Advanced Placement English Language and Composition is an advanced placement course that high school students can take in place of the Freshman Composition courses offered at most colleges. The course focuses on rhetoric and argument, most clearly evinced in nonfiction.
Here are the required books for the AP English Language course for 2012-2013:
• Turchi, Peter. Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2007, ISBN-13: 9781595340412 …for summer reading (listed is the paperback copy – feel free to get the hardback)
• Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument: with Readings. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010, Fifth Edition, ISBN-10: 0312538618 (make sure that you get the Fifth Edition with Readings)
• Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011, Third Edition, ISBN-10: 0312609655 (you must get the Third Edition)
This is the summer assignment for 2012-2013: AP English Language Summer Assignment 2012-2013
For most assignments, students will download their papers to turnitin.com – they may have to set up an account using an email they check often. Here are the class identification numbers and passwords for the two AP English Language classes:
AP English Language Period 1: 5412562 and APperiod1
AP English Language Period 5: 5412589 and APperiod5
For revisions of these papers, give Mr. Thornton a hard copy, after you have looked at the turnitin.com site for his edits.
Here is the proposed yearly syllabus for 2012-13: AP English Language Syllabus 2012-13
SPRING SEMESTER, 2012-13
Here is the revised syllabus for the second semester: AP English Language Syllabus Spring 2012-13
The exam date for AP English Language and Composition is May 10, 7:30-12:00. They should meet outside the library (hallway by Mr. Loera’s office) by 7:30 am. Students will walk with the exam proctor and a DSA staff member to Johnson and Wales. Students cannot be late for testing. Students should not bring any electronic devices to the testing room. All students enrolled in an AP class must take the AP exam.
Week of May 27, 2013:
Students do not need to check in on Thursday, when the final for the class was scheduled, since they took the final when seniors were still in school. Tuesday is the last required day for this class.
Week of May 13, 2013:
Students are expected to check in at the start of the remaining classes. There will be readings and movies offered. The final takes place during class on Monday, May 20.
Week of May 6, 2013:
Here is “The Tragedy of the Commons” by Garrett Hardin, which students are reading in class: Hardin”s Tragedy of the Commons
Week of April 29, 2013:
Students should bring both books to class on Monday, May 6.
Students were supposed to submit a draft of their research paper this week, with an edit by another student. The final paper is due May 13 – the draft should be attached to the final: Native Son or Intruder Edit
Students took a literary terms test in class on Thursday. They also wrote an essay in response to the following prompt: Women’s Brains Prompt
Due to a Marine Biology field trip, students will edit their drafts of novel research papers on Wednesday, rather than on Monday. Students read this dinosaur essay by Gould in 50 Essays and took a quiz on it: Sex, Drugs, Disasters, and the Extinction of the Dinosaurs
Students also began reading this essay by Gould: Women’s Brains
Week of April 22, 2013:
Students should have a draft of their research paper in class on Monday, April 29.
Students will take another quiz next week that focuses on literary terms.
Students read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay ” Letter from Birmingham Jail” in class. Here is his letter and the letter he was responding to: Statement And Response of King in Birmingham
Week of April 15, 2013:
The draft for the research paper is now due on Monday, April 29, rather than Thursday, April 25. This may delay some of the other deadlines for parts of this paper.
Students read Hurston’s “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” in 50 Essays.
Students finished Barack Obama’s speech on race: Obama Race Speech 2008 Here is the prompt that is due on Thursday, April 25, as a followup to the unit on race: Race and Class Prompt 2013 Submit this to turnitin.com.
Students in Period 5 wrote the following essay in class on Thursday, April 18; students in Period 1 will write this essay in class on Monday, April 22: Robot Essay
Week of April 8, 2013:
An overview, prompt, and samples of research on the independent novel are due this week, April 11. An outline for the paper is due next week, April 18.
