AP English Language

Advanced Placement Language and Composition Course Description, Purpose, and
Enduring Understandings
Curriculum/Content Area: Language Arts
Course Length: Semester
Course Title: AP Language and Composition
Date last reviewed:
Prerequisites: English 10 (ideally English 10
Honors or English 11)
Board approval date:
Course description and purpose: The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become
skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts, and to become skilled writers who
can compose for a variety of purposes. Throughout the course, the students will write in a variety of forms – narrative,
exploratory, expository, and argumentative – and on a variety of subjects from personal experiences to public policies, from
imaginative literature to popular culture. As in the college course, the purpose of the AP English Language and Composition
course is to enable students to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose that is rich enough and complex
enough for mature readers.
Enduring Understandings (EUs):
Students will understand that . . .
Essential Questions (EQs):
1. A writer or speaker works within particular
contexts (historical, cultural, personal) which
shape his or her work.
2. Writing or speaking can usually be categorized
according to various patterns of development,
used based on the author’s purpose.
3. Annotating a text, especially lengthy readings,
can serve as the foundation for analysis.
4. Human communities have changed
dramatically over the last 200 years.
5. The “classical model” of persuasion or
argumentation provides a practical format that
meets the expectations of most educated
6. A writer has several strategies, in terms of
organization and punctuations, to integrate source
material in support of points.
7. Scientific progress, especially in the fields of
information technology and genetic research,
brings both benefits and challenges to society.
8. Writers and speakers typically use a variety of
rhetorical strategies to achieve their purposes.
9. An essay based on personal experience uses
not only anecdotal evidence, but also an
individual’s recollection of history and culture.
10. Popular culture reflects and shapes its
1. How did various historical contexts shape the
writing of a selection of authors and speakers?
2. How do different patterns of development allow
a speaker or writer to appeal to Ethos, Logos, or
3. What types of annotation can help students
work more efficiently?
4. What defines a modern community? How do
individual ideas of community differ?
5. How should I organize my argumentative
writing for both efficient production and meeting
the expectations of a typical audience?
6. What options are available for integrating
source material into my writing?
7. What challenges might I face in the future as a
result of technological progress?
8. How can the various rhetorical strategies be
categorized, especially when describing a given
text’s use of them?
9. What options do I have, in terms of evidence,
when writing without sources?
10. How does American popular culture negatively
impact society?
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