AP English Language and Composition
AP English Language and Composition
NAZARETH AREA HIGH SCHOOL
NAZARETH AREA HIGH SCHOOL
English Language and Composition is a demanding course whose primary goal is to improve
writing skills through analyzing a variety or writing techniques and writing styles. The basic
texts are college-level rhetoric (composition) text. The course is organized into thematic units
which integrate classic and contemporary non-fiction (AP component focus) with traditional
American Literature (Nazareth High School 11th grade component focus). Throughout the
course, students will read three novels and a play, complete a 10-12 page research paper, and
a minimum of 10 shorter writing assignments. Most students who take this course take the
AP exam in May; a designated score on the exam generally exempts students from a college
freshman composition or English class. Writing assignments for this course are based on
prompts and styles to match what will be expected of students on the exam. The course also
provides weekly practice tests and opportunities for students to better understand the
expectations of the AP Exam. Students who take this course in a fall semester will have
the opportunity to attend group test prep sessions with the instructor in the weeks leading
up to the AP exam.
Summer reading/writing to prepare for this course is required and was assigned in early June.
Students will be able to:
-- Apply techniques for close reading of both fiction and nonfiction texts
-- Identify an author's purpose for a text, both in whole and in part
-- Recognize the author's structural choices which promote that purpose
-- Make specific structure choices in their own writing based on purpose
-- Apply “available means” of persuasion
-- Recognize and refute flaws in reasoning and apply to avoid flaws in own writing
-- Determine effective support based on context, audience and purpose
-- Identify and evaluate types and strength of data
-- Incorporate data/sources meaningfully into synthesis writing
-- Examine authors' style choices
-- Make style choices by diction and sentence structure
-- Determine how historical and social contexts of the United States have influenced the
writing of American Authors in both fiction and nonfiction texts
Teacher Contact Information:
Instructor – Miss Sandra Utsch
Phone – 610-759-1730 x2349
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Class Website – http://utschnaz.wikispaces.com
The Language of Composition Renee H. Shea, et al. Bedford St. Martin’s Pub.
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
Beloved Toni Morrison
Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller
(Copies of the above texts are provided; However, in a college-level course, students may decide that
purchasing their own copies of books is beneficial for easier note taking.)
Pennsylvania Academic Standards:
1.1. Learning to Read Independently 1.6. Speaking and Listening
1.2. Reading Critically in All Content Areas 1.7. Characteristics and Functions of the English
1.3. Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature Language
1.4. Types of Writing 1.8. Research
1.5. Quality of Writing
Grading & Assessment Policies:
Your marking period grade will consist of the following:
Marking Period 1 Marking Period 2
Vocab Quizzes – 15% Vocab Quizzes – 15%
Tests/Projects/Quizzes – 15% Tests/Projects/Quizzes – 15%
AP Test Prep/Practice – 30% AP Test Prep/Practice – 25%
Formal Writing – 15% Formal Writing – 10%
HW/Classwork – 15 % HW/Classwork – 10 %
Summer Work – 10% Research Project – 25%
All in-class AP Prompt assignments and some out-of-class writing assignments (announced) will be
evaluated according to the AP-style holistic scoring rubric which is on a scale of 1-9*. For example, according
to the College Board, an essay score of 4 is described as being “inadequate” and therefore failing. However,
since this course is designed to help students develop AP level writing skills over the semester, a conversion is
necessary. Therefore, the following conversion scale will be used.
9 A 100% 4 C 75%
8 A 98% 3 C 70%
7 A 91% 2 D 65%
6 B 88% 1 D 60%
5 B 82% 0 F not submitted, not on-topic
*See attached sample holistic scoring rubric.
Students should expect to be doing work for AP English Language every evening, which may consist of
reading, writing and/or studying. However, in a college class, homework is not collected/checked/graded by a
professor on a daily basis. Therefore, as a transition, in this class there will be two categories of daily
assignments given: Expectations and Homework.
Expectation: A task which students are expected to complete in order to be prepared for class. This can
include reading, outlining a chapter, doing a dialectical journal, vocabulary definitions, studying, etc. These
Expectations are not graded. These are tasks which are necessary for the student’s effective participation in the
next day’s class activities, and students are expected to be prepared, even though no points are given.
Homework: An assignment which is announced as “Homework,” due on a specific date, and will be
collected/checked for homework credit. An example of Homework would be specific discussion questions for
which you must write thoughtful responses. Most of the time these collected Homework assignments will be
evaluated on thoughtful, evaluative content/mastery, rather than just completion.
There are 14 vocabulary units built into our semester of AP English Language. Each unit consists of 15
vocabulary words which have been compiled from the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Series, as well as commonly
seen words on AP and SAT exams. In addition to the 15 vocabulary words, each unit also has an attached list of
7 Greek and Latin roots for which students are also responsible.
Tuesday will ordinarily be the day in which we review vocabulary words and roots as a class. Students
are expected to come to class on that day with their words defined. I will provide information on that day for the
roots. This class discussion will be brief and address any concerns or additional explanation needed.
The first part of class on Friday will consist of a vocabulary quiz. Quizzes will consist of: definition
matching, fill-ins, and sentence-writing for vocabulary words, as well as definitions, derivations and sentences
Major Assessments / Assignments
Major assessments for this course are unit tests or essays on each novel studied, quizzes on chapters of
the textbook, and regularly assigned formal, out-of-class writing. In general, writing assignments are no more
than three pages in length.
The 10-12 page research paper will be started in late October and will be turned in before Winter Break.
The course will review and require all standard steps of the research process.
AP Practice Exams
Each week we will devote a designated part of class to practicing an AP exam writing prompt or
multiple choice selection. These are taken from the College Board bank of previously used exam questions.
Regularly devoted time to practicing the format, types of questions and time constraint is a valuable test-
preparation tool. Students will also be provided with explanations for correct answers, as well as sample student
essays with analysis of scores.
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Writing Process / Re-Writes
In this course, students are expected to treat writing as a process. We must all realize that this process
serves to improve our writing skills and the final draft. While the research paper has the process built in to the
course, usually students are expected complete this process on their own accord. Every out-of-class writing
assignment is expected to be a final, publishable draft when it is turned in.
Each marking period, students will be allowed to re-write up to two pieces of their writing in the effort
to improve their score. A student must decide to re-write within one week of receiving a score. He or she must
then schedule a one-on-one conference with the teacher to discuss possible specific improvements. The re-write
must be turned in within four days of the conference in order to be considered, and must include a copy of the
original, scored essay. This re-write policy can be applied to either out-of-class writing OR in-class AP
prompts. Conferences can be scheduled before or after school, during specific Eagle Block periods, or during a
4th Block free period.
AP English Language will be utilizing turnitin.com for electronic submission of out-of-class
assignments. During the first week of school, we will be reviewing how to set up a turnitin.com account and
upload an assignment.
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