This Advanced Placement Literature and Composition course is designed to teach beginning-college writing through the fundamentals of rhetorical theory, and follows the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course Description. As a class, small group, or one on one, we will discuss some vital aspect of writing including the following: invention and the artistic proofs (ethos, pathos, logos), disposition or structure, and style (diction, syntax, figurative language, mechanics). Think of this class as a seminar workshop, a place where you can test different types of writing and to recollect your experience as part of a larger cultural experience or a collective memory that is connected to the literature that we will encounter through the coming months.
The variations of writings in this course are vast, but include writing to understand, writing to explain, and writing to evaluate. All critical writing asks that you evaluate the effectiveness of a literary piece, but to be an effective evaluator one must understand and explain. The essence of scholarship is the combination of these three approaches to writing regardless if the assignment is informal or formal.
In order for this class to function as a seminar workshop we will discuss greatly and you will also write a good deal. You will revise certain pieces of your writing into polished final drafts. You will also produce a final writing portfolio – a kind of individual writing archive. In the process of these workshops, you will be exposed to your conscious choice of diction and the appropriate use of words, your ability to create varied and effective syntactic structures, your capacity for coherent and logical organization, your ability to balance generalizations with specific and illustrative details, and overall, your ability to combine rhetorical processes into an effective whole.
What I expect most of all from our class is the ability to stretch oneself in the areas of reading, thinking, writing, and verbally processing the experience not just for the individual, but to process it with the entire class.