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					AP Language and Composition Syllabus                                               2010 - 2011
Ms. Audrey Warmack – Rm. 213

Brief Description of Course
AP Language is designed to prepare students to effectively analyze the rhetorical strategies used
in non-fiction, literature, film, art, and advertising found in American culture. As well, students
will learn to implement persuasive writing techniques in their own work. Through close textual
study of fiction, non-fiction, and other mediums, students will develop a clear focus on an
authors considerations regarding audience and purpose, and then learn how to apply that same
focus in a variety of writing modes specifically those outlined in the most current edition of the
AP English Course Description. Students will be required to assess how each work and literary
movement poses an argument for readers. As a college level course, expectations are
appropriately high, the workload is challenging, and students will be required to read and
prepare for discussions and complete assignments outside of regular class hours.

Unit One:
1984: A Study of Rhetorical Devices

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will read George Orwell’s 1984 as a summer reading assignment. Through the study
of this novel, students will be introduced to basic rhetorical strategies such as the rhetorical
triangle. Non-fiction texts such as Diane Ackerman’s “In Praise of Bats,” and Annie Dillard’s
“The Fixed” will also be used to introduce students to analyzing rhetoric.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Students will be required to complete a dialectical journal over 1984 by the second week of
school. As well, students will be asked to write short essays over the novel, objectively tested,
and required to participate in discussions about the novel. Students will be asked to use their
new understanding of rhetoric to evaluate the novel and other non-fiction pieces.


Unit Two:
The Puritans: Foundations in American Morality

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will explore the foundations of American morality and culture through rhetorical
analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, and
Jonathan Edward's sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and supporting critical
articles and media.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Students will be assessed through objective tests over each work. In addition to these tests,
students will also write an essay in which they explore the arguments presented in the novel.
Students will be introduced to précis writing to develop their introductory paragraphs. We will
also be using close reading and passage analysis to study the rhetorical devices found in the
selected passages. With each of these texts, students will be required to analyze what each
author is arguing, and how these arguments are connected to the foundations in American
Puritanical thought. What persuasive techniques do each of these writers employ? And, why
does each writer make his argument?
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Unit Three:
The New World: A Study of the First Americans

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will analyze rhetorical strategies through comparing stories, films, and non-fiction that
portray Native Americans and European settlers positively and negatively. Students will read a
non-fiction passage from N. Scott Momaday’s Way to Rainy Mountain and view clips from the
films The Searchers, The New World, Smoke Signals, and other relevant sources.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Using note-taking strategies learned in class, students will be required to analyze the arguments
from each source to synthesize them and employ them in an in-class timed writing. Students
will be required to evaluate how these sources portray Native Americans and European settlers.
How are these cultural groups being portrayed? What is the author/filmmaker trying to say?
What persuasive techniques are used to paint these portraits of different cultural groups? And,
finally, why are these arguments being made?


Unit Four:
Founding Fathers: The Rhetoric of the Revolution

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will take a closer look at the people who founded our country by examining the
nonfiction writings of Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention,” and
“The Declaration of Independence” – the arguments that began our road toward national
independence.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Students will examine contemporary examples of propaganda, advertising, and political rhetoric
that employ similar rhetorical concepts to those used by the founding fathers. Working in
groups, students will teach these examples to the class to further their knowledge of these
rhetorical principles. Students can use film, PowerPoint, or a variety of other creative methods
to present to the class.

Unit Five:
Romanticism: The Beginnings of American Literature

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will be introduced to one of the first American literary movements with an emphasis on
how each author conveys his or her argument through rhetorical strategies found in each literary
work. Specifically, we read “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving; “Thanatopsis” by
William Cullen Bryant; the “Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe; and Chief Seattle's
non-fiction speech “Respect.”

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Students will practice précis writing as a means to evaluate texts. Using the texts listed above,
students will work in a whole class setting and individually to practice précis writing and style
analysis techniques to identify and write about the rhetorical devices in the texts.

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Unit Six:
Transcendentalism: The First Hippies

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will examine the non-fiction texts of Transcendental authors to develop an
understanding of the inherent arguments prevalent in this historic period. Specifically, we will
focus on the human rights, individualist, and nature-loving aspects of the movement. We will
read: Ralph Waldo Emerson's “Self-Reliance” and “Nature”; Henry David Thoreau's “Walden”
and “Civil Disobedience,” Mohandas K. Gandhi’s “On Civil Disobedience,” Walt Whitman's
“Song of Myself,” and Annie Dillard's “Living Like Weasels.”

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
In order to apply these Transcendental ideas to a modern context, students will collect and
analyze examples of advertising which connects to audiences through utilizing transcendental
ideals. Students will analyze the ways in which these examples utilize rhetorical elements and
argumentation to show how advertisers use Transcendental concepts to sell their products or
ideologies. Students may use a variety of creative methods to present to the class.


Unit Seven:
Realism: A Crisis of Conscience

Content and/or Skills Taught:
In order to examine the rhetoric of the Civil War, students will read non-fiction texts such as
Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s
“Second Inaugural Address” and the “Gettysburg Address.”

