Advanced Placement Literature and Composition (AP Lit) is designed to be a college-level course surveying Western literature from the Fourteenth Century to the present day, and requiring extensive writing from students to analyze, critique, and respond in other ways to that literature. The course will require ongoing reading outside the classroom, daily writing and discussion within the classroom, and regular opportunities to submit formal writing after a process of development and revision.
Students' writing will include literary analysis based on technical details such as syntax, diction, or figurative language, and also analysis based on cultural and historical context. Students will have frequent opportunities to revise and further develop their work, often in workshop sessions with input from classmates as well as from me. Students should expect to submit multiple drafts of each major writing assignment.
Admission into an AP course is not an indicator that a student is more intelligent than his or her peers, but rather that the student is motivated to work at a higher level than his or her peers. By the end of the course, students are expected to produce writings on par with the coursework assigned to college underclassmen, with the maturity to deploy complex rhetorical and conceptual constructs in both writing and discussion. Raw talent is not enough to accomplish this; continued practice, including the occasional failure, and a strong work ethic are needed.
I do not expect perfection, but rather that students strive for continual improvement. If a students is not a stronger reader and writer at the end of this course than he or she was at the beginning, I have not done my job. The course is designed to promote habits of curiosity and self-directed inquiry, with the intention that students will continue these habits into a lifetime of learning.