This is an exercise students did in class; those who were absent should do this at home and turn it into the instructor: Wordiness Exercise
In a unit on race, which pertains to the novels that students are reading, the second piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates focuses on Bill Cosby: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/05/-this-is-how-we-lost-to-the-white-man/306774/
Students will take a quiz on literary terms on Wednesday, April 10. They wrote an essay in class on Monday – they were urged to outline their thinking beforehand, and were given about 50 minutes to complete this: AP Open Question on Lewis and Friendship
For Monday, April 15, follow these instructions for a stylistic revision of your Citizen Responsibilities essay: Citizen Responsibilities Style Revision 2013
Week of April 1, 2013:
Students edited each others papers on citizenship before submitting them – if you were not in class, have someone edit your paper, to receive full credit: Citizenship Peer Review
Here is the Shelby Steele article, “On Being Black and Middle Class,” which students started reading in class: Shelby Steele’s “On Being Black and Middle Class” They should finish this on their own by Monday.
Students read “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan in 50 Essays and took a quiz on it. They will be discussing their novels in class on Wednesday.
Students will take a literary terms review test next week. This will also cover some elements of style. Students may want to look over this website, as well as their literary terms packet, before the test: http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm
Week of March 18, 2013:
Here is a synthesis argument essay that is due Thursday, April 4, after Spring Break – bring a hard copy of this to class: Citizen Responsibilities Essay
Students read “The Myth of the Latin Woman” by Judith Ortiz Cofer and “Shooting Dad” by Sarah Vowell in 50 Essays. They also took a test on vocabulary.
Five brainstorming ideas for paper topics are due on Thursday. Here is the assignment and schedule for the novel research paper: Native Son or Intruder Assignment 2013
The attached articles and websites should be examined in your research on Native Son:
“How Bigger Was Born” by Richard Wright
Irving Howe on Wright, Ellison, and Baldwin
Naturalism In American Literature
Sartre On Existentialism
Wright’s Use of the Leopold and Loeb Trial
Segregation in 1930s’ Chicago: http://hooliganyouthreviews.blogspot.com/2009/05/color-line-has-reached-north.html
Baldwin and Wright in Paris: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2009/02/09/090209crbo_books_pierpont?currentPage=1
The attached articles and websites should be examined in your research on Intruder in the Dust:
Avoiding Adjudication By Sassoubre
Debts Of History By Dussere
Man In The Middle By Polk
Negative and Positive Liberty By Dimitri
Signifying, Ordering, and Containing Chaos By Sugimori
Liberating Lawyers by Atkinson
Stream Of Consciousness By William James
The Mind of the South by W.J. Cash: http://www.wjcash.org/WJCash1/WJCash/WJCash/THE.MIND.OFTHE.SOUTH.html
Week of March 11, 2013:
For next Thursday, March 21, students should write ten paragraphs, modeled after the Ford essay in Harper’s, in which they attempt to tie together disparate descriptions through the use of similar themes, images, phrases, and concrete language. They are invited to focus on the afterlife, or some other deep subject: Just Like Heaven by Paul Ford 2012 Submit this to turnitin.com.
The vocabulary post test will take place on Monday, March 18.
Week of March 4, 2013:
Any late or revised work is due March 11, before the finish of the third quarter, which counts for 45% of the semester grade.
Students will take a vocabulary post test on the SAT words. This could happen during the week before Spring Break.
Students will watch Big Fish this week, and write a movie review due next Monday: Movie Review Big Fish
Students should get a copy of Native Son by Richard Wright or Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner and start reading. These two books are the choices for a research paper this semester. The instructor has copies that he can loan to students.
Week of February 25, 2013:
Bring Everything’s an Argument to class on Thursday, as well as 50 Essays.
