Mrs. Holbrook

    Code:   E563 Full Year (11) (1 credit)

    (rank weight 1.06)

    Prerequisite:  Must have successfully completed English 10, ideally with high marks and excellent writing skills.  Other students are accepted only by departmental approval.


    By the end of the course, you 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 your 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 your own writing;
    •   write in a variety of genres and contexts, both formal and informal, employing appropriate conventions;
    •   produce expository and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate, specific evidence, cogent explanations, and clear transitions; and
    •   move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing, and review.

                  -adapted from Professional Development for AP English Language and Composition, 2005


    AP Language and Composition focuses on the skills of analyzing rhetoric and understanding the art of effective argument. Students learn to improve their own writing through careful analysis of a wide variety of nonfiction: essays, speeches, memoirs, sermons, visual rhetoric, political discourse….all kinds of persuasive language.


    Additionally, we read some full length works which may include, but are not limited to,


    The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass    Beloved

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn                        The Great Gatsby            





    Texts (may include, but not limited to):

               The Language of Composition (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

            The Art of Styling Sentences (Barrons)

    Assessments (may include, but not limited to):

    •  Rhetorical Analysis (fiction, non-fiction)                    
    •  Argument Analysis                                                
    •  Synthesis Essay
    •  Piece of the Week 1 (General) and 2 (Columnist Project)                                                
    •  Regents Exam Writing                                           
    •  Research Paper/Project                                            
    •  In-class Timed Essays
    •  Reading Comprehension Tests and Quizzes
    •  Sentence Patterns/Grammar
    •  NYS Common Core Regents Examination – January
    •  College Board AP English Language and Composition Examination – May


    First Semester Outline:


    • Basic Grammar Review
    • Rhetorical and Style Analysis (mostly non-fiction)
    • Multiple Choice Question Strategies
    • Strong Introductory Paragraphs
    • Writing Techniques - Sentence Structure and Style
    • Recognizing, Evaluating, and Practicing  “Concise and Precise” Writing
    • Literature as Argument: The Great Gatsby, Huck Finn
    • Précis Writing
    • Creative Non-fiction Writing                                                             
    • Usage
    • Vocabulary
    • Piece of the Week Project (POW) 1 - your choice of selections (first quarter)
    • POW 2 - Newspaper Columnist Project (second quarter)


    Second Semester Outline

    AP Language and Composition Preparation


    • Variations on the Argument Essay
    • Synthesis Essay
    • Rhetorical Analysis Review
    • Multiple Choice Question Strategies
    • Exam Practice with Time Restriction
    • College-Level Literature--Language Analysis (Beloved)
    • Grammar and Usage
    • Vocabulary
    • Research Paper/Project (third/fourth quarters)

    AP Examination:

    • 3-1/4 hours
    • Multiple-choice = 45% of score, 60 minutes for this part
    • Three essays: rhetorical analysis, argument, synthesis = 55% of score, 135 minutes for this part

    Course Expectations:

    First and foremost, and more important than any exam or paper or grade, we will create an environment of respect for all human beings in our classroom. Listen, think, and learn from each other.


    Contribute to class discussion on a regular basis - offer an interpretation, answer a question, ask a clarifying question, state an opinion that relates to the topic at hand.  Each of your voices matters and must be heard.

    Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses.  Assignments will receive zeros.  Your integrity and reputation, your status in class,, and your acceptance at favored colleges/universities will be jeopardized. I will not write a college recommendation for you if you participate in academic dishonesty in any way.


    You will have frequent homework, but adequate notice. Refer to the paper class calendar, the Google calendar, and check my website:  http://www.wappingersschools.org/johnjay/site.      

    All assignments are due at the starting time of YOUR AP CLASS. I may not manually set Google Classroom to individual starting times, because I have already told you that your work is due when your class starts.

    Take notes, always, on paper of your choice.  Be organized!  Use loose-leaf for classwork that is collected.  Work done at home should be typed (double-spaced).   Assignments that run two or more pages should be STAPLED BEFORE coming to class, or even better, choose the option on your printer that allows you to print on both sides of a page.

    Manage your time wisely. All assignments are to be handed in during class or by 2 p.m. on the date due if you are in the building for any part of that day.  No late work, generally. Procrastination is not an excuse. See me if any problems arise.  We can work out most problems if we address them early enough. I will speak about this matter further in class.

    Grades are based on the average of the total number of accumulated points per quarter.  The New York State English Regents Exam, which you will take in January, is your final exam grade.

    As practice makes a better musician, a better runner, a better driver, or a better actor, so too does practice make a better writer.  Welcome!


    This course, equivalent to a first year college course, is designed for the exceptional student writer who wishes to accept the challenge of a college-level writing course.  Students enrolling in this course will take the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Exam in May.