Dear AP Language and Composition students and parents,
Congratulations on accepting the challenge of taking AP Language and Composition. I am looking forward to working with you and helping you achieve your potential. We have from now until next May to get you ready to pass the exam, and in that time you will work to increase your skills as writers and critical thinkers.
By way of introduction, Advanced Placement English Language and Composition is a rigorous college-level course for highly motivated students in the 11th grade. The College Board describes the course as a class that “engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in various contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes.” We will study three types of essays to prepare you for the exam. These will include the synthesis essay, the rhetorical analysis essay, and the argumentative essay. In addition, to prepare you for critical reading (necessary to write well on the essays) and for the multiple choice component of the exam, we will study with a focus on rhetoric and rhetorical devices. We will primarily read nonfiction, but we will also possibly include a limited amount of drama, poetry, photography, and film, depending on time constraints.
Please know this course requires a commitment from the parent, student, and teacher in order to meet the goals and objectives outlined by the College Board; therefore, students are expected to be thoroughly prepared each day and to satisfactorily complete any assignment within the given time frame. I am confident that all students in this class will achieve the optimal learning experience and pass the AP Language exam in May if they put forth the maximum effort. Please visit the College Board’s Website (www.collegeboard.com) to learn more about AP Language and Composition and http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/2001.html to learn more about the exam.
I will check my email periodically over the summer and respond, if you would like to contact me before school begins, and throughout the school year I will make myself available through email and tutoring by appointment. If at any time you have concerns or questions, please contact me by email (Jheiner@alverno-hs.org). Once the school year begins, please remember to check your student’s progress on PowerSchool where you can view student grades.
To help prepare you for our course in the fall and the exam in May, you will need to read and write over the summer. Please find below the summer reading and corresponding assignments. The texts and assignments are rigorous, as is the course, but they are also worth it. In order to remain in AP Language and Composition, you must have these books read and assignments completed to turn in on the first day of class. You may turn them in early, up to a week before school begins again, by email if you would like. These assignments will serve as a sign of your commitment and will also allow me as the teacher to assess your prior knowledge. Do your best on them so that I am able to correctly assess your abilities as you enter this new adventure into language and writing.
I look forward to our class in the fall and celebrating with you as you pass your exams in May.
Ms. Jannifer Heiner
Summer Assignments 2016 Part I—Reading You will read five works this summer. Read and annotate them in the order that best suits your taste. However, this is the order I suggest reading them in.
Book #1: Rebel in White Gloves by Miriam Horn
Book #2: The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg These two books pair nicely as they highlight the fight for women’s equality in two very different parts of the world. As you read, ask yourself what equality for women, freedom for women, and feminism looks like in the United States and Afghanistan. Annotate your tests for connections between the two, differences, and anything you find interesting, important, or otherwise noteworthy.
Book #3: Jane Eyreby Charlotte Bronte
Book #4: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys These are the two fiction books (aka novels) you will read over the summer. Read Jane Eyre first as Wide Sargasso Sea was written in response to Jane Eyre. These books will be fun to read, but keep in mind that the second book gives voice to a woman who did not have one in the first book. Annotate the novels for connections between the two books, anything you find interesting, important, or otherwise noteworthy. Make sure also to record your own feelings in annotations. How did your perspective change after reading the second book?
Book #5: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf You will need to slow down as you read this book. It is a difficult book to understand, but it also ties all of our summer reading together. As you read ask yourself what is this “room of one’s own” symbolic of? In the other four books, how does Virginia Woolf’s philosophy apply? Do women now have this “room”? If so, what has changed (using the other books as evidence) to provide this “room”? If not, what challenges do we still face?
Part II—Summer Essays You will write two five-paragraph essays based on all three of the non-fiction books you read over the summer. Your essay will be graded according to the attached AP Language rubric and will be due on the first day of school (you may submit up to a week early by email). Please use MLA guidelines on your essay (heading in top left corner, a title, double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font, in-text citations, and a Works Cited page). If you need help with MLA formatting, please visit https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Your essay must either be turned in by email before class begins or printed and ready to turn in by the time class begins. Please do not ask me to print or to go to the library to print. Part of this assignment is to make sure that you are able to plan and use your time well, which includes having the assignment ready to go when you get to class.
