AP English Language and Composition

1.5 Credits
36 weeks
young woman taking notes while learning from home
Begins July 2024

Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is no longer available. Students may register now for the 2024-2025 school year and will be assigned to a course section after July 1, 2024.

This course provides high school students with college-level instruction in studying and writing various kinds of analytic or persuasive essays on literary and nonliterary topics in language, rhetoric, and expository writing. Students become skilled readers of prose written in various periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. Both reading and writing should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as how writing conventions and language contribute to effectiveness in writing. This course will effectively prepare students for the AP Exam by enabling them to read, comprehend, and write about complex texts while developing further communication skills on a college level.



Major Topics and Concepts


Segment 1

  • AP Exam overview
  • MLA format
  • Rhetorical Devices
  • Early American writers
  • Tone Analysis
  • Figurative Language Analysis
  • Research and Synthesis
  • Persuasive Essay
  • Aphorisms
  • Style Analysis
  • Diction Analysis
  • American Romanticism
  • Transcendentalism
  • Synthesis essay
  • Introduction to Multiple Choice Questions
  • Denotation/Connotation
  • Imagery and Detail analysis
  • Inductive/Deductive Logic
  • Syllogism
  • Analysis of Theme
  • Causes and Effects of the Civil War
  • Humor/Satire


Segment 2

  • Political, Social, Economic changes after the Civil War
  • Analysis of personification
  • Realism
  • Regionalism
  • Naturalism
  • Euphemism
  • Comic Irony
  • Analysis of Irony
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • Analysis of narrative structure
  • Jazz Influence
  • Toulmin Argument
  • Analysis of symbolism
  • Modern Writers
  • Science Fiction
  • Analysis of Drama
  • Rhetorical Appeals
  • Visual Literacy Analysis
  • Syntactical Analysis
  • Working through a Timed Essay



Course Materials

AP Course & Exam Registration Requirements

College Board requires students to register for AP exams no later than November 13th (individual schools may set earlier deadlines).

All VLACS AP students are required to enroll in the “course only” section in My AP.  Instructions for joining My AP will be posted on each VLACS course page and instructors are available to help with this process.

Students who plan to take the corresponding AP exam must arrange to take the exam at a local school that administers it. To register for an AP Exam, the local school will enroll the student in an “exam only” section in My AP.  Students should follow these steps:

  • Search for a local test site through this resource of contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 [email protected]. That office can give you contact information for local AP coordinators who may be willing to test outside students. Students are then responsible for contacting coordinators on that list to see if one can arrange to test for you. You should do this no later than October 2nd. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school so we recommend doing this as soon as possible
  • The AP coordinator who agrees to assist you must provide a join code for an “exam only” section in My AP. You’ll use the join code to join the section so that the AP coordinator can order your exam.

Please note that, if a school allows a student to register after the 11/13 deadline, there will be a $40 late exam fee. There will also be a $40 canceled/unused exam fee if a student registers and then cancels his/her exam or if the student does not show up on test day.

More information is available on the College Board’s website: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/


Rhetorical Analysis

Students will demonstrate an understanding of rhetorical analysis by explaining the elements of rhetoric, describing the rhetorical strategies in a variety of texts, and analyzing the meaning of the texts.

Argumentative Writing

Students will demonstrate an understanding of argumentative writing by explaining argumentative structure, describing logical fallacies, analyzing arguments, and creating argumentative essays.

Developing Commentary

Students will demonstrate an understanding of developing commentary by analyzing the structure and diction of literary works and creating essays that critique the authors’ craft.

Author Style

Students will demonstrate an understanding of author style by describing the elements of style, creating a pastiche that imitates written style, analyzing speeches and spirituals, and creating an essay that critiques style.


Students will demonstrate an understanding of satire by describing the elements of satire and analyzing satirical works.

The Synthesis Essay

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the synthesis essay by describing the elements of a synthesis essay and creating a synthesis essay that incorporates information from provided sources.

Evaluating Rhetoric

Students will demonstrate an understanding of evaluating rhetoric by analyzing argumentative essays, critiquing the use of rhetoric in a memoir, creating an argumentative essay utilizing rhetorical devices, and creating a self-assessment of their argumentative essay.

Representations of American Culture in Nonfiction Writing

Students will demonstrate an understanding of representations of American culture in nonfiction writing by analyzing nonfiction works and creating a synthesis-style argumentative essay on a cultural issue in a nonfiction text.