Pine Bush High School 11th Grade AP English 2019-2020 Summer Reading Assignments

There are two summer reading assignments. You are responsible for completing BOTH. You will write a paper involving each reading assignment during the year. The paper topics are briefly explained below and specifics will follow during the school year.

While the papers on the readings will not be due until the end of the first quarter for assignment 1 and the end of the second quarter for assignment 2, the reading and note taking for BOTH assignments will be due on the first day of school as the material covered will be an important part of our work early in the year. 

NOTE TAKING ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE TYPED.  Handwritten assignments will not be accepted.


The first quarter of the class is devoted to literary analysis and learning to read closely.  The quarter will culminate in a paper applying those skills to the Hemingway and Faulkner novels you read independently for this assignment. 

Read two novels: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and either As I Lay Dying or The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.  Pay particular attention to and take notes on the authors’ unique styles.  You should produce at least 2 pages of notes for each novel.

In your notes….

  • identify at least 3 characteristics of each author’s style.
  • include 3-4 quotations illustrating each characteristic.
  • for each quotation, write a thorough explanation of how it illustrates the style characteristic.
  • include a section comparing / contrasting the styles of the two authors.
    Approximate assignment 1 paper due date will be the end of the first quarter.  You will write a paper developing a relationship between the styles of the two authors using the two summer reading novels to support your thesis.

NOTE: Part of this process will include reflecting on your changing reading practices as you learn to read in the way the AP exam requires. To that end it is important this reading is done over the summer as you will be asked to compare that initial independent reading of the two novels to subsequent more focused readings in preparation for your paper that take place after a quarter of instruction on reading closely. Consequently, you can expect a plot quiz on both assignment 1 readings early in the year to ensure this initial independent reading has taken place.


In addition to improving our reading skills, we need to become more precise and careful writers this year.  We will begin that process with the second summer reading assignment.  Read the books about writing listed below.  Examine the features of effective writing both identify and then reflect on your own writing, making an honest and thorough evaluation of the extent to which your writing exhibits those features.  What do the texts suggest is the value of writing in the way they discuss?  What are your strengths? How do you need to improve? Take at least 1 page of notes on each book with these questions in mind.

In your notes….

  • identify at least 3 characteristics of effective writing each text discusses.
  • for each characteristic find 2 quotations from the text explaining it.
  • explain how each characteristic you identify improves writing.
  • reflect on how well your writing exhibits each characteristic.

Text#1: Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark (read Chapters 1-25 only)

Text#2: On Writing Well by William Zinsser (read sections I, II and IV only)

Approximate assignment 2 paper due date will be the end of the second quarter.  In this paper you will apply the writing concepts discussed in these two texts to a full-length work of nonfiction of your choice, analyzing how the author uses these strategies to get her/his meaning across. Although this specific paper will not be due until second quarter, you will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of these characteristics in your all of writing from the first day of class, so it is important they are read over the summer.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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