The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help you become a skilled reader of a variety of texts as well as becoming a skilled writer. You’ll achieve this through awareness of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the ways that writing rules and language use contribute to effective writing.
The AP English Language and Composition course is intended to give you the experience of an introductory-level composition course in college. The composition course is one of the most varied in the college, since an introductory composition course at one college may address topics and require types of writing that might be very different from an introductory composition course at another college. In general, however, college composition courses provide students with opportunities to write about a variety of subjects and to demonstrate an awareness of audience and purpose. The overarching objective in most first-year college writing courses is to enable students to write effectively and confidently in their college courses across the curriculum and in their professional and personal lives. Therefore, most composition courses emphasize the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing that forms the basis of academic and professional communication. Most composition courses also address personal and reflective writing, which will enable you to write in any context. In addition, most composition courses teach students to write based on reading texts from various disciplines and periods as well as personal experience and observation. Composition courses, therefore, teach students to read primary and secondary sources carefully, to synthesize materials from these texts in their own compositions, and to cite sources using conventions recommended by professional organizations such as the Modern Language Association (MLA), the University of Chicago Press (The Chicago Manual of Style), and the American Psychological Association (APA). The AP English Language and Composition course will help you begin to develop all of these skills.
College writing programs recognize that skill in writing proceeds from students' awareness of their own composing processes: the way they explore ideas, reconsider strategies, and revise their work. This experience of the process of composing is the essence of the first-year writing course, and the AP English Language and Composition course emphasizes this process. In the course, you will write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by your teacher and peers. Although these extended, revised essays are not part of the AP English Language and Composition Exam, the experience of writing them will help you become a more self-aware and flexible writer (which may help your performance on the AP Exam!).
As well as engaging in varied writing tasks, in the AP English Language and Composition course you will read and become acquainted with a wide variety of prose styles from many disciplines and historical periods. Due to the increasing importance of graphics and visual images in texts published in print and electronic media, you will learn to analyze such images as they relate to written texts and serve as alternative forms of texts themselves. In addition, the informed use of research materials and the ability to synthesize information from various sources are integral parts of the AP English Language and Composition course. In it you will learn to evaluate the legitimacy and purpose of sources used. One way to do this is through the researched argument paper, which will require you to sort through various interpretations of information to analyze, reflect upon, and write about a topic. When you bring the experience and opinions of others into your writing in this way, you enter into conversations with other writers and thinkers, which in turn helps your writing become more thoughtful and substantive (which is what is required in college and careers!).