English 12 Syllabus

  • English 11:  AP Language and Composition


    Course description as stated by The College Board: 


    An AP course in English Language and Composition engages 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. 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 overarching purpose in most first-year college writing course [on which AP Language is based] is to enable students to write effectively and confidently in their college courses across the curriculum and in their professional and personal lives. Therefore, most composition courses emphasize the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing that forms the basis of academic and professional communication as well as the personal and reflective writing that fosters the development of writing facility in any context. The AP Language and Composition course follows this emphasis. As in the college course, its purpose is to enable students to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers.


    The focus in AP 11 is on locating and articulating rhetorical purposes and stylistic choices in written and other media.  To that end, we will examine speeches, essays, sermons, and letters, as well as American fiction and visual and non-print sources.


    Course Objectives    Students will be able to:

    ·         Utilize the classroom community as a shared learning environment

    ·         Foster respect and appreciation for literature and its rhetorical effectiveness

    ·         Recognize and demonstrate proficiency in standard written English

    ·         Recognize stylistic maturity in good writing

    ·         Develop stylistic maturity in their own writing

    ·         Identify and analyze rhetorical strategies and stylistic devices in a variety of writing samples

    ·         Write informally to improve fluency

    ·         Write in multiple genres for a variety of audiences and purposes

    ·         Write mechanically sound papers is all genres

    ·         Recognize schemes and tropes and their effects on a variety of pieces of writing

    ·         Purposefully use schemes and tropes in their own writing

    ·         Write both expository and argumentative papers that posit a clearly articulated position or idea and are well-developed, well-explained, and well-supported

    ·         Formulate and articulate arguments incorporating readings, personal experience, current events, history, and/or research

    ·         Understand and use both grammar and syntax stylistically and rhetorically

    ·         Research effectively: Analyze and synthesize information from a variety of sources, evaluate the legitimacy and relevance of both primary and secondary sources, support generalizations and observations with specific detail or quotation, correctly cite sources according to MLA style

    ·         Use and show evidence of all stages of the writing process in their work 

    ·         Acquire both new vocabulary specifically and strategies for acquiring vocabulary in general

    ·         Use strategies for answering questions and addressing prompts like those on the AP exam


    Over-arching Questions

    These questions will be the centerpiece around which we will arrange all materials.  That is, we will try to make connections among all reading and writing assignments regarding how they relate to these central ideas:


    • What influences do larger social, economic, political, and cultural forces have on individuals?
    • How do individuals navigate through these forces?
    • What do speakers’ and writers’ styles reveal about individuals and their relationships to society?


    Course Outline and Assignments (Projected):


    Standard Assignments:

    • Daily: Relevant Bell work or journals
    • Weekly: Imitation exercises; SAT and student selected vocabulary (Fridays); teacher/student generated vocabulary quizzes
    • Monthly: Book review of American novel selected from the supplied list, due the second Monday of each month (September through December).


    Weeks 1-3:  Course expectations;  levels of questioning; language registers; familiarization with AP terminology; AP rubric and its connection to Bloom’s Taxonomy;  rhetorical grammar; review writing process; enthymemes; Strunk and White Elements of Style.



    • Practice questioning levels 1, 2, and 3 using Dana Gioia’s “Planting a Sequoia” and using consultative register to discuss and revise with partners.
    • Submit first writing sample: statement and explanation of rhetorical purpose for summer reading selections, either Grapes of Wrath or Scarlet Letter.
    • Tests and essays over summer reading.
    • Rhetorical grammar exercises from Corbett’s Classical Rhetoric.
    • Strunk and White quiz.
    • Locate and articulate enthymemes in student-selected articles and editorials.
    • Write a reflection paper for summer reading choices, taking that paper through all stages of the writing process





    Weeks 4-6:  Selections from Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson; New Yorker articles; style analysis as it pertains to rhetorical purpose: (diction, syntax, symbol, tone, image, theme, figurative language, author’s intent); using and integrating quotations from text according to MLA



    • Practice locating powerful, purposeful diction in Whitman and Dickinson
    • Review simple, compound, complex, compound/complex/ declarative interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative sentences.
    • Analyze Emerson and Thoreau for syntax implications.
    • Sample rhetorical analysis: how do these elements create the rhetorical effect the author was trying to achieve?
    • Practice integrating quotations according to MLA



    Weeks 7-9: Sentence types; subordination and coordination; history of rhetoric (Everyday Use); elements of a rhetorical analysis (purpose, ethos, logos, pathos); inference drawing strategies; practice rhetorical analysis (esp. Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Billy Collins introduction to Poetry, Didion); student/teacher conference protocol; rhetoric in fiction



    • Practice subordination and coordination in samples of students’ own writing
    • Analyze passages for rhetorical effects of ethos, logos, and pathos in Douglass passages
    • Practice using level two questions to form inferences
    • Practice rhetorical analysis
    • Prepare for student/teacher conferences
    • Analyze a selected poem for rhetorical effects


    Weeks 10-12: Schemes and tropes; logical fallacies; review enthymemes; argumentation; argument-on-argument; Crucible; William Safire On Language; selections from 100 Great Essays




    • Practice writing and locating schemes and tropes
    • Practice locating logical fallacies
    • Practice writing argument-on-argument using Safire and other selected essays





    Weeks 13-15:  Critical thinking: rhetoric in all media; political cartoons; art as argument; analyzing web sites; synthesis essay: one topic, multiple perspectives; begin documented research argument; MLA format/documentation



    • Practice rhetorical analysis for two of the following: political cartoons, political visual art, web site
    • Practice synthesis essay
    • Develop topic for augmented research papers


    Weeks 16-18:  Continue documented research; AP and SAT test practice; course evaluation; self evaluation; final exam



    • AP and SAT practice exams
    • Self-evaluation
    • Documented research peer revision and editing groups
    • Final draft documented research