Students read “The Ways We Lie” by Ericsson in 50 Essays. For next Monday, March 4, they will have to write an essay that mimics this format – they should write about anything that can be categorized in at least six ways, something that presents an ethical or moral dilemma, and they should try to include appropriate quotes to introduce each of the six subcategories. Students should include situations that range from personal anecdotes to public affairs. Submit this to turnitin.com. Here is a page from bibliomania that allows you to search for famous quotes: http://www.bibliomania.com/2/3/frameset.html
For the stories that vocabulary groups wrote this week, the groups can revise them with these guidelines in mind:
• Periodic sentence
• Elliptical sentence
• Use action verbs
• Eliminate all cases of passive voice
This is due Thursday, February 28.
Week of February 20, 2013:
For Monday, February 25, revise the American Idealism essay according to Orwell’s suggestions – submit the graded original, plus the revision, with the changes clearly indicated: American Idealism Revision
Week of February 11, 2013:
For Wednesday, February 20, students must write an essay in response to prompt #2 on page 534 in Everything’s an Argument: Pick an argumentative topic and write an essay “making nothing but fallacious arguments in each sentence.” Try to make an argument that sounds viable, even though you are using a slew of fallacies. Include ten of the fifteen fallacies discussed in the “Fallacies of Argument” chapter, chapter 17 in the fifth edition. These are the fallacies mentioned: scare tactics, either-or choices, slippery slope, sentimental and bandwagon appeals, false authority, dogmatism, ad hominem, hasty generalization, faulty causality, begging the question, equivocation, non sequitur, straw man, and faulty analogy. Submit this to turnitin.com.
For Wednesday of next week, students should read Sanders essay, “The Men We Carry in Our Minds” in 50 Essays: The Men We Carry in Our Minds
Read pages 515-535 in Everything’s an Argument, the chapter on “Logical Fallacies,” by Thursday.
Finish reading “Serving in Florida” by Barbara Ehrenreich in 50 Essays: Barbara Ehrenreich Serving in Florida Excerpt from Nickel and Dimed There will be a quiz on this essay on Thursday. Bring this book and Everything’s an Argument to class on Thursday. Present your American song on Thursday.
Week of February 4, 2013:
Finish reading “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner by Monday.
Students have an essay to write on American Idealism, due next Monday: American Idealism Assignment Turn in a hard copy of this.
For Wednesday, February 6, students should read the following essay by George Orwell, and be prepared to discuss it in class: Politics & English Language by Orwell
Since students are currently looking at America in terms of its idealism, it seems like a good time to discuss how America is identified through song lyrics. For the next few weeks, students should bring in a recording that speaks about how America is viewed, or what the American experience is all about. They should be able to project the lyrics to the song, along with playing a recording of it – they can email the lyrics to the instructor if necessary. They must also write a short essay delineating the American values that this song encompasses, and analyze the rhetorical devices and strategies. This essay should be turned in at the time of the presentation.
Week of January 28, 2013:
Bring Everything’s an Argument and 50 Essays to class on Monday.
Also, for Monday, February 4, revise your vocabulary stories according to the following formula – include the original story and the revision, with the names of the students who worked on the original. Each student must turn in a revision – this is not a group project like the original story was.
• Two parallel structures – not just the repetition of a word or phrase
• One inverted sentence
• Two long, complex or compound sentences, in close proximity to a simple sentence.
• Eliminate “to be” verbs, as many as possible, including expletives – “it is” and “there are” – at the start of sentences.
For next Monday, students have a short essay to write on education, using narrative techniques – submit this to turnitin.com: Education Narrative An alternate option to this narrative is an essay that responds to “I Just Wanna Be Average” by Mike Rose: Rose I Just Wanna Be Average
Students took a quiz Thursday on the Mike Rose essay – ask the instructor for this if you missed class.
For Wednesday, January 30, read the Mike Rose essay in 50 Essays. Bring this book and your vocabulary packet to class that day.
For Wednesday or Thursday, students should revise their education synthesis argument essays, for the revision points as well as a better grade on the essay – attach the revision to the original and the edit.
