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Important Updates

2020-21 AP Course Audit: What You'll Need to Do

If you’re teaching an AP English Language and Composition course for the first time in in 2020-21, you’ll need to submit two items:

  • A subject-specific AP Course Audit form
  • Documentation showing your understanding of course scope—choose 1 of 4 options:
    • adopt a sample syllabus
    • adopt the AP unit guides
    • claim identical to a colleague’s approved syllabus
    • submit your own course syllabus for review (For help creating your syllabus, sign in to your AP Course Audit account and click on the Resource section.)

If you’re teaching a previously authorized AP English Language and Composition course, you won’t need to submit anything. Your school administrator can simply renew your course for 2020-21.

Once authorized, you’ll receive:

  • Access to AP Classroom (practice exams, formative assessments, etc.) in July 2020
  • Inclusion in the AP Course Ledger published in November 2020
  • Access to online score reports in July 2021

Getting to Know the AP English Language and Composition Course

The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the course and exam.

AP English Language and Composition Course and Exam Description

 

AP English Language and Composition curricular requirements:

  • The course is structured by unit, theme, genre, or other organizational approach that provides opportunities to engage with the big ideas throughout the course: Rhetorical Situation, Claims and Evidence, Reasoning and Organization, and Style.
  • The course requires readings with an emphasis on nonfiction readings (e.g., essays, journalism, political writing, science writing, nature writing, autobiographies/biographies, diaries, history, criticism) that are selected to give students opportunities to identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to develop skills in the following skill categories:
    • Skill Category 1—Rhetorical Situation (Reading): Explain how writers’ choices reflect the components of the rhetorical situation
    • Skill Category 2—Rhetorical Situation (Writing): Make strategic choices in a text to address a rhetorical situation
    • Skill Category 3—Claims and Evidence (Reading): Identify and describe the claims and evidence of an argument
    • Skill Category 4—Claims and Evidence (Writing): Analyze evidence in order to develop and refine claims
    • Skill Category 5—Reasoning and Organization (Reading): Describe the reasoning, organization, and development of an argument
    • Skill Category 6—Reasoning and Organization (Writing): Use organization and commentary to illuminate the line of reasoning in an argument
    • Skill Category 7—Style (Reading): Explain how writers’ stylistic choices contribute to the purpose of an argument
    • Skill Category 8—Style (Writing): Select words and use elements of composition to advance an argument
  • The course provides opportunities for students to write argumentative essays synthesizing material from a variety of sources.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to write essays analyzing authors’ rhetorical choices.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to write essays that proceed through multiple stages or drafts, including opportunities for conferring and collaborating with the teacher and/or peers.

AP English Language and Composition resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a copy of all required readings for individual use inside and outside the classroom.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP English Language and Composition. The list is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by College Board. Not using a book from this list does not mean that a course will not receive authorization. Syllabi submitted as part of the AP Course Audit process will be evaluated holistically, with textbooks considered along with supplementary resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit.

Editions of the following textbooks after the year 2007 are appropriate for use in AP English Language and Composition. Earlier editions of these texts or other textbooks not listed here may meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements if supplemented with appropriate college-level instructional resources. The readers, handbooks, style guides, and grammar texts listed are not required for the course and may include texts published before the year above. A textbook may serve the purposes of these additional texts. Because college and university composition courses often use such texts and many AP English Language and Composition teachers rely on them, they are included and reviewed for your convenience. For discussions regarding the usefulness of these texts and other teaching materials in the AP English Language and Composition classroom, please consult the Resource section of the AP English Teacher Community.

