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Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition is an intensive two-semester college-level course that equips students to think and write analytically through various modes of discourse (speaking and writing). By the end of the term, students will have obtained and developed the skills necessary to earn a passing score on the AP English Language and Composition exam administered by the College Board. We primarily structure the course—and choose texts—based on the instruction of critical reading, not just on familiarizing our students with canonical pieces of literature. We work within the framework of American literature, and we honor many of our great writers in the course, but the choices of texts and their sequencing are based on reading skills, not the canon—we teach intricate reading and writing skills, not books, in this class. Because our students live in a highly visual world, we also study the rhetoric of visual media such as photographs, films, advertisements, comic strips, and music videos. Many of the readings and writing assignments will be journalistic in nature and originate from first person memoirs, essays, op/ed. articles, news, and editorials.