Week of January 23, 2013:
Also for Monday, read the following editorial and write notes regarding its rhetorical strategies: January 23 Washington Post
For Monday, read this essay by David Sedaris, for a narrative format in an essay on education: Me Talk Pretty One Day by Sedaris
Here’s another essay on education, penned by Pat Dubrava: Dubrava on Montaigne Does it follow the classic essay format that it outlines? Thursday’s classes read about half of this essay. Students should make sure that they read this on their own.
Students have begun an in-class unit on vocabulary. Here is a website that may be of use: http://www.flashcardexchange.com/tag/sat
Week of January 14, 2013:
For Wednesday, January 23, read Chapter 26 (p. 901-970) in Everything’s An Argument.
We will discuss these essays in class, along with the questions posted in the following prompt for an essay due in class on Thursday, January 24: Education Essay 2012 The following edit will be used to assess these papers on Thursday: Education Essay Edit 2012
In conjunction with the unit on vocabulary, become familiar with the following sentence types and syntactical structures: Effects Created By Syntax 2012
For next Wednesday, January 23, students should closely read and analyze the rhetorical strategies in the following editorial – bring notes to class: Editorial Times January 14
Bring 50 Essays to class on Wednesday and Thursday; also bring Everything’s an Argument on Thursday.
For Thursday, January 17, students should write an essay following the guidelines set by the This I Believe organization, as outlined in the posted college curriculum – be personal, positive, tell a story, and keep it under 500 words. (The manifesto that you wrote was intended as a substitute for the credo mentioned in the curriculum. You can change your topic from what you focused on in the manifesto.) Submit this to turnitin.com.
Week of January 8, 2013:
For Monday, January 14, students have a series of short assignments to do – these should be turned in at the start of class.
- Look over this college curriculum from the “This I Believe” website: This I Believe College Curriculum
- Find three essays to read, and summarize the main belief of each of these in a paragraph – that’s three paragraphs. Here is a link to the website: http://thisibelieve.org/
- You have already written a manifesto – that will substitute for the credo listed in the curriculum.
- Consider who your audience will be – beyond the teacher – for the essay that you will write. Check the curriculum for ideas regarding this. One or two paragraphs on this.
- Students will be writing a personal essay using this format later next week.
Read the following editorial, and make some notes regarding its rhetorical strategies; be prepared to discuss this in class: Editorial Times January 8
Students read the Thoreau essay in class. Reread this and summarize the main point of each paragraph in a sentence – the essential sentence from Thoreau, or a sentence of your own crafting. Eight paragraphs = eight sentences: Thoreau What I Lived For
Bring 50 Essays to class on Thursday; we will be reading the Thoreau essay.
For Thursday, January 10, students must write a manifesto that strongly defends a belief system of theirs. This must include an overview or introduction that describes the personal reasons for stating these beliefs, followed by at least ten statements defining the tenets of their manifesto. Bring a hard copy of this manifesto to class.
Following are several links to websites that detail a variety of manifestos… the first is the real text from the Futurists; the second is an animated version of the same.
Here is another version of the Futurist Manifesto, one that offers some details in a more rigid format: FuturistManifesto2010
FALL SEMESTER, 2012-13
Week of December 17, 2012:
Students Who Miss Their Finals:
Mr. Thornton will not be in school Wednesday afternoon, or Thursday, due to family business. If a student misses his final, he must email Mr. Thornton to arrange an appointment – simply coming in Thursday morning will not suffice.
Last Chance for Students with Bad Grades:
Students with Ds and Fs can still submit work to the instructor to receive a passing grade for the semester. This must be turned in before their final on Tuesday or Wednesday, December 18 or 19. Submit papers to turnitin.com, or give a hard copy to Mr. Thornton.
Week of December 10, 2012:
Students read Nancy Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple” in 50 Essays. If you were not in class, please read this by Monday, December 17.
Here is a link to the Orwell piece on language: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm
Week of December 3, 2012:
Students should bring Everything’s an Argument to class on Monday, December 10.
