Purpose of the Course: An intensive expository writing course for college-bound seniors designed to develop advanced writing skills and analytical thinking skills. The student will write and revise themes similar to those required in freshman college composition courses. Through the process of reading and writing, students will become skilled in composing for different audiences and purposes and will learn to understand/appreciate the diverse ways authors make meaning in oral, written, and visual texts. Students will identify literary structures and conventions and effectively use them in their own writing. The will identify, evaluate, and discuss the choices they have made in the composition process and enhance their revision skills. College Board Advanced Placement exam will be offered to those who successfully complete the course.

Course Objectives:
Upon completion of this 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 (RI.12.1)(RI.12.5)(L.12.4)(SL.12.3)
  • Apply effective strategies and techniques in their own writing (W.12.1)(L.12.3)
  • Create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience (W.12.1) (W.12.3)(SL.12.1)
  • Demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writing (RI.12.6)(W.12.2)(L.12.3)
  • Write for a variety of purposes (W.12.1) (W.12.2) (W.12.3)(L.12.1)(SL.12.6)
  • 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 (W.12.1)(W.12.2) (W.12.9) (L.12.4)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary source material (W.12.9)(L.12.3)(SL.12.2)
  • Move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing and review (W.12.5)(L.12.2)
  • Write thoughtfully about their own process of composition (W.12.10)(L.12.1)
  • Revise a work to make it suitable for a different audience (W.12.10)(L.12.4)(SL.12.6)
  • Analyze image as text (RI.12.7)
  • Evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers (W.12.7) (W.12.8) (W.12.9)(L.12.3)
* Correlation with Common Core State Standards in parentheses


AP Language Binder Information

  • Voice Lessons: Daily exercises focusing on analysis of diction, detail, imagery, syntax, and tone will be available upon entry to class. These completed worksheets will be kept in your AP binder under a section labeled “Rhetorical Strategies.” In the first trimester, the text will be provided for you; in the second trimester, you will present sentences/passages found in books, articles, blogs, movies, songs, images, etc. Include title, source, a one sentence summary, and a question or focus for the analysis of a sentence or short passage.

  • Vocabulary: Each Monday a list of high frequency SAT vocabulary words will be introduced. Copy the words, their definitions and their links to keep in you binder in a section labeled “Vocabulary.” Quizzes will be cumulative throughout the course and given on Fridays.

  • Grammar/Writer’s Handbook: We will practice ACT grammar daily and in the context of whatever we are reading. There will be a grammar midterm and final separate from the final exam. These completed notes and worksheets will be kept in your AP binder under a section labeled “Grammar/Writing Handbook” and should be consulted when studying for quizzes and writing assignments.

  • Current Events: You will create your own blog based on a theme of your choice, and each Friday after the vocabulary quiz you will have a few minutes to add a new resource (article, editorial, picture, video, your own commentary, experiences, etc.) to your blog. The purpose of the blog is to build a database of resources to use for argumentative writing, so choose a theme that is sufficiently broad and that you care about. Blog collections may also be used for a student-created documentary (group or individual project).

  • AP Words of Distinction: As new or particularly delicious words or helpful foreign phrases come up in reading or discussions and are listed on the board, you are to record the new word or phrase, definition, and use in a sentence. These words and phrases, including ones describing tone, diction, and style in general should be employed in writing and discussions. Random quizzes will be given over these words throughout the course, some for credit and some for extra credit. Keep these words/phrases in your binder in a section labeled “AP Words of Distinction.”

  • Outside Reading: We will read 4 nonfiction novels in the course-- two novels as a class and two novels you may choose from the provided reading lists. You may choose to read a novel which is not on the list if it is of appropriate literary quality and content for the class, such as a Pulitzer or Booker Award winner, and pre-approved by me. As you read your novels, you will write analytical entries which will be kept in your AP binder under a section labeled “Reading Rhetorical Analyses (RRA).” On the days RRAs are due, you will bring them to class for peer analysis and comment. A formal writing project will follow each of the novels.

