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AP Language Overview

Overview: AP Language is a full-year English course available to eleventh and twelfth graders. It is typically taught by Mrs. Latko, Mrs. Treco or Mr. Pipolo and culminates in a mandatory AP exam in May. There are no major novels to read in this course; this is good news if you do not like reading full-length works of literature, but bad news if you have been coasting through high school English with SparkNotes. Instead, it is a highly-analytical, rhetoric-focused course. You will be analyzing SAT-length nonfiction passages for rhetorical devices (i.e. metaphor, jargon, etc.) and then writing about how the author uses those rhetorical devices to establish his purpose. Towards the second half of the year, you will be writing your own argumentative essays with rhetorical strategies inserted. This class is also available for college credit through St. Joseph’s College at an additional cost.

Testing: There are a few quizzes on rhetorical devices at the beginning of the year, but after that your only grades will be essays. Almost every essay will be written in-class; you can rewrite this essay, but both grades (the original and rewrite) will be factored into your average. AP Language does not prepare for the Common Core English Regents, so if you are not able to pass the Regents at the end of tenth grade, do not take this course. As with all AP courses, there is a mandatory AP exam in May.

Extra Credit: There is typically about one extra credit opportunity each quarter. You can earn up to ten points on your lowest essay score.

Homework: If there is homework, it will usually be about one or two assignments each week. However, each assignment is brief (you could probably get it done before first period). The only work you will be doing out of class is studying for the few quizzes that you take at the beginning of the year, the one take-home writing assignment each quarter, and preparing for the AP exam.

Bottom Line: You should take this course if you are interested in improving your writing skills. As an added bonus, the course prepares you for the English sections of the SAT and ACT and you get to work on your college essay after the AP. As your quarter grade is based primarily on in-class essays, you must be a strong writer in order to thrive in this class. That being said, Mrs. Latko, Mrs. Treco, and Mr. Pipolo are dynamic and fun teachers, and you will surely learn a lot from the course.

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