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
For this unit, students will be required to read each of the texts above to examine the rhetoric
used during the Civil War. Through class discussion, students will analyze how Realism relates
to the Civil War? Students will be asked to discern what arguments are being made by Douglass
and Lincoln? After thorough discussion, students will select one of the texts for an in-class
writing in which they will outline the rhetoric, purpose, and audience of the selected text.
Students will practice précis writing during this exercise.


Unit Eight:
Modernism: It's a Lonely World

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will be required to read Modernist novels and poems to determine the rhetorical
implications of each. What are Modernists trying to say about the modern world? What
responsibility do we have for one another in a modern society? Such examples include F. Scott
Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and poetry by Robert Frost, T.S. Elliott, Carl Sandburg, and
William Carlos Williams.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Students will be assessed through objective reading quizzes, class discussions, and short essays
for The Great Gatsby. After reading and discussing poems in class, students will select one
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example of modern poetry for a written analysis. Students will use the précis framework to write
the introduction and other techniques to analyze the way in which the poet conveys his or her
message to readers. What is the writer/poet trying to say? What conventions and devices does
the writer/poet utilize to create meaning?


Unit Nine:
The Harlem Renaissance: African-Americans Speak Out

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Through reading the poetry, music, and art of the Harlem Renaissance, students will examine
the rhetorical significance of the works. Specifically, we will read Langston Hughes’ “I, Too,”
Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die,” and Zora Neale Hurston’s non-fiction “How it Feels to be
Colored.” Contemporary non-fiction pieces such as Maya Angelou’s “My Name is Margaret,” and
Brent Staples’ “Black Men in Public Space” will be included in this unit. We will also use this unit
to take a closer look at Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream.”

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Through class discussions and writing assignments, students must determine the significance
and importance of these works. What arguments are African-Americans trying to say about
equality, freedom, and justice? How are these arguments being made? What is the purpose of
each work? Which audience is being targeted by the author?


Unit Ten:
Feminism: More than Just a Pretty Face

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Through reading Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” and Virginia Woolf’s non-fiction
“Shakespeare's Sister,” students will evaluate the arguments being made by women during the
early 20th century. Contemporary pieces such as Judy Brady’s “I want a Wife,” and Susan
Sontag’s “Beauty” will also be included in this unit.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
Students will be required to participate in class discussions over each work. After discussion,
students will elect one of the works for an in-class writing in which they outline the rhetorical
elements found in the work. What is the author trying to say? What rhetorical devices does the
writer implement to convey her message?


Unit Eleven:
The Things They Carried & The Rhetoric of War

Content and/or Skills Taught:
Students will read a variety of texts relating to war. Tim O’Brien's novel The Things They
Carried will be read alongside non-fiction essays from Dwight D. Eisenhower, General
MacArthur, Margaret Mead, Mary Ewald, and James Boswell.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:
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Students will be assessed through objective reading quizzes, class discussions, and short essays
over O’Brien's novel. After the reading of all the texts is completed, students will write a free
response essay relating to war as it relates to modern American life.


General Objectives
1. Analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of
   rhetorical strategies and techniques.
2. Apply effective strategies and techniques in student’s own writing.
3. Create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience.
4. Demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic
   maturity in students’ own writings.
5. Produce expository and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea
   and develop it with appropriate, specific evidence, cogent explanations, and clear transitions.
6. Move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry
   and research, drafting, revising, editing, and review.
7. Read for knowledge, self-improvement, and enjoyment.

Required Materials
 Binder/Folder – You will be receiving a lot of printed material. It would be beneficial for you
  to keep them organized in a binder so you can refer back to them. Perhaps you can use
  dividers separated by unit name.
 Lined loose-leaf paper – I will not grade written essays on lined paper torn from a notebook.
 Tools for annotation – Highlighters, pens, pencils, colored pencils, post-its, etc.

Grades
Grades will be figured from daily work, quizzes, tests, projects, presentations, and essays.
Every week grades are calculated and turned in for eligibility purposes. If your grade is below a
70%, it is your responsibility to meet with me in tutorial or guided study until the grade has been
raised.

40% = Major papers, in-class essays, tests, and projects
30% = Quizzes, homework, journals
20% = Oral Participation
10% = Semester Final

If you have questions about your grades or feel that your grade does not reflect the quality of the
work you turned in, please make time to discuss the matter with me.

Oral Participation
This is an essential part of the class and is how we discuss every piece that we study. I will take
notes on what people say in class as well as check off names as people speak. You must talk
using at least one piece of textual evidence (more on this later) every discussion to get credit for
that day. Each class discussion is worth 10 points. I will put in all participation grades at the
end of each work we study. Class discussion is completely student ran, and I rarely interfere in
the discussion process.


