Segment A of this course deals primarily with rhetorical analysis of nonfiction texts. Students learn that authors use a variety of rhetorical strategies and stylistic elements to convey a message, and that successful academic reading and writing depends upon the ability to analyze these strategies and elements and incorporate them into their own writing. Topics covered include the tools of rhetoric, the structure of arguments, and the skillful use of credible evidence to support substantive claims. By the end of this course, students learn to analyze visual as well as written texts by studying imagery, syntax, structure, composition, tone and detail to determine an author’s purpose and assess the effectiveness of the message. The persuasive and argumentative writing skills developed in this course will be helpful in college and the real world.

Segment B of this course moves from analysis to synthesis, or the practice of combining and citing several sources to formulate a substantive argument. The focus is still primarily on nonfiction. To prove and support a position, a writer must include well-integrated supporting facts. Efficient research includes proper gathering, analysis, and synthesis of sources, and proper citation is essential for a research paper to be valid and credible. This part of the course also addresses satire as an art form, recognizing that satire in its many forms and its uses can help us be more civically engaged and responsible. The entire course prepares students to take the AP English Language and Composition

Exam, an assessment intended to: assess the ability to analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identify and explain the author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques, and show that students can create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience to demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own.


ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME: 32-36 weeks or approximately 125 – 135 hours


Introduction to AP English Language and Composition

  • Introduction to critical reading.
  • Reading to Write: Becoming a Critical Reader.
  • Rhetorical Analysis of the Gettysburg Address.
  • Analysis of 1996 AP English Language exam prompt
  • Writing The Rhetorical Analysis Essay 1996 Prompt (Gary Soto).
  • Implied thesis. Irony. Structure. Rhetorical strategies: dialogue, framing, irony.
  • Analysis of descriptive elements, repeated images and ideas, and sensory language.
  • Effect of narrative structure on theme and meaning. Write a description of a place from your childhood.

Rhetorical Analysis Practice

  • Analysis of ethos, logos and pathos
  • Analysis of rhetorical devices
  • Analysis of literary devices
  • Compare/Contrast rhetoric and then to analyze how the tone affects each message in terms of occasion and audience
  • Analysis of text for 1999 AP Prompt (Okefenokee Swamp
  • Formal Essay: Comparison/Contrast
  • Revising the rhetorical analysis essay

The Structure of Argument

  • Comparing elements of persuasive and argumentative writing
  • Planning an argumentative essay
  • Inductive and deductive reasoning
  • Using Toulmin logic
  • Beware the logical fallacies!
  • Structuring an argumentative essay
  • Editing and revising an argumentative essay

Analyzing Visual Argument

  • Identifying Messages in Visual Texts
  • The Rhetoric of Visual Texts
  • Locating Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in Visual Texts
  • How Visual Ads Persuade Us
  • How Editorial Cartoons Present an Argument

Research and Synthesis

  • Effective analysis of text
  • Conventions of formal argument
  • Use writing process strategies to produce argumentative essays
  • Critique of each other’s argumentative essays in peer conferences
  • Complete self-evaluation of their writing



  • Building a Persuasive Argument
  • Addressing the Opposition
  • Connecting Sources to Your Position
  • Basic Essay Structure
  • The Purpose of the Synthesis Essay


  • Finding and Evaluating Sources
  • Integrating Sources
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • MLA Documentation

Humor and Satire

  • Defining satire through its strategies
  • Development of satire through the ages
  • Effect of satire on politics
  • Humor and Satire: A Progressive Look
  • Analyzing the rhetoric of satire


  • Test Format: Preparing for the AP English Language Multiple Choice
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Argument Essay
  • Synthesis Essay
  • Clauses
  • Phrases