  • Timed Writing: In-class exercises include weekly review of and/or response to released essay prompts. Keep the prompts and your writing in your AP binder under a section labeled “AP/Timed Writing.” Practice essays will sometimes be discussed orally in whole group, written or planned in small group, or written individually. Some will focus on a particular rhetorical strategy, conventions of mode, thesis development, ideas for elaboration/support, introductions, conclusions, or actually completion of the entire essay. Formal individual writing of complete essays will take place quarterly.

  • Collaborative Writing: In groups, you will participate in collaborative efforts designed to help you evaluate and demonstrate the five canons of rhetoric. Close reading, analysis, discussion, debate, critique, and composition will take place in your group.

Course Outline

Week 1: Introduction to AP course
Grammar: Diagnostic Quiz
Syllabus/Outline Review of AP Exam
Reasons to Take AP Exam College Assignment [5]
Quizlet for AP Language Terms
Five Canons of Rhetoric: Clinton Speech (Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, Delivery)
Looking In/Looking Out Chart
Viewing Art Photo Essay Extra Credit Opportunity
Voice Lessons
Hamlet Voice Practice
Reading List: Novel One: Freakonomics: A Rouge Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Freakonomics Radio
Writing Reflection/Standards Review [50]
I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar (Which forum? Name contest)
Current Events: “Citizen of the World” Blog, Set up Blog “About Me” Entry (draft on paper, including photo/icon)

Week 2: Genre Focus: Letters
Grammar: HHH: Commas (Ch. 12)
Coca-Cola Letters AP Prompt
How to Write an Essay: Visual Organizer
Thesis Statement/Universal Truth/Verb List
Intro to Rhetoric: Everyday Use—Chapter 1, Rhetorical Triangle
Discussion of Genre and Mode: Types of Passages--Handout
How to Write a Letter by Garrison Keillor
Letter from the Smithsonian
Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy
Youtube: Hot Dog and Bun
Student Letter Assignment and Exemplars [50]
Friday: Vocabulary Quiz 1
John Downe Letter AP Prompt: Essay Practice [10]
(Groups: thesis statement)

Week 3: Narration: Strategies for Analysis of Narrative Writing
Grammar: HHH: Unnecessary Commas (Ch. 13)
Rhetorical Modes and Rhetorical Terminology: Group Presentations [50]
“On First Seeing England” Jamaica Kincaid
Shooting an Elephant George Orwell pg. 68 RR
Once More to the Lake E.B. Whtie pg. 124 FOM
Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self Alice Walker pg. 130 FOM
Thursday: Rhetorical Term Test
Friday: Vocabulary Quiz 2
“The Pie”—Gary Soto AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, introduction and conclusion—Group read: Pick favorite sentences)

Week 4: Comparative Analysis
Grammar: HHH: Semicolon (Ch. 14)
Austin/Dickens (AP prompt discussion) Impedigogy
When Harry Met Tony St. Arbucks
Comparative Writing Practice: Concrete, Abstract, Proper Nouns—Titanpad
Comparative Analysis: Group Presentation
Comparison and Contrast Reading/Writing Exercise: Compare and
Contrast Rodin’s “The Kiss” with Brancusi’s “The Kiss”
pg. 294 FOM
Novel One Project: Freakonomics Harkness Discussion [100]
Novel Two: Reader’s Choice: Book Review Review Project
Reading Rhetorical Analysis: Directions, Sample, Rubric
Friday: Vocabulary Quiz 3
“Okefenokee Swamp” AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, introduction)

Week 5: Description: Strategies for Conveying Ideas
Grammar: HHH: Apostrophe (Ch. 15)
The Nature of Description pg. 76-80 FOM
Moments of Being Virginia Woolf pg. 82 FOM (find most impenetrable sentence)
On Not Looking at Pictures E.M. Forster pg. 99 FOM
Descriptive Writing pg. 103 or 104 FOM
George Bernard Shaw AP prompt/ Discussion
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 4
Sontag” On Photography” (2001) AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, rewrite prompt to make if more fun to answer)

