Advanced Placement (AP) Program » 2018 Summer Work For AP English Literature

2018 Summer Work For AP English Literature

In preparation for AP Literature and Composition, you should choose one of the following three novels to read:


Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)

Yellow Raft on Blue Water (Michael Dorris)

Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)


Please see Ms. Nugent (in room 402) to check out a book.  (Or get your own copy from a bookstore or the library instead.)


As you read, you should use three different colored post-its to mark and annotate your book for:

  • Key moments that are pivotal in the protagonist’s development into maturity
  • Places where you recognize the importance of a journey
  • Questions (confusions or wonderings or things you want to discuss)


Then, choose one of the following options and write an essay in response to the prompt:


OPTION ONE: A bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel, recounts the psychological or moral development of its protagonist from youth to maturity, when this character recognizes his or her place in the world. Select a single pivotal moment in the psychological or moral development of the protagonist of a bildungsroman. Then write a well-organized essay that analyzes how that single moment shapes the meaning of the work as a whole.


OPTION TWO: In many works of literature, a physical journey – the literal movement from one place to another – plays a central role. Choose a novel, play, or epic poem in which a physical journey is an important element and discuss how the journey adds to the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.


Your essay should:

  • have a thesis that answers the prompt
  • be multi-paragraph
  • use several pieces of direct evidence from the text to support your thesis
  • be typed in a standard font (i.e. Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial) and double-spaced
  • have as few errors as possible.  You should edit and PROOFREAD carefully!
  • be approximately 3-4 pages (800-1200 words)

During AP Lit Bootcamp, you will discuss your selected novel and be supported through the writing of the essay.  If you do not attend AP Lit Bootcamp, you will have to write the essay on your own.