AP Literature

A 12th Grade Core Course: AP Literature

Teachers: Ms. Bancroft; E-mail: jbancroft1@mvusd.net &
Ms. Villela; E-mail: vvillela@mvusd.net

Course Description


This advanced literature course will engage students in careful reading and analysis of a challenging set of literary works from a range of genres including the novel, short story, poetry, and drama. The focus of the course will be on intensive reading and discussion of the literature. The course is intended to provide students with an academic experience parallel to that of a college-level literature course. This course will also include a writing component that focuses on expository, analytical and argumentative writing about the literature through both discussion and essay format.

Students are expected to be active readers as they analyze and interpret textual detail, establish connections among their observations, and draw logical inferences leading toward an interpretive conclusion.

Traits of Potential Students

Before enrolling in AP Literature and Composition you must commit to a strong work ethic and you must attend class regularly. You must be willing to improve you reading and writing skills, speak in class, and engage in reading and writing outside of the classroom. Students in AP Literature are treated as college students and must exhibit the level of maturity and responsibility associated with a college student. 

Course Goals

The course will teach you to write an interpretation of a piece of literature that is based on a careful observation of textual details, considering the work’s:

  • Structure, style, and themes
  • The social and historical values it reflects and embodies
  • Such elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone

This course will include frequent opportunities for you to write and rewrite formal, extended analyses and timed, in-class responses. The course requires:

  • Writing to understand: Informal, exploratory writing activities that enable students to discover what they think in the process of writing about their reading (such assignments could include annotation, freewriting, keeping a reading journal, and response/reaction papers)
  • Writing to explain: Expository, analytical essays in which students draw upon textual details to develop an extended explanation/interpretation of the meanings of a literary text
  • Writing to evaluate: Analytical, argumentative essays in which students draw upon textual details to make and explain judgments about a work's artistry and quality, and its social and cultural values

AP Literature and Composition will also prepare you for the rigors of college coursework by exposing you to argumentative research papers and presentations using rhetorical writing techniques.

Teacher’s will provide instruction and feedback on your writing assignments, both before and after you revise your work, to help you develop:

  • A wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively
  • A variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination
  • Logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence, such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis
  • A balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail
  • An effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure


In addition, this course will prepare you for the AP Literature and Composition Exam which will take place in the spring.