AP Language and Composition will follow the guidelines stipulated by The College Board and require “expository, analytical, and argumentative writing assignments that are based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres.”
The course will emphasize critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis of ideas presented by authors. Students will be reading full-length fiction and non-fiction texts throughout the year through their independent reading. In class readings will pull from a broad range of non-fiction essays, film clips, excerpts, political cartoons, editorials, speeches, etc. The instructor will provide direct feedback as well as opportunities for peer review and student self-reflection to foster the development of the successful use of rhetorical strategies in students’ writing. The rigor of this course is matching that of an introductory college course and as such, I expect you to conduct yourself in a manner fitting that environment. I expect you to keep up with your outside reading assignments, and when you come to class, be prepared for discussion and group interaction. Discussion of contemporary issues is another hallmark of this course. Respect for the opinions and the ideas of others is necessary for a productive learning atmosphere. In addition, I assume that you are capable of maintaining an appropriate work schedule to complete assignments in a timely manner.
Students in AP English III will explore reading, writing, research, technology, and presentation through analysis of American fiction and nonfiction. A course that accurately replicates work in a college or workplace, AP English III will help students learn a wide repertoire of communication and interpersonal skills that they can use in their transition into the adult world. Students will collaborate with each other and teachers, as they seek opportunities to explore the shaping of discourse through the examination of novels, drama, speeches, essays, and visual tests, applying newly acquired skills to the development of their own original writing and research.
How you will learn in this course:
Students will learn through reading, writing, speaking, discussion, and inquiry. They will independently create and pursue learning goals. They will use many resources, both technology and text-based, to gain and share knowledge.
Why this course is important:
This course serves to strengthen reading, writing, and speaking skills in a way that is authentic and meaningful for all disciplines. This course is important for students who want to gain independence, confidence, and mastery in language skills as they apply themselves in a unique setting that fosters creativity, responsibility, critical thinking, and professionalism.
Blue or black pens
Composition journal or spiral notebook
Requested Classroom Supplies:
Tissues (we always need these!)
Post-it notes (any sizes)
Ream of colored printer paper (any color)
Though not required, you will find these works useful to have at home and in college (many available in electronic form).
The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
5 Steps to a 5: AP Language, Barbara Murphy and Estelle Rankin
5 Steps to a 5: Writing the AP English Essay, Barbara Murphy and Estelle Rankin
Upon completing AP English Language and Composition you 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 your own writing in both formal and informal contexts
- create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience
- write for a variety of purposes
- demonstrate a wide-ranging vocabulary
- 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 your own writing
- demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary sources through correct use of stylistic guides
- move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing, and review
- write thoughtfully about your own process of composition
- revise a work to make it suitable for a different audience
- analyze image as text
- evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers
Yearlong Reading Activities:
Students will be given a list of recommended fiction and non-fiction books from which to choose one book per nine week grading period to read outside of class time. Throughout the nine weeks, students will meet on designated Fridays for group literary circles, applying AP style analysis exercises and building skills toward mastery of the AP Free Response Essay. Assessment of students’ outside reading will take place in a class wide literary circle in which students, in a Socratic Seminar format, will discuss their works using their essays.
In class texts
Students will read a wide variety of speeches, essays, and excerpts from non-fiction texts. Students will also examine several visual texts, such as political cartoons, photographs, and advertisements. Students will focus on reading these pieces critically, identifying effective use of grammar, style, tone, diction, imagery, syntax and how those elements come together to appropriately address their intended audience and purpose.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- The Scarlett Letter
- The Crucible
- The Great Gatsby
- The Things They Carried
- In Cold Blood
- The Outliers (summer reading we will use throughout the year)
- Nickel and Dimed (summer reading we will use throughout the year)
- Speeches, Letters, Essays, Articles: I will provide copies of these.
I use a point system for grading. This may be very different for you so please be sure to note the maximum points available for an assignment when viewing your grades. For instance, many daily assignments are out of 25 points. This means that if your grade is a 25 you have done well – not poorly.
Per district policy, I will provide a three-week grade check through the progress report, which must be signed by a parent or guardian.
Please come see me if you discover a discrepancy in your grades. We will work together to straighten it out — but beware, you will need tangible evidence that the grade has been incorrectly noted.
The gradebook is set up as noted below:
60% Major grades* (major projects, papers, timed writings, practice AP multiple-choice tests)
40% Minor grades (class discussions, class essays, daily assignments, quizzes, academic behaviors)
*The maximum percentage for any one major assignment is 20% of the overall average.
Assignments and Evaluation
Your final grade will reflect not only how much you improve in your writing, but also your input in class, attendance, punctuality, and submission of papers and class work by the designated deadline. Every time we meet to write and discuss writing aids in the refinement of your writing skills. Your own work will provide the basis of much of the instruction. You cannot improve as a writer unless you write!
Late Work Policy:
This class will have homework assignments. The curriculum includes reading, writing, vocabulary, and analysis that cannot all be completed in 50 minutes. Keeping up with homework is a key to success in this class.
Students who submit work past the due date, will receive a penalty of 10% off per school day applied to the grade that was earned. Students who submit assignments more than five days late may receive a maximum grade of 50%. Please note that this policy also applies to scheduled absences, and the original due date holds (examples include field trips, performances, athletic events, etc.).
- In the case of excused absences, teachers will accept late work without penalty (please refer to the school’s absence policy for further details).
- At the close of every third week, any and all missing work from the previous three weeks will receive a grade of 0%, and will no longer be accepted.
After five days, in addition to receiving a maximum grade of 50%, 30 minutes of working detention will be required. This can be served during tutoring hours or scheduled with Ms. Grau. The grade for the late assignment will not be entered until you have served your working detention.
Major assignments — those assignments that are longer or more time-consuming — are due at the beginning of your class period unless otherwise specified. If the assignment comes to me later in the day, it will be late and will receive the late work deduction.
When you are absent from class, you miss work. Be mindful and make plans to make up the work. If you know you will be absent for a school-related activity, please get with me ahead of time. If an assignment is scheduled to be turned in on that day, the due date still applies.
Very simple. Arrive to class on time to prevent disruption. Do not talk while someone else is speaking. A good attitude goes a long way with me. Attend regularly, be punctual, and turn in your work. This is a college level course and this is your opportunity to control your success. I will be happy to work with you in or out of class, but you have to ask!