• AP IV - Literature and Composition

                                                                                                                                                       Mrs. Swing

    Summer Assignment 2019                                      Room 526

    The summer assignment is designed to keep your close reading and analysis skills sharp. I have selected two books for you to read and recommend that you buy both so you may annotate as you read.

    How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

             The purpose of this assignment is multifaceted:

    - To help build confidence and competence as readers of complex texts.

    - To give you, when you enter class in the fall, an immediate and shared basis for discussion of literature.

    - To set a basis for comparison with other works we will read.

    - To enrich your mind and stimulate your imagination!

    1. Read and annotate How to Read Literature Like a Professor.
    2. For each chapter, responses need to be labeled in a document and include the following:
    • Your reaction to what you read.
    • Specific examples of information that particularly struck you. (Explain why certain information was especially insightful or meaningful for you.)
    • The title and author of a piece of literature you read about that piques your interest and why.
    • A question about what you have read.


    1. Read and annotate Invisible Man. Although I will not check or grade annotations, this is an AP-level habit that you should practice as it will help you be successful this year and beyond.
    2. Choose one of the listed AP essay prompts. Write a well-developed essay using Invisible Man as the text to respond to the question. Use correct parenthetical citations for any quotes you use. Avoid plot summary.


    1. In a novel by William Styron, a father tells his son that life “is a search for justice.” Choose a character who responds in some significant way to justice or injustice. Then write an essay in which you analyze the character’s understanding of justice, the degree to which the character’s search for justice is successful, and the significance of this search for the work as a whole.
    2. According to critic Northrop Frye, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divisive lightning.” Select a tragic figure who functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.
    3. In many works of literature, past events can affect, positively or negatively, the present activities, attitudes, or values of a character. Choose a character who must contend with some aspect of the past, either personal or societal. Then write an essay in which you show how the character’s relationship to the past contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole.
    4. Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender, race, class, or creed. Choose a character who plays a significant role in the novel and how that character’s alienation reveals the surrounding society’s assumptions or moral values.

    Another essay option is:

    1. Write an essay that persuades a skeptic that Invisible Man is a story of literary merit. Use what you learned from Foster and other AP classes to form your argument. Limit the essay to two pages. Cite information from Foster or other sources. An excellent essay will contain good organization, persuasive and appropriate evidence, an overall convincing argument and a works cited page. The works cited page does NOT count as part of the two pages.



    Required Format:

    • Work should be handwritten in ink and an outline must accompany your essay.
    • No loose pages will be accepted. Staple all pages or put pages in a folder. Do not put pages in binders.
    • Your work should be clearly labeled; I should not have to guess what you’re answering. Your name needs to be on your work.

    All assigned work is due at the beginning of the first day of class – Monday, August 26 or Tuesday, August 27. Late assignments will not be accepted.


    Questions? Contact Mrs. Swing at ccswing@wsfcs.k12.nc.us