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*Remember, you must ask by July 15 if you would like a letter of recommendation from me.



Cape May Court House, New Jersey


Mrs. McPherson -


COURSE TITLE: Advanced Placement Language & Composition COURSE NUMBER: 1300


TEXTBOOKS: Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience & The Language of Composition


NOVELS: The Scarlet Letter, The Awakening, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, & Our Town, among others



This course is designed for students who demonstrate a high level of academic achievement and the

self-discipline necessary to complete assignments independently. One purpose of the course is to prepare students for the AP Language and Composition examination administered by the College Board in May of each year. Students may also contact the counseling department for information on receiving dual-credit for this course through Atlantic Cape Community College.


There is an emphasis on a variety of writing tasks and skills that include the planning, writing and revising of sustained essays (including text analyses, reader response to text, comparison and contrast, agreement and disagreement, narration and description, etc). By actively reading and writing, students will become aware of the interactions among a writer, his/her audience, and his/her purpose.


The AP Language and Composition content will be studied through the American literature curriculum. This is a college-level course which will move at such a pace.



Students will:

* Build upon practiced skills and strategies to become accomplished readers or prose and poetry from a variety of periods, styles, genres, and rhetorical modes

* Enhance modes of writing while referencing rhetorical terms and incorporating personal views on literature, history, and global issues

* Acquire a strong, upper-level, accessible vocabulary

* Use a variety of literacy and technology skills to conduct research, formulate opinions, and present conclusions

* Participate in writing conferences and use feedback to become better writers across curricular areas



By the end of the course, students will be able to:

* Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships among an author, his text, occasion, context, accomplishment, meaning, effect, and tone

* Define and utilize a variety of rhetorical terms on diverse occasions

* Apply upper-level writing skills by properly articulating an analysis of text, developing and supporting a strong argument, and synthesizing multiple sources for a central purpose

* Use written and oral communication to express awareness of how an author’s choices mold literature, achieve stylistic effects, and affect the global community

* Interact with a text and discuss, in both large and small group settings, the ways in which an author’s intentions as well as historical context affect meaning

* Craft well-developed essays with clarity and precise vocabulary choices

* Incorporate studied techniques into individual writing through the processes of organizing, drafting, writing, revising, glossing, and rewriting

* Locate, select, read, and cite valid primary and secondary sources which provide insight on a research topic

* Apply guidance presented in pre- and post-conferences to develop and assess a pattern of growing excellence in reading and writing

* Examine writing skills and construct an awareness of one’s own voice and style



All school rules will be enforced in the classroom. In order to create and maintain an atmosphere that promotes effective learning, we will expect certain behaviors and common courtesies to be followed everyday.

1. Respect yourself, others, & your surroundings. Remember to clean up your area before leaving the room, keep desks and other materials free of vandalism, and report any existing situations.

2. Arrive on time for class with your covered textbook and all necessary materials. Lateness will not be tolerated. Take note of the daily agenda and begin working as you take your seat.

3. Pay attention. Attentiveness and participation are essential. Raise your hand when you wish to contribute or need help.

4. While working independently, remain quiet.

5. Leave all food/drink in your locker.

6. Turn in all work on time. Follow the calendar and keep track of your grades.

7. Be aware that the bell does not dismiss you from class. When all students are seated quietly, the teacher dismisses you.



1. Verbal reminder

2. After-school teacher detention – 10 minutes

3. After-school teacher detention – 15 minutes

4. After-school teacher detention – 20 minutes

5. Phone call to parent/guardian

6. Administrative intervention

*Any or all of the above consequences can be used at any time at the discretion of the teacher.

*Severity Clause: Should behavior become severely disruptive the office/parents will be notified immediately.



In the event that a substitute covers the class, misbehavior will not be tolerated. Since I will not be in the room, I must accept the substitute’s version of events. Should you be reported by a substitute, your parents will be notified.



You have the opportunity to participate in a variety of discussions and activities throughout the year in which you can be successful, grow, and enjoy your time in the classroom. However, negativity will not be accepted; thoughts, ideas, and opinions must be presented in a positive manner.



As an Advanced Placement student, you must commit to finding methods of organization, note-taking, and studying which work best for you. You will need a 3-ring binder and you must have a working writing implement every day; all in-class essays must be written in ink. Typed work must be in either Times New Roman or Arial, size 12, double-spaced, unless otherwise noted. Bring the materials you will need every day. Keep this syllabus, class calendar, and your essay score log at the front of your binder.




Grades will be determined by the percentages below. You will be responsible for keeping all the handouts, tests, quizzes, and other material distributed in class and returned with marks/grades. Remember, this is for your own benefit.

10% - Homework/Classwork

10% - Independent Reading Journal

15% - Quizzes

5% - Free-Reading Assignments

25% - Tests/Projects

35% - Essays



Do not expect to go to the lavatory or your locker during class. Take care of this before class. You must have your planner/agenda and school ID card in order to use this privilege.



If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out and make up what you have missed within the number of days you have been absent. Make-up quizzes, tests, and in-class essays will differ from what was completed in class on the missed day. Many assignments will be posted on online for you to access from the media center/at home.



Late assignments will not be accepted. Incomplete assignments will receive a zero. Do not ask at the end of the marking period for extra credit work; it will not be given. Assignments are expected in hard copy unless previous arrangements are made. Should you need to e-mail an assignment, you must see me before homeroom in order to receive a printed copy. E-mails without confirmation contact receive a score of a zero.



We will follow the policy for academic integrity as outlined in the student handbook. Any indication of plagiarism will result in the grade of a zero for all parties involved. We will be using throughout the year in order to validate the authenticity of all major written assignments. If guidelines are not followed, assignments will be given a grade of a zero.



I am available most days after school in Room 507 until at least 2:45, for help or to answer any questions or discuss any concerns. Please see me during office hours or before or after school if you have a question that cannot be fully answered during class. I may also be reached via email at or via voicemail at 465-1852 X5611. Do not ever hesitate to ask for help or clarification! I am looking forward to a great year at MTHS.