If students missed class on December 3, they can still get credit for the edit if they have someone else do it and turn it in with their paper: Independent Novel Edit 2012
Week of November 26, 2012:
Students read Ascher’s “On Compassion” in 50 Essays. There will be a quiz on this on Thursday. Students also read “Why Don’t We Complain” by William F. Buckley, Jr. There will be a quiz on this on Monday of next week, December 3.
Students should have a draft of their research paper in class on Monday, in order to do an edit on it.
Week of November 19, 2012:
Students should continue reading their novels over Thanksgiving.
This assignment on intellectual property is due Wednesday, November 28: Ownership Synthesis Argument Essay Submit this to turnitin.com. The articles quoted in this assignment follow: What’s Yours by Ralph Caplan and Victims From Birth by Wendy McElroy and The Internet Debacle by Janis Ian and Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem
Week of November 13, 2012:
Students will start the following essay in class on Thursday, and will be expected to read it in full over the weekend: Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem
By Thursday, November 15, students are expected to have read half of their novel, and should submit at least one page from each of three research articles that they think might be useful for their paper. They are also expected to have looked over Chapters 18-20 from Everything’s an Argument, covering “Intellectual Property,” “Evaluating Sources,” and “Documenting Sources.” Bring this book to class as we will look at highlights of these chapters.
Students finished the Didion piece “On Morality” from 50 Essays in class and took a short quiz on it. Those who were not in class need to make this up.
Week of November 5, 2012:
For Tuesday, November 13, students should bring Everything’s An Argument and 50 Essays.
Here is a list of websites for research for your independent novel paper: AP Research Websites
Students should read the following article on journalism as their primary source for an essay due next Monday: Rodriquez on Newspapers from Harpers Magazine Here is the essay prompt – submit your brainstorming ideas, outline, and the essay in class: Rodriquez News Prompt
Students read the following article in class: Easy Chair: Bright Frenetic Mills by Thomas Frank
Week of October 29, 2012:
On Monday, students should be prepared to list five possible prompts or topics that they are considering for their novel paper – they will submit this list in class.
Students should bring Everything’s an Argument to class on Thursday, November 1. In class, students looked at the highlights of Chapter 13, “Style in Arguments.” They should read this in more detail on their own.
Week of October 22, 2012:
Students will take a multiple choice test on both the Pollan and Carson essays that they read with Ms. Dubrava. Bring 50 Essays to class on Monday, October 29, and read those essays if you haven’t.
The following worksheet on logical fallacies is due Wednesday, October 31, in class; use the lists of fallacies posted below to complete this sheet: Logic Problems Worksheet
Here is a list of logical fallacies, followed by a link to a website that presents those fallacies in a graphic form: Logical Fallacies and Rhetological Fallacies: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/
Students should bring Everything’s An Argument to class on Wednesday, October 24. All students should read chapter 1 – this was highlighted in class.
Students should fill out the following survey if they were not in class; give it to Mr. Thornton next time: Writing Survey Rubric 2012
Descriptions of Induction and Deduction follow: Induction and Deduction Explanations
Week of October 15, 2012:
Students will be reading Pollan’s essay “What’s Eating America” and Carson’s “The Obligation to Endure” in 50 Essays. In addition, they have an essay prompt on friendship at the bottom of the attached test that they took in class: Cause and Effect Friendship Essay 2012
Week of October 8, 2012:
Here is the long term assignment and schedule for the independent novel: Independent Novel Assignment and Schedule 2012
The literary terms handbook and presentation is due next Monday, October 15.
For Monday, October 15, students should finish reading “Once More to the Lake” by E.B. White in 50 Essays. They have the following assignment due on Wednesday, October 17: Narration Exercise 2012 Submit the anecdote, sketch, and this essay to turnitin.com.
