Dear Future AP Lit Students,
An AP English Literature and Composition course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, 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.
The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit…The pieces chosen invite and reward rereading and do not, like ephemeral works in such popular genres as detective or romance fiction, yield all (or nearly all) of their pleasures of thought and feeling the first time through. The AP English Literature and Composition Development Committee agrees with Henry David Thoreau that it is wisest to read the best books first; the committee also believes that such reading should be accompanied by thoughtful discussion and writing about those books in the company of one’s fellow students
In other words, you will do all of the wonderful things you’re imagining doing with literature, and I will be your guide. But what you need to understand now is that I am not the meaning-maker nor am I the person who holds all the cards. You will not use pre-thought thoughts as discussion points nor will you use The Internet as a substitute for study. I am not interested in cool-offs or intellectual chess. As I will say at many points throughout our year together, I am another rider on the road. We will be amazed and inspired, enthused and even confused by great literature, and we’ll be in it together. My job is to make you better, stronger, and even more capable students than you already are.
With that said, you have some summer reading and homework. Take it seriously and show me what you’re working with. I can’t wait to see what and how you think.
Happy reading & Go get your hands dirty,