• AP Literature and Composition Syllabus

    Advanced Placement Literature and Composition


    Mrs. Beth Gilmer, Russellville High School



    Novels and Novellas

    1.  The Dead – James Joyce
    2.  Frankenstein – by Mary Shelley
    3.  Jane Eyre – by Charlotte Bronte*
    4.  Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
    5.  Heart of Darkness – by Joseph Conrad*

    *Subject to change – Please do not purchase copies until updated second semester.


    1. Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
    2. Macbeth – William Shakespeare
    3. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
    4. The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

    *Other major works to be determined.



    1.  Perrine’s Structure, Sound, and Sense



    1. Inform me in advance of or as soon as you return from an absence.
    2. Major assignments also known as “product grades” (projects, papers, etc.) are due on the assigned date whether you are present in class on that day or not (field trips, sports events….etc).  If you are unable to attend class on the due date, send your assignment with a friend, sibling, or parent.  If you are absent due to illness or other excused absences, the assignment should be submitted on the date you return to school.  These assignments may also be submitted digitally through Edmodo or email.  Major assignments are penalized at a rate of 10 points per day, beginning with the day when the assignment is due (the block when you would be in class).
    3. Quizzes, tests, and other assessments assigned in advance must be taken on the assigned date even if you are absent the preceding class.  In other words, keep up with your reading schedule!  Unless there are special circumstances (usually approved in the student handbook), absences do not relieve you from your reading schedule.
    4. Make-up quizzes, tests, and timed writings must be scheduled within three days upon your return to school.  After that point, I will begin to deduct points for late work. Failure to make up work in a timely manner may result in a fraction of the original grade.
    5. As in a college course, when you miss class, it is expected that you will obtain any notes or directions you missed from a classmate.  
    6. Consult my school telephone # and e-mail address below.  After I leave campus for the day, I may not check e-mail again until I return to RHS.  You all have my cell number and are welcome to text me as needed regarding your assignments.


    School number – 256-331-2110 Ext. 1016

    E-mail – Beth.Gilmer@rcs.k12.al.us

    Cell number – 256-810-4129



    1.  3-ring notebook, dividers, and loose-leaf notebook paper (At least 1 1/2”)
    2.  Pens – blue or black ink for writing
    3.  #2 pencils
    4.  Highlighters –  at least four colors (including pink, yellow, blue, and green)
    5.  Note cards – 4 x 6
    6.  Sticky notes – any color
    7.  Ear buds




    Major Grades:  70%   Tests, Essays, Presentations, Major Projects, Multiple choice practice, etc.

    Minor Grades:  30%   Vocabulary Quizzes, Homework, Paragraphs, Journal Entries, Study guides,

    Annotation Pages, etc.  

    Types of grades and their value:

    • daily, homework, in-class, or “Process” grades (generally, a “process” grade refers to an assignment that constitutes a step in the writing or reading process rather than a final product), and quizzes over reading assignments -     Minor
    • major or “Product “ grades such as timed writings, final drafts of process papers, major tests over entire works or units of study, APMC  tests (Advanced Placement Multiple Choice Practice Tests), and projects – Major
    • Extra Credit options:
    1.  Get a copy of the study questions for the novel or play that we are currently studying. Answer all questions in your own handwriting and submit on test day for bonus points added to your test grade.
    1.  Other novel projects with approval from teacher


    Students will study potentially controversial current events along with the required fictional novels.  The class will be using these works/situations to fuel class discussions, continue our practice in close-reading skills, and build on our literary analysis skills that will prepare students for college and career readiness.  RHS has many copies of these works that your student may rent; however, should you want him/her to make annotations in these books during the course of study, then you are welcome to purchase a personal copy of each text for your child.

    While these engaging, dynamic, and influential novels, stories, and poems have been used in classrooms across Alabama and the United States, there are some mature subject matters that are present within these texts.  While they touch on mature subjects and situations, these are not the focus.  The aim in using these texts is to teach students to deal maturely with difficult topics which reflect the level of texts they will encounter at the college level.  As with all material used in our AP Literature and Composition class, I strongly encourage parents and guardians to read along with their child.  Major assignments will be given to confirm the students’ understanding of these texts.  Students are responsible with keeping up with weekly chapter readings, meeting project and writing deadlines, and attending tutorials if the student is having a difficult time understanding or completing tasks.  

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