Advanced Placement Language and Composition
Summer Reading Requirements
You are to read twononfiction selections that you have not previously read. One of the books is to have pre 19th century authorship. A list is provided as a starting point for your reading. While this list is not exhaustive, any other titles considered must receive prior approval from Mrs. Proud or credit may not be given. This summer reading will provide a basis for group discussions, collaborative activities, and writing throughout the school year.
Because students need to complete reading assignments throughout the summer rather than wait until near the end, I require that you submit your responses to the first two books in the form of an essay to me as follows: Book #1—middle of July (July 15th). Book 2is to be read by the time we return to school in the fall. Expect an oral response to this third book to be the assessment. Always save a copy of your work as well.
By adhering to this plan, you will avoid trying to read books at the end of the summer. If you have a conflict with one of these dates, send your work early to avoid penalties for late work.
Note: Your required summer reading and responses will be included in your first nine weeks grade. Students who do not complete these requirements or do not meet AP standards will be rescheduled to an Academic English 12 class.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass
Walden or Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau
Essays – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin– Benjamin Franklin
Life on the Mississippi – Mark Twain
Booker T. Washington, Horace Mann, William Hazlitt, Alfred M. Green, Lord Chesterfield, Virginia Woolf, John and Abigail Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, T. H. Huxley, Jonathan Swift
Collection of speeches, letters, memoirs, or reflections, etc. (Consider historical figures, mathematicians, theologians, political figures, women, slaves, educators, soldiers, etc.)
Post 19th Century
Stillness at Appomattox (or another title) – Bruce Catton
An American Childhood (or another title)- Annie Dillard
Chinese Cinderella – Adeline Yen Mah
Cosmos – Carl Sagan
Essays (medical) – Lewis Thomas
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books – AzarNafisi
The Story of My Life – Helen Keller
On Writing – Stephen King
The City of Falling Angels – John Berendt
I Had a Hammer – Hank Aaron/Lonnie Wheeler
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (or another portion of autobiography including Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now) – Maya Angelou
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
Abraham Lincoln – Carl Sandburg
My Father’s Secret War – Lucinda Franks
A Collection of Essays – George Orwell
Essays – E.B. White
Martin Luther King – biography
West with the Night (early female aviator) – Beryl Markham
Amelia Earhart biography
Thinking Out Loud (or another collection of editorials) – Anna Quindlen
The Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman
The Good Times – Russell Baker
How to Read Literature Like a Professor – Thomas C. Foster
Nike Is a Goddess: The History of Women in Sports – Lissa Smith, Ed.
Into the Wild or Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery; Confessions of a Knife; Raising the Dead: A Doctor’s Encounter with His Own Mortality – Richard Selzer
Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science – AtulGawande
Mountains beyond Mountains – Trace Kidder
Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art – Scott McCloud
Seabiscuitor Unbroken– Laura Hillenbrand
Amusing Ourselves to Death – Neil Postman
The Bookseller of Kabul – AsneSeierstad
The Omnivore’s Dilemma
I Am Malala
The Sports Gene
Band of Brothers
Responses: Your responses are to have three distinct sections. Be sure to label each section.
- The length of the paper should be approximately 5 pages.
- Consider why this text might have been written at the particular time;
- Identify social, economic, and cultural influences of a larger context;
- Consider how the author represents himself or herself and establishes credibility.
- Part B – Choose one!
- [Title] How does the title of the book relate to the book itself (descriptive, a moral, theme statement, something else? Why might the writer have chosen this title over other possibilities (how does it highlight something the writer wants the reader to come to understand)? Discuss the relationship between title and book.
- [Gender Issues] Consider the gender of the characters in the book. How are males and females portrayed? How does the work portray their roles in society? How does gender influence the choices that are available and decisions made?
- [Shaped by Period] Writers can’t help but be influenced by the events and people that they see around them. The question is to what extent does that influence become part of the works that they write and how they communicate their feelings and beliefs about the world around them. How is the book and analysis of the period? How is it reflection and how is it a criticism?
- [Passion to Write] Author MurasakiShikiby once said that a book “happens because the [writer’s] own experience of men and things, whether for good or ill—not only what has passed through himself, but even events which he has only witnessed or been told—has moved him to an emotion so passionate that he can no longer keep it shut up in his heart.” What is the passionate emotion that is communicated in the book? Why was the author moved to write? What is the thing that the author had to communicate? Explain the author’s motivating emotion and how it is explored in the book.
Part C This section should be thoroughly developed
How do the rhetorical devices used complement the concepts communicated?
Rhetorical Strategies: tools that enable a writer to present ideas to an audience effectively.
- Diction/word choice
- Figurative language/figures of speech (Please refer to schemes and tropes hand-out) Please keep this in a binder for use during the school year.
- Point of view
- Organization/structure (compare/contrast; cause/effect; spatial; process; definition; process; exemplification, etc.) Note that chronological is also an organizational pattern—avoid using it unless something out of the ordinary is happening with it in the book.
- Sentence structure/syntax/phrasing
When I assess your assignments, I will be looking for your ability to analyze works of nonfiction. I also expect embedded citations and a Work Cited page.
- Avoid you in formal writing
- Avoid announcements like : In this paper I will……
- Being dependent on Google, Wikipedia, Spark/Cliff/GradeSaver and other websites for ideas
- Vague generalities and overused, tired, trite expressions of ideas
- I think, I feel, I believe…
- Lack of agreement between pronoun and antecedent (The reader….they)
- Weak and linking verbs including, but not limited to, forms of be
- Overuse of passive voice
- Do not say the writer uses diction! All writers use words. What is unique about the writer’s choice of words? What is the effect?
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