AP Literature & Composition

Teacher:     Mrs. Janel Walton

Location:     Room 420, purple hall

Website: https://www.asdk12.org/staff/walton_janel/pages

Email:    walton_janel@asdk12.org

Syllabus:  AP Literature

So, what is AP Lit anyway?


AP Literature & Composition is a course approved by the College Board that culminates in an AP exam in the spring.  Passing the AP Lit exam allows you to receive college credit at your intended university. Additionally, the weighted GPA you earn in this class may help increase your overall GPA. According to College Board, “An AP English Literature and Composition course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students 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.” Additionally, College Board’s stated goals for AP Lit are as follows: “The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit.” 

In a nutshell, this means that we will be reading literature from about the 15th - 20th century by English-writing authors such as Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, and many others. This will consist of poetry, short stories, plays, and novels. We will have seminar often (about once a week) to discuss and explore the pieces that we are reading. Additionally, we will work on writing about literature and sometimes, creatively.


You do NOT need to have taken an honors or AP English class prior to taking AP Literature & Composition.  You do, however, need to have strong reading and writing skills and be prepared to read difficult texts and write about them often.  More than anything, you need to have a good work ethic. If you don’t read the novels, short stories or poems, and you do not complete the reading responses prior to seminar, you will not be successful in this class.  Most AP classes have an average of 5 hours of homework a week, and AP Literature is no different. This is a class of serious learning where everyone is willing to try, and willing to be serious about the task at hand.  While the class provides support and guidance, you will need to have proficient mastery of LA skills in order to be successful.  You don't need to have necessarily taken AP or Honors, but someone still struggling with basic comprehension and writing skills may have a difficult time keeping up. If you've had to work hard to earn a C in a regular English classes or if you have not passed the reading or writing section of the HSGQE, you should come talk with me before signing up.

If you are thinking this may sound right for you, but you are still a little on the fence about this whole AP Lit/homework thing, please see my website at https://www.asdk12.org/staff/walton_janel/pages/Walton_World/AP_Lit/Archive.html  ALL past assignments for AP Lit are posted there so that you can make a decision for yourself of what you think you can handle. Of course, you can always stop by to talk to me as well.  

What do former students say? 

“What I enjoyed the most about this class is all the novels we got to read..and I’m glad I did. They were amazing and really opened me up to learning new things. This class helped me explore a lot of things and I feel like I really learned a lot this year.”

“I enjoyed seminaring the most in this class. Sometimes it was difficult for me to fully comprehend the texts that were assigned. Seminaring and discussion of these texts helped me better understand the text and made it somewhat easier to interpret similar texts in the future.”

I enjoyed that this class was not another typical "pass with an easy A" type and we actually did MEANINGFUL work to help with future endeavors.”