AP English Language & Composition: Curricular Requirements

  • The teacher has read the most recent AP English Course Description.
  • The course teaches and requires students to write in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) about a variety of subjects (e.g., public policies, popular culture, personal experiences).
  • The course requires students to write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by teacher and peers.
  • The course requires students to write in informal contexts (e.g., imitation exercises, journal keeping, collaborative writing, and in-class responses) designed to help them become increasingly aware of themselves as writers and of the techniques employed by the writers they read.
  • The course requires expository, analytical, and argumentative writing assignments that are based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres.
  • The course requires nonfiction readings (e.g., essays, journalism, political writing, science writing, nature writing, autobiographies/biographies, diaries, history, criticism) that are selected to give students opportunities to identify and explain an author's use of rhetorical strategies and techniques. If fiction and poetry are also assigned, their main purpose should be to help students understand how various effects are achieved by writers' linguistic and rhetorical choices. (Note: The College Board does not mandate any particular authors or reading list, but representative authors are cited in the AP English Course Description.)
  • The course teaches students to analyze how graphics and visual images both relate to written texts and serve as alternative forms of text themselves.
  • The course teaches research skills, and in particular, the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources. The course assigns projects such as the researched argument paper, which goes beyond the parameters of a traditional research paper by asking students to present an argument of their own that includes the analysis and synthesis of ideas from an array of sources.
  • The course teaches students how to cite sources using a recognized editorial style (e.g., Modern Language Association, The Chicago Manual of Style, etc.).
  • The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students' writing assignments, both before and after the students revise their work, that help the students develop these skills:
    • A wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively
    • A variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination
    • Logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence, such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis
    • A balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail
    • An effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure

Resource Requirements

The school ensures that each student has a copy of all required readings for individual use inside and outside the classroom.  
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