AP English Literature and Composition

1.5 Credits
36 weeks
student choosing books in library
Begins July 2024

Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is no longer available. Students may register now for the 2024-2025 school year and will be assigned to a course section after July 1, 2024.

The purpose of this course is to study and practice writing and to study literature. Students will read and analyze imaginative literature from various periods and disciplines while sharpening their understanding of how a work’s style, figurative language, theme, and other literary elements contribute to its meaning and cultural significance.

Students must take the Advanced Placement Exam to receive Advanced Placement credit. Students who do not take the AP® Exam will be awarded Honors level credit.


Major Topics and Concepts


Segment 1

    • Characterization


    • Character relationships


    • Perspectives and point of view


    • Reliability of narrator


    • Symbolism and motifs


    • Thesis statements and claims


    • Critical approaches to literature


    • Essay prompt responses


    • Evidence and commentary


    • Dramatic analysis


    • Historical context


    • Novel study


    • Plot analysis


    • Structural analysis


    • Archetypes and allusions


    • Point of view


    • Romanticism


    • Prose and poetry


    • Thesis statements and claims


    • Multiple-choice practice


    • Critical approaches to literature


    • Evidence evaluation


    • Essay prompt responses


    • Thesis statements and claims


    • Literary argument and commentary


    • Works Cited development and source credibility


    • Outlining and Research paper basics


    • MLA Format


    • Evidence and credibility


    • Analyzing theme and setting


    • Plot development and conflict


    • Text structure


    • Figurative language


    • Commentary and line of reasoning


    • Gothic literature


    • Critical approaches to literature


    Poetry analysis and structure

Segment 2

    • Setting, plot and structure analysis


    • Figurative language


    • Imagery, motifs and allusions


    • Literary arguments


    • Thesis and claims


    • Commentary and line of reasoning


    • Evidence evaluation


    • American Realism


    • Poetry structure and analysis


    • Novel study


    • Contrasting characters


    • Character relationships


    • Diction and syntax


    • Narrator perspective and reliability


    • Shakespearean drama


    • Dialogue, monologue and soliloquy


    • Evaluation of poetry analysis sample essays


    • Structure as strategy


    • American Realism


    • Regionalism


    • Local color, wit and irony


    • Sound and rhythm devices


    • Evaluation of literary argument sample essays


    • Critical approach to literature


    • Evaluation of prose analysis sample essays


    • Multiple-choice test taking strategies


    • AP Exam Topics and Format


    • Poetry analysis review


    • Prose analysis review


    Literary argument review


Course Materials

AP Course & Exam Registration Requirements

College Board requires students to register for AP exams no later than November 13th (individual schools may set earlier deadlines).

All VLACS AP students are required to enroll in the “course only” section in My AP.  Instructions for joining My AP will be posted on each VLACS course page and instructors are available to help with this process.

Students who plan to take the corresponding AP exam must arrange to take the exam at a local school that administers it. To register for an AP Exam, the local school will enroll the student in an “exam only” section in My AP.  Students should follow these steps:

  • Search for a local test site through this resource of contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 [email protected]. That office can give you contact information for local AP coordinators who may be willing to test outside students. Students are then responsible for contacting coordinators on that list to see if one can arrange to test for you. You should do this no later than October 2nd. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school so we recommend doing this as soon as possible
  • The AP coordinator who agrees to assist you must provide a join code for an “exam only” section in My AP. You’ll use the join code to join the section so that the AP coordinator can order your exam.

Please note that, if a school allows a student to register after the 11/13 deadline, there will be a $40 late exam fee. There will also be a $40 canceled/unused exam fee if a student registers and then cancels his/her exam or if the student does not show up on test day.

More information is available on the College Board’s website: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/


Character Revelation

Students will demonstrate an understanding of character revelation by describing characterization through textual details, explaining the function of contrasting characters, and explaining character complexity.

Characters' Purpose

Students will demonstrate an understanding of characters’ purpose by describing archetypes, explaining the role of the narrator, and analyzing the impact of characters in poetry and prose.

Literary Devices

Students will demonstrate an understanding of literary devices by explaining techniques for conveying meaning in literary texts and analyzing the development of themes through symbols and motifs.

Literary Interpretation

Students will demonstrate an understanding of literary interpretation by analyzing the impact of poetic techniques on the meaning conveyed through a poem and creating an evidence-based commentary to support an interpretation of a novel.

Narrative Techniques

Students will demonstrate an understanding of narrative technique by describing narrative elements within novels and narrative poems and analyzing their impact on meaning.

Literary Argumentation of Drama and Poetry

Students will demonstrate an understanding of literary argumentation by creating arguments on the meaning of works of drama and poetry, and integrating textual support exemplifying literary devices.

Verisimilitude in Literature

Students will demonstrate an understanding of verisimilitude in literature by analyzing depictions of nature through the use of sound devices and figurative language, explaining a writer’s portrait of the complexity of an experience, and describing an illuminating incident in a novel or play.

Tone in Literature

Students will demonstrate an understanding of tone in literature by explaining the forms and function of irony in a text and analyzing the impact of an author’s tone on meaning.