Textbooks

  • Atwan, Robert. Convergences: Themes, Texts, and Images for Composition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 3rd edition. 2008.
  • Aufses, Robin Dissin, Renee Shea, and Lawrence Scanlon. Conversations in American Literature: Language, Rhetoric, Culture. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2014.
  • Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Bedau. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 11th edition. 2017. .
  • Burke, Jim. Uncharted Territory: A High School Reader. New York: W. W. Norton. 2016.
  • Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. New York, NY: Longman. 5th edition. 2012.
  • Faigley, Lester, Jack Selzer. A Little Argument. New York: Longman. 2nd edition. 2013.
  • Faigley, Lester, and Jack Selzer. Good Reasons with Contemporary Arguments. New York: Longman. 7th. 2017.
  • Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. They Say/I Say: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 4th edition. 2018.
  • Heinrichs, Jay. Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion. New York: Three Rivers Press. 3rd edition. 2017.
  • Jolliffe, David, and Hephzibah Roskelly. Writing America: Language and Composition in Context, AP Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. 2014.
  • Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. Practical Argument. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 3rd edition. 2017.
  • Latterell, Catherine G. ReMix: Reading + Composing Culture. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2017.
  • Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument: with Readings. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 8th edition. 2019.
  • Lunsford, Andrea, et al. Everyone’s an Author. New York: W. W. Norton. 3rd edition. 2020.
  • Muller, Gilbert H. and Melissa E. Whiting. Language and Composition: The Art of Voice, AP Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2nd edition. 2019.
  • Roskelly, Hephzibah, and David Jolliffe. Everyday Use: Rhetoric at Work in Reading and Writing. New York: Longman. 2nd edition. 2009.
  • Shea, Renée, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin Aufses. The Language of Composition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 3rd edition. 2018.
  • Smith, Michael W., Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, and James E. Fredricksen. Oh, Yeah! Putting Argument to Work Both in School and Out. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 2012.
  • White, Fred and Simone Billings. The Well Crafted Argument. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 6th edition. 2017.

Readers

  • Austin, Michael. Reading the World: Ideas that Matter. New York: W. W. Norton. 3rd edition. 2016.
  • Bartholomae, Davi, and Anthony Petrosky. Ways of Reading. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 11th edition. 2017.
  • Bloom, Lynn Z. The Essay Connection. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 10th edition. 2013.
  • Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 5th edition. 2017.
  • Colombo, Gary, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 10th edition. 2016.
  • Connelly, Mark. The Sundance Reader. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 7th edition. 2015.
  • Connelly, Mark. The Sundance Writer: A Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 5th edition. 2013.
  • Conrad, Ronald. The Act of Writing: Canadian Essays for Composition. Toronto, McGraw-Hill Ryerson. 2002.
  • Cooley, Thomas. Back to the Lake. New York: W. W. Norton. 3rd edition. 2016.
  • Cooley, Thomas, ed. The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition. New York: W. W. Norton. 9th edition. 2017.
  • Crider, Scott. The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for Academic Essay. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books.
  • Dillard, Annie and Cort Conley. Modern American Memoirs. New York: Harper Perennials. 2nd edition. 1996.
  • DiYanni, Robert, and Pat C. Hoy II. Frames of Mind: A Rhetorical Reader with Occasions for Writing. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 2nd edition. 2009.
  • DiYanni, Robert, ed. One Hundred Great Essays. New York: Longman. 5th edition. 2013.
  • Eschholz, Paul, and Alfred Rosa, eds. Models for Writers: Short Essays for Composition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 13th edition. 2018.
  • Eschholz, Paul, and Alfred Rosa, eds. Subjects/Strategies: A Writer’s Reader. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 14th edition. 2017.
  • Flachman, Kim, and Michael Flachman. The Prose Reader. New York: Longman. 11th edition. 2017.
  • Gilyard, Keith, Deborah H. Holdstein, and Charles I. Schuster. Rhetorical Choices: A Reader for Writers. New York: Longman. 2004.
  • Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. They Say/I Say: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing with Readings. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 4th edition. 2018.
  • Gross, John, ed. The Oxford Book of Essays. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008.
  • Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 10th edition. 2017.
  • Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 13th edition. 2017.
  • Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. The Blair Reader: Exploring Contemporary Issues. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 10th edition. 2020.
  • Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell, eds. Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 14th edition. 2018.
  • Kitchen, Judith. Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction. New York: W. W. Norton. 2005.
  • LaGuardia, Dolores, and Hans Guth. American Voices: Culture and Community. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. 6th edition. 2005.
  • McCuen, Jo Ray, and Anthony C. Winkler, eds. Readings for Writers. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 16th edition. 2020.
  • McQuade, Donald, and Robert Atwan. The Writer’s Presence: A Pool of Readings. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 9th edition. 2018.
  • Miller, George, ed. The Prentice Hall Reader. New York: Longman. 12th edition. 2018
  • Mims, Joan, and Elizabeth Nollen. Mirror on America: Essays and Images from Popular Culture. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 5th edition. 2011.
  • Muller, Gilbert H. The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues Across the Disciplines. New York: McGraw-Hill. 12th edition. 2014.
  • Nadell, Judith A., John Langan, and Eliza A. Comodromos. The Longman Reader. 10th edition. New York: Longman, 2016.
  • Peterson, Linda H., et al., eds. The Norton Reader. New York: W. W. Norton. 15th edition. 2020.
  • Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings. New York: Longman. 10th edition. 2016.
  • Root, Robert L., Jr., and Michael Steinberg. The Fourth Genre. New York: Longman. 6th edition. 2012.
  • Stubbs, Marcia, and Sylvan Barnet. The Little, Brown Reader. New York: Longman. 11th edition. 2009.
  • Trimmer, Joseph, and Maxine Hairston, eds. The Riverside Reader. Boston: Wadsworth. 12th edition. 2017.
  • Zinsser, William, ed. Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir. New York: Mariner Books. 3rd edition. 1998.

