Ap english Language and Composition



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AP English Language and Composition

Syllabus
Course Overview


AP English Language and Composition is based on the expectations and objectives set forth in the AP English Course Description published by the College Board. In this class, students will “write in both formal and informal contexts to gain authority and learn to take risks in writing.” In doing so, they will move beyond the basic five-paragraph essay—students will learn to gauge their audience, evaluate their purpose, and write accordingly. Much of their writing will be responses to some type of reading, including letters, speeches, essays, novels, short fiction, articles, and image-based texts. Types of writing will include expository, argumentative, and analytical writing; some of their writing will be formal essays that move through a writing process, while other samples will be more informal to help students become aware of their own writing style.
Students will also focus on reading and evaluating secondary sources, synthesizing the materials to include in their writing, and citing the materials using the conventions of MLA.
This course is designed not only for those students who have indicated skill in writing and rhetoric in their previous humanities courses, but also for those students willing to challenge themselves with critical reading and thinking.

Course Goals and Objectives

AP English Language and Composition will guide students to achieve success in understanding the rhetoric of fiction, non-fiction and non-print sources. Upon completion of the course, students should be prepared for successful undergraduate admission through mastery of higher-level critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, students will gain an understanding of various American authors and genres.

Grading


10% Tests: As there will be few tests in this class, and those based on the literature read for the purpose of ensuring understanding, students will want to pay close attention to class discussions, individual note taking, and teacher notes to prepare for these tests.
10% Quizzes: The categories includes vocabulary quizzes and any quizzes deemed necessary for the reinforcement of ideas during the year.
70% Essays: As this class is focused on rhetoric in reading and writing, students main evaluation will be based on how well they show their understanding through their own rhetoric in writing.
10% Classwork: This section of students' grades will encompass any daily work assignment, including homework, as well as the weekly précis.
You will receive numerical grades for your writing assignments. Essays will be scored on a scale from 1 to 9, just as they are on the AP exam. Those scores then translate into the following grading scale:
9/8 to a high 7 (A) 100-90 Exceptional content, style, organization, and mechanics

mid/low 7 to 6 (B) 89-80 good content, style, organization, and mechanics

5 to 4 (C) 79-70 Acceptable content, style, organization and mechanics

3 to 2 (D) 69-60 Below average in content, style, organization or mechanics

1 (F) 59-40 Serious deficiencies in content, style, organization or mechanics

0 (F) 40-0 No response given, or inappropriate response (off topic)

Texts and Resources

Cracking the AP English Language and Composition Exam, 2006-2007

edition. Princeton Review, 2006.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1999.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. London: Penguin, 2002.

Power, Susan et. al. Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience.

Boston, Pearson Education, Inc. 2007

Roskelly, Hephzibah and David Jolliffe. Everyday Use: Rhetoric at work in



Reading and Writing. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. London: Penguin, 2006.

Supplementary Texts and Resources

Carrol, Andrew, ed. Letters of a Nation. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.

New York: MLA, 2003.

White, E. B. Essays of E. B. White. New York: HarperCollins, 1977.

Internet, media resources, and teacher- and student-created material

Course Planner
Quarter 1

Early Colonial; Enlightenment/Early Revolutionary
Skills

During the first quarter, students will be introduced to the form and rhetoric of persuasive/argumentative writing. Using a website which defines over 40 rhetorical devices, students will add weekly to their vocabulary of these terms. Students will be introduced to the rhetorical triangle—speaker, subject, audience—and discuss how those three entities effect each other. Tone will emphasized, and many of the early assignments will ask students to identify how an author creates tone through diction. Loose and periodic sentences will also be introduced as a method of rhetoric. In addition, the three appeals of rhetoric—logos, pathos, and ethos—are presented to the class, as are verbal, situational, and dramatic irony.


Texts

Excerpts from Letters of a Nation

“Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” Pierrepont

“The Declaration of Independence” Thomas Jefferson

“To His Excellency, General Washington” Phyllis Wheatley

“Speech in the Virginia Convention” Patrick Henry

“Speech in the Convention” Benjamin Franklin

"The Crisis, No. 1" Thomas Paine

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible.

Film, The Crucible

Harris, Robert A. “A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices.” Virtual Salt. 6 April 2005. 1

Dec. 2006. < http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm>.

