AP English Language

Learn about the elements that define effective argument and composition through the critical analysis and interpretation of complex texts.

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Two Semesters



In AP English Language and Composition, students investigate rhetoric and its impact on culture through analysis of notable fiction and nonfiction texts, from pamphlets to speeches to personal essays. The equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, this course prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in communications, creative writing, journalism, literature, and composition.

Students explore a variety of textual forms, styles, and genres. By examining all texts through a rhetorical lens, students become skilled readers and analytical thinkers. Focusing specifically on language, purpose, and audience gives them a broad view of the effect of text and its cultural role. Students write expository and narrative texts to hone the effectiveness of their own use of
language, and they develop varied, informed arguments through research. Throughout the course, students are evaluated with assessments specifically designed to prepare them for the content, form, and depth of the AP Exam.

Semesters 1 and 2: Required 

  • Into the  Wild, Jon Krakauer (Anchor, 1996). ISBN-10: 0385486804 / ISBN-13: 978-0385486804
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner, 2004). ISBN-10: 0743273567 / ISBN-13: 978-0743273565
  • The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (Penguin, 2006). ISBN-10: 0143039431 / ISBN-13: 978-0143039433
  • A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry (Vintage, 2004). ISBN-10: 0679755330 /  ISBN-13: 978-0679755333
  • The Way to Rainy Mountain, N. Scott Momaday (University of New Mexico Press, 1976). ISBN-10: 0826304362 / ISBN-13: 978-0826304360
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (Mariner Books, 2009). ISBN-10: 0618706410 / ISBN-13: 978-0618706419