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Classroom Procedures
1. All school rules per the student handbook will be enforced in this classroom.
2. Have respect for yourself, others, and the teacher at all times.
3. Come to class prepared to learn – bring your textbook, homework, notebook, and a pencil
   everyday!
4. Be in your assigned seat and prepared to work when the final bell rings.
5. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed and will be confiscated.
6. No food or drink is permitted in the classroom.
7. Follow the dress code – hats are not permitted.
8. Do not use profanity towards others or the teacher.

Consequences
1. Warning - Student/Teacher Meeting
2. Parent Phone Call
3. Referral
No Exceptions!

Hall Passes
As stated in the student handbook, no hall passes will be distributed during class unless there is
an emergency. You will not be excused to go to the bathroom, go to your locker, or to get a
drink of water. So, be sure to use your time wisely between class periods. I will give you two
passes per semester to use at your discretion. However, if you keep them and do not use them, I
will give you extra credit for them at the end of the semester.

Absences
If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up any missing work. Calendars and
assignments can be found online on my website:
http://slpshs.schoolwires.net/19732093020565660/site/default.asp

 There is no reason for you not to know what you are missing. If you are confused, I will help
you get caught up during guided study or independent work time. Do not interrupt my teaching
to ask about missing or late work.

Missing/Late Work
This is an AP class. Expectations are high, and course work is designed to prepare students for
AP courses and college. Therefore, turn in assignments when they are due. Late assignments
will, at the most, receive half credit. Do not expect credit on assignments more than one week
late. Do not expect to make up tests and quizzes after 2 days. Do not come to class unprepared.

Expectations
I expect great attitudes and great work from every student. I request the following from every
one of you.

1. RESPECT – I believe that when one shows respect and courtesy, it will come back to
   her/him. You are expected to respect every person in the room, including yourself. Be nice to
   your classmates, to me, to the room, and to everything in it. Do not interrupt others while
   they are speaking. Be a good listener. Even if you disagree with someone, be courteous and
   appropriate.


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2. ATTITUDE – Take a moment to consider the role you play in your own education. How
   much do you matter when it comes to your own learning? Come to class prepared and
   willing to learn every day. This means you should have your materials with you and your
   homework completed. You should be ready to answer questions and actively participate in
   class discussions. Headphones, phones, iPods, etc. should not be seen or heard. This is
   disrespectful and shows a lack of positive attitude. In addition, please do not use foul or
   obscene language in the classroom.

3. WORK – This is school. You should be prepared to do great work every day. I expect the
   very best and I will soon know what you are capable of. I also expect you to use class time
   wisely to do what you are supposed to be doing. Every essay, every assignment and every test
   should be your best effort. I believe in you – but more importantly – I hope you believe in
   you!

A Note about Plagiarism
Cheating will not be tolerated. ALL work should be completed independently unless specified
as a collaborative effort. Do not work together with a peer on a paper, project, or any
assignment unless approved by me. Additionally, remember that taking work from a book,
article, the Internet, another student’s paper, or other source and purporting it as your own is
cheating. Whenever you use someone else’s words or ideas, you must properly document the
source. Cheating will result in an automatic zero.

AP College Credit
Different colleges require different scores for college credit. For example, if you take the
Advanced Placement English Literature Exam and are attending Washington University in St.
Louis, you must score a 5 (the highest score possible) for college credit. Southwest Missouri
State accepts a score of 4 or 3, but anyone scoring a 3 must also submit a writing portfolio for
evaluation by the SMSU English Department. If your writing is deemed proficient, then SMSU
accepts the 3 score. Southeast Missouri State University accepts a score of 3.

It is your responsibility to find out what score your college will accept. Your teacher does not
assume responsibility for your test results or your college credit. Ms. Gilbert and Ms. Wrisley
teach College Summit for the senior class and can help you find information regarding AP
college credit requirements for specific universities.

Useful Websites
 URL: http://rhetoric.byu.edu/
  Description: Silver Rhetoricae of BYU – a site designed to help students understand rhetoric.

   URL: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/
    Description: American Rhetoric includes hundreds of rhetorically significant speeches from
    films, literature and history.

   URL: http://www.archives.gov/
    Description: The National Archives – This site gives students access to historical documents
    to assist them in their research of historical figures and events we will be studying in class.

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   URL: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
    Description: OWL at Purdue – The Online Writing Lab at Purdue is a fantastic resource to
    assist students with MLA citation.

                                  Classroom Agreement
Name: ____________________________________________________________

I have read and understand Ms. Warmack’s classroom policies, practices, and expectations. I
agree to follow these practices and meet these expectations to the best of my ability every day.

Student Signature: _____________________________________ Date: __________

Dear Parent,
Please read this AP Language & Composition syllabus and sign below. I want to keep you
updated on your child’s progress in this course. Please provide your contact information below.

Thank you!
Ms. Audrey Warmack

Parent Signature: _____________________________________ Date: __________

Email: ______________________________

Phone: ______________________________

“Central Visual and Performing Arts High School creates an environment where students
receive an exemplary academic and artistic education that showcases their talents and
prepares them to meet the challenges of our dynamic global society.”




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