AP English Language and Composition

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 2013-2014:
•    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)
These three required books are due in class on Tuesday, September 2, or Wednesday, September 3.

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 AP English Language:
AP English Language Period 1 class:  8474300 and Period1
AP English Language Period 6 class:  8474342 and Period6
For revisions of 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 2014-15: AP English Language Syllabus for 2014-15

Here is a list of literary terms that students will be defining and learning throughout the year:  Lit Terms AP 2014

The Literature Resource Center online database for research can now be accessed by DSA students – the password is denverhttp://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/denv71300?db=LitRC

Here is a blog that features a Word-of-the-Day from the New York Times:  http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/category/word-of-the-day/  This website features SAT words:  https://www.number2.com/exams/sat/daily/word/  This website features words for a variety of subjects and tests: http://www.cram.com/tag/sat

Week of October 22, 2014:

The students discussing the Political writers will meet for another few minutes the beginning of the week, and will present on Wednesday, October 29.  The Science and Nature writers’ group will meet the end of the week, to present on November 3 or 4.

For next Tuesday, complete the two paragraphs – the anecdote and sketch – and the essay described in the following assignment:  Narration Exercise and Essay

Week of October 13, 2014:

By next Wednesday or Thursday, students should have read N. Scott Momaday’s “The Way to Rainy Mountain” and E.B. White’s “Once More to the Lake” in 50 Essays.  There will be quizzes on both of these.

Here is the assignment and schedule for the research paper on your independent novel:  Independent Novel Assignment and Schedule 2014

Week of October 6, 2014:

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 Thursday, October 16, students should finish reading “Seeing” by Annie Dillard in 50 Essays and 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 affected 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 Wednesday, October 8, 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 29, 2014:

Next week, students will read Susan Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others” and “Seeing” by Annie Dillard, and writing about these – both essays are in 50 Essays, if students want to read them ahead of time.

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 or Tuesday, to work on writing sequence:  students must write out in words what is going on in 4-6 panels of a comic or graphic novel.  Look at composition of the art – the colors, lines, movement, tone, dialogue – to determine the meaning underlying each panel.  Where is the artist taking the reader?  This is due in class on Thursday or Friday, October 9 or 10, with a copy of the storyboard that you analyzed.

Week of September 22, 2014:

Students read Bharati Mukherjee’s “Two Ways to Belong in America” in 50 Essays; they should finish Richard Rodriquez’s “Aria:  Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood” over the weekend. Using Mukherjee’s essay “Two Ways to Belong in America,” students should analyze the strategies of comparison and contrast that the author uses in detailing her immigrant experience versus her sister’s.  Use this analysis to compare Mukherjee’s ideas on “assimilation” to Robert Rodriquez’s position outlined in the opening chapter in his autobiography Hunger of Memory.  Both essays are collected in 50 Essays.  Make sure that you include at least five specific references to each essay.  Spend some time outlining your thoughts and deciding on your approach, but try to write the actual essay in under an hour.  Submit this essay to turnitin.com by September 30.

Two groups – “Autobiographers and Diarists” and “Biographers and Historians” -  will present the common traits of these writers in classes at the end of the week.  Students should be prepared to discuss at least one annotated excerpt from their four writers.

Students in both classes read Mukherjee’s essay in 50 Essays – there will be a multiple choice quiz on this at the end of the week.  If you have not read “Two Ways to Belong in America” by Mukherjee, do so by Thursday or Friday, whenever your class meets.  Students will also read the Rodriquez essay in the same book.

Week of September 15, 2014:

At the end of the week, students read another “moth” essay by Annie Dillard:  Death of A Moth by Dillard  Here’s Dillard’s explanation of her process in writing and editing this essay:  Annie Dillard: How I wrote the Moth Essay

Here is the Representative Authors assignment that students will start working on this week:  Representative Authors Assignment 2014

Students will write an essay in class on Wednesday comparing the Woolf and Petrunkevitch essays – the instructor will distribute the Petrunkevitch essay, but students are encouraged to print out both of them, or at least bring their copies of 50 Essays containing the Woolf essay.  Make sure that you have read both before class on Wednesday.  For those not in class, here is the prompt – only spend 45 minutes on this essay:  Woolf and Petrunkevitch Prompt

Week of September 8, 2014:

Students will read Petrunkevitch’s “The Spider and the Wasp” in class next week.  They read Woolf’s essay in 50 Essays and discussed her tone:   Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth” and Petrunkevitch’s “The Spider and the Wasp”  There will be a multiple choice quiz on the Woolf essay at the start of next week.

Here is a list of general essay types:  Essay Types

Most of the “Literacy Autobiographies” have been graded in turnitin.com.  Students must look at the instructor’s edits by Sunday, September 14, to begin the process of improving your writing by focusing on the recommendations listed in the paper.

Counselors will talk to students this week about writing college essays.  Students must write a college essay of 300-500 words, due Monday or Tuesday, September 22 or 23.  Your choice of prompt.  List 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/essay-questions
A list of 100 essay prompts, from various colleges:  100 College Application Essay Prompts

Students read this essay by David Sedaris – it is another writer’s stab at capturing the languages we speak:  Me Talk Pretty One Day by Sedaris

In class, students looked at some examples of rhetorical techniques:  Rhetorical Mode Examples

Students were given an assignment on literary terms to be completed over the next five weeks:  Literary Terms Assignment

Week of September 2, 2014:

Students discussed “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” in 50 Essays at the end of the week.  By next Wednesday, September 10, on turnitin.com, 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.

For Thursday or Friday’s class, students should read the essay by Gloria Anzaldua in 50 Essays:  Anzaldua-Wild-Tongue 

Here are the rhetorical approaches that we will focus on through the semester:  Rhetorical Classes of the Essay

Last week, students took a practice AP English Language test.  Many of the multiple choice questions used the following stems:  Multiple Choice Stems  Here are some tips on writing the AP essay:  Writing the AP Essay

Week of August 26, 2014:

The following two articles were discussed in class – one suggests alternative approaches to writing, while the other article distinguishes between rhetoric and style:  Alternative Essay Types 2011 and Rhetoric versus Style  These two selections, shown in class, might help in reconsidering the format of your essays.

This is the literacy autobiography that should be submitted to turnitin.com by Friday night, September 5:  Literacy Autobiography.

This is the summer assignment for 2014-2015:  AP Summer Assignment 2014  A hard copy of this assignment is due in class on Tuesday, September 2, or Wednesday, September 3.

Here is the AP English Language course description, revised just this year:  AP English Language Course Description 2014  Look over this before next week, to become familiar with some of the terminology used in this course.