AP® English Language and Composition


Llyn Scott, BA, MA, PhD

Course Description:

The AP® English Language and Composition Course fulfills the writing requirement of a college freshman for an English course. The purpose of this course is to help students write effectively and confidently in their high school courses across the curriculum and in their professional and personal lives. The course is organized according to the requirements and guidelines of the current AP® English Course Description and, therefore, students are expected to read critically, think analytically, and communicate clearly both in writing and speech.

Course Objectives:

AP® English Language and Composition is a high school course examining rhetoric as “the art of finding and analyzing all the choices involving language that a writer, speaker, reader, or listener might make in a situation so that the text becomes meaningful, purposeful, and effective for readers or listeners, and examining the specific features of texts, written or spoken, that cause them to be meaningful, purposeful, and effective for readers or listeners in a situation.” (David Jolliffe, former AP® exam creator). Therefore, students will become mature and sophisticated consumers and creators of a variety of texts. By the end of the course, students will understand:

  • What they read: the main point or thesis, the occasion or context, the author’s motivation for writing, the tone and style;
  • How a text is created to develop meaning and purpose including genre, organization, paragraphing, syntax;
  • What the relationship of the text’s creation means to its accomplishment, the purpose of academic intellectual prose, its meaning and effect;
  • How to articulate their analysis of what they read; how the organizational structure, diction, syntax, imagery, figurative language contribute to the meaning of a text;
  • How to create, develop and support an argument, acknowledging the complexities and nuances of important issues that adults argue about in contemporary intellectual circles;
  • How to become good citizens through awareness of public discourse issues
  • How to enter into a conversation with sources and develop a thesis and argument or exposition by synthesizing these conversations into their own writing;
  • How to analyze and incorporate their analysis of visual texts into their writing;
  • Effective research skills and proper MLA citation;
  • How to read a question, so they know exactly what and how to approach it;
  • How to enhance their vocabulary as a means to effective writing; how to grapple with archaic prose
  • what strategies are necessary for success on the AP® English Language and Composition exam. Students should become aware of how writers’ linguistic choices create effective writing and achieve stylistic effects as well as how to effectively incorporate many of these techniques into their own writing.



Thomas Cooley. Back to the Lake: A Reader for Writers. 2nd Ed.  W. W. Norton, 2012. Available at Bookman Books, Taipei http://www.bookman.com.tw/Store.aspx?advNo=33

AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.