Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expressions of humanity. - P.T. Barnum

Advanced Placement: Literature and Composition


    Course Description:

    This course is aligned with Arizona College and Career Ready standards and supports school-wide efforts to increase student achievement.

    Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is a college-level course in literature and composition, designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of works of literary merit. Through the close reading of selected texts, students appreciate the depth and dimension of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. Readings will be selected from the short fiction, poetry, and drama offered by the textbook, supplemented by novels which must be obtained by the students. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as rhetorical elements such as figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Writing is an integral part of the Senior AP English course and exam. Writing assignments focus on the critical analysis of literature and include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. Although critical analysis makes up the bulk of student writing for the course, creative projects may be included. The goal of writing assignments is to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do.


    Course Objectives:

    Though the A.P. exam in May determines the scope and rigor of the course, the ultimate objectives are to enable students to become proficient writers and experienced, thoughtful, critical readers of literature. Students who accomplish course objectives should be well prepared for both the A.P. exam and college composition classes. Students who earn a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the A.P. Literature and Composition exam may qualify for three to six units of credit in English. Students should check with their college of choice to see what kind of credit they give or waive for certain scores.                                                         


    By the time the student completes this course of study, the student will know or be able to:

    • Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
    • Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.