how to read lit like a professor

AP English 12 Summer Reading Assignment 2017

Summer Reading Assignment:

  1. Read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, OR The Road by Cormac McCarthy with a critical eye, annotate, and create an Major Works Data Sheet (See the last page for template).
  2. Expect to write an essay during the first two weeks of school.
  3. Strongly suggested: Read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. There are also some very helpful outlines of the book you might consult.  The patterns he outlines in the book will help you analyze your summer reading and the various texts we’ll read throughout the year AND help you assert the significance of your quotes on the MWDS.
  4. Strongly suggested: Annotate your summer reading novel. We’ll be doing this sort of close reading throughout the year and starting with the summer reading is a great way to develop the skill of critical reading.

Click below for some tips on annotating

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AP 12 Course Survey

Posted: May 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

AP 12 Students, if you would be so kind as to offer me your feedback, it’d be really helpful in helping me improve for the future!


crying joy

Here it is, the long awaited final!  The last assignment!  The last paper you’ll have to write for me, and probably the last one for all of high school!  Excited?  I know I am!  To be quite honest, this is also the assignment that will prove most helpful for the types of assignments and writing that will be expected of you in college, so working hard on this will make things a lot easier for you next year.

The complete final essay with works cited and title page must be submitted to Turnitin by 11:59 PM on May 31st.  Turnitin will not accept it after that, so please do not wait for the last minute.

Final project 2017

(can also be read by clicking the read more tag below)

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AP Exam Review

Posted: April 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

The day of destiny is almost upon us, folks!  May 3rd!  
So how do I prepare for an AP lit exam?
It is a bit different than many exams in that English is more of a skill based course than a content based one. Practice helps, but at this point you’re probably looking for some last minute cramming. Try these:

Review literary terms . . .  There’s also all kinds of stuff on the interwebs.

Review Richard Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor — there’s something to those patterns we discussed this year. Outline is here.

Review the major works you might write about.  Here’s my wicked awesome theme Power Point with soundtrack that will probably only be funny to the delirious at 1 AM: mwds-theme-review 2017

Hey, this is what SparkNotes is supposed to be for, right?  Use it.  Or, for twice the fun in half the time, try ThugNotes


Posted: April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

OthelloiagomovieAlright 11th graders, it’s time for our last major unit of the year, Shakespeare.  Here’s the script we’ll be using in class: Othello abridged and the introductory materials we covered: Shakespeare Uncovered Othello, which goes along with this video, and Shakespeare in translation Othello, for which you might need 80 troublesome Shakesepearean words and Understanding early modern English.  Let’s not forget our Shakespeare Insult Kit — that was fun 🙂 and Shakespeare background . . . and Othello simplified characters and synopsis.

Click below for due dates and more helpful stuff:

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Poetry work for 11th graders

Posted: April 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

In case you miss a day, here’s the work we’re covering:

3/30-31: Walt Whitman

4/3: Emily Dickinson

4/4-5: Imagery and Poetry

And don’t forget your notes: poetry termssound devicesTypes of Poetry

Bring in song lyrics to annotate for sound devices on Friday, 4/7.  There’s a quiz on Friday, 4/7 too!

g1381821409686993772Part of your Shakespeare project will require writing a script for your video.  So how do you do that?

Probably the easiest thing to do in order to collaborate on your Hamlet scripts would be to use a Google doc.  You can get a screenplay template to help with formatting and add each member of your group as a collaborator so you can each work on the project in different locations, on various devices, at the same time, or at different times.

Additionally, scriptologist has a great overview of how to format a screenplay.

Writers Store has a great annotated visual you can use to see how it all plays out.  And both BBC and have nice instructional examples.  More on how to format a script after the page break:

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