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Honors and AP Courses » AP English Language and Composition

AP English Language and Composition

An 11th Grade Core Course: AP English Language and Composition

Teachers: Mrs. Cross; E-mail: [email protected] and Mrs. Caza; E-mail: [email protected]

A Week in the Life of an AP Language Student:

Day One:

                                Discussion: What is Rhetoric?

Homework: Reread and annotate “Superman and Me”; answer the AP style multiple choice ( 10 questions) and give reasoning for your answer.

Day Two:

                                Bellwork Journal Prompt

                                Discuss  “ Superman and Me”

                                What is Rhetorical Analysis? Slideshow and Discussion

                Homework: Write Literacy Narrative about how you learned to read and write

 ( One page typed)

Day Three:

Bellwork Journal Prompt

                                Share Literacy Narratives

                                                Read around in small groups

                                                Chart Strengths and needed Improvements

                                                Share out

                                Homework: Read and annotate “ Introduction to Rhetoric”

Day Four:


                                What is a Rhetorical Situation?  Discuss and review handout

                                Begin reading “ I Want a Wife”

                                Homework: Annotate “ I want a Wife”

Day Five:

                                Bellwork Journal Prompt

                                Discuss “ I want a Wife” as a class

Introduce the idea of  “ I want a Husband” writing assignment in which we will model after the author of “I want a Husband”  

Homework: Bring an example of a good non-five paragraph essay; Annotate “ Say Goodbye to the Five Paragraph Essay”; Obtain a copy of The Scarlet Letter By Friday and read chapter 1.

Comments from Instructor:

Students are expected to read and annotate all college-level readings. These works are meant to prepare the student to become a better writer by modeling after those writers who are already skilled. Students will learn in this class not to write formulaic essays and so are expected to spend time thinking, planning, and being creative with writing assignments in this course.  In addition, students will be given terms to memorize in order to analyze prose writing.  There are three units in this class: Rhetorical Analysis, Argument, and Synthesis. There are mini topical units within each of those sections on things such as gender, college worthiness, language and culture, the decade of the 20s, etc. The teachers of this course are willing to work with students who need additional support in any of the following: study sessions, writing conferences, re-teaching of lesson concepts. The class is difficult for many students due to timed writings, but revisions and re-submissions are allowed and students who put in a full effort to become better writers have always been successful.

Sample Test

 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.)


     The following piece, “The Company Man,” is by columnist Ellen Goodman. Read the passage and then write an essay analyzing the rhetorical techniques Goodman uses to convey her attitude towards Phil.


He worked himself to death, finally and precisely, at

3:00 A.M. Sunday morning. 
            The obituary didn't say that, of course. It said that

he died of a coronary thrombosis--I think that was it—

5    but everyone among his friends and acquaintances

knew it instantly. He was a perfect Type A, a

workaholic, a classic, they said to each other and

shook their heads—and thought for five or ten minutes

about the way they lived. 
 10        This man who worked himself to death finally and

precisely at 3:00 A.M. Sunday morning--on his day off-

-was fifty-one years old and a vice-president. He was,

however, one of six vice-presidents, and one of three

who might conceivably--if the president died or retired

15   soon enough--have moved to the top spot. Phil knew

          He worked six days a week, five of them until eight

or nine at night, during a time when his own company

had begun the four-day week for everyone but the

20   executives. He worked like the Important People. He

had no outside "extracurricular interests," unless, of

course, you think about a monthly golf game that way.

To Phil, it was work. He always ate egg salad

sandwiches at his desk. He was, of course, overweight,

25   by 20 or 25 pounds. He thought it was okay, though,

because he didn't smoke. 
          On Saturdays, Phil wore a sports jacket to the office

instead of a suit, because it was the weekend. 
          He had a lot of people working for him, maybe sixty, 30   and most of them liked him most of the time. Three of

them will be seriously considered for his job. The

obituary didn't mention that. 
          But it did list his "survivors" quite accurately. He is

survived by his wife, Helen, forty-eight years old, a

35  good woman of no particular marketable skills, who

worked in an office before marrying and mothering.

She had, according to her daughter, given up trying to

compete with his work years ago, when the children

were small. A company friend said, "I know how much

40   you will miss him." And she answered, "I already

          "Missing him all these years," she must have given

up part of herself which had cared too much for the

man. She would be "well taken care of."

45        His "dearly beloved" eldest of the "dearly beloved"…..


The Start of a Sample Response to Essay Question:


Ellen Goodman uses an arsenal of rhetorical strategies to demonstrate her sentiments towards the main character, Phil -- one of the few, cold individuals able to march robotically through life, frigidly and indifferently pursuing the forever unseen pinnacle of success. Phil, to Goodman, embodies Corporate America. The descriptions of Phil in The Company Man are sardonically accusatory of the present way people live in society. The author makes light of the fact that Phil is a heart attack waiting to happen, and that he maintains a 70-hour work week, by mentioning the simple fact that he eats egg salad sandwiches. His death is seen as unsurprising by the people who knew him, and they did nothing more than shake their heads when they heard the news. Phil's character is seemingly insignificant. Goodman mentions that Phil was "fifty-one years old, and a vice president". With this, she leads the reader to believe that Phil had a very influential role on his company. The subsequent line, however, reveals that "He was, however, one of six vice presidents." In the ending lines, as well, this portrayal of insignificance reoccurs when the CEO of Phil's company turns away from telling Phil's widow that he will be missed, and immediately begins looking for his replacement. The article is also littered with statistics. Like many Americans, Phil is constantly obsessed about his work and whether or not he will ascend to the top position. He worked overtime -- 6 day weeks (mostly of 10+ hour days)….