Dear AP Lang Students,
Welcome! AP Language and Composition is a college class on a high school campus. The class will focus on the study of rhetoric as art. Rhetoric can be defined as what a speaker/writer uses to MOVE an audience. Aristotle wrote that rhetoric is “the art of making truth effective.” While you may have initially chosen to take this class simply for a grade or for college credit, you will soon find that what you gain from this course is much more valuable than an extra GPA point.
The readings we analyze and the writing you do will help prepare you for your larger role in society. Looking at information from a variety of perspectives and taking positions that are reasoned and well-thought out are the keys to responsible citizenship.
My expectation is that each and every one of you strive to become more thoughtful writers and more perceptive individuals. One is not born with the ability to write well. Writing takes practice. How does one learn to write well? Through memorizing a formula? Through staring at a blank page hoping for inspiration? Through waiting until the last minute and forcing yourself to just do it? Through having a teacher bleed red ink all over the paper? The answer to all of these questions is no. One learns to write by writing. One learns to write by reading like a writer. One learns to write by imitating authors and playing with language. One learns to write through teachers who model writing themselves. One learns to write through meaningful feedback and conversation. One learns to write by agonizing over the right word, fretting over just the right sentence. I want you to be open to approaching writing in a new way. Your old habits of brainstorming the day you receive a prompt and then waiting until the night before to type something will no longer work. We will discuss your writing during writing conferences and you will also discuss your writing with your peers. We are building a community of writers and in doing so we must allow ourselves to share with others, to hear criticism, to be open to possibilities, to take chances. I am on this journey with you...together we will find our voices, speak our minds, and share our stories.