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Teaching method. AP English (Literature & Composition) Class Questions

Yue 1 / 4  
Jan 27, 2010   #1
What is the typical method of a teaching method in AP English Class? My teacher mainly focuses on doing readings throughout the year. Though, I feel like I haven't learned much. I am very unprepared for the exam.

What about self studies? How can I improve my analytic skills? Lately I have found myself doing explanation/summarization a lot and it has become hard to make a good analysis.

Please advice. Thank you in advance.
AnnAsburY 1 / 12  
Jan 27, 2010   #2
In my college english class, we do a lot of essays, where we rhetorically/stylistically analyze books/articles. We are doing a debate right now on the quality of a novel. We are also in the middle of reading Hamlet right now. Last tri we read Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I don't know if this is the typical method, but I feel like I have become a better writer.
RivalDestiny - / 1  
Jan 28, 2010   #3
I took the AP Language course this year and will consider taking the Lit course next year. We mainly look at specific texts with certain persuasive techniques. We haven't done much of reading this year, as I'm assume that is reserved for next year.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 28, 2010   #4
The thing to do is squeeze as much insight as possible out of your teacher. Your teacher has a unique contribution to make to your process. That is what I learned after being a student and then a teacher. I thought I knew, but I didn't. The teacher is ready to share something wit you, to celebrate literature and enjoy it with you. Stay focused on enjoying every moment.
Envie 4 / 60  
Jan 30, 2010   #5
For us, we read, analyze, and write essays. Remember, the AP exam requires you to write an essay based on the works you have read.

I suggest you read works that are "universal" to different groups of people. Also, you should look at the prompts from the previous years in the AP Exam.

I personally won't be worrying much simply because I would rather take more English Lit/Language/Comp. classes in college then squeeze a credit out of the college curriculum with an AP Exam score...High school classes can never match the depth of a college one, in my opinion. (but then again, that opinion is only based on my assumption that socratic seminars and works we read are higher leveled compared to high school)
OP Yue 1 / 4  
Feb 3, 2010   #6
In my class, we covers about 2 books in a term... seems quite slow to me. Not sure if that is normal or what.
OP Yue 1 / 4  
Feb 3, 2010   #7
To AnnAsburY:
I have had different AP English teachers; they taught differently. Only one focused on daily essay (more like homework assessment), now we aren't doing much of writing except literature log. I have found myself declining :(

What do you mean by "debate on the quality of a novel"? Sounds interesting.

To RivalDestiny: Do you guys use any sample essays or books in order to identify those techniques or is it pure explanation of techniques? My teacher tends to want us apply techniques we know (thus we do not learn about techniques much).

To qomoco: We read about 2 books in a term. Is that normal?

To EF_Kevin: Yes. Indeed they do. Thank you for your advice.

To Envie: Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely take a look at promots from previous AP Exam. I agree with you about taking the college in class. The only problem is that my major is not English. Even though sometimes I do feel like I like literature a lot (the mysteries and "hidden" interpretations etc), but my writing discourages me from pursuing it. I guess I'd prefer to focus on my major. Another side is I really don't want to fail :/ It will make all the time seem wasted in a way.

Thank you all for your valuable comments.
diodotusX 3 / 19  
Feb 3, 2010   #8
I'm in an AP Lit course right now also.

To be honest, at first I didn't think my teacher taught much at all because the more I thought about the class, the more I realized he never really lectured. Instead, he taught the class socratically. He would assign some reading, either a short story or a poem and we would come in the next day, immediately break into small group discussions, discuss the story/poem and answer some questions he might have up and then we'd all convene together as a class at the end and spend the remaining time discussing what we all came to a conclusion of. Anything we seemed to miss, he would fill in. Otherwise, I guess we really just taught ourselves, while he was there to guide us in the right directions. I think it's a great class and very fast paced. These are the works we've read/will read-

First Semester:
Large works (Novels/Plays)
The God of Small Things
The House of the Spirits
Catch 22
Waiting for Godot
King Lear

Short Stories:
"The Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri
"The Man With Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
"The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Louis Borges
"Happy Endings" by Margaret Atwood
"Everything That Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Connor
"A Conversation With My Father" by Grace Paley
"The Dead" by James Joyce

Poems (can't really remember the titles for some of them...)
Various Poems by Neruda
"Love Poem" by Linda Pastan
Poetry by Ali
"Indian Movie, New Jersey" by Divakaruni
"Parsley" by Rita Dove
Poetry by Sylvia Plath
Meta-fictional poetry by Ishamel Reed, Collins, and MacLeish
"The Death of the Ball-Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrel
Poetry by Lovelace
Poetry by Owen
By Auden
By Olds
By Henry Reed
"Journey of the Magi" by T.S Eliot
Poetry by Levertov


We had 4 papers over the course of the semester, 1 debate per group, 2 exams, and various reading quizzes

Second Semester (going to read):

Large Works:
Crime and Punishment
The Importance of Being Earnest
Palace Walk

Short Stories by:

Poems by:

And another 4 papers, debate/presentation, exams, and quizzes. It's a pretty amazing class. Although hard to keep up with because of all the reading. I also take a Joyce Seminar Honors class and a Shakespeare class all at the same time. Reading Hamlet, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Crime and Punishment ain't easy, but a damn amazing experience...the papers start piling up after a while though...

So what do other people in English classes, AP or not, read? I'm really curious
Johnnyfu2 - / 1  
Feb 12, 2013   #9
How to start off an essay about why im taking an english class?

Hey im kinda new to this essay thing I know how to do every thing else except the introduction. I have to write about why im taking an english class. How am i suppose to start those types of essays? if possible please give an example
hannahsarch 2 / 17  
Feb 12, 2013   #10
Intro: Your previous writing experience
- what youve written (poetry, papers, reports)
- what youve written it for (class, leisure, contest)

Body: Why you taking it
- Why you need help improving
- analysis on how this class will help you improve

Conclusion: Final result
- What you hope to learn from the class
- How your writing will be after taking it.

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