Course Syllabus

     Welcome to Ms.B's Class

& other information

Work: (704) 296-3800

Cell: (704) 557-6040

Fax: (704)296-3090

First Semester Second Semester
1st Advanced Inquiry 1st English I 
2nd AP Language (Eng III H - Companion) 2nd PLANNING
3rd PLANNING 3rd English I
4th English I Honors 4th AP Language


 Welcome to AP Language and Composition!

Course Objectives:

            The purpose of this course is to help students “write effectively and confidently in their college courses across the curriculum and their professional and personal lives.” (The College Board, AP English Course Description, p.6). 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 in both writing and speech.

Primary Learning Goals:

            AP English Language and Composition is a college-level 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 and listeners in a situation” (David Joliffe, 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;
  • the relationship of the text’s creation 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 flesh out the meaning of a text;
  • how to create, develop and support an argument, acknowledging the complexities and nuances of important issues that adults argue 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 citations;
  • how to read a question, so they know exactly how to approach it;
  • how to enhance their vocabulary as a means to effective writing; how to grapple with archaic prose strategies 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.

Hybrid Plan B/D Learning Expectations for Ms. Barron’s Class

Given the extraordinary nature of online learning with in-person instruction, I will be teaching using a combination of Canvas and Microsoft Teams to accommodate all learners.

Consider Canvas as the “bricks and mortar” of my classroom—the infrastructure—that is, where all my content, syllabus, and modules are housed and organized.

Consider Microsoft Teams as our active learning environment, where we will meet daily, collaborate, and submit work. I will be recording live lessons during our scheduled class time and embedding those videos on the Canvas calendar on the days those lessons occurred.

 Although lessons will be recorded—my expectation is that EVERY student log-in and participate during scheduled class time. I strongly encourage that students show up and ready to learn at the assigned time. I assign daily work that requires timely submission to ensure your success in my course. All my daily work is a necessary preparation for major assessment which often account for 40% percent of your overall grade!!!

I will take attendance at the beginning of every class and I will mark students (virtual or in-person) absent who do not log in to our live Microsoft Teams class time!

Materials,  Required Texts & Resources:

Heinrichs, Jay--Thank You for Arguing (3rd ed.) ISBN:  978-0-8041-8993-4

EmpowerED Family Portal: Provides parents with links to online resources and apps that students can access. 

  • Canvas (Learning Platform at Central Academy): Unit modules, assignments, and materials are accessed through our learning platform. Individual assignments will indicate which method of submission on Canvas is expected, if students need a refresher or have questions, they can access the Canvas Student Guide for specific instructions. It is the student's responsibility to ensure assignments are submitted on time and to contact the instructor if there is a problem. The Canvas Learning Platform logs every student log-in on Canvas which provides teachers with a list of when students log-in to Canvas using their user ID. 
  • Canvas is used to grade assignments as well, however, the grades in Canvas, while accurate to the assignment, are NOT the teacher's grade book. The teacher's grade book includes categories of assignments that may be weighted differently and may include grades of assignments that did not use the Canvas Learning Platform. Therefore, students and parents should always check their child's true average on the Parent Portal on PowerSchool. 

Class Supplies: 

Course Binder with Labeled Dividers

  • 3-ring binder
  • 1 subject notebook or composition notebook
  • highlighters
  • blue/ black pens

Students must maintain a course binder for this class. Incomplete binders will adversely affect exam preparation and a student's grade. The binder should include the following sections:

  1. Rhetoric
  2. Argument
  3. Synthesis
  4. Multiple Choice
  5. Vocabulary

Daybook/ Composition Notebook

Students must maintain a composition notebook for daily bell ringers.

