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In the AP Digital Edge program, AP English Language and Composition students learn AP content by engaging in activities that require the use of Microsoft® Word. These activities focus on especially challenging AP content and give students a chance to practice the skills tested on the Word certification exam.

Microsoft® Certification in Word

The Microsoft Certification Program oversees official certification in Microsoft software. Throughout the semester, students taking part in AP Digital Edge prepare for the exam that earns them the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Word 2013 certification.

Visit Microsoft Learning: Certification Benefits to learn more about Microsoft Office Specialist certification. To find out what skills are assessed on the MOS in Word 2013 exam, visit Microsoft Learning: Word 2013.

Using Word in AP English Language and Composition

Here are some AP English Language and Composition topics, along with the Word skills used to explore them, that are featured in AP Digital Edge lessons and activities:

  • Argument. In the course of studying this topic, students use Word tools not only to record the claims and ideas of an argument, but also to organize those ideas in such a way as to better develop the relationships between those ideas in support of the claim.
  • Scholarship. Students learn the standards for the appropriate citation of sources used in research and the effective organization of material garnered through research, while practicing using the Reference tools in Word.

The teachers' resources map the Word skills practiced in each lesson and activity and give tips for guiding students' Word use.

Sample Lesson

As an example, let's look at an AP Digital Edge lesson plan for AP English Language and Composition called "The Rhetorical Situation and Rhetorical Choices."


In this lesson, students determine the relationship between the situation of a writer/speaker and the purpose of the argument in order to better understand how aspects of the situation influence choices made in the text and how those choices affect purpose.


Students create an organizer using Word tools and then use that organizer to analyze the given situation of a text, what choices are made in the text specific to the situation, and then how those choices affect the purpose of the text.

Next, students use the information from the organizer to develop writing that analyzes the choices from the text and how they affect the purpose of the text.


By the end of this lesson, students will be skilled at analyzing the situation of a text and explaining how that situation affects choices made by the writer. Students will also become better able to explain how a writer’s credibility, engagement with the audience, and reasoning work together in a text to serve a situation. Students will have also practiced using Microsoft Word tools in the analysis of, and response to, texts.


Visit the AP English Language and Composition Resources page to download the AP Digital Edge resource AP English Language and Composition: Activities to Build Understanding Through Microsoft Word 2013, which includes lesson plans, student handouts, student Word workbooks, and grading keys.

Go to the online AP Digital Edge Teacher Community to connect with colleagues to share strategies, find and rate classroom resources, and more.