Virtual Virginia

1196 Advanced Placement English Language And Composition

Field of Study

AP English Language & Composition is a writing-intensive course that focuses on creating civically engaged, critically thinking, reflective writers able to analyze and implement strong rhetoric.

Material Covered

The course begins with an introduction to rhetorical analysis and practice analyzing various essays, advertisements, and images. Students will then read and analyze specific pieces of American Literature in context of their rhetorical strategies to include, but not limited to: rhetorical appeals, organization, tone, diction, logical fallacies, counter-arguments, refutations, characterization, and literary devices. The course will focus on improving students’ persuasive writing skills through a systematic writing process, purposeful organization, and effective rhetoric. This skills practice will culminate in a formal MLA-formatted research paper. Students will have multiple opportunities to work in groups, engage in cohort-wide discussions, produce creative projects, and analyze non fiction independent reading choices. Targeted grammar, vocabulary, and strategy lessons will be incorporated as the instructor deems necessary to meet the needs of the students.

Student Expectations

The main course goals include developing critical literacy and facilitating informed citizenship. To support these goals, all reading is at a college-level, and writing skills are expected to be college-level as well. Students should expect to work approximately 7-10 hours a week on this course outside of regular class time. This time may be spent writing, revising, reading, and completing homework assignments. Students who choose to enroll in this course should be interested in studying and writing various kinds of analytic or persuasive essays. Students who choose to enroll in this course should also be interested in studying literature of various periods and genres and using this wide reading knowledge in discussions of literary topics.

Related Requirements

At the conclusion of the course, students will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Language & Composition Exam. While they are expected to do this, it is not required.


  • While there are no formal prerequisites, the College Board comments that students who have had some experience in rhetorical analysis, argument, and synthesis may more easily address the course objectives.

Course Texts and Materials


  • Links to all required readings are included in the course content. Should a student wish to borrow or purchase hard copies of regular required reading, the information is as follows:
  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
    Publisher: Penguin Classics
    ISBN: 0142437336
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Publisher: Scribner
    ISBN: 0743273567
  • Students will also select two independent readings throughout the course and will receive access to this list immediately upon logging into the course. These books may be borrowed or purchased.


  • 5 Steps to a 5: AP English Language 2017 (5 Steps to a 5 on the AP English Language Exam) by Barbaran L. Murphy and Estelle M. Rankin, 8th Edition
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education (July 28, 2016)
    ISBN: 1259586529
  • Or
  • A comparable AP English Language Exam Preparation Book