• English IV:  AP English Literature and Composition Course Outline and Syllabus

    Carnegie Vanguard High School



    Course Objectives:   

    In this AP English Literature and Composition course, students will have the opportunity to read “both wide and deep,” including poetry, fiction, drama, and excerpts of prose from pre-sixteenth-century epics to contemporary literature.  The readings will focus primarily on British and American literature, though the reading list will not strictly be limited to this.  This AP Lit course will provide students with many opportunities to fully “experience…interpret…and evaluate literature” for greater meaning.  Discussions, individual writings and reflections —both in timed and untimed settings—and multi-media projects will comprise the bulk of the activities in the course and allow students to genuinely engage with these learning opportunities.  In addition to the variety of analytical tasks that this course will cover, this AP Literature course is intended to serve as a college-level English literature survey course, with a focus on diverse pieces of literature and poetry. 

    1. Explain the function of character (perspective, changeability, foils, nuances and complexities)

    2. Explain the function of setting (textual details, character and setting)

    3. Explain the function of plot and structure (sequence of events, structure, significance of events, conflict)

    4. Explain the function of the narrator or speaker (point of view, detail, diction, syntax, reliability)

    5. Explain the function of word choice, imagery, and symbols (literal, figurative)

    6. Explain the function of comparison (similes, metaphors, personification, allusions)

    7. Develop textually substantiated arguments about interpretations of part or all of a text (claim, evidence, thesis, commentary, control of language)



    Summer Reading: (required)

    • Austen, Jane.  Pride and Prejudice.  Dover Publications.  London:  1995.


    Texts:  Throughout the year, students will be reading from a diverse and challenging selection of major works.  Their full-text readings will be selected from (but are not limited to) this selection of iconic and pivotal literary works:

    • Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    • Baldwin, Go Tell it on the Mountain
    • Chopin, The Awakening
    • Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
    • James, Turn of the Screw
    • Knowles, Separate Peace
    • Melville, Billy Budd
    • Miller, The Crucible
    • O’Connor, Wise Blood
    • Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
    • Shakespeare, King Lear 
    • Shakespeare, Hamlet 
    • Shelley, Frankenstein
    • Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead 
    • Walker, The Color Purple
    • Wharton, Ethan Frome
    • Williams, Streetcar Named Desire 
    • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway



    Grading: Students will be evaluated on their analysis of a variety of literary texts and poetry. Students will compose original* essays (written both in class and out of class), participate in literature-based assessments, and create original (& creative) small group projects in order to demonstrate their connection to the literature.  


      • 50% Major Grades: Tests, Projects, Presentations, Major Writing Assignments, etc.
      • 25% Quizzes: AP MC quizzes, Vocab Quizzes, Reading quizzes, etc.
      • 25% Minor Grades: HUB Discussions, Vocab Activities, Lit. Activities, etc.


    Late Policy: major writing assignments submitted within 2 school days of due date can receive no more than a 70. No other assignments will be accepted late.

    Retake Policy: 2 retakes on major tests per cycle.