Dear AP Language and Composition student:

First, let us offer you our congratulations on choosing to take a college-level course in your junior year of high school! You have chosen a more difficult path, but definitely a very rewarding one! Before you head out on summer break, we want to take some time to make sure that you have a clear picture of the nature of this course and the work that it will entail.

The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition class is a class designed for students wishing to advance their understanding of the art of writing. This course will require you to read a lot of different writers, mostly non-fiction writers, analyzing the various rhetorical strategies that they use to convey their ideas to an audience. The study of these authors is used as a development in the understanding of your own writing as you work this next year to become a more mature writer with your own distinct style. This is a writing-intensive class, and while the writing will always be challenging, there are many current students who can attest to the benefits of such writing, from their SAT’s to the ACT’s to the completion of essays in other classes. Overall, these students are much more confident and talented writers, a skill that will benefit you in any area of your life, regardless of your future goals.

Much of this course will be spent in preparation for the AP Exam in May. This exam will allow you the opportunity to try for college credit, including your English 101 credit. Students not intending to take the AP exam need to consider whether this class will be the right fit for them.

Your journey in this course starts this summer with the summer reading. You are going to read:

  1. “Chapter 6: Harlan, Kentucky” from Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

It is recommended that you purchase these texts so that you can annotate in them. If you do not purchase them, you will need to annotate using post-it notes. These books can be ordered online through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com in addition to other sites. You can also purchase them at the bookstores, but please do not wait until the last minute as they can sometimes be difficult to find in the stores due to the large amount of students reading them.

 


Reading:

Make sure both the book and chapter are read (in their entirety) the day you return to school, Thursday, August 2nd. We will be taking quizzes and engaging in discussions about the material within the first two-day week. If you do not have the books read, you will start the year behind, and you will not be able to contribute to the discussions, and you will likely not start the year earning the grade you desire.

Annotations:

On Monday, August 6th you will be required to show that you have thoroughly annotated (see reference sheet provided) the drama by Miller and the chapter by Gladwell.

Click here for analysis chart reference sheet

Analysis Charts:

In this course, we believe everything is an argument. We will spend the year analyzing how each author chooses to make an argument, and then you will spend quite a bit of time crafting your own arguments.

On Monday, August 6th, you will turn in two analysis charts. The literary analysis chart for The Crucible requires you to first list and exemplify ten literary elements observed throughout the whole book; then, you will identify thematic subjects Miller addresses, which you turn into potential theme statements, which you will finally narrow down until you have determined the best theme you believe Miller develops throughout the book. The middle of the chart will be dedicated to your commentary explaining why the literary elements you identified on the left develop the best theme you determined on the right.

Click here for The Crucible analysis chart

The rhetorical analysis chart for the chapter “Harlan, Kentucky” requires you to first list and exemplify ten rhetorical elements observed throughout the chapter; then, you will identify argument subjects Gladwell addresses, which you will turn into potential argument statements, which you will finally narrow down until you have determined the best argument you believe Gladwell develops throughout the chapter. The middle of the chart will be dedicated to your commentary explaining why the rhetorical elements you identified on the left develop the best argument you determined on the right.

Click here for the “Harlan, Kentucky” analysis chart

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the AP Language summer reading assignment, please email Mrs. Eaton: lauren.eaton@gilbertschools.net or Mr. Heermans: jake.heermans@gilbertschools.net.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Eaton and Mr. Heermans