AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.
The AP English Language and Composition course should emphasize this process, asking students to write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by teacher and peers. Although these extended, revised essays cannot be part of the AP Exam, the experience of writing them will help make students more self-aware and flexible writers and thus may help their performance on the exam itself.
As well as engaging in varied writing tasks, students become acquainted with a wide variety of prose styles from many disciplines and historical periods and gain an understanding of the connections between writing and interpretive skill in reading. Concurrently, to reflect the increasing importance of graphics and visual images in texts published in print and electronic media, students are asked to analyze how such images both relate to written texts and serve as alternative forms of texts themselves.
In addition, the informed use of research materials and the ability to synthesize varied sources (to evaluate, use, and cite sources) are integral parts of this course. Students move past assignments that allow for the uncritical citation of sources and, instead, take up projects that call on them to evaluate the legitimacy and purpose of sources used.
One way to help students synthesize and evaluate their sources is the researched argument paper. Researched argument papers remind students that they must sort through disparate interpretations to analyze, reflect upon, and write about a topic. When students are asked to bring the experience and opinions of others into their essays in this way, they enter into conversations with other writers and thinkers. The results of such conversations are essays that use citations for substance rather than show, for dialogue rather than diatribe.
AP English Language & Composition is a natural companion to AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research.
Requirements: High school students who have had some previous experience in writing college-level essays.
Required Summer Reading:
- Watterson, Bill, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes. Any edition will work.
- Davis, John Jefferson, Evangelical Ethics. Any edition will work.
- Renee H. Shea, et al., Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Second Edition, 2008, 2013. ISBN 978-0-312-67650-6. This is the Kindle edition, but you are welcome to purchase and to use a hardcover book edition too. I am using the pagination from the Kindle edition, but I will work with you if you have something else.
- Cracking the AP English Language and Composition Exam 2022, Premium Edition (College Test Preparation) Kindle Edition, by Princeton Review. Feel Free to find a newer edition or substitute version by another publisher. I mainly want to obtain more practice tests.
Prepare this summer by taking How to Write a Research Paper! Combine this with AP Capstone Seminar or Politics, Philosophy and Economics for a robust and rich honors program. Purchase a Bundle for savings!
All Advanced Placement tests taught through True North Homeschool Academy are NCAA Compliant. If you are seeking an NCAA scholarship and need assistance, please check out our NCAA Academic Advising.