AP English Literature & Composition

Course Number: 131/132

Open To:
Grade 12

Course Length:
Full Year; 10 Units

UC/CSU Approved: English “B” Requirement.
Satisfies one year of the English graduation requirement.

Course Description:
AP Literature and Composition is an honors level course in imaginative literary art for students who are interested in investigating, discussing, and writing about literature from diverse genres. We attempt to achieve the practice of the playwright George Bernard Shaw who said “As soon as I open [it], I occupy the book, I stomp around in it. I underline passages, scribble in the margins, leave my mark … I like to be able to hear myself responding to a book, answering it, agreeing and disagreeing in a manner I recognize as peculiarly my own.” The course encourages students to honor both the emotional and aesthetic qualities of literature, as well as to hone the rigorously logical and analytical skills necessary to read, think about, discuss, and write about literature. The demands of the course are comparable to those of a first-year college-level English course; the expectation is that students are willing to work independently and to make a commitment to the challenging workload. It is important to remember that the goal of this class is not just to prepare students for the AP exam in May, but also to nurture habits of mind and an appreciation for language and literature that ultimately lead to a mature academic perspective.

Textbook/Class Resources:

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare ISBN# 978-1451669411
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ISBN# 978-0393927931
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison ISBN# 9781400033416

Note: Students also select two to three independent novels from a list of diverse, teacher-approved works, shared on the first day of class.

Additional texts will be provided in PDF format by the instructor.

Note: Summer Reading Texts are by grade level and are posted in May.

Level of Difficulty:
  Very Difficult

Estimated Homework Per Class:
30 minutes
30-60 minutes
60-90 minutes

Completion of American Literature Honors or AP Language and Composition with a “B” OR
American Literature with an “A” for both semesters.