AP English Language and Composition Instructor – Vickie Schrage [email protected]
573-842-2400; ext. 3150; 5th Hour Conference
1” binder with divider tabs / College-ruled loose-leaf notebook paper Pencil and a blue or black pen / Colored pen for editing / Highlighter / Flash drive
Textbooks: The Language of Composition (Shea, Scalon, and Aufses) 2nd edition Rhetorical Devices: A Handbook and Activities for Student Writers (Moliken, ed) The Elements of Style (Strunk and White) 4th edition MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 8th edition
Course Description As stated by the College Board, this course is designed to engage “students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming 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 genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.” More precisely, students need to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. Students will study the rhetorical elements that all writers must address in order to write effectively. They will use these elements to analyze a variety of nonfiction texts. Students will discover their own process of composing expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. Although some emphasis will be placed on grammatical conventions, the course expects students to demonstrate understanding and mastery of the standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their writing. This college preparatory class is an advanced reading and writing class designed to prepare students for state assessments, ACT exams, and the AP exam in English Language and Composition. The course objectives will also fulfill curriculum standards set by WHS and the course-level expectations of the state. Students are highly encouraged to take the AP Language test in May that could earn them three hours of college credit. Summer reading will be required.
AP Preparation Because this is an accelerated course that culminates with the Advanced Placement exam in English Language and Composition, students will be learning and applying new AP literary terminology when composing their own essays and analyzing nonfiction texts. Literary analysis will also require textual support to illustrate the effectiveness of style and technique. Students will continue to take AP practice tests that include multiple-choice questions and timed writings. The AP language exam will include one essay question that will require synthesis skill; therefore, students will practice these skills by reading a number of related sources and responding to a prompt that requires them to cite a certain number of the sources in support of an argument or analysis. Some questions in the multiple-choice section will also refer to documentation and citation of sources.
Writing Disclosure All formal writings will require an overall revision. This means that we will be learning about and partaking in the revision process of writing. This is a vital piece to any good writing and will help to sharpen your skills as a writer, reviewer, and reviser. I will be guiding you in this process, so you are not alone—you have your classmates and me to help you because considering your audience is very important to the writing process. The feedback you will be receiving from the instructor will occur both before and after you have revised your work. Feedback, when applied, during the writing process will help your writing to improve throughout the course of the assignment and throughout the year. The revision process is an integral component of this course, so with each writing that we do throughout the course there will be chances for revision and rewriting. Our smaller writings at the beginning of the year will be a great place to begin learning our revision process, the vocabulary associated with AP Language and the writing process, and how to understand and incorporate feedback. By the time we arrive at our researched argument paper, you will have a thorough understanding of how the revision process will be beneficial to your writing growth. To help you as writers to develop a stronger aptitude in sentence structure variety, grammatical conventions, parts of a sentence, clauses and phrases, diction, logical organization, rhetoric, details and generalizations, and wide-ranging vocabulary, the revision process of all formal writings will focus on all of these listed items.
Be prepared. Be positive, supportive, and respectful. Be mindful of your time and work wisely. Be sure to ask questions and take charge of your learning. Be sure to leave all food, drink, and bad attitudes outside the classroom. Be sure to leave your phone put away on silent.
Academic Dishonesty This can occur numerous ways and will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is using someone else’s is the copying of words/ideas without crediting the source. Students involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined and graded according to the guidelines and policy set forth by Waynesville High School, guidelines and policy are located in the student planner.
Grading Scale: A B C
100 – 90 89 – 80 79 – 70
69 – 60 59 – 0
Category Weights: Skill Building Major Assessments (papers, projects, quizzes, tests, etc.)
Extra credit (if offered) will be a part of a curricular unit and at the discretion of the teacher. All extra credit must show evidence of additional learning or mastery.
WHS Attendance Policy Attendance is vital for this course, especially on paper and project due dates and test days. The WHS Student Handbook states, “A student shall be allowed no more than five absences per semester…on the sixth absence in any class, credit will be denied pending conclusion of the appeals process….The student will be allowed to remain in the class to establish continuity for the next semester, providing the student does not become disruptive.”
Late Work All major papers and projects are due on the assigned day, as this is an AP course this differs slightly from the WHS policy. Due to the length of time that will be given for major papers and projects, there should be no excuses or “printing problems” that occur on due day. If you cannot be at school that day due to an illness or school function, please make sure that someone else delivers your work to me. If this is not done, late penalties will apply, and in some cases, the assignment may not be accepted at all. Procrastination only leads to ruin. However, if a life emergency or a tragedy, and you let me know about it, accommodations will be made. Late Penalties: Late assignments (not major papers or projects) must be turned in during the sixweek grading period that they are assigned. Once a new six-week grading period has begun, the late assignments from the previous six-week grading period may no longer be accepted. Deadlines for submission of late work for the last six week grading period will be five school days before the end of each semester.
