Date of publication: 2017-08-09 08:04
The AP English Literature and Composition course focuses on both the reading of literature and writing about it. The reading assignments cover a variety of genres and time periods and students should engage in the critical analysis of each text. The writing focuses on the experience, evaluation, and interpretation of the literature.
The simple fact we face as analyzers of great literature is that the authors wouldn't have done it for no reason. These people aren't toddlers with finger paint and a leather couch (there's no reason for what's bound to happen there). They're illustrious writers! There is always a reason. Like we ourselves, each device and use of language has a greater, cosmic it's more than just to beautify the surrounding words.
If you're here, that means you've completed the first leg of the second language acquisition journey: the advanced basics. You've got grammar, pronunciation, and spelling under your belt. You can effectively converse in Spanish, you have an impressive mental lexicon, and you can understand spoken Spanish enough to get by.
When creating your own AP Literature reading list for the student choice free-response, try to pick works that are diverse in author, setting, genre, and theme. This will maximize your ability to comprehensively answer a student choice question about pretty much anything with one of the works you’ve focused on.
If you’re looking for ideas, authors and works that have won prestigious prizes like the Pulitzer, Man Booker, the National Book Award, and so on are good choices. Anything you read specifically for your AP literature class is a good choice, too. If you aren’t sure if a particular work has the kind of literary merit the College Board is looking for, ask your AP teacher.
You may be doing some of these activities anyways for books you are assigned to read for class, and those books might be solid choices if you want to be as efficient as possible. Books you write essays about for school are also great choices to include in your four to five book stable since you will be becoming super-familiar with them for the writing you do in class anyways.
Yes. The AP exams are only given in May, though, so you will have a distinct disadvantage if you only take a one-semester block of AP English in the fall. Practice with Shmoop's drills and exams so you can go into your test with literary skills blazing like Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, rather than dull from winter holiday and whatever it is you do over spring break.
You’ll also want to read to improve your close-reading and rhetorical analysis skills. When you do read, really engage with the text: think about what the author’s doing to construct the novel/poem/play/etc., what literary techniques and motifs are being deployed, and what major themes are at play. You don’t necessarily need to drill down to the same degree on every text, but you should always be thinking, “Why did the author write this piece this way?”
For the purposes of the student choice question, however, you’ll want to read books more closely, so that you could write a detailed, convincing analytical essay about any of their themes. So you should know the plot, characters, themes, and major literary devices or motifs used inside and out. Since you won’t know what theme you’ll be asked to write about in advance, you’ll need to be prepared to write a student choice question on more than just one book.