Students finished reading “The Way to Rainy Mountain” by N. Scott Momaday in class. They wrote a few paragraphs in response to the following prompt: Diction Sensory Paragraph
Week of October 1, 2012:
Students read an excerpt from Susan Sontag’s AIDS and Its Metaphors in class, and her “Regarding the Pain of Others” in 50 Essays. For Monday, October 8, students should read “Seeing” by Annie Dillard in 50 Essays. For Thursday, October 11, students should answer the third prompt on page 128 in their 50 Essays book: Compare Dillard on seeing to Susan Sontag’s discussion in “Regarding the Pain of Others” (p. 373)…. how do they understand the ways in which people see? Do the authors conceptualize the act of seeing as effected more by the person seeing, or the object seen?
One typed page is sufficient for this assignment. Only spend an hour writing this. Submit this essay to turnitin.com.
For Thursday, October 4, students should write an essay, about one type-written page, explaining a process that they know inside out – it could be a favorite recipe, a technique from their art major, anything that involves steps that require the reader to follow. An example of this process divided into discernible steps is the following piece by Herman Melville: Melville on Process from Typee 2011 Submit this essay to turnitin.com. Only spend one hour on this essay.
Week of September 24, 2012:
Students read Bharati Mukherjee’s “Two Ways to Belong in America” in 50 Essays; they were supposed to read Richard Rodriquez’s “Aria: Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood” over the weekend.
Over the next six weeks, students will present research on authors who embody different types of writing. Teams of students will present the traits that define these types: Representative Authors Assignment 2012 Students who were not in class on September 24 need to sign up for authors and presentations with the instructor.
Week of September 17, 2012:
Review pages 107-111 in Maps of the Imagination, where the author discusses a scene from one of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s stories. Authors control the release of information in their books. Bring a graphic novel, newspaper cartoon, or comic book – some type of book where the story is told in panels – to class on Monday, to work on writing sequence.
Students discussed the AP test essays, and read Virginia Woolf’s “Death of a Moth” in 50 Essays. They will read Petrunkevitch’s “The Spider and the Wasp” on Wednesday. Both essays are posted here: Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth” and Petrunkevitch’s “The Spider and the Wasp” Here is the assignment due on Monday, September 24: Woolf Petrunkevitch Assignment 2012 Submit this essay to turnitin.com.
In order to complete the Woolf and Petrunkevitch assignment, students must know what tone in literature is. This list of tone words might help: Tone Words
Week of September 10, 2012:
Students must write a college essay of 300-500 words, due Monday, September 17. Your choice of prompt. Write the prompt at the start of the essay, and write your name at the end of the essay. A hard copy of this college essay should be submitted in class, rather than sent electronically. Here is a link to some essay questions posted by the University of Chicago on its website: https://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/apply/essays/
A list of 100 essay prompts, from various colleges: 100 College Application Essay Prompts
Week of September 4, 2012:
Students finished reading “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” in 50 Essays on Thursday. For next Monday, September 10, students should write an essay in which they discuss the various languages that they use in their lives, focusing on at least three different languages. Use the essay by Gloria Anzaldua as a model. Include definition, analysis, and examples of the languages. Consider structuring the essay along the lines of Anzaldua, using epigraphs at the start of sections, while mixing rhetorical approaches. Turn in a hard copy of this.
Attached is a copy of an essay students will read in class, for those who have not gotten 50 Essays: Gloria Anzaldua’s How to Tame a Wild Tongue
Students will take a practice AP multiple-choice test on Thursday. Many of the questions use the following stems: Multiple Choice Stems
Here is Kurt Vonnegut’s simple style guide: Vonnegut on Writing
Week of August 28, 2012:
Students should bring in all their books on Tuesday, September 4.
The College Board that develops Advanced Placement classes describes the English Language course in the first half of this catalogue: AP English Language course description Please read this description by Wednesday, August 29, and look over the website from last year that follows before this weekend.
Students will be encouraged to write essays employing alternative approaches, some of which are defined in this outline: Alternative Essay Types 2011