Week 6: Definition: Strategies for Conveying Ideas
Grammar: HHH: Quotation Marks (Ch. 16)
Editing Checklist Exercise
The Hoax John Berendt pg. 353 RR
I Want a Wife Judy Brady
Rock of Ages Joan Didion pg. 415
Just Walk on By Brent Staples pg. 194 FOM
Illustration Reading/Writing Exercise: Pre-Judging Public Space
pg. 198 FOM
Wednesday: RRA 1 Due
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 5
“England Essay”—King Charles
“American Needs its Nerds”—Friedman Essay Practice
Opposing view to Friedman’s essay

Week 7: Argumentation and Persuasion: Strategies for Influencing Others
Grammar: Quarter Term Quiz [50]
Argumentation Terminology, Fallacies, and Techniques Quiz (Patterns for College Writing) [75]
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Rhetorical Strategies
Fallacies Wiki Presentations
Letters from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. pg. 570
King Speech/Analysis Chart and Persuasive Essay
Unnatural Killers John Grisham (handout)
Memo to John Grisham: What’s Next—“A Movie Made Me Do It”?
Oliver Stone (handout)
Toulmin Schema
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 6
Why We Can’t Wait (King) AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, change the tone OR find a visual to add to a synthesis)

Week 8: Argumentation and Persuasion: Strategies for Influencing Others
Grammar: HHH: Sentence Sense (Ch. 1)
Thursday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 7
Group Reading: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Excerpts from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Video clips from documentary Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock
Food Inc. Review and Analyze Published Reviews
Argument Writing: Dietary Decisions
Entertainment Has Capacity to Ruin Society”AP Prompt: Essay Practice

Week 9: Process and Directions: Strategies for Explaining How To…
Grammar: HHH: Adjectives and Adverbs (Ch. 4)
Grounds for Fiction Julia Alvarez pg. 125 RR
Arranging a Marriage in India Serena Nanda pg. 140 RR
Living Like Weasels Annie Dillard pg. 54 FOM
How to Put Off Doing a Job Andy Rooney pg. 358 FOM
In the Kitchen Henry Louis Gates, Jr. pg. 362 FOM
How to…Group Presentation/Rationale Assignment [50]
RRA 2 Due
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 8

Week 10: Cause and Effect: Strategies for Analyzing Why Things Happen
Grammar: Midterm [100]
Sex, Drugs, Disasters, and the Extinction of the Dinosaurs
Stephen Jay Gould pg. 316 FOM
The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell pg. 334 FOM
Some Big Ideas Wash Up One Bulb at a Time Andrew C. Revkin
pg. 406 RR
Cause and Effect Exercise: Propaganda pg. 340-345 FOM
A Fowl Trick to Play on a Tractor Peter Dexter ST
Novel Two Project Due: Book Review Review
Friday: Vocabulary Quiz 9

Week 11: Genre Study: Speech
Grammar: Sentence Fragments (Ch. 2)
Alfred M. Green’s Civil War Speech
Ben Franklin speech Polly
Locker room speeches/Marc Antony and Brutus speech/Henry V speech
Mariah Stewart “Lecture at Franklin Hall” Speech
Favorite TV/Movie/Song Speech Group Presentation [25]
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 10
Persuasive Speech [100]
Blog Reflection Due [50]
AP Prompt: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural AddressEssay Practice [10]
(Groups: thesis, evidence, write to a different audience)

Week 12: Genre Study: Editorial
Grammar: HHH: Comma Splices/Fused Sentences (Ch. 3)
Sis, Boom, Bah Humbug Rick Reilly
Leonard Pitts
Kathleen Parker
Visual Editorials
Thursday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 11
Compulsory Voting (2006) AP Prompt: Essay Practice [10]
(Groups: thesis, evidence, rewrite the ending)
Argument Formal Essay—Dietary Decisions [100]
Novel Three: Banned Book Project
Excerpts from Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Monday: Extra Credit Photo Essay Due [10]

