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AP Syllabus

Instructors:          Anthony Dean Webb

Phone:                   384-5300  ext. 71135

E-Mail:                 anthony.webb@boone.kyschools.us

Credit:                   1 for Grade: 11 English

Comment:            Fulfills the requirement for English III.  Students must sit for the AP English Language

                                and Composition exam.


This course engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts.  Furthermore, the course engages students in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes and audiences.  Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purpose, audience expectations, and subjects as well as how the generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.  Much of the class discussion will focus on the author’s technique, meaning, and expression of philosophical ideas.  Students should expect this course to be similar to an introductory college writing course that focuses on exposition, argument, and literary analysis.


Upon completing the AP Language and Composition course, 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 to 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 student’s own writings.
  • Read and analyze a minimum of 5 longer works (e.g., novels, plays) in addition to the required summer reading.
  • Write under time constraints.
  • Evaluate and incorporate reference documents into research papers.
  • Analyze the historical and cultural development of American literature with insight and clarity.
  • Analyze image as text.
  • Revise a work to make it suitable for a different audience.
  • Write thoughtfully about students’ own process of composition.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary source material.
  • Move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry  and research, drafting, revising, editing, and review.
  • Produce expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary source material, cogent explanations, and clear transitions.
  • Write for a variety of purposes.
  • Textbooks, Novels, and Plays:

The Language of Composition (Bedford St. Martin’s) Provided by Ryle High School

Sadler-Oxford Vocabulary –Level G @ the Ryle Bookstore for around $10.00

In addition, the following list of books/plays will need to be purchased or checked out of the library at the time of study:

The Scarlet Letter (Must be purchased and read by September 10)

The Crucible (This play is provided to you by Ryle)

The Great Gatsby (Must be purchased and read by Jan. 28)


Materials For The Class:

Blue or Black ink pens                              


Highlighters in various colors

Large three-ring binder with dividers

Notebook paper                                          

Post-it notes/tabs

A pocket dictionary or thesaurus


**If you are unable to purchase the materials and books required, please see me privately and we can make arrangements to provide these items.


Methods of Teaching This Course:

Direct Instruction/Note taking:

Periodically, it will be necessary for me or your classmates to give you background information about the work we are studying in order to promote your better understanding.  It is imperative that you take good notes.  This is NOT your average high school course.  Note taking is essential at the college level and this is a college level class.


Reading/Note Taking:

Notes and responses to literature are an important part of your preparation for roundtable discussion as well as the AP Exam.  This form of writing may include journal entries, informal notes you take while reading, notes taken during roundtable, note cards, double-entry journals, etc.   Be certain to avoid summary unless otherwise directed by the instructions.


Round Table Discussion:

The purpose of discussion is to analyze the literature beyond the levels of knowledge and comprehension (summary) and get to a deeper meaning.  This is a significant part of the course and it is required that everyone will come to class prepared to participate.


Composition and Writing:

Several types of writing occur in the English III AP classroom that are designed to prepare students for the AP Exam and to meet the Kentucky Portfolio standards, as well as for the success in college.


Analysis of Past AP Exams:

Perhaps one of our most valuable tools is access to past exams.  This will increase understanding of the grading rubric and help students understand the difference between average and superior writing.  Students will engage in practice assessments, review sample writings, and practice scoring classmates’ writing, in order to promote a greater understanding of the expectations.

Oral Presentations:

These include both formal and informal presentations, combined with group work and often research in order to enhance communication skills and learn from peers. 


Goals of the course:

  • To be accepted to the college of your choice.
  • To become stronger critical readers, thinkers, and writers.
  • To become better analytical readers, thinkers, and writers.
  • To become proficient with argumentation and persuasion.
  • To understand and appreciate literature and see its application to life.
  • To receive a qualifying score on the AP Exam with a 3, 4, or 5.



Quarter grades will be based on an average of written assignments, projects, compositions, tests, quizzes, in-class writings, homework, preparation, and participation in class.  An approximate break down of the weights of the various components might be something like this:


Assessments (Tests & Quizzes)                         30%

Writing / Projects                                               40%

Homework                                                          30%


Attached to this syllabus is a grading rubric that further explains the grading for compositions.


Class Policies and Procedures:

  • The classroom door will be shut at the precise scheduled time for passing to class.  ALL late entries are required to have a pass from an administrator or teacher; otherwise, a tardy will be assessed to the student’s name directly impacting the participation grade of this class.  I begin class promptly and full participation is expected of every student.
  • All work is due on the day assigned.  No late work will be accepted.
  • All assignments must be turned in with a minimally acceptable level, even if no credit is earned because of lateness, in order to receive a grade for the quarter.  A grade of “I” will be assigned until all work is submitted.  The grade of “I” turns to an “F” two weeks after the quarter ends.
  • Late work will only be accepted if there is an excused absence.  For example if an assignment is due and the student is absent unexcused, the work will not be accepted.  If a student is absent with an excused absence on the day an assignment is due, the student must email the assignment to the instructor on the day it was due to receive credit.
  • If there is a quiz in-class assignment, the student will only be permitted to make up the work if the absence is excused.  All in-class assignments missed with an excused absence must be made up in the time that was allotted other students present in class to complete the assignment.
  • If a student is absent when an assignment is given (and the assignment is due the next day), the student has two choices:  (a) call another student or email the instructor to have the assignment and be prepared the next day of class or (b) submit the assignment in the same number of days as absent to make up the work.  In essence, the student has the same number of days to make up work as days missed.  Only students with an “excused” absence will be permitted to make up work for credit.  All assignments must be turned in to receive a final grade for any quarter.
  • All make-up in class work (quizzes, tests, timed writings, etc.) must be made up before or after school.


Course Outline:

Each unit will include numerous readings, opportunities, for discussion and debate.  AP test practice (both multiple choice and timed writings), grammar and vocabulary study.


FIRST QUARTER – What is revolutionary about non-fiction writing?

Skill Focus for the AP EXAM:       Thesis and Topic Sentence Development, Sentence Structure. Tone, Diction, and Syntax Development

Major Papers:  Literary Analysis,   Tone, Diction, and Syntax Development -Personal Essay/Narrative

Project: Speech



SECOND QUARTER – Organization and Western Thought/American Literature.

Skill Focus for the AP Exam:  Organization, Organization and ORGANIZATION.  This will also include the study of various organizational patterns, phrases and phraseology, parallelism, and transitions.  Satire will examined through the American and British Literature.

Major Papers:  Literary Analysis of non-fiction works and a Persuasive Speech.

Project:  Powerpoint group presentation.



THIRD QUARTER – Argumentation and Change

Skill Focus:  Development and Support in Writing.

Major Papers:  Definition Essay, Comparison/Contrast Practice Essays

Project:  Debate



FOURTH QUARTER – Contemporary American Literature/Synthesis through Argument

Skill Focus:  Styles in Writing

Major Papers:  Literary Analysis, Argumentative, and Synthesis Practice Essays, On-Demand.

Project:  Drama Project


Practice citing sources with the synthesis essays.  Review Tone, Syntax, and Diction by using various essays.  Practice extending arguments.  Select a novel or play to be analyzed from the list at the bottom of this outline.

Review Argumentation skills in writing and speaking, Review for the ACT, and practice Grammar skills.

Read the play Our Town.

Present materials on independent reading of The Grapes of Wrath.


Online Resources Worth Checking Out:


Handbook of Rhetorical Devices (http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm)

Student Edge: http://www.studentedge.com/studentedge/default.aspx (Access Code: xmjswbbk)

AP English Language Vocabulary: http://quizlet.com/628418/hammbones-small-list-flash-cards/