Prompts: #1 Works of non-fiction present an argument to the reader and support this argument with different types of evidence. The argument may be explicit (stated directly by the author), or the argument may be implicit (must be inferred by the reader). For your essay, select either Rebel in White Gloves or The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan, and briefly identify the author’s central argument. Then, analyze the evidence the author uses to support her argument. Finally, evaluate the argument as a whole. Is the argument valid? Are there holes in the author’s argument? Make sure to include identification of the argument and a thesis in the introduction paragraph, your analysis of evidence in the body paragraphs, and the evaluation of the argument in your conclusion paragraph. Avoid summarizing the text (meaning telling me what the text says). And focus on analyzing and evaluating the argument (to analyze break the argument down into its parts and examine them by themselves and in relation to the other parts of the argument). If you need further help understanding how to analyze and argument, refer to this PowerPoint http://www.slideshare.net/ashleytroxell/analyzing-and-evaluating-arguments.
#2 For this essay, use the two non-fiction texts you did not use on your first essay (one of these should be A Room of One’s Own). Write an essay in which you evaluate the idea presented in A Room of One’s Own that in order for men to have confidence in their superior position, they must constantly make women inferior. This means that women throughout time have served as a magnifying mirror for men in which they view their size and worth. If women start telling the truth, that they are not inferior, men will see themselves as diminished and unfit, and therefore, many men are indignantly offended by feminism and/or women’s rights (paraphrased from A Room of One’s Own Chapter 2). Be sure to synthesize evidence from both texts to support your argument and persuade your reader. You may want to use the ideas in A Room of One’s Own to help you analyze the second text.
Part III—Fun Assignment In Jane Eyre, Edward locks his mad wife, Bertha, away on the third floor (aka the attic) of Thornfield. Here, Bertha is taken care of by Grace Poole, but really she is a prisoner, confined and hidden from public view. As a result, Bertha does not have a voice in this novel, other than some screaming and violent outbursts when she breaks out of the attic, and this bothered author Jean Rhys. Rhys, as a post-colonial writer, re-writes Bertha in Wide Sargasso Sea, giving her the voice she is missing in Jane Eyre.
Your Assignment: Jane and Bertha have different perspectives on Bertha’s situation. Write a debate, no shorter than two pages, in which Jane and Bertha battle it out, answering the question: was it right to keep Bertha locked up? You get to decide who wins the debate, but either way, you will want evidence from the novels (use both novels). After writing your two page plus debate, enlist a friend/sibling/parent or two to help you, and film the debate with one person playing Jane and one person playing Bertha. Turn in your written debate the first day of class (or up to a week beforehand by email), and post your video on our Edmodo page by the second day of class (you will need to get the Edmodo code the first day of class).
If you need help with any of these assignments over the summer, please contact me by email, and I will answer you as quickly as time permits
AP English: Literature and Composition Rubric: 9–8 These essays effectively analyze the argument, supporting evidence, and rhetorical techniques in the selected text. The evidence and explanations used in the essay are appropriate and convincing, and the essays analysis is especially coherent and well developed. The prose demonstrates a consistent ability to control a wide range of elements of effective writing but is not necessarily flawless. Essays scoring a 9 met these criteria and are especially sophisticated in their argument, thorough in their development, or particularly impressive I their control of language.
7–6 These essays adequately analyze the argument, supporting evidence, and rhetorical techniques in the selected text. The evidence and explanations used in the essay are appropriate and sufficient, and the essay’s analysis is coherent and adequately developed. The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but generally the prose is clear. Essays scoring a 7 met the criteria for a score of 6 while providing a more complete explanation, thorough development, or a more mature prose style.
5 These essays analyze the argument, supporting evidence, and rhetorical techniques in the selected text. The evidence or explanations used may be uneven, inconsistent, or limited. The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but it usually conveys the student’s ideas.
4 inadequately analyze the argument, supporting evidence, and rhetorical techniques in the selected text. The evidence or explanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient, or less convincing. The essay’s analysis may have lapses in coherence or be inadequately developed. The prose generally conveys the student’s ideas but may be less consistent in controlling the elements of effective writing.
3 meets the criteria for a score of 4 but demonstrate less success in developing an analytical stance. These essays may show less maturity in control of writing.
2 demonstrate little success in developing an analytical stance. These essays may misunderstand the prompt or substitute a simpler task by responding to the prompt tangentially with unrelated, inaccurate, or inappropriate explanation. The prose often demonstrates consistent weakness in writing, such as grammatical problems, a lack of development or organization, or a lack of coherence and control.
1 meets the criteria for a score of 2 but are undeveloped, especially simplistic in their explanation and argument, weak in their control of language, or especially lacking in coherence and development.
0 These essays do no more than make a reference to the task.
— These essays either are left blank or are completely off topic.