*Final Exam for AP Language A mandatory

End of Trimester One*

Week 13: Review of AP Language A
Grammar: HHH: Pronouns and Case (Ch. 5)
Argument Mode Genre
Rhetorical Triangle Terminology
Documentary Review/Production Assignment
Ken Burns on Documentaries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H37yNkrw3_4
Book Review Podcast: Global Collaborative Project (Pairs)
Novel Three: Banned Book Project
The Medusa and the Snail “(2002B) AP Prompt: Essay Practice
or “The Future of Life” (2009)
(Groups: thesis, evidence, write with introductory sentence provided)

Week 14: Visual Rhetoric
Grammar: HHH: Agreement (Ch. 6)
Visual Rhetoric: Frames of Mind (Chapter, Drawing)
Description in Advertising: Sell Cigarettes and Slide Wheels (Mad Men and advertisement clips)
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 1
RRA 3 Due
Make Argument for Your Topic—Form Doc Groups
Documentary Plan—Formal Outline [25]
King Lear” (2000) AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, who, what, when, where, why, and how?)

Week 15: Synthesis Writing
Grammar: HHH: Verbs (Ch. 7)
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 2
Synthesis: Synthesis: Images in the Media (Everything’s an Argument) Seminar—Evaluation of sources and integration into class discussion and writing
Write synthesis question based on contents of blogs—Write synthesis essays using those others’ questions and blogs
AP Prompt: Essay Practice [10]
(Groups: thesis, evidence, select the prettiest sentence in the essay)

Week 16: Synthesis Project
Grammar: HHH: Subordination/Coordination (Ch. 24)
RRA 4 Due
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 3

Week 17: Multiple-Choice Testing Strategies
Grammar: Midterm [50]
Novel Four Project: Reader’s Choice: Multiple Choice Question Creation
Multiple Choice: Student Created Tests from AP Passages
ACT, SAT, AP Multiple Choice Practice/Strategies
Synthesis: Who Owns the Body and Its Parts? Who Owns Life?
Lord Chesterfield Letter AP Essay Prompt and Reader Notes
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 4
“Testaments Betrayed” (2002)AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, identify best argument/idea)

Week 18: Expository Writing: Skills Review
Grammar: HHH:Capitals/Italics (Ch. 9, 10)
Monday: Banned Book Project Due [100]
Two Views of the River Mark Twain pg. 174 RR
Shakespeare in the Bush Laura Bohannan pg. 214 RR
Two Classes of Women Margaret Sanger FOM CD
Two Family Portraits: The Pearles and the Bellellis John Canaday
pg. 289 FOM
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 5
Postman’s Orwell/Huxley Essay AP Prompt: Essay Practice
or Audubon/Dillard “Birds”
(Groups: thesis, evidence, add another source for comparison)

Week 19: Satire/Irony
Grammar: HHH: Misplaced Modifiers (Ch. 25)
Of Mice and Men Cliff Notes Article
Satire: Horatian vs. Juvenalian/Identify Target and Satirical Devices
Daryl Cagle Political Cartoons: Divergent Treatment of Subjects
The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 6
“MagnaSoles” AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, add another satirical example)

Week 20: Continue Satire/Irony
Grammar: HHH: Parallelism (Ch. 26)
Group Discussion/Writing/Presentation: (essay intro, thesis, support)
Advertising: The Most Interesting Man in the World…
“You Are Not Special” and Rodney Dangerfield “Back To School”
“The Company Man” AP Prompt: Essay Practice
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 7

Week 21: Documentary Analysis/Production
Grammar: HHH: Consistency (Ch. 27)
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 8

Week 22: Mock Exam
Grammar: HHH: Emphasis (Ch. 29) Variety (Ch. 30)
Wednesday: Novel Four Project Due: Multiple-Choice Test Creation [100]
Friday: Vocabulary Unit Quiz 9
Rising Tide (2005B) AP Prompt: Essay Practice
(Groups: thesis, evidence, identify most effective strategy)

Week 23: Documentary Week
Documentary Presentation/Rationale [100]
Formal Argument Essay [100]

Week 24: Reflection in Writing
Reflective Writing/E Anthology Assignment
Eudora Welty AP Essay Prompt
Grammar: Final
Review for Final Exam

*Grammar Units are aligned with the ACT’s Standards for Transition

*Research/synthesis papers, documentary review, formal book review, banned book argumentative paper, and comparative analysis presentation require student to utilize research skills, evaluate, and cite source materials using MLA format.

