Department: English Course: AP English in Literature And Composition Teacher: Ms. Prohaska


                         A.P. English Literature        September, 2020         Ms.Prohaska                                                            [email protected]    


            Welcome to A.P. Literature: This has been a most unusual summer…and what follows is an equally unusual- and very tentative!- guide to the year. I will try to provide a more specific idea of some of the course’s practices and policies. We will go over this information in class, and I would also like you to consider sharing it with your parents and guardians. This is, as you know, a rigorous analytical literature and composition class, culminating in the May A.P. Literature and Composition exam. Much of what we write, discuss, and read this year will prepare you well for that test, but it will also, I hope, prepare you well for college… and for your future!  


            Daily Requirements: It should be needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway! EVERY SINGLE DAY, you need your English notebook, a pen, and the appropriate book or handout for the day’s activities. The notebook can be whatever type you prefer, but you should have a place to keep accumulated handouts and returned assignments; you MUST KEEP THESE WITH YOU. It is a VERY BASIC responsibility to have these materials, and habitual lack of preparation will result in a lower grade. If we go entirely virtual at some point, all handouts will be posted in the Materials section of Google Classroom, but you should still have your hard copies of novels, plays, and notebooks at home with you!


            Daily Behavior: You must justify any absence with an appropriate pass or note. Remember that planned absences, or half-day “absences,” must be announced AHEAD of time, especially if you are missing a test or quiz, and these missed classes do not excuse you from getting or handing in assignments! If you are ABSENT, you should email me through the school website or contact someone reliable to find out what you are missing, and work must be made up at the first available opportunity. Reading quizzes and tests will be made up the day you return after an absence. It is your responsibility to ask me about missed material, and always think of sending me an email. “Cutting” class is something I do not expect you to do; it will result in a lowering of your “Class” grade and a ZERO on any of that day’s assignments, tests, or activities. Any routine misbehavior or lack of preparation or attention will also result in a lowering of your grade. Lastly, if you are at home, and your connection with school is lost, your job is to work on existing assignments and to email me at the first opportunity to find out what you missed.   


            Things NEVER to do: Never hesitate to tell me if something is bothering you. NEVER leave assignments lying on my desk or in my mailbox; it is entirely your responsibility if I do not receive them!! Never cheat, lie, or copy another’s work. Never have a phone, book, or papers out during a test. Never work so “closely” with someone that you have the exact same answers and phrasing! ANY cheating will result in a ZERO on the WHOLE assignment in question for ANYONE INVOLVED. NEVER exhibit disrespect for others or for yourself. Not only will it affect your grade, but it is unacceptable social behavior. It ruins a healthy class environment and hurts others. I will treat you as I would want to be treated myself, and I ask that you follow the same principle. On a similar note, as it says in the calendar, "any student who posts negative (disrespectful, hateful) items/comments will be subject to suspension or expulsion." Everyone benefits from a more comfortable class; why not create one? Also, if you are home, never shut off your camera or use the chat box! More on that later...and no audio or video recording or image capturing should be taking place.


            Things ALWAYS to do: Always try your best, and realize that anyone’s best is not necessarily an “A” every time. Your best work is often shaped by restraints of time: assignments for other classes, extracurricular activities, college applications, family issues, health concerns… These should not become excuses, though, but considerations that are planned for and factored into your schedule. Always try to make assignments meaningful, too…ask me how! Always ask about confusing material, always take good notes, always join in the class conversation when you have things to say….and always avoid contact with Golden Dart frogs….they are adorable, but incredibly toxic!!!....




           Writing Assignments: Plenty of writing assignments will be given, graded, and discussed each quarter, and their frequent focus will be literary analysis.  We will consider writing as a process of creativity, careful thought, and revision, but we will more often discuss and practice the in-class essay…. No one panic!…everyone remain calm… there are three essays on the in-class AP Lit exam, each one with a suggested time of…. 40 minutes! Yikes… On the online AP exam this past year, there was only one essay: still 40 minutes. We will be ready…  Of course, there will be a great deal of conversation about the basics of any good writing assignment: great ideas, smooth and meaningful transitions, use of support, correct or appropriate grammar, syntax, diction, and tone.  


           LiteratureYour literature this year will be a mix of classic and more recent novels and plays, in addition to a wealth of wonderful poetry. The poems will be either on handouts, online, or from the AP workbook. The workbook offerings you can always find online, too, if you want to read them or go over them later at home. Some of your major works are/might be:


Slaughterhouse-Five   Kurt Vonnegut - probable date for summer reading test: 9/16 and/or 9/17...  

The Metamorphosis     Franz Kafka, Willa and Edwin Muir, Complete Stories preferred 

Jane Eyre    Charlotte Bronte, Penguin Classics preferred

Hamlet  William Shakespeare, Pelican Shakespeare preferred

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead    Tom Stoppard, 50th Anniversary edition preferred 


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet    Jamie Ford


Support texts: Thomas Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor and Barron’s AP Review Book. Do NOT purchase the Barron’s yet; I might have a copy for you.        


PLEASE NOTEyou, not your parents, your aunt, or the governor of Maine, are responsible for having works on time to begin reading them!!!  You should have a paper copy of each major work to use, whether we are in class or at home. Try to get one of your own, even if it’s not new. 



            Grades: Your grade each quarter will be based on approximately the following:


Writing: 300pts. 

Tests on/responses to reading: 300pts.

Other short quizzes, homework, or small assignments: 100-200pts. 

“Class” participation: extra points added on each quarter.

Project or group work, if applicable: 50 or 100pts.

Personal/ Creative/ Analytical Journals: 100pts.- not definite! 


PLEASE NOTE: Since the school provides internet access to grades, there may not be paper or electronic “progress reports” sent home, especially after the first quarter!


…and that should do for an introduction! I look forward to the year; I hope it will be filled with, as Mr.Masselli used to say, “thoughts, ideas, and brilliant perceptions”!! Let’s begin!!