AP Language & Composition

AP Language & Composition - Class Policy Handout

Instructor: Mrs. K. Ayau

School Year 2022-2023

Date prepared:  August 9, 2022 - subject to change

Overall Expectations: “An AP English Language and Composition course cultivates the reading and writing skills that students need for college success and for intellectually responsible civic engagement. The course guides students in becoming curious, critical, and responsive readers of diverse texts and becoming flexible, reflective writers of texts addressed to diverse audiences for diverse purposes. The reading and writing students do in the course should deepen and expand their understanding of how written language functions rhetorically: to communicate writers’ intentions and elicit readers’ responses in particular situations.”  from AP Language and Composition:  Course and Exam Description , 2019. 

 AP Language and Composition is a college level course.  Students and parents should be prepared for the level, maturity, and  quantity of work required in a freshman English college composition course at a major university or competitive college.   If students are successful on the AP test, they will earn college credit for one, perhaps even two, freshmen level English classes.

Supplies:  a good sized binder, sticky notes, highlighters, loose leaf paper, and your favorite assortment of pens and pencils will suffice!

Homework:  The newest course description has recommended that students be prepared to spend about 8 hours a week on coursework - reading and writing - whether at home or at school. Homework will usually consist of reading, drafting essays, preparing journals, writing responses, and completing AP test practices.   Occasionally, students will need to work on study questions, research, quiz preparation, or other projects at home.

Grading policy: Like last year, grades will fall into two categories:  mastery of concept (60%) and measure of progress (40%). I will follow the school policy for late and missed work.  Please note that grades below a 50 and zeroes CAN AND WILL be assigned.  The grade you earn is the grade you receive this year.  

Grading Scale:  All ACHS classes follow a 10 point scale, as follows:


         A – 90-100

         B – 80-89

         C – 70-79

          D – 60-69

Attendance: Daily attendance is crucial in an AP class.  A great deal of material will be covered this year, and class is often conducted discussion style; therefore, a student cannot easily  “get the work I missed.” It is difficult to adequately recapture a class discussion for someone who is absent.  All too often I have taught bright students who enjoy taking a day off every week or two.  This approach in an AP class simply will not work.  Please be committed to being present every day unless, of course,  you are ill.

Late Work Policy:  We are now officially in a post-Covid world (sort of).  Therefore, rules are tightening up about late and missed work.  If you are absent, excused, then I will follow the school policy about making up missed work  One day out = one day to make up work.  Two days out = two days to make up work.  Three or more days out = five days to make up work. Extended excused absences will be dealt with individually; we will set up a plan to get you caught up.  Late work will be handled like this:  you will be “given” one late pass per nine weeks.  This means that you can turn something in  1-2 days late with NO PENALTY.  Just write (or type ) LP (late pass) on the top of the assignment when submitted. If work is late, no late pass, you will lose 10 points, for one day late, 25 pints for two days late, and 35 pt. For three days late;  50 points for 4-5 days late.  After that, I will not accept your late work and it will be a zero.  We have too much to do, to be fooling with extremely late work when we have moved on to other tasks.   You can use your late pass on any type of assignment, but choose wisely.  Once it’s gone;  it’s gone. 

Computer/Printer Problems:Please be proactive about solving your technology problems.  It is not my area of expertise.  As I am sure you know, You Tube is a great resource for helping you solve your computer, printer, and Canvas problems.   I plan to have most of your work submitted online, but there may be certain assignments that will be in hard copy form. 

Compositions: All final drafts of compositions must be word processed.. I will ALWAYS  ask for your planning and drafts to be turned in with your final draft of papers.  All papers must use Times-New Roman font, 12 pt, black ink, and be double-spaced, with MLA formatting.   Frequently we will do paper/pencil prompt practices in order to prepare for the actual test. Again, compositions will almost always be submitted on Canvas, but formatting needs to be correct. 

Other Assignments: Please type ALL AP work.  I do not mind the very occasional handwritten assignment, but truly, as with a college course, anything submitted to me really should be typed..  You will never receive a handwritten handout from me, so .. . do likewise.

Agendas: I strongly urge students to use their agendas provided by the high school or some other personal planner for recording due dates.  Many due dates will be given well in advance.  AP students must learn to manage their time so that long- term and short-term assignments are completed successfully and on time.   Maintaining a planner is an invaluable organizational tool for the serious student. However, I will also have due dates posted on the board and Canvas will always have a short account of the day’s lesson and due dates available for you. To summarize, there are THREE ways to know what we are doing in class:

  1. Look at the due dates and the agenda written on the board.

  2. Look at Canvas, day by day lessons posted

  3. Listen to ME as I review and give reminders of what we are doing. 

  4. (Check with a reliable classmate!!)

Notebook: I do not require that you have a special notebook - I will never do a notebook check -  but I would nevertheless recommend that you have a large binder for AP.  A good  way to organize your binder is as follows:


  • ·        AP multiple choice practices

  •           Reading notes

  • ·       Grammar & Vocab Notes

  • ·        Composition Notes 

Reading: AP Language and Composition primarily focuses on the reading of short, challenging non-fiction pieces, with the occasional longer work thrown in.  Because this is a college level course, the materials we read will be works of high literary merit, but they will also occasionally contain some adult content.  Conversations about topical, controversial  issues may come up in class discussions.  My AP students have always valued the ability to talk without fear of judgment in my class.  I will never tell students what to think or believe, but it is my job to help you  know how to be a critical, logical thinker who can articulate your views effectively. 

Class Structure:  AP Language and Composition is a skill based course.  We will focus on building and practicing reading, analysis, and composition skills all year. The course is organized around four big ideas:

  1. The Rhetorical Situation (from the reader’s and writer’s perspective)

  2. Claims and Evidence (from the reader’s and writer’s perspective)

  3. Reasoning and Organization (from the reader’s and writer’s perspective)

  4. Style (from the reader’s and writer’s perspective)

To drill down a little further, the class will move through nine units, as presenting by our AMSCO textbook, which is arranged to match the AP test.   The theme of each unit is to be determined by the instructor, but the skills developed are outlined by College Board.  As we move through each unit, I will select appropriate readings to help us learn the skills needed to do well on the AP test and on  college compositions. Our reading list is fluid;  I have many titles I can choose from, and I often decide what we will read next and we move through the year and I take the “pulse” of each class.  However, know that we will be reading several non-fiction books that you should find interesting and challenging.                                                                                 

AP Test: The AP test will be administered in the middle of  May.  The most immediate and obvious purpose of this course is to prepare students to take the AP test;  therefore, a significant portion of class time will be spent preparing and practicing for that test.  A score of a 3 or above is considered to be a passing grade and will earn the student some college credit; the exact amount depends upon the college and the exact test score.

Parent/Teacher/Student Relationships: To reiterate, this is a college level class.  Consequently, students are responsible for their behavior, assignments, and conflict resolution.  Parents are welcome to conference with me, but students are urged to use this opportunity to develop the independence needed in the college setting.

Contact Information: I prefer that you talk to me in person about issues and concerns, but you can reach me by E-mail too. 

school e-mail: [email protected]