A.P. English Language & Composition
AP English Language and Composition is designed to teach the skills you will need to succeed in a college level writing course and will follow the course requirements described in the AP Language and Composition Course Description
published by the College Board.
The student and teacher will work together to discuss and critically analyze writing as well as develop your ability to craft an argument, synthesize sources, and conduct research at an advanced level. We will also cultivate media literacy by studying the rhetoric of visual media through art, photos, commercials (print and video), documentary films, and political cartoons.
In conjunction with the College Board’s AP English Course Description, our course teaches “students to read primary and secondary sources carefully, to synthesize material from these texts in their own compositions, and to cite sources using conventions recommended by professional organizations such as the Modern Language Association (MLA).”
This course is organized both chronologically and thematically as students will be reading primarily non-fiction works, as well as fiction and poetry from American Literature in an effort to understand how history relates thematically to the world in which we live. We will examine works for author voice and credibility as well as gain expertise in evaluating point of view, argument and rhetoric.
Students will be expected to read and write daily, participating in peer review groups and individual writing conferences during the writing process (drafting, editing, and revision). Students will also complete a year long research project, resulting in a 15-20 page paper and presentation to be scheduled at the end of the year.
As this is a college level course, you should be proficient and motivated writers. The workload of this course is both challenging and places a high level of expectation on you with regard to performance. Due to the nature of this course and many of the projects and assigned readings, organizing your time is imperative.
We anticipate this to be an exciting year, filled with active engagement, learning, and preparation for the future, a journey upon which we will embark together!
AP Equity and Access Policy Each of us has to decide who can and should take AP World History. Here is what the College Board recommends: “The College Board strongly encourages educators to make equitable access a guiding principle for their AP programs by giving all willing and academically prepared students the opportunity to participate in AP. We encourage the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underserved. Schools should make every effort to ensure their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population. The College Board also believes that all students should have access to academically challenging course work before they enroll in AP classes, which can prepare them for AP success. It is only through a commitment to equitable preparation and access that true equity and excellence can be achieved.”
As per The College Board, upon completing the AP English Language and Composition course, students should be able to:
• analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques;
• apply effective strategies and techniques in their own writing;
• create and sustain arguments based on readings, research and/or personal experience;
• write for a variety of purposes;
• produce expository, analytical and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary sources, cogent explanations and clear transitions;
• demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writings;
• demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary sources;
• move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing and review;
• write thoughtfully about their own process of composition;
• revise a work to make it suitable for a different audience;
• analyze image as text; and
• evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers.
The Riverside Reader - 7th Edition
Writing from Sources - 7 Edition
The Language of Composition - Shea, Scalon and Aufses
The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
The Stranger - Albert Camus
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Violent Bear it Away - Flannery O'Connor
Everything That Rises Must Converge - F.O'Connor
Wise Blood - Flannery O'Connor
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Nota Bene: Making notations on the text within the novels during the critical readings is crucial. Therefore, I highly suggest you order the paperback copies of the above novels to improve both your reading comprehension and writing skills.
The AP English Language and Composition exam consists of two sections: a one-hour multiple-choice section, and a two-hour and fifteen-minute free-response section. The exam is further divided as follows:
Section I: Multiple-Choice
The easy multiple-choice section of the test is approximately 55 questions, with the exact number of questions varying with each test administration. There are typically 5 passages divided between Pre-20th Century non-fiction prose, and 20th and 21st Century non-fiction prose. The questions typically focus on identifying rhetorical devices and structures from the passage, as well as their general function, purpose in a passage, and/or the relationships between them. Beginning in 2007, questions were added that ask about citation information included in the passages. These citation questions are not designed to test knowledge about MLA, APA, Chicago Style, or any other particular citation format, but instead focus on how the citations reference and enhance information from the passage. Students have exactly 60 minutes to answer all 55 questions.
Section 2: Free-Response Reading
The Free-Response section of the test consists of three prompts, each of a different type: synthesis, passage analysis, and argument. Beginning in 2007, with the addition of the prompt, CollegeBoard decided that an additional 15 minutes should be added to the exam time to allow students to read and annotate the three prompts as well as the passages and sources provided. Students may write notes in the prompt booklet about the material during that 15 minutes, but may not write in the essay booklets during this time. As the prompt booklets are not collected, any writing in the prompt booklet does not count when scoring the essays.
The synthesis prompt typically requires students to consider a scenario, then formulate a response to a specific element of the scenario using at least three of the accompanying sources for support. While a total of six or seven sources accompany the prompt, using information from all of the sources is not necessary (or perhaps desirable). The source material used must be cited in the essay in order to be considered legitimate. The essay is scored on the 1-9 scale.
The analysis prompt typically asks students to read a short (less than 1 page) passage, which may be from any point in time, as long as it was originally written in modern English. After reading the passage, students are asked to write an essay in which they analyze and discuss various techniques the author uses in the passage. The techniques differ from prompt to prompt, but may ask about strategies, argumentative techniques, motivations, or other rhetorical elements of the passage, and how such techniques effectively contribute to the overall purpose of the passage. The prompt may mention specific techniques or purposes, but some leeway of discussion is left to the student. The essay is scored on the 1-9 scale.
The argument prompt typically gives a position in the form of an assertion from a documented source. Students are asked to consider the assertion, and then form an argument that defends, challenges, or qualifies the assertion using supporting evidence from their own knowledge or reading. The essay is scored on the 1-9 scale.
The multiple-choice section is scored by computer. Formerly, the test was scored by awarding 1 point for correct answers, while taking off a 1/4 point for incorrect answers. No points were taken away for blank answers. However the College Board has announced that they will discontinue the policy for all AP Exams starting in 2011, where they will only award 1 point for each correct answer (no 1/4 point deductions).
The free-response section is scored individually by hundreds of educators each June. Each essay is read by at least two readers and assigned a score from 1-9, 9 being the best score possible. Scoring is holistic, meaning that specific elements of the essay are not judged, rather each essay is scored in its entirety.
The scores from the three essays are added and integrated with the adjusted multiple-choice score (using the appropriate percentages of each section) to generate a composite score. The composite is then converted into an AP score of 1-5 using a scale for that year's exam..
Students generally receive their scores by mail in mid-July of the year they took the test. Alternately, they can receive their scores by phone as early as July 1 for a fee. Sub-scores are not available for students, for the English Language and Composition Exam.
AP instructors receive a score sheet showing the individual score for each of their students, as well as detailed score information for the test compared to the national averages
Grades and Homework:
* Daily = 50% - Classwork & Homework
* Test = 50% - Tests & Essays
* Weighted percentage of total.
AP Courses: Expect two hours of homework for each class period.
Students, I have been an instructor for this course since the 1980s. I know what it takes for you to be successful and make a high score on the exam. Follow my lead and with my guidance you will be a success in this course. Always, let me know when you need additional assistance.