The Knife

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English III AP - AP( English Language and Composition

Course Overview

The English III AP (or AP( English Language and Composition) course objectives are to help students become “skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts” and to help students become “skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes” (The College Board, AP( English Course Description, May 2007, May 2008, p. 6). Students are expected to read critically, think analytically, and communicate clearly both in writing and speech, which form the “basis for academic and professional communication.” The purpose of this course is to emphasize “expository, analytical, and argumentative writing” based on selected readings within the textbook and other resources listed at the end of this syllabus.

Course Organization

The course is organized by units of study.

The goal for each unit is for students to enrich and use rich vocabulary, to employ standard English grammar, and to understand the importance of diction and syntax in an author’s style and to analyze how an author’s rhetorical strategies reveal the author’s purpose or meaning.

In well developed essays, students will demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary which they use effectively and appropriately, employ a variety of sentence structures including appropriate use of subordination and coordination, organize compositions logically coherently, and use transitions appropriate for fluency and emphasis. Students will balance generalizations with specific illustrative details. Students will demonstrate an effective use of rhetoric including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure (College Board AP( English Course Description, May 2007, May 2008, p. 8).

For each reading assignment students must identify the following: • Thesis or Claim
• Tone or Attitude
• Purpose
• Audience and Occasion
• Evidence or Data
• Appeals: Logos, Ethos, Pathos
• Assumptions or Warrants
• Style (how the author communicates his message: rhetorical mode, rhetorical devices always including diction and syntax)

Grading System

The course year consists of Fall Semester and Spring Semester. Each semester contains three six weeks grading periods. A minimum total of eleven grades must be reported with at least nine Minor Grades and three Major Grades. One Minor Grade may be dropped.

Major Grades (75% of student’s grade average)
These grades include essays, projects, presentations, and tests.

Essays are mostly written during class time and graded as rough drafts using the nine point AP( rubric. Rough drafts are self-edited and peer-edited before students type the final copies. Rough drafts and editing assignments are part of the daily or minor grade assessments which are 25 percent of the student’s six weeks’ grade.

Projects may include cultural art works on an assigned theme. Students self select from categories of literature, photography, visual arts, performing arts, and musical compositions.

Presentations include both group activities and individual assignments. Presentations are oral speeches and often require a visual aid which may be a chart, a symbol, a drawing, or a power point.

Tests consist of multiple-choice questions based on rhetorical devices and their function in given passages. Some passages are from text read and studied in class, but some passages are from new material that students analyze for the first time.

Minor Grades (25% of student’s grade average)

Quizzes used in this course are primarily to check for reading and basic understanding of a text. Each unit has at leas one quiz on vocabulary from the readings. In addition each unit has at least one quiz on grammatical and mechanical concepts reviewed in daily tasks as well as from discussions and/or...
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