What is AP Lit?
The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should 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.
Reading in this AP course will be both wide and deep. This reading necessarily builds upon the reading done in previous English courses. This will include the in-depth reading of texts drawn from multiple genres, periods, and cultures. In this AP course, students will also read works from several genres and periods -- from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century -- but, more importantly, they will get to know a few works well. Students will read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work's complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form. In addition to considering a work's literary artistry, students will consider the social and historical values it reflects and embodies. Careful attention to both textual detail and historical context should provide a foundation for interpretation, whatever critical perspectives are brought to bear on the literary works studied.