Artwork: "Recruiting for the Continental Army" (Ranney) and "The Declaration of Independence" (Trumball)
Assignments and Methods of Instruction

*Students will write a timed essay that asks them to evaluate the rhetorical devices used by Benjamin Bonner in his letter on “Whether or Not the Statement ‘All Men Are Created Equal’ Includes Blacks as Well”. Students can use the terms they have learned from the Virtual Salt website, their knowledge of periodic and loose sentences, and their understanding of logos, pathos, and ethos. This letter is found in Letters of A Nation.


*Twice a month, students will choose an article from a contemporary magazine, such as The Economist, The New Republic, Harpers Monthly, etc. and write a four sentence précis. The précis forces students to read a piece of contemporary non-fiction, understand the point of the author and analyze the methods used to get the idea across. In addition, students are forced to learn to covey large amounts of information in four sentences.

*Students will write attempt a timed, multiple-source synthesis essay based on their readings and discussions from class. In this essay, students will explain the different perspectives that various constituents of the United States had on Britain during the colonial period. Teacher will model for students in the first steps of this multiple source synthesis essay. Students must also practice citing sources as will be expected of them on the AP exam.


*After reading and discussing several speeches, including Franklin’s “Speech in the Convention” and Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention,” students will write a persuasive essay urging readers to accept their viewpoint on an issue and to take action on that issue. As a multiple source synthesis essay, this essay will require students to not only use rhetorical strategies, but also to use several secondary sources and to cite those sources using MLA format. Students will begin with a prewriting activity before moving onto a rough draft; students will then conference with me and with their peers to seek feedback for revisions on the final draft.
*Based upon their reading of The Crucible, students will craft an essay in defense of a character's actions. Students will need to identify audience and decide on rhetorical strategies that will work most effectively. Students will prewrite in class and take the essay through at least two drafts.
*Optional: Students will evaluate the film of The Crucible as a piece of rhetoric. They will write an essay in which they explain how the drama was adapted for screenplay, and why the director made such choices. Special emphasis will be placed on evaluating audience.

*Students will use the OPTIC strategy highlighted in Walter Pauk’s How to Study in College to evaluate different works of art. Students will assess the paintings by looking at an Overview, the Parts of the painting, the Title, the Interrelationships between title and painting, and reach a Conclusion.

*class discussions
*tests on literature to ensure students' understanding of texts
*vocabulary quizzes
*oral in-class reading
*practice multiple-choice questions for the AP exam
Quarter 2

Introduction to the World of the Interior/Romanticism
Skills

During this second quarter, students will examine literature that focuses on the interior self. At the same time, they will continue to evaluate the six elements of rhetorical situation, including writer, reader, content, aim, context, and genre. Discussions will be based on Walker’s “Everyday Use” and Thoreau’s “Self Reliance” as presented in Everyday Use: Rhetoric at Work in Reading and Writing. In addition, continued emphasis will be placed on style, allowing students to evaluate diction, parallelism, passive voice, schemes and tropes. Most of this discussion will arise from their reading of American Romantic fiction writers.


Texts

Essays of E. B. White, especially “Once More to the Lake” E. B. White

Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne

“The Minister's Black Veil” Hawthorne

“Fall of the House of Usher” Poe

“The Raven” Poe

“Thanatopsis” Bryant

“Everyday Use” Alice Walker

“Civil Disobedience” Thoreau

Portions of “Self Reliance” Thoreau

Portions of “Nature” Emerson
Assignments and Methods of Instruction

*After evaluating the six elements of the rhetorical situation using Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”, students will craft a remembered place narrative essay based on E. B. White’s essay “Once More to the Lake.” Prewriting will ask students to identify the aim of the piece, the relationship between reader and writer, and how those ideas influence content. Once that is established, students must seek the correct diction to convey the feelings the writer has about the place to the reader. This essay will produce several drafts, which will receive criticism from the writer's peers and me.


*Continuing from their first quarter study of rhetorical devices terms, students will write a rhetorical analysis of Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience.” This analysis will force students to build on their knowledge of schemes and tropes, as they must find examples used in this piece. This essay will begin with a prewriting activity, followed by individual conferences with the teacher and a peer edit of a rough draft.
*Students will participate in a timed writing in which they assess the argument of Thoreau’s “Self-Reliance”. Students will evaluate the style of the piece and assess how Thoreau's dictions, voice, and sentence structures contributed to his argument.
*Continued bi-monthly précis
*Students will write a two short, 500 word essays based on NPR’s “This I Believe” series. Students will write about some aspect of life that they feel strongly about. This essay will require students to choose the most effective rhetorical devices, as they must be succinct in their appeals. These essays will be completed out of class and will serve as informal writings to assist students with becoming aware of their own writing styles.

