitted. Papers without a name will not be accepted. Ten points will be deducted from papers without the date and class period.
    3. Students may reference an author by his or her first and last name or by last name only. Five points will be deducted each time a student refers to an author by his or her first name alone.
    4. In a typed essay, the title of a long work such as a novel or a play must be italicized; if it is a handwritten essay, underlining is acceptable. Enclose the title of a short work such as an article, a short story, or a poem in quotation marks.
    5. Do not skip lines between paragraphs. Indentations indicate a new paragraph has begun.
    6. Details indicate effort. All assignments should be neat and legible, and turned in on clean paper free of wrinkles and fringe.

    *If I am absent, substitute work must be submitted by the end of the period.                                  


    The rules of Rahway High School will be followed, as well as class rules.

    We will show respect for everyone and everything in the classroom.

    We will wait to speak until it is our turn.

    We will be on time for class and begin to work immediately.

    We will use pass privileges sparingly. 

    We will be prepared with a writing utensil, folder, & notebook/journal. 

    We will use appropriate classroom language.

    If a student is absent, it is his or her responsibility to account for missing work. 


    *Plagiarism is a serious offense and will be reported to administration. If a student uses the words or ideas of another writer without crediting the source, this is considered plagiarism. The first incident will result in a zero for the assignment and a conference with the student's guidance counselor. Also, the student will be asked to sign an academic dishonesty form. If a second incident occurs, the student will lose credit for the course (for the year).

    Please refer to the following website for a detailed definition of plagiarism.



    Arrive on time and ready to work.

    Copy homework into agenda and begin working at or before the bell.

    Participate actively by raising your hand to ask questions and to enter the conversation.  Success in this course requires active participation.

    Ask questions! Take charge of your own learning. 

    Request, fill out, and have the teacher sign a pass before leaving the room for any reason. 

    Students will learn to engage in active reading. Academic reading is not a passive activity.

    Homework Readings:

    When students are given passages to read for homework, they are expected to take notes and be prepared to discuss the selected passage during the following class period. If students are unable to discuss the passage, and if they do not have notes or annotations, a zero will be given.


    All students must come to class prepared each day with pencils/pens and paper. Students must have a three-ring binder or a notebook and a folder. When the class is reading from a novel, the student must bring his or her copy to class each day. It is also helpful to bring highlighters or colored pens or pencils for annotations.