Handbooks, Style Guides, and Grammar Texts

  • Axelrod, Rise B., and Charles R. Cooper. The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 11th edition. 2017.
  • Blakesley, David and Jeffrey Hoogeveen. Writing: a Manual for the Digital Age. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 2nd edition. 2012.
  • Bullock, Richard, Michal Brody, and Francine Weinberg. The Little Seagull Handbook. New York: W. W. Norton. 3rd edition. 2016.
  • Ede, Lisa. The Academic Writer.. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 4th edition. 2017.
  • Faigley, Lester. Penguin Handbook. New York: Longman. 5th edition. 2015.
  • Fowler, H. Ramsey, and Jane E. Aaron. The Little, Brown Handbook. New York: Longman. 12th edition. 2012.
  • Glenn, Cheryl and Loretta Gray. The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook. Cengage Learning. 6th edition, 2017.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. The Bedford Handbook. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 10th edition. 2017.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 9th edition. 2018.
  • Harris, Joseph. Rewriting: How to Do Things with Text. Logan, UT: Utah University Press. 2006.
  • Hall, Donald, and Sven Birkerts. Writing Well. New York: Longman. 9th edition. 2007.
  • Killgallon, Don. Sentence Composing for College. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook. 1998.
  • Kolln, Martha, and Loretta Gray. Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects. New York: Longman. 8th edition. 2017.
  • Lanham, Richard A. Revising Prose. New York: Longman. 5th edition. 2007. 
  • Lunsford, Andrea A. St. Martin’s Handbook. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 8th edition. 2018.
  • Miles, Robert, Marc Bertonasco, and William Karns. Prose Style. New York: Longman. 2nd edition. 1990.  
  • Murray, Donald. The Craft of Revision. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 5th edition. 2013.
  • Muth, Marcia F. Researching and Writing. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 11th edition. 2017.
  • Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. Elements of Style. New York: Longman. 4th edition. 2000.
  • Troyka, Lynn Q., and Douglas Hesse. Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers. New York: Longman. 8th edition. 2018.
  • Tufte, Virginia. Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. 2006.
  • Williams, Joseph M., and Joseph Bizup. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. New York: Longman. 12th edition. 2017.
  • Zinsser, William K. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. New York: Harper Perennial. 30th edition. 2016.

This annotated sample AP English Language and Composition syllabus shows how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP English Language and Composition Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf/503KB)

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