*Students will use the OPTIC strategy highlighted in Walter Pauk’s How to Study in College to evaluate different works of art. Students will assess the painting by looking at an Overview, the Parts of the painting, the Title, the Interrelationships between title and painting, and reach a Conclusion. Then students will read Bryant’s “Thanatopsis” and evaluate how a particular painting embodies the ideas of the poem. Students will complete the brainstorming as a group.


*class discussions
*tests on literature to ensure students' understanding of texts
*vocabulary quizzes
*oral in-class reading
*practice multiple-choice questions for the AP exam

Quarter 3

Division, Reconciliation, and Expansion/The Birth of Modernism

Skills


During the third quarter, students will see a greater shift in emphasis to the style of their own writing. Focus will be put on student’s subordination of ideas in a sentence, sentence variety, transitions, and coherence. Though I will have addressed grammar issues as they manifest themselves in students issue in previous quarters, during this quarter, students will put extra focus on the punctuation and coordination of sentences within their writing. Also during this quarter, the different types of irony will be addressed. In addition, students will engage in two multiple source synthesis essays.
Texts

"The Metaphorphosis of the Everyday" Cisneros

"The Chase" (handout)

"An Episode of War" Crane

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Go Down, Moses"

"My Bondage, and My Freedom" Douglass

“The Gettysburg Address” Lincoln

“The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” Twain

“The Outcasts of Poker Flat” Harte

"How to Build a Fire" London

"Story of an Hour" Chopin

artwork—"Afternoon in Piedmont" Martinez, "The Chimney Corner" Johnson

"Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" Eliot

The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald

The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
Assignments and Methods of Instruction

*Students will craft their own personal narratives based on Emerson's and Thoreau's writings of third quarter. Special emphasis will be placed on rhetorical devices such as diction, sentence structure and organization of ideas. Students will receive feedback from the teacher during individual conferences, as well as feedback from peers.


*Students will write a multiple source synthesis essay that will require them to analyze print and non-print sources and analyze how public officials respond to the perceived necessity and the subsequent consequence of military action, both at home and abroad. Students will engage in prewriting activities, conferences with the teacher, as well as peer editing. Students must also complete the essay using MLA format.
*Students will engage in class discussions to evaluate how different genres (autobiographies, spirituals, short stories, and speeches) present ideas about slavery in different ways. Students will be asked to evaluate not only rhetorical devices used, but also the effectiveness of those devices for particular audiences.
*Document Literary Analysis Comparison-Contrast Research Essay—students will find paintings from the early 20th century that illustrate the American Dream or the hypocrisy of it. Then, students will write a comparison/contrast essay that analyzes how Fitzgerald, Eliot, and their painter see the ideal of the American Dream. Students will receive feedback from the teacher during individual conferences, as well as feedback from peers. Students must also complete the essay using MLA format.
*Students will write timed essays in response to released AP prompts, as well as practice multiple choice questions from released AP exams. In some cases, students will be asked to craft their own multiple-choice questions from homework readings.
*Optional: Students will write a comparison essay in which they analyze how Grapes of Wrath and Cinderella Man both show a judgment of the family system.
*vocabulary quizzes
*tests
*oral presentations on types of irony found in "Story of an Hour"
*oral in-class reading
*practice multiple-choice questions for the AP exam

Quarter 4

The 20th Century perspective

Skills


During this last quarter, students will come to understand the definitions of parody, satire and lampoon. In addition, students will evaluate point of view and the effect on the meaning of a piece of writing. Review of literary terms and techniques, as well as a review of the AP exam format will assist students in preparing for the exam at the end of the semester.
Texts

"A Worn Path" Welty

"Coyote v. Acme" Frazier

"Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" Crane

"Inaugural Address" Kennedy

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" King


Assignments and Methods of Instruction

*Small group presentations on parodies. Students will find a Weird Al Yankovic song and evaluate what he parodies and how. Students will also engage in class discussion of the differences between parody, satire and lampoon.


*Students will complete a timed writing evaluating the rhetoric used by Kennedy or King in a selected piece of writing.
*Students will continue to complete timed AP writings and answer AP-style multiple-choice questions. In some instances, students will be asked to write their own multiple choice questions based on their nightly reading.
*Students will engage in class discussions concerning point of view and the effects of point of view on the message of a piece of writing.
*Class discussions
*Vocabulary quizzes
*oral in-class reading
*practice multiple-choice questions for the AP exam


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