AP Language & Composition
College Composition, Running Start
Summer Reading Information:
“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.”
~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
Welcome to AP English. As Richard Wright remarks above, the “hunger for life that gnaws in us all” will be found in our practice of writing, editing, and rewriting. We’ll be doing a great deal of all three to gain power over our words and readers. Our goal will be to make a connection with our readers, so an echo will sound, “no matter how faintly,” so they will experience our visions and marching words. In this introductory college-level course, you will read and carefully analyze a broad range of nonfiction prose selections, which will deepen awareness of rhetoric and how language works.
You will write many different types of assignments with different purposes for various audiences. The ability to make our words march and fight, as in writing persuasively, relies in deciding what you want or need to say, and how to say it. When this decision has been made about something that compels you, you will write from a position of strength. We will spend the majority of our time focusing on how a written piece is constructed – how the words and sentences are put together to shape the reader’s understandings of the story. We will analyze how the author’s description shapes the meaning of a text.
The ability to write powerfully also comes from the regular examination of our language and how it is used around us. These observations and discussions will allow you to become a crafty writer – your language usage will become more balanced, more purposeful, more compelling and more eloquent. Understanding the way that others use language for their purposes can allow you to make very deliberate decisions about how to use it for your purposes. These decisions and practices, paired with a message you need or want to say, can lead to the development of your own writing voice – you and the reader’s shared belief that you’re saying whatever you’re saying with legitimate authority and personal style; thus, making your words echo substantially.
As this is a college-level course, performance expectations are appropriately high, and the work is challenging. This is a nationally recognized course and the AP Exam at the end of the year will determine whether the AP objectives have been met. Grades will be reflective of class discussions, long and short-term reading and writing assignments, class work and presentations.