***** Daybooks and Course Binders will be checked periodically for a grade!!!


Classroom Policies

  • While students are not required to take the AP exam: however, it is strongly encouraged because it is the culminating activity of the course.
  • All students must take the practice exam when administered. It emulates the actual testing experience. It will be held in the spring on a date to be announced.
  • Homework is due at the beginning of the period. According to school policy, students who were absent on the day the work was assigned must hand it in within 24 hours of the student’s return. A student whose absence was not excused or due to suspension must hand in the work on the day of his/her return for any credit. Because homework and process assignments (i.e. rough drafts, etc.) pertain to the lesson of the day, students earn no credit if they do not submit assignments on the due date. Students who miss an in-class assignment or quiz have 48 hours to make it up upon their return; otherwise, they will receive a zero on the assignment. The grade book closes at the end of each six-week period; consequently, late work from the previous six weeks will no longer be accepted, resulting in no credit for the assignment. Students will not pass this course if their work is consistently late, or if they submit the bulk of their work toward the end of the semester. Computer issues are not valid excuses for late
  • Successful students will attend class regularly and on time.
  • Consistent attendance is essential for success in this course. If a student is absent 10 or more times during a semester (excused or not), we will have an administrative meeting to discuss the student’s future in the course.
  • Successful students will demonstrate skills indicative of quality workers by bringing required materials, completing homework assignments, participating in class discussions, and respecting the opinions of others.
  • All final drafts of major written assignments are to be typed or word-processed and must adhere to the essay format (MLA) unless otherwise specified.
  • Students are not allowed to bring food, drinks (except water) into the classroom.
  • Cell phones must be turned off during class time. Any cell phone use during class time may result in disciplinary action.
  • I use the standard grading scale:90-100 A, 80-89 B, 70-79 C, 60-69 D, 59 and below F. Individual papers are graded on a 0-9 AP scale, the scale used in AP Lit.
  • This course is weighted as the following: 10% Daily Work: classwork, homework, participation, 20% Minor Assessments: quizzes, presentations, 30% Major Assessments: test, 40% Writings/Essays: essays, timed writings---note that major formal papers will be worth at least double the points of time writings. SEMESTER EXAM: 25% of semester grade!
  • The CATA conduct code will be strictly enforced including Zero Tolerance Policy concerning cruelty, harassment, excessive teasing, discrimination, violence, and intimidation. Foul language, derogatory remarks, and disrespect towards classmates, teachers, and school staff will not be tolerated.
  • Cheating and plagiarism on schoolwork will result in a zero on the assignment and could result in disciplinary action. Some assignments must be submitted through
  • Lack of respect for the property of others (including writing on or defacing desks), and disruptive behavior (including talking out of turn) could result in removal from the classroom and

Writing Assignments

Major Writing Assignments: The following assignments are processed papers composed primarily outside of class:

  • Analytical Essay: Students compose a rhetorical analysis from a prompt focusing on one of a selection of readings.
  • Synthesis Essay: Students synthesize materials from sources (including visual), develop an argument and compose an argumentative essay.
  • Research Paper: Students experience the research process from discovering a topic and developing a research question to submitting the final product. Students will understand all levels of the process including discerning relevant sources, gathering information from diverse sources, synthesizing that information, and properly formatting the paper, incorporating MLA citation techniques.

In-class Timed Essays--Responding to AP or AP-like prompts: During the year, students are regularly required to respond to a prompt under time constraints. During the first semester, students will share their responses with their groups before revising and resubmitting the paper for assessment. If dissatisfied with the grade earned on a paper, a student may revise and resubmit it for reassessment only after attending an individual writing conference. During the second semester, students have fewer opportunities for reassessment. However, even though the grade earned on the paper is final, students are highly encouraged to take advantage of writing conferences.

Assessments: The papers composed in and of the class are the primary assessments. They reveal students’ understanding of the concepts taught; therefore, many of them are summative assessments. These papers are assessed on the 0-9 AP scale, with a score of 5 equivalent to 75 points and 9 to 100 points. Additional assessments include vocabulary quizzes, multiple-choice tests and exercises, and the NCFE.


Unit 1: Introduction to Rhetoric -- In this unit, students will learn the significance of rhetorical analysis by defining rhetoric and the rhetorical situation according to Bitzer: exigence, audience, and constraints; the analysis of persona and tone; the rhetorical matrix: the elements of an effective text; how to discern the differences in approaches to certain targeted to specific audiences; the significance of audience in the development of a text; formal academic writing; how to transcend the 5-paragraph "theme."

Readings: Applebaum, “If the Japanese Can’t Build a Safe Reactor, Who Can?”; Bitzer, "The Rhetorical Situation;" Bush, “9-11 Speech”; Eighner, Lars, "On Dumpster Diving;" Eisenhower, “Order of the Day”; Mairs, "On Being a Cripple;" McMurty, "Kill 'Em! Crush 'Em! Eat 'Em Raw;" Morrison, “Letter to Obama”; Rauch, "In Defense of Prejudice;" Roach, "How to Know If You're Dead;" Water, “Slow Food Nation”; Will, “King Coal: Reigning in China”; Woolf, "In Search of a Room of One's Own." Assorted essays and excerpts. 

