Summer Reading: AP English Language and Composition Course Description An AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. (AP Course Description, College Board, p7) The AP course prepares students for college level coursework. Students are expected to read clearly, think analytically, and communicate clearly in both written and oral communication. Students in this college-level course are expected to meet the demands of a rigorous curriculum, carefully analyze a broad range of literary works, and deepen their awareness of rhetoric and how language works. Through close reading and frequent writing, students develop their ability to work with language and text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy, while strengthening their own writing and rhetorical abilities. Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students examine and work with essays, letters, speeches, images, and imaginative literature. All authors chosen for the course come from a list that is predominantly nonfiction.
Summer Reading Requirement AP English Language and Composition is a challenging and rigorous college-level course. In order to prepare the student for the material and skills we will encounter throughout the year, students are required to complete the summer reading assignment. Completion of the assignment is mandatory. This assignment will be 20% of your Quarter 1 grade. Assignments are 20% of your first quarter grade. If you do not turn in the summer assignments on the first day of school you will be withdrawn from the AP course.
ASSIGNMENT 1: Close Reading Your assignment will be to keep a dialectical journal of two non-fiction books you read (choose 2 from the attached list). See attached instructions and be sure to bring your completed journal to class in August. If you work steadily, you’ll find that the work is not too demanding. If you wait until the weekend before school starts, you will find yourself overwhelmed. Complete at least 1-3 entries for each chapter, and please organize all journal entries in a spiral bound notebook. You do not need to type them.
ASSIGNMENT 2: Writing about argument and style You will write a multi-paragraph essay based on one of the non-fiction books you read over the summer. Your essay will be due IN PRINTED FORM on the first day of school. Set up your paper according to MLA guidelines (heading in top left corner, unique title, double spaced 12-point font). You can find MLA guidelines easily online. Do not arrive the first day of class and say you will email me the file. Do not email me the file over the summer. Find a way to print the file and bring it to class on Day One. Prompt: Works of non-fiction, whether implicitly or explicitly, present an argument to the reader and support this argument with different types of evidence and rhetorical techniques. Select one of the two works of nonfiction that you read and briefly identify the work's central argument. Then, analyze the evidence and techniques the author uses to support his or her argument. Finally, in the conclusion, evaluate the argument as a whole. Avoid summarizing the text and focus on analyzing and evaluating the evidence.
ASSIGNMENT #3: Writing your own argument with style Using one of the non-fiction books you read, write an essay to defend or challenge an assertion the author makes in the book using applicable evidence and logical reasoning. Avoid summary. You may use outside research material in addition to the text itself to help support your points, but be sure to cite properly using MLA format. Your paper should be 2-3 typed, double-spaced pages, in 12-point font.
Non-fiction titles: The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins Freakonomics by Malcolm Gladwell Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill Teacher Man: A Memoir by FrankMcCourt Nickel and Dimed:On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich Sugar Changed The World by Marc Aronson, Marina Budhos A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Andrew Postman Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Raymond Arsenault The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John Barry Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr Tom’s River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistdendahl
Active Reading Notes Format
Dialectical Note-taking Sheet DIRECTIONS: While you are reading, choose at least 10 passages that stand out to you and record them in the left-hand column. In the right-hand column, write your response to the text. (3-5 sentences) Look for passages from the novel that address the following:
A theme or central idea developed over the course of the novel, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details How complex characters develop, interact with other characters, advance the plot or develop the theme. Passages that strongly support an analysis of what the novel says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
*This sheet is the template only. Use this format in your spiral notebook* Quotation sample “When the key of the store- shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal.”
This Shows… …how the author uses irony to demonstrate a human weakness. The animals blame a scapegoat for something that goes wrong and cling to this mistaken belief even when the truth is obvious. This seems like clear evidence to me that often- times people are more interested in their own beliefs than in the truth.