Ap english Lang. & Comp. Course Requirements and Objectives 2011-12/Dr. Draper Course Description



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AP English Lang. & Comp. Course Requirements and Objectives 2011-12/Dr. Draper

1. Course Description:

The major purpose of this course is to engage students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. The student is required to read and analyze works of literary merit to examine how stylistic effects are achieved by writers’ linguistic choices.



2. Course Objectives

Upon completing the Language and Composition course, then, students 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 their own writing; create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience; demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writings;

write in a variety of genres and contexts, both formal and informal, employing appropriate conventions; move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing, and review; and demonstrate understanding of Modern Language Association Style Manual for research, analytic and expository essays.



3. Texts:

The Bedford Reader(9th ed)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Blink or The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell or The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

4. Grades

Grades are on a point system. The points are calculated at the 10 and 20 week grading periods. Your grade is determined by the points possible for all assignments during the grading period. 100-90% of points possible is an A; 89-80% is a B; 79-70% is a C. If you would like to receive an A, you must turn in all assignments. If you receive all A’s on your esssays, for example, but do not turn in other assignments, you receive 0’s, and will not have enough points for an A. Students should keep all returned work, and keep track of their own point total/grade average. Participation is factored in for the final grade. A rubric will be distributed explaining the differences between an “A” level paper and “B”, and so on.



5. Essays:

The minimum page requirement on any out of class essay is three full pages, with one inch margins on all sides, double spaced evenly throughout. If you do not meet these minimum requirements, you will not receive higher than a C/C-. The essay must have an original title, there must be a clear thesis, logical organization, specific examples, strong analysis, and a conclusion of some kind. A rubric will be distributed explaining in more detail the distinctions between A level and B level, etc. Essays are given the most weight in terms of grades; the essay should reflect your knowledge of the text and your ability to write well. The class discussions are a starting point for your essay; I expect that your essay will add original insights not discussed in class. Also, you must write on the topic assigned - see plagiarism policy below. Finally, the essay is written as a process; you will bring drafts to class for editing. You will be graded on your drafts (for completion) and on your editing (drafts are turned in along with final essays). To receive the full benefit of peer editing, your draft should be complete, not a few paragraphs. Essays must follow Modern Language Association Style Manual guidelines for citation of sources, formatting, pagination, works cited, margins, etc. All essays must be submitted to Turnitin.com; if the essay submitted is different (ie a different draft) you will receive a 0 on the assignment.



6. Group Presentation: Rhetoric

Every Monday or Tuesday students will be assigned a chapter to read from the Bedford Reader. There will always be a short reading quiz to check reading comprehension. In a short presentation of 15-20 minutes max., a group of 4-5 will creatively highlight important terms, concepts, ideas, etc. from the chapter in the Bedford under discussion for the week, ie for chapter four “Narration,” the group will explain the rhetorical and stylistic elements that help define this rhetorical mode. Either that day or the next class meeting, we will then discuss the assigned essay in a Socratic seminar, or several small group discussions, or a large class discussion of the questions following the essay, which might be turned in as classwork at the end of the period . Reading quizzes are worth up to 5 points; participation is also factored in on a daily basis in either large group or small group discussions or in the Socratic seminar). The group presentation is worth 50 points. A more detailed handout will explain the rubric for the group presentation.



7. Quizzes and tests

There will be in-class essay tests, practice AP tests, multiple choice tests, and reading quizzes throughout the semester. A reading quiz will contain passages from the text that you must put into context and then analyze, or may consist entirely of reading comprehension questions. In-class essay tests are modeled after AP tests, and either consist of a long passage that must be analyzed in the form of an essay, or an “open” question on the text that is answered in the form of an essay. The practice AP tests are graded, and help to give students a sense of how they might perform on the actual AP test.



8. Vocabulary Study

Vocabulary tests will be given, and are made up from AP English Lang. rhetorical/literary terms. Students are encouraged to keep running lists and make study cards since a large vocabularly invariably improves writing, as well as increases chances of a higher AP score.



9. Plagiarism policy

Any idea that you pass off as your own, that is not considered “common knowledge,” is considered plagiarism. See me if you have any question about what constitutes “common knowledge.” Plagiarism has increased in the past few years; I have caught several students plagiarizing ideas found on the internet. If you are caught, you will receive a Fail on the assignment, your counselor and parents notified, and put on contract. In addition, any assignment that receives more than 20% “plagiarism” (taking into account quotations, etc.) score from turnitin.com will receive a “0.”



10. Student Responsibilities

-Students are expected to attend all classes. Chronic absences/tardies will affect grade.

-Students may not be excused from class to work on other school projects, or to make up tests in other classes.

-Students must participate in class discussions, Socratic seminars, group discussions; students will be given a grade (points) for daily class participation.

-students may not be excused from class to go to the college center. A student has one opportunity to visit the college center for a presentation each semester. Do not ask if you can go to more than one presentation; if you go more than once, this will count as an unexcused absence and you will be unable to make up missed assigments.

-No late work. Your grade drops each day assignment is late. If class does not meet when you return, you must turn in work immediately. For example, if per. 2 assignment is due Thurs., and you are absent, you must turn in the day you return, even if per. 2 does not meet.

-No extra credit work given; you must complete all work assigned.

-Your score on the AP exam does not affect grade in class.

-A respectful, tolerant attitude is required at all times. Even if you disagree with someone else’s views, respond in an appropriate, respectful way.

-Negative behavior and a disrespectful attitude will adversely affect your grade in this class. The following disciplinary steps will be taken: 1. student-teacher conference 2. counseling 3. parent-teacher conference 4. permanent removal from class with a drop/fail grade.



11. Teacher Hours

I work part-time, and teach periods 1,2,3. This year I am in room 229 during these periods. If you need to ask a question, please email me at avenue59@sbcglobal.net. If you need extra help, I can meet with you during nutrition, lunch or period 4.



12. Independent Reading

Students must read independently throughout the year. You must put together an independent reading list of three texts (preferably non-fiction but can be fiction) that are challenging and of “literary merit” at the beginning of each semester. You will not get credit if the reading list is not turned in (they must be approved); also the books on the list must match the books you report on. You will read three texts a semester. Approximately every six weeks, you will creatively respond to the text; some days this may take the form of an oral discussion with a small group who will evaluate your “reading project.” A more detailed prompt with rubric will be distributed outlining the assignment along with a list of AP English Language “recommended authors.” The IRP is worth 25 points.
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