Pre-AP English III/IV: 2012-2013
D Dilworth

“A writer should know how much change a character has in his pockets.”
– James Joyce

Essential Questions

  1. What is my responsibility as a reader, writer?
  2. How does society influence my reaction to literature, writing?
  3. What is my responsibility to teachers, classmates, in reading/writing?
  4. How do I know I’ve taken full advantage of my readings, writing assignments?

Summer Reading

  • Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk)

  1. Critical analysis papers due Day One
  2. Review of papers, what should be accomplished in one
  3. Discussion of books; review of books
  4. Comparison/contrast the two books – why did I assign the two together?
  5. Questions (group work)

Other Readings:

  • Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. (summer reading)

  • Short Stories (Fernando Sorrentino, Dino Buzatti, Jayne Ann Phillips, etc)
  • Snow Falling on Cedars, Guterson, David
  • Ragtime, Doctorow, E.L.
  • Lolita, Nabakov, Vladimir
  • Beloved, Morrison, Toni
  • AP English Language and Composition Exam, The Princeton Review
  • Hot Words for the SAT, Barron's
  • Poems, TBA

Introduction: Class policies, standards, grade weights, etc.
Essential Questions: Purpose of, review of
Summer Reading (see above)
Short Stories: TBA
Novel Studies: The order will most likely follow as such: A Clockwork Orange, All the Pretty Horses, To Die in Mexico (themes of violence in society, reasons for, is it getting worse? what do we do about it? are we products of our environment? etc).

Vocabulary: Words will be selected 50 at a time; quizzes once a week. Words selected by theme (conversation,vanity, judgment, etc.). Students highly encouraged to make and use index cards (if they score below 80% on first quiz they will be required to use index cards). Students must define, identify part of speech, use word in a sentence/phrase. Words taken from AP English Language and Composition Exam.

Activities: Again, not set in stone, but expect daily writing (at least a response from Writing Prompts/journal entries); video projects; illustrations from readings; detail-oriented essays/descriptions; vocabulary-building; debates; formal papers; prezis; student-led discussions, anything hands-on/fun/involving.


Homework – 15%
Participation – 15%
Quizzes – 20%
Tests, Projects, Papers, Compositions – 50%

Homework: Your homework assignments are due at the beginning of class each day it is assigned. Do not turn in homework at the end of class – it will be considered late. Late homework will be counted 50% off for one day late, 0% after one day. A lot of your homework will be to read; if you are unprepared to take place in discussions, this will be noted as part of your homework grade.

Projects: All projects are due at the beginning of the class of the date assigned. 15% of your grade will be deducted for the first day it is late, 25% the second day, and a “0” will be given after two days. This is where you either sink or swim.

Tests, Quizzes: If you are absent, you will need to see me about taking the quiz/test the day you return to classes (if you anticipate being out longer than one day, see me beforehand and we will work out a reasonable time for you to take the quiz/exam). If you do not seek me out because you were sick and we had a quiz/exam in your absence, you will receive a “0”. Expect “pop” quizzes from me (thus it is essential you ask a reliable student if we had a quiz the day you were absent). Additionally, any talking, eye movement, or cheating of any kind during a quiz or a quiz/test will constitute a “0”.

Papers, compositions: If you cannot print an essay because you didn’t have access to a printer (more so for the girls), you need to send it to my Chinquapin email as an attachment before the assigned due date. You will still need to print it, but it will not count as a late assignment if sent to me prior to the due date (then print it later and turn it in that same day; failure to turn in a printed copy will result in the same penalties mentioned above). The same reduction of grade applies to late papers as projects (see above for grading policy).

Participation: This is a very important part of my class, of any English class. Please don’t make excuses, that you’re too shy (a bit late for this, no?). This is 15% of your grade. So if you take up space, you will get a C or D; questions are also a part of participation, so ask away.


  1. Be prepared. This means have your homework done on time, have your materials ready by the beginning of class, be prepared to discuss the reading, be prepared to think, be prepared to write, be prepared.

  2. You’re in either the 11th or 12th grade by now. You need to take good notes EVERY class. DON’T WAIT FOR ME TO ASK YOU TO DO THIS; THIS SHOULD BE AUTOMATIC BY NOW. Expect to turn in notebooks randomly. Note-taking (or not) will be considered a part of your Participation grade.

  3. Arrive on time. Tardiness sends a message about your attitude towards the class, the people in it, and you will be treated accordingly. There is a reason a time has been set for the class; without a set time, the class would become Lord of the Fliesesque (chaotic). Patterns of tardiness will result in deduction of your grade.

  4. If there’s a problem with anything (grades, projects, my dumb jokes), please see me after class to discuss it. I will make time.

  5. Keep up with the readings and assignments. One thing I’ve learned over 24 years of teaching is that once students fall behind in class work, they find it very difficult to play catch-up. And this will be doubly so at Chinquapin.

  6. Leave your excuses behind. Don’t tell me you can’t write in class because you’re not inspired. Don’t tell me a reading is too difficult because you just don’t get it. That’s the purpose of the classroom – to clarify things and seek help (from either myself or your peers). You will get “it,” just be patient.

  7. Enthusiasm. Everybody needs this. It’s how we live. Just going through the motions because you “have to” is a poor excuse and a waste of your time and energy (ironically speaking, that is). Don’t look at books/assignments as obstacles; these are things that will make you better. If you don’t believe this, Chinquapin is probably not the right place for you.

  8. DO NOT PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN IN MY CLASS; it drives me bonkers. I will not react well to it. If you are sick, you should go home; if you are tired, try to get more sleep (of course there are always extenuating circumstances, so see me before class if you ABSOLUTELY cannot make it through class without having to rest your pretty head for a wee bit. I can be reasonable from time to time).

  9. Keep an open mind. To everything. You will accomplish nothing otherwise. And who knows – with a little luck, you might actually have some fun (okay, I’ll stop there).