Welcome to AP Language and Composition
AP Exam Date: 5/10/13 8am

NYS Regents Exam Date: 6/11/13


The following supplies are required for AP Language and Composition:


  • One notebook/folder/binder (your choice) for notes and readings (there are many)
  • Pens – you can never have enough pens (within reason)
  • Pencils for multiple choice (w/ mini-sharpener)
  • Paper - you should have enough paper for the entire year.
  • Ink for your printer – think of it like a roll of toilet paper, or a light bulb.  Would you ever just have one in the house?
  • AP Review Book (TBA by mid-year)

The following must also be available at all times:

  • Bmchsd.org email address
  • Turnitin.com account
  • The Language of Composition Textbook

Course Syllabus:  This document may be found at www.seanformato.com/school/

Welcome to Mr. Formato's English AP Language and Composition course.  The focus of this course will be on recognizing and interpreting rhetorical strategies, synthesizing arguments from several sources to create a central argument, and utilizing rhetorical strategies in order to form arguments of your own.  This course is designed to emulate college freshman-level composition courses; as such, it does not follow the same model as previous English courses: read literature, respond on a micro level, and then respond on a macro level at the end of the work.  Rather, we will be reading several works of varied genres simultaneously, ascertaining the arguments made in each and how the authors employ rhetorical strategies in order to convey those arguments, and then structuring a dialogue between the arguments of each work.  These genres will include memoirs, full-length non-fiction works, speeches, documentary films, poems, photographs, advertisements, essays, articles, and novels.

A note on taking an AP course: Hopefully, you are taking this course with two goals in mind: challenge yourself academically and acquire college credit.  This course will certainly challenge you academically.  Keep in mind that this class is supposed to be challenging.  The readings will contain college-level vocabulary and rhetorical strategies, and you aren’t expected to understand all of it.  You are expected to enter into an academic dialogue with the arguments presented by the authors of the pieces we will read, and to keep an open mind about all viewpoints presented in class.

Attendance: Please follow the school and district policies for attendance. 

Punctuality: All students should be seated by the bell.  I am eager to start working, and I expect you all to arrive on time.  Lateness will result in a reduction in class participation points, detention, and corrective assignments at my discretion.

Conduct: As young adults, I expect you to behave respectfully towards others.  This also includes respecting school rules regarding hats, gum chewing, and eating/drinking in class.  There will be none of the above.  If you do not have a lunch period, please see me.  Otherwise, all food and drink is prohibited.  Furthermore, since we are focusing so intently on argument and strategies of argument, heated words surrounding controversial topics might be exchanged periodically.  You will treat everyone in the room with courtesy at all times.  Rudeness is not tolerated.

Course Readings:

  • Primary Textbook: The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing and Rhetoric, by Reneé Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Aufses ISBN: 031245094X
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Documentary Films
: Anytown, USA, Jesus Camp

Class Participation: Class participation includes proper citizenship, answering questions in class and on the class discussion board, completing class assignments, bringing all materials to class, and most importantly, listening when others contribute.

Grading: The course is broken into several overarching thematic units.  Each unit has all or some of the following components: synthesis essay, close-reading argument essay, open-ended essay, multiple choice exam, grammar, vocabulary, and rhetorical strategies exam, reading quizzes, written homework, written class work, online discussion, and outside reading.

The quarter breakdown will be as follows:

Essays/Projects: 50%

Tests: 25%

Quizzes: 10%

Written homework: 15%

Homework: Homework will be assigned nightly. It will include reading, note-taking, and reader responses.  It will be checked or collected at my discretion and at random.  Expect to read anywhere from 15-25 pages per night, so budget your time accordingly.  Late homework is not accepted.

Academic Honesty:  All students are required to maintain an account on http://www.turnitin.com.  You will receive login information during the first week of school.  You will be asked to submit certain assignments to TurnItIn at my discretion.  Any academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism, homework sharing, and note sharing for outside reading/synthesis, will result in severe penalties in accordance with the school plagiarism policy, available in the English department office.  Please be clear: any form of homework, note, or source sharing is forbidden.

Quizzes/Tests: Quizzes will be unannounced and are usually based on nightly readings or grammar.  Tests will always be announced at least one week in advance.

Major Assignments: Writing is a fundamental skill that is a huge part of this course.  All writing you turn in should be your own work.  Please refer to the official school plagiarism policy, available in the English office.  All major assignments should be turned in on time.  Writing assignments will receive a 10-point penalty per day late.  Certain projects, such as speeches, journals, and major projects, will not be accepted late under any circumstances.  Proper time management is necessary to complete all assignments.

Special circumstances:  As we all know, special circumstances occasionally arise that prevent us from accomplishing what we normally would.  If you have a special circumstance that you need to discuss with me, please do so privately and on your own time (after school or during office hours).  I am always willing to make time to listen.  The beginning, duration, and end of class are never the appropriate times to discuss special circumstances.

Revised 8/30/12