Student Texts:
Frames of Mind: A Rhetorical Reader with Occasions for Writing Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook
DiYanni, Robert and Pat C. Hoy II Fifteenth Edition
Thomson Wadsworth, Boston, 2005 Glenn, Cheryl, Robert Keith Miller,
Suzanne Strobeck Webb, Loretta
Everything’s An Argument with Readings Gray and John Hodges
Third Edition Thomson, United States, 2004
Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz and Keith Walters
Bedford/St. Martin’s, Boston, 2004 Vocabulary Cartoons: Building
an Educated Vocabulary with
The Riverside Reader Visual Mnemonics
Eighth Edition Burchers, Sam, Max and Brian
Peterson, Raj., Joseph Trimmer and Maxine Hairston New Monic Book, Inc.,
Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 2005 Punta Gorda, FL, 1997

Reference Texts (Instructor):
Everyday Use: Rhetoric at Work in Reading and Writing The Elements of Style
AP Edition Fourth Edition
Roskelly, Hephzibah and David A. Jolliffe Strunk, Jr., William and EB White
Pearson, New York, 2005 Longman, New York, 2000

Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms
Ninth Edition Second Edition
Mandell, Stephen R. and Laurie G. Kirszner Lanham, Richard A.
Bedford/St. Martin’s, Boston, 2003 University of California Press,
Berkeley, CA, 1991
Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student
Fourth Edition Short Takes
Corbett, Edward P.J. and Robert J. Connors Model Essays for Composition
Oxford University Press, New York, 1999 Tenth Edition
Penfield, Elizabeth
Pearson, New York, 2010

Grading Scale: The course will follow the Daviess County Board of Education mandated scale. Each project, paper, quiz, etc. is assigned to demonstrate or refine a skill that is necessary for college-bound students. Turn your assignments in complete and on time**. Late work will only be accepted one day late and given a score of no more than 50% of the original grade.


Distribution of Grades

Tests/Projects/Essays 70%

Daily/Homework/Quizzes 30%

v Be respectful of me and each other.
v Enter the room on time and with all required materials including books, assignments, pen, etc.
v You may email EVERY assignment to me unless specifically instructed not to do so. If you print your assignments, print out all assignments BEFORE coming to class.
v Turn in assignments on due date.
v Take care of personal business (grooming, restroom, phone calls) during breaks or lunch time.
v Food, drinks, and gum are fine until the FIRST time I have to clean up after you.
v Profanity will not be tolerated.
v And woe be unto you if you decide to cheat. Refer to the student agenda regarding policy. If I catch you, you will be subject to punishment. If I don’t catch you, you could be missing out on something that will help you in life! There is a certain amount of factual information you must learn, however, I am much more interested in your original
interpretation of the ideas in the text. Cheating defeats the whole purpose.

Policy for Make Up Work: Tests and long quizzes will be sent to the testing center to be completed before or after school. The center will be available on Monday and Wednesday afternoons as well as Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Short quizzes and homework assignments will be placed in the appropriate tray on my desk. You have five days to make up assignments. It is your responsibility to inquire about missed assignments.

Tardy Policy: You are considered tardy if you are not in the room when the bell rings. The first tardy will result in a warning, the second in a DM, and the third in a detention issued by administration. See agenda book for details.

Room Exit Policy: No exits from the room will be allowed without YOUR OWN agenda book initialed by me. Take care of business during breaks because our class time is so precious.

Class Dismissal Policy: Stay seated until the bell sounds. Standing in a clump in the doorway is a fire hazard and if I die in a fire because you clogged to doorways, I will come back and haunt you.

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
--Ralph Waldo