A. P. Language & Composition

Mr. J. D. Wilson, Jr.

A. P. Language and Composition 11th Grade

Room 205, (508) 291-3510, ext. 205

e-mail: jwilson@wareham.k12.ma.us

"You must read, Alice, before it's too late. You must fill your mind with the converted images of the past: the more the better. . . . These images, apart from anything else, will help you put the two and twos of life together, and the more images your mind retains, the more wonderful will be the star studded canopy of experience beneath which you, poor unfortunate primitive creature that you are, will shelter." Fay Weldon Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen

As often as a study is cultivated by narrow minds, they will draw from it narrow conclusions." John Stuart Mill

"He who knows only his side of the case knows little of that." John Stuart Mill

The Nature of the Course

Stuff We Will Read

Stuff We Will Write

Sites to Check Out

Calendar of Events

Keep Quiet and do your work!

The Nature of the Course:

In this course you will learn how to analyze literature in its three primary forms, poetry, prose, and drama. You will then learn to express your thoughts and opinions on what you have read. Much of your professional lives will be spent responding to written or verbal forms of communication so it follows that the ability to read, understand, and communicate your understanding is a valuable skill to possess and develop, even if, God help you, you never read another line of great literature. It is our aim to teach you to express your thoughts, impressions, and opinions so that the average reader can understand them. You will be expected to write cogent essays that are well developed and defended that successfully persuade others of the validity of your thoughts. This does not mean you have to persuade others to think like you. It does mean that others, even if they do not come to share your view, understand the merits of your view. As you study literature the awareness should strike you that there are many "right" answers to the issues discussed. What is important is not that you reach some sanctioned conclusion, but that your conclusions are defensible. It is a further aim that you learn to understand and write about different points of view. To fully understand your own point of view you must know, and to a certain extent understand, opposing points of view.

This is the first goal of this class, and the second is like unto it: to develop critical thinking skills. The first step in this process is to understand our own thinking. "What do I think about this and why do I think it?" are questions we must constantly ask ourselves. It is a presumption of this class that writers write to, among other things, express ideas and communicate points of view. Hopefully the process of analyzing ideas and different points of view will expand, or even change, our thinking on the issues the various authors raise. To understand the ideas a work of literature expresses it is helpful to understand and appreciate the forms they use. For example, why did the author write a sonnet instead of an ode? It is also important to be able to assess a works artistic merit. It is important to remember that it is possible to recognize the artistry with which a poem or story is written without personally "liking" it. It is also important to recognize how authors use the various literary devices to tell their stories. As a result of pursuing these two sets of goals you should come to understand literature, its artistry and craft.

Stuff We Will Read:

August 30 - September 7 - Introduction to Literary Analysis, Native American Literature & The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

September 7 - October 29 - The Last of the Mohicans

October 30 - November 29 - Walden

December 5 - January 10 - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


January 22 - January 25 - First Semester Finals


January 11 - January 17 - Short Narratives

January 23 - February 8 - The Crucible

February 11 - March 14 - The Great Gatsby

March 15 - "Color Symbolism in The Great Gatsby"

March 21 - May 21 - Light in August

May 23 - June 17 - Their Eyes Were Watching God


June 11 - June 17 - Second Semester Finals (Dates Depend on Snow Days)

Essay the Situation

August 30 - “Democratic Education”

September 11 - “That It Is Madness to Judge the True and the False from Our Own Capacities”

September 19 - “Of Friendship”

September 27 - “On the Situation, Feelings, and Pleasures of an American Farmer”

October 9 - “Self Reliance”

October 17 - “History”

October 25 - “The American Scholar”

November 2 - “Civil Disobedience”

November 13 & November 21 - “Walking”

December 3 - “Life Without Principle”

December 11 - “On Natural Law”

December 19 - “Consolation to His Wife”

January 7 - “Poe's Review of Slavery in the United States”


January 22 - January 25 - First Semester Finals


January 15 - “Of Vicissitude of Things”

January 29 - “Cargo Cult Science”

February 6 - “Are Women Human”

February 14 - “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

March 1 - “Attitude”

March 11 - “On Noise”

March 19 - “Young Hunger”

March 27 - “Familiar Style”

April 4 - “Review of Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne”

April 12 - from The Apology

April 29 - “The Haunted Mind”

May 7 - “We Have No Right to Happiness”

May 15 - May 23 - “Notes of a Native Son”

June 3 - “Going Home Again”


June 11 – June 17 - Second Semester Finals (Dates Depend on Snow Days)

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Stuff We Will Write:

Research Paper

Must be at least five pages in length with at least two bibliographic citations.

Thesis statement, and bibliography due by September 17.

Outline due by September 25

First draft due for peer review October 12.

Final draft due October 15.

Rewrite due October 23.

Literary Analysis Paper

Must be at least five to six pages in length with at least one bibliographic citation.

Outline, thesis statement, and bibliography due November 19.

First draft due for peer review January 3.

Final draft due January 11.

Rewrite due January 17.

Internet Project

Part One due January 11.

Short Essay Analysis

Must be six to eight pages in length with citations from at least five different sources.


Paper is to include a works cited page that properly identifies the sources of the citations used in the paper and a bibliography that references all the outside reading done in researching your pa-per. The bibliography should be of significantly greater length than the works cited page and is to include at least fourteen items that were studied in the course of researching your paper.


Paper topic due February 4.

Thesis statement due January 12.

Outline and bibliography due February 27.

First draft due for peer review March 15.

Final draft due March 25.

Rewrite due April 2.

Personal Essay

Must be at least four pages in length.

Topic due April 10

Outline due April 25.

First draft due for peer review May 21.

Final draft due May 30.

Rewrite due June 7.


Internet Project

Completed project due May 30.

Presentations of projects to the class begin June 7.


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Calendar of Events

Readings for the Week:

Day One 11-13: - “Walking” Part I in Civil Disobedience and Other Essays, pages 49-60.

Day Two 11-15: - Walden; or Life in the Woods, pages 90-108.

Day Three 11-16: - Walden; or Life in the Woods, pages 108-130.

Day Four 11-19: - Walden; or Life in the Woods, pages 130-152.

Blog Comment Due – 11-19

Nightly Reading Journal – 11-21

Vocabulary Journal – 11-21

Vocabulary Quiz – 11-21

Reading Quiz – 11-21 (Walden, pages 90-152 plus the Thoreau essay "Walking" the first part, pages 49-60. The Walden quiz will be done as "Emperor Notes." Answer the quiz question on "Walking" at home and turn in by the due date.)

A. P. Practice Essay – 11-19.

Literary Analysis Essay – Phase II – Constructing a Thesis, Sources 1-4 due 11-19; Phase III – Outline and Bibliography due 11-29.

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