AP English Language and Composition

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 mostly nonfiction literature, and we honor great writers in the course. The choices of texts and their sequencing are based on reading skills, not the canon; we primarily focus on intricate reading and writing skills from a varied collection of literature in this class. Because our students live in a highly visual world, we also study the rhetoric of visual media, including 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.


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Unit 1: Introduction to Rhetoric

  • Grammar Review: Clauses
  • Introduction to Rhetoric and SOAPS
  • Introduction to Close Reading
  • Rhetorical Modes
  • Grammar: Active/Passive Voice
  • Ethos
  • Pathos
  • Logos
  • Style Analysis: How Diction Affects Tone

Unit 2: Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis

  • Connotation
  • Syntax
  • Introduction to Rhetorical/Style Analysis
  • How to Write A Timed AP Essay (Q2)
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Figurative Language
  • Diction Analysis
  • Writing a Rhetorical Precis
  • Writing the Assertion Journal

Unit 3: Rhetorical Analysis

  • Gerunds
  • Full Rhetorical Analysis Essay
  • Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
  • Compare and Contrast Essay
  • AP Exam Multiple Choice Questions
  • Direct and Indirect Object
  • Appositive Phrases
  • Agreement and Tenses


Unit 4: Cause and Effect Essays

  • Anecdotes
  • Cause and Effect Rhetorical Strategy
  • Cause and Effect Essay Writing
  • Cause and Effect Essay Outline

Unit 5: Research

  • Satire Analysis
  • Satire as Argument
  • DIDLS Prose Analysis Method
  • AP Argument Essay (Q3)
  • Conducting Research Overview
  • Determining a Topic For Research
  • Writing the Research Proposal
  • Collecting Data for Research
  • Research Organizing: Outlines
  • Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Research Paper Writing Style
  • Research Paper Introduction
  • Research Paper Body
  • Handling and Citing Sources in APA Style
  • Research Paper Conclusion

Unit 6: Other Essay Types and Multiple Choice

  • Analyzing Speeches
  • Analyzing Letters
  • Argument Essay Outline
  • Using Pathos and Logos in Your Argument
  • Narrative Writing Techniques
  • Descriptive Writing: Details and Imagery
  • Synthesis Essay Tips
  • Interpreting the Writing Task
  • Evaluating Visual Texts
  • Evaluating Op-Eds
  • Writing Op-Eds
  • Process Analysis Essay

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