Advanced Placement: English Language & Composition

Summer Reading 2016-2017

The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to substitute for a college composition course.  Because of this, the expectation is that you develop evidence-based analytical and argumentative essays and that you evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support written arguments. Also,throughout the course, you will evaluate exemplary writings and strive toward developing your own personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Lastly, you will read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text , from many disciplines and historical periods.

*as taken from The College Board course description

The summer reading project is designed to engage you with preliminary reading and practice with non-fiction and fictional text. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENTS BELOW AND TO SUBMIT THEM ON THE FIRST DAY.  All work should be done electronically, in a Google Document and shared with your teacher. You will need to purchase the full length novels, but the short reading articles will be provided via hyperlink on this web page.


Read the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.  Be sure to read the novel completely as you will be given a comprehension test upon your return to school. Throughout the course, this novel will be referred to for many learning activities.


Read the selected chapters from  Thank You for Arguing, by Jay Heinrichs (purchase the revised & update edition).  

  • Chapter 4, “Soften Them Up: Character, Logic & Emotion”

  • Chapter 6, “Make Them Listen: The Lincoln Gambit”

  • Chapter 11, “Gain the High Ground: Aristotle’s Favorite Topic”

  • Chapter 14, “Spot Fallacies: The Seven Deadly Logical Sins”

  • Chapter 15, “Call a Foul: Nixon’s Trick”

  • Chapter 20, “Get Instant Cleverness: Monty Python’s Treasury of Wit”

For each of the six sections:

  • Write a summary of at least 5 key points in the section AND provide textual support

(quotes, passages typed)

  • Develop at least one clarifying question for each section (what you still don’t understand from that section and/or want to learn about or discuss in class).  Make sure to reference the text specifically.

  • Clearly label your work for each chapter’s assignment


Read each listed essay. Each has a provided web link to access the text.

1. Eighner, Lars: “On Dumpster Diving”

2. Mairs, Nancy: “On Being a Cripple”

3. McMurty, John: “Kill ‘Em! Crush ‘Em! Eat ‘Em Raw”

4. Holt, John: “How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading”

5. Twain, Mark: “Advice to Youth”

For each essay,you must complete the following :

  • A 1-2 paragraph reaction to the essay that shares your personal reaction to the topic

being discussed. Cite 2-3 provocative quotations to support your reaction.

  • Complete the SOAPSTone Questions for each article (see below) Use complete sentences and cite evidence from the text in your answer.

SOAPSTone (Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, Tone)

Who is the Speaker? (Who is the voice of the story? Don’t just state the author...who are they as a person premised upon what you’ve read).

What is the Occasion?(The time and the place of the piece; what was happening that prompted the writing.)

Who is the Audience? (The group of readers to whom this piece is directed)

What is the Purpose?(The reason for writing the text)

What is the Subject? (What topic/idea/concern is this addressing?)

What is the Tone?(The attitude of the author)


You will respond to a prompt that asks you to synthesize one of the assigned essays and Heinrich’s  Thank You for Arguing.  

  • If you want to contact Mrs. Samuels, use this email address:

  • If you want to contact Mrs. Venneri, use this email address:

  • If you want to contact Mr. Weber, use this email address: