2019-20  Summer Assignment for AP Literature and Composition

First, I am very excited that you have chosen to take this course. It is a challenging one that will teach you not only about literature, but about yourself and the world around you through discussions, writing, and other insightful assignments, and we are certain you will come away a stronger student and person. In order to give you some foundation for the course, and to provide a little preparation for the exam, we have designed the following 2-part assignment that is due the first week of school. If you do not turn this in assignment in on its due date, zeroes will be recorded; your grade will be negatively affected, and you will be behind the other students in the course. Please understand that this will be your senior year, and you will be carrying a serious workload in order to accomplish the post-secondary goals you have set for yourself. Quite simply, in order to be successful in AP English, you must complete this two-part assignment over the summer. However, just as I am in my classroom, I am available for you! Please know that attempting to complete the assignment during the school year will be a very difficult thing to do; if you need a hard copy of a book, PLEASE CHECK IT OUT FROM THE LIBRARY. When we get to class in February, we want to hit the ground running.


Yes. Your class begins in the second semester, but we would like you to spend the summer doing your summer reading instead of three or four days in January so that you can focus and not be under so much pressure.

If you have ANY questions or problems, please email

Coach Teets at melissa.teets@caswell.k12.nc.us  or



Frankenstein by Mary Shelley you may check out this book from a public library,purchase a copy, or read an online copy at a site, such as: http://www.planetebook.com/ebooks/Frankenstein.pdf )

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster you may purchase a copy of this, share it with a friend, or use an online copy, such as: http://ziveuniverzity.sk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Foster-How-to-Read-Literature-Like-a-Professor.pdf


For this part of the assignment you are going to apply the chapters of How to Read Literature Like a Professor to Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein. This is going to get you familiar with many of the terms and concepts that will serve as a foundation for the course. Reading Frankenstein can be difficult, but we know that you can do it. There is nothing wrong with trying to “supplement” your reading with other websites; however, trying to complete this assignment without reading the book will be impossible.

Before you read Frankenstein, read chapter 21 of Foster’s book and pay close attention to what he says about the novel. This will help you with some background.

Again, if you are having trouble, we have no problem with you reading a chapter or two, or the letters, and then using a website like Shmoop.com for an analysis of what you have read. This may help you in the beginning, but eventually, as you get used to the language, you will not need this kind of help. Early in the novel it may help you keep track of the characters and their relationships, the settings, etc.

Once you have read Frankenstein, apply the following chapters from Foster’s book to the novel. For each of the chapters listed below, OTHER THAN chapters 6 - 9, write a well-developed paragraph of about 150-200 words that explains the main points Foster is making AND shows how they apply to Frankenstein. Discuss at least two examples that demonstrate how Mary Shelley uses the technique or idea discussed in Foster’s chapter. Include page numbers from the novel in each typed response. For Chapters 6 - 9, follow the directions below.

Chapter 1- “Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)”

Chapters 6-9 Allusions

Research and analyze one of the literary allusions that appear in the novel. Among others, there are allusions in the novel to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Prometheus, and Paradise Lost. (Note: Most of the allusions that appear to be Biblical are actually from Paradise Lost.) In your response, explain the allusion, how it is related to Frankenstein, and how your understanding of the allusion deepens your understanding of the work. Don’t forget the page numbers.

Chapter 10- “It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow”

Chapter 11- “...More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence”

Chapter 12- “Is That a Symbol”

Chapter 19- “Geography Matters…”

Chapter 20- “...So Does Season”

Chapter 25- “Don’t Read With Your Eyes”


Literary Analysis

Choose a novel from the following list:    

  If you would like to speak with me about a novel that might be of particular interest to you, please do so before you leave school if possible. If not, you may contact me by email.

        Again, you may check a book out from a library or purchase it.  Some of the older books will be available online. Actually, many are actually available online if you just look hard enough. The Great Gatsby will be covered in class so please do not read it.  Also, you MAY NOT choose to do this part on a novel that has been taught in any of your English classes. This is not the point. The third question on your AP exam is called the “open question,” and it will contain a question such as, “Home is important in many novels. Using a novel or drama you have read, explain the significance of home to one of the characters.”  So, you must search your brain, racking through everything you have read for one book or play that has one character for whom “home” is important.  Then, you will  write an essay about the relationship between the character and home using specific references from the text.  Wow.  So, the more dramas and novels we can get through, the better your chances of being successful on this question.  There are only three questions, and this is the only one where we have this specific type of preparation.

        Once you have finished the second novel, you will write an essay using prompts that have been used on previous exams. PLEASE USE THIS LIST OF PROMPTS. Every year students forget this list and try to ramble their way through an essay with no point. The prompts can be found here:   https://mseffie.com/iOpeners/Open_Questions.pdf.  The key to this assignment is finding the right prompt for your novel. If you have trouble with this, email one of us for help.  If you find the right prompt, the essay will be very essay. Typed, the essay should be approximately 1.5-2 doubled spaced pages.

        Please contact us with any questions. I mean it!!!

Good Luck,

Coach Teets