Make-up Work It will be your responsibility to come see me before or after school or during Tiger Time to see what you missed in class. If you know about an absence ahead of time (e.g., school trip, games, appointment, etc.), please let me know ahead of time as well and we will get you all squared away. Any assignments due on the day of any school activity or known absence will need to be turned in before you leave, or delivered on the due date. If this is not done correctly, late penalties will apply. If you have an unplanned absence, any work will be due the day you return. Be sure to email me for your assignments and to schedule any time that may be needed to catch you up on concepts.
Hopes I truly hope this course will expand your thinking about the texts we read and the world around you. That being said, you will need to learn how to learn to help improve your study stills, vocabulary, and background knowledge of literary time periods, historical periods, and philosophical movements. But do not worry—I am here to help you along the way and to show you how to discover things on your own. Another thing I truly hope this course will do for you is to open you up to new people and new ideas. This course involves much discussion, and no matter how awkward we feel sharing, rest assured that everyone goes through this. We are on this journey together, so we will be accepting of all insights, research, and questions of everyone. We may not always sound “smart” and we will make mistakes, but keep in mind that we must learn to walk before we can dance. Lastly I truly hope to keep our lines of communication open. Feel free to email me anytime. I am here for YOU! I wish for nothing other than your success, especially in my AP course. Be it a homework question, a paper to review, or to tell me you are home sick on a test day, no event or question is too small. Please do not be afraid to talk to me during the school day or to email me. This will help both of us to better meet your needs.
AP English Language and Composition Course Overview
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
Writing Grammatical Conventions and Terminology to aid in Revision
Parts of a Sentence / Phrases and Clauses Subject-Verb Agreement / Sentence Structures Editing Exercises with Grammar Quizzes AP Vocabulary / Content Specific (Writing Process) Vocabulary
Rhetoric and Close Reading The Language of Composition Chapter 1 – “An Introduction to Rhetoric” Visual Rhetoric Project – Students will be selecting advertisements from magazines that help to demonstrate how these visual images serve as alternate forms of rhetorical texts and structures. This assignment will also be helping to enhance the students’ understanding of the AP Language and content specific vocabulary. This project will also serve as your first semester final. Chapter 2 – “Close Reading: The Art and Craft of Analysis” SOAPSTone: A Strategy for Reading and Writing Dialectical Journals: Responding to Reading Chapter 3 – “Synthesizing Sources” Theory Articles “What Happens When People Write?” by Maxine Hairston “Writing for an Audience” by Linda Flower “Five Principles for Getting Good Ideas” by Jack Rawlins “How to Say Nothing in 500 Words” by Paul Roberts Note: Theory articles are subject to change/add.
Writing about Close Reading In this analytical essay, students will compose a numerous drafts on a close read of an assigned fiction selection from the list below. This essay must carefully analyze the author’s writing style, attention to audience, and diction. This close reading skill will be viable for both AP Language and your post-secondary pursuits. Many non-fiction close reads will be assigned.
“Making Connections” To personal experiences: Bissinger essay (narrative elements) In this expository essay, students will compose multiple drafts and complete the revision process as it applies to each stage of the writing process. To write this, students will use excerpts from Friday Night Lights as inspiration and guide for their original essay. By taking a nonfiction piece of text, it will help students in their own development by looking at options they have for writing style and narrative elements.
To popular culture / our society: Huxley essay (theme analysis) Laclede Electric Essay: LEC historical essay
Researched Argument (2nd Semester) In this argumentative writing, students will be researching a topic of their choice from the given list in our textbook. Students must be able to support their own argument, as well as show the argument of their opposition. The students will gain the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources. Much research (databases, books, etc.) and revision will be a requirement of this paper. This paper will not just be reporting, but a way to demonstrate that you have learned how to synthesize assorted sources and ideas.
*MLA Lessons will be essential to this stage of the writing process. Additional AP Language Essays To be completed before the Argumentative Research Essay
Writing Argumentatively / Persuasively- short practice essay Synthesizing Sources – short practice essay
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle Note: Enrichment articles will be included with each of the different novels.
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me Elie Wiesel’s Dawn H.G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights John Hersey’s Hiroshima HH Dali Lama and Cutler’s The Art of Happiness Note: Enrichment articles will be included with each of the different novels.
Further These titles are all of the possible choices that may be read in addition to those selected.
Timothy Eagen’s The Worst Hard Times Robert Lee and Jerome Lawrence’s The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail AP Practice Tests In order to be as prepared as possible for the AP English Language and Composition Exam in May, we will attempt to take as many AP Practice Exams as possible during second semester.