Unit 2: Analyzing Argument - It's All Argument 
–In this unit, the students understand, analyze, and create both argumentative and persuasive pieces. Students will learn the rhetorical transaction; Aristotelian appeals; models of effective argument: Classical, Rogerian and Toulmin; syllogisms, enthymemes and their relationship to specific audiences—an assumption based on the target audience; logical fallacies, the authorial voice: “effective” vs. “ineffective” writing—the rant.

Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader;" Cady-Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments”; Cohen, “The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research”; Jefferson et. al, “Declaration of Independence”; Hayawaka, “Bilingualism in America”; Henry, “Speech to the Virginia Convention”; Kennedy, “Inaugural Address”; Lincoln, "Second Inaugural Address"; Regan, “The case of the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research”; Wilson, “Letter to a Minister” and “Future of Life”; Assorted essays and excerpts.

Unit 3: Rhetorical Analysis -- In this unit, the student will learn: the writing process; the concept of conversation, “conversing” with an author; how to analyze visual sources, seeing beyond the apparent; the analysis of persona and tone; rhetorical strategies applying to grammar and syntax.

Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader, "Album of Styles" pp.592-609; Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; Mailer, “The Death of Benny Paret”; Rosenwald Smith, “The Wife-Beater”; Smith, “1616 Letter to Queen Anne of Great Britain”; Wiesel, “We Choose Honor”; Assorted essays and excerpts.

Unit 4: Expanding Definition of Argument –
 In this unit, students will create and sustain arguments based on reading, research, and personal experience; write for a variety of purposes; produce argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary sources, cogent explanations, and clear transitions.

Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader, “Prose Op-Eds” pp. ; Dillard, “So This Was Adolescence”; King, “I Have a Dream”; Suskind, Chapter 1, A Hope in the Unseen; Wollstonecraft, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”; Assorted essays and excerpts           


Unit 5: Othello and the Power of Language In this unit, students will closely analyze Iago’s rhetoric in specific monologues and dialogues with other characters; study what Iago says and how he says it, as well as what he refrains from saying (the silence that spurs his listeners on to imagining the worst or to realizing the worst or to realizing the worst about themselves); identifying and applying rhetorical terms; discover the dangerous power of language.

Readings: Shakespeare, Othello 

Unit 6: The Art of Persuasion and the Craft of Argument: Rhetorical Analysis and Annotation – To become informed and contributing citizens in a democracy, students must develop analytical skills to recognize and understand the tools of argument and persuasion, as well as persuasive skills, including the ability to analyze and integrate evidence appropriate to their audience. This unit will teach students the elements of rhetorical analysis.


Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader; Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar: Brutus’s and Antony’s Funeral Speeches; Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”; King, Coretta, “The Death Penalty is a Step Back”; Suzuki, “Speech at the UN Earth Summit”; Assorted essays and excerpts    

Unit 7: Rhetoric: Advancing and Point of View through Figurative Language – In this unit, students will analyze how authors use figurative language and rhetorical techniques to advance their point of view and purpose.

Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader; Alexie, “How to Write the Great American Indian Novel”; Cady Stanton, “An Address Du Bois, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” from The Souls of Black Folks; Lorde, “From the House of Yemanja”; Washington, “Atlanta Compromise Speech”; Assorted essays and excerpts

Unit 8: Researching to Deepen Understanding – In this unit, students will develop their explorative proficiency: researching to deepen understanding. It lays out a process through which students learn to explore topics with their learning community, posing and refining questions and listening to experiences, and discovering areas they wish to investigate. It develops their ability to determine what they don’t know or understand, and where and how to find that information. The unit also develops and supports student ability to archive and organize information in order to see and analyze connections in ways that aid comprehension, deepen their understanding and prepare them to express their evolving perspective.

Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader; Assorted essays and excerpts  

Unit 9: Synthesis: Research Multiple Perspectives
– In this unit, students will understand the AP synthesis prompt by defining synthesis; breaking down the prompt; conversing with sources; analyzing images; analyzing political cartoons, embedding source material; timed practice; synthesis prompt project; thinking like an AP reader

Readings: Selections from The Norton Reader; Assorted essays and excerpts

Unit 10-11 (Post-Exam): The Podcast: Research & Production; Writing the College Personal Statement


Course Summary:

Date Details Due