AP Language & Composition

  • Course Requirements

    Objectives:

    • The purpose of this course is to help students “write effectively and confidently in

    their college courses across the curriculum and in their professional and personal lives” (College Board, AP English Course Description, 2010, p. 7).

    • The course is organized according to the requirements and guidelines of the current AP English Course Description, and, therefore, students are expected to read critically, think analytically, and communicate clearly both in writing and speech.

    Primary Text

    The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Ed. Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, Robin Dissin Aufses. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013.


    Course Organization

    1. The course teaches and requires students to write in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) about a variety of subjects (e.g., public policies, popular culture, personal experiences)
    2. The course requires students to write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by teacher and peers.
    3. The course requires students to write in informal contexts (e.g., imitation exercises, journal keeping, collaborative writing, and in-class responses) designed to help them become increasingly aware of themselves as writers and of the techniques employed by the writers they read.
    4. The course requires expository, analytical, and argumentative writing assignments that are based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres.
    5. The course requires nonfiction readings (e.g., essays, journalism, political writing, science writing, nature writing, autobiographies/biographies, diaries, history, criticism) that are selected to give students opportunities to identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques.
    6. The course teaches students to analyze how graphics and visual images both relate to written texts and serve as alternative forms of text themselves
    7. The course teaches research skills, and in particular, the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources. The course assigns projects such as the researched argument paper, which goes beyond the parameters of a traditional research paper by asking students to present an argument of their own that includes the analysis and synthesis of ideas from an array of sources.
    8. The course teaches research skills, and in particular, the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources. The course assigns projects such as the researched argument paper, which goes beyond the parameters of a traditional research paper by asking students to present an argument of their own that includes the analysis and synthesis of ideas from an array of sources.
    9. The course teaches students how to cite sources using a recognized editorial style (e.g., Modern Language Association, The Chicago Manual of Style, etc.
    10. The course will expose students to:
      • A wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively
      • A variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination
      • Logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence, such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis
      • A balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail
      • An effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure

    Grading Policies

    • Essays 35%: Most essays are first written as in-class essays and are considered rough drafts. Rough drafts are self-edited and peer edited before students submit the final copies. Students are required to attach the rough drafts to the final copy. Students will be exposed to a variety of student-generated samples using the AP rubric for every specific essay. Students will also be challenged to write timed essays as a step by step process.
    • Tests and Quizzes 30% Students will take multiple choice tests, based on the rhetorical devices and their role in texts studied in class and texts that they have not encountered before. Some tests are timed.
    • Class participation 35% Students will be involved in practice grammar exercises, text analysis, class discussion/Socratic Seminars, peer editing, and self-editing essays, test correction, timed writing, teacher-student writing feedback individual conferences;

     *** During the course of the school year, students will have timed tests (multiple choice and essays similar to the AP exam; students will have prior exposure to sample students’ essays, analyzing prompts, rubrics; also, the peer review sessions, the teacher-student conferences, as well as the multiple opportunities to write multiple drafts will allow students to prepare for the timed sessions)

    Homework: In order to be successful, students will have to work on most of the reading assignments at home. Students are expected to submit their homework according to the deadlines established in class. Students who are absent are required to catch up the missing assignments until the next class. However, students will not receive a specific grade for the homework section.

    Rules & Procedures

    Attendance

    Good attendance is expected. Makeup work for excused absences will follow the procedure in the school agenda. Students will be responsible for assignments missed by contacting their classmates, checking Schoology.

    Late work is not encouraged but if it occurs, 10% will be deducted for every day of absence. Therefore, please make an effort to submit every assignment on time.

    You will be provided 3 bathroom passes for each MP. Use them wisely. Students who keep their passes may use them for a 5-point boost on an assignment of their choice. (one assignment per pass).

    Student Expectations

    • Be prompt, prepared, polite, productive;
    • Enter class quietly and turn in your work, in the blue bin, before the bell rings,;
    • If you have questions for the teacher, please write an email to the teacher. Mark URGENT if it requires immediate attention;
    • Copy from the board the class agenda of the day;
    • Begin the Activating Strategy and follow the directions on the board;
    • Check your graded work folder at the beginning and at the end of the class;
    • Use pen or type every assignment you submit for grading;
    • You may use pencils for text annotations
    • Sharpen your pencils before class; have several utensils with you every day;
    • All submitted assignments (whether typed or handwritten) must follow the APA style headings: name, teacher, class & period, date in the top left-hand corner of the sheet and must be typed.