3570 Timpview Dr. Provo, Utah 84604 Phone: (801)221-9720 Fax: (801)224-4210

AP English Language and Composition

AP English Language and Composition is designed to help you “write effectively and confidently in [your] college courses across the curriculum and in [your] professional and personal lives” (The College Board, AP English Course Description). One of the most exciting aspects of this course is its broad practical application to your lives, no matter the direction you pursue. Unlike many English courses that emphasize traditional literary analysis, AP Language offers students a rigorous preparation in language, rhetoric, and argument. During the year we engage in close readings of texts to gain greater awareness of an author’s purpose, audience expectations, and rhetorical strategies. These texts will also serve as models for the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing you will complete during the year. Please know that I am here to help you. Whenever you have questions or concerns, be sure to communicate these to me. I look forward to working with you this year.


CURRICULUM: The curriculum for this class combines the eleventh grade focus on American Literature with the AP Language focus on non-fiction. Our non-fiction readings include both classic and contemporary essays, letters, and speeches from the representative authors list found in the AP English Course Description.   The longer texts we will be studying include the following:


Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass                                                                   Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter   

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden

                                    Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


The AP English Language exam requires students to demonstrate analytical, expository, and argumentative writing. We will work extensively on improving the rhetoric and style of our writing through weekly essays. Students will also broaden their understanding and use of synthesis and documentation through research work. In addition, grammar and vocabulary will be an important focus of study.


LEARNING EXPECTATIONS and ASSESSMENTS: You will be given a syllabus at the beginning of each term, copied on colored cardstock. The syllabus states learning objectives and assessments for the term.


THE AP EXAM:  This course will prepare students for the AP English Language exam in May. The AP exam is a two-part test:


Part I (60 min.): Four or five passages (non-fiction) with 54 or 55 multiple choice questions on usage, author’s intent, rhetorical devices, purpose, documentation and other related questions.


Part II (135 min.): Three essay questions based on a variety of prompts including a rhetorical analysis of letters, essays, narratives, etc.; an argumentative essay based on an assertion presented; and a synthesis essay requiring students to construct an argument using a selected group of sources/information presented in the exam.


CLASS SUPPLIES: You need a binder or folder dedicated exclusively to this class. You should keep all of your handouts (including your AP Language vocabulary), assignments, essays, and practice exams in this binder so you have them to study for the AP exam. In addition, you might want to purchase post-it notes to mark the texts we read. This will enable you to interact more effectively with your texts and will help you review these texts more easily before the AP test.






  1. I grade on a point system. Your grade will be weighted as follows: 35% Major Exams;

25%             Writing Assignments; 20% Assignments/Homework; 20% Quizzes/Participation



  1. Participation is an important component of your grade. You will complete a self-evaluation of your participation each term that will be included in your final grade.


  1. You must maintain at least a B grade in order to remain in AP Language. If your grade falls below a B, you will be encouraged to transfer to another English class.


  1. In addition to assigned class readings, you will be required to read an independent book each term. You may choose what to read for your independent book, but you should strongly consider reading from the suggested reading list I will give you. This reading list includes non-fiction and classic titles that will help you prepare for the AP exam.





I follow the school attendance policy. I expect you to be in class every day on time. Excessive tardies and absences will jeopardize your preparation for the AP exam and my willingness to be flexible with you.



  1. I follow the District’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  2. If you are caught cheating on any assignment or test, you will receive no credit for that assignment

or test, and the violation will be reported to the administration and parents.

  1. Any AP English students caught cheating will be encouraged to transfer out of the class.



  1. Any assignment not handed in on the day it is due is considered a late assignment. If you are

not in school the day an assignment is due, you should email the assignment to me at

alisonv@provo.edu. Late assignments will be docked by fifty percent after they are graded.

  1. When you miss a day of class, you are responsible for checking the homework sheet and picking up missed assignments before class meets again.
  2. If you are absent on the day of a test, you will have five school days to make up the test. After

those five days, you will receive a zero.



Do not be rude with phones during class. If you must use a phone, please ask permission first.


CONSULTATION: I will be available every day after school for individual writing conferences and other appointments. I am also available several times a week during lunch, and I will make myself available by appointment other times, as needed.


HOW TO CONTACT ME:     I greatly appreciate involved parents and would love to discuss concerns and questions with you at any time. The best way to contact me is through email: alisonv@provo.edu.   I can also be reached by phone at the school (221-9720) or at home in an emergency (801-709-4522). If you have an email address, please include that below so that I can contact you as well.