• Please visit Canvas for more information and details.
    Please carefully review the appropriate syllabus found below.  The syllabus contains pertinent information about the course, policies, and procedures of my classroom.  In addition to reviewing the syllabus, all parents and students are asked to complete the Teacher, Guardian, and Student Contract found on the last page of the document.  This contract acts as an acknowledgement and receipt of the syllabus.  
    Syllabus Note

    Each student is responsible for knowing the information outlined in this course syllabus. Please keep a copy of this document and refer to it regularly. Information may be subject to change; students will be notified by the instructor of any changes in course requirements or policies.

    Required Materials                                                                                Much Appreciated Supplies

                                                                                                                      1-2 reams of paper

    Notebook (composition or spiral)                                                                   1-2 boxes of tissue

    Highlighters and pens of varying colors (at least four)                                      Post-it-Notes

    Post-it-Notes                                                                                                 Note cards

    Course Introduction

    Advanced Placement English Language and Composition is a rigorous and challenging course taught at college level and designed to develop writing and language analysis skills. In this class, students learn that writing is a craft, something more than function and formula. The instructor’s primary goal is to create strong writers with the necessary skills to write effectively in their college courses and in their personal and professional lives. This course introduces critical thinking strategies and the canons of rhetoric, while developing style and trope concepts through an exploration of primarily non-fiction argumentative and expository texts.

    Student Goals and Objectives

    When electing to take an advanced English class it is assumed that students have fairly well mastered the specifics of the 6-Traits of Writing rubric and already understand and use standard English grammar. This instructor will teach how to move beyond the pragmatic responses of the 6-Traits of Writing rubric and the five- paragraph essay because such approaches afford minimal organization and often encourage unnecessary repetition.

    Students in this class will be encouraged to emphasize content, purpose, and audience while focusing upon organization. The focus of the course is on rhetoric, broadly defined as a “dynamic process in which a person chooses and uses language to achieve a determined purpose.” Students will be expected to read widely and reflect on the reading through extensive discussion, analysis, writing, and rewriting. We will emphasize rhetoric and composition with a focus on persuasive, research-based writing and understanding writing as a process.

    Course Competencies and Student Outcomes

    As a result of completing this course, learners will be able to:


    1. Analyze specific rhetorical contexts, including circumstance, purpose, topic, audience, and writer, as well as the writing’s ethical, political, and cultural implications.
    2. Organize writing to support a central idea through unity, coherence, and logical development appropriate to a specific writing context.
    3. Use appropriate conventions in writing, including consistent voice, tone, diction, grammar, and mechanics.
    4. Summarize, paraphrase and quote from sources to maintain academic integrity and to develop one’s own ideas.
    5. Use feedback obtained from peer review, instructor comments, and/or other resources to revise writing.
    6. Assess one’s own writing strengths and identify strategies for improvement through instructor conference, portfolio review, written evaluation, and/or other methods.
    7. Create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience. 

    8. Employ problem-solving strategies to grapple with challenging ideas, texts, processes and projects.
    9. Use multimodal approaches in composing written work and as a means of presenting or depicting written work.
    10. Select and evaluate source materials to support writing tasks and use them to support a central idea.


    Students may vary in their competency levels on these outcomes and they can expect to achieve these outcomes only if they honor all course policies, attend class regularly, complete all assigned work in good faith and on time, and meet all other course expectations of them as a student.

    Possible Teaching and Learning Methods

    This instructor believes that learning takes place in a variety of ways; the best method of instruction is to individualize and differentiate as much as possible. As such, we will utilize a variety of learning methods and activities in the course, including but not limited to:


    • developing a classroom learning community
    • multi-genre writing
    • students teaching students
    • individual activities and projects
    • group activities and projects
    • peer response in writing workshops
    • projects involving technology/multi-media
    • student presentations
    • online activities/work
    • empirical research (surveys, interviews, data)
    • lectures
    • discussion
    • portfolios/project


    Teaching Strategies

    The instructor introduces the following bank of strategies throughout the course of the year, employing them repetitively in writings and class discussions. Moreover, the instructor provides instruction and feedback on student’s writing that helps them develop a wider range of vocabulary that includes rhetorical and stylistic vocabulary that directly address written and oral communication and an in-depth study of affixes used that span the course of the year. The instructor balances generalization and specific detail through the education provides and effectively uses rhetoric daily in the course.


    This instructor uses the SOAPSTone strategy developed by Tommy Boley to develop a well-crafted thesis.

    Speaker, Ocassion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, Tone


    The OPTIC Strategy includes key concepts used to analyze visual texts, for example we provide the students with Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World” which portrays a fragile woman in a wheat field facing a Midwestern farmhouse.  Students critique the work, comparing and contrasting their individual interpretations based upon prior knowledge, unique perspective, and image context.

    Socratic Seminars/Discussion Protocols

    Throughout the course, students participate in Socratic seminars (developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and discussion protocols in which they discuss collaboratively in whole class, small group, or inner-outer circles format, allowing them to develop their reflective thinking skills and oral communication using self-generated questions written at the higher end of the Bloom’s taxonomy structure. These discussions are concurrently self-assessed, peer-assessed, and educator-assessed. 

    Discussion Boards

    This class may include an online discussion board that promotes higher level, cognitive reflection in a virtual environment. Should this be enacted, the board will be a closed system, accessible only to all the AP Language students in the school (from all periods) where students post their reflections and questions posed from the readings. These informal contexts promote awareness as writers outside the classroom beyond the realm of the school walls where their writing and responding techniques aid in developing their writing and critical reading skills.

    Synthesis Question

    Students will study the synthesis question examples from The College Board before moving into the practice of writing a synthesis question during the second semester before the Exam. These will include practice questions from Murphy & Rankin’s 5 Steps to 5 and several developed by other AP instructors internationally. Before the Exam, the students will be required to write an original, complete, practice synthesis essay prompt.


    Style is an important element of writing skills and rhetorical analysis on which this course focuses in the first semester. By being able to identify and correctly utilize several schemes and tropes in non-fiction, the students learn to construct well-developed written communication that, at times, employs but is not limited to parallelism, antithesis, dramatic irony, situational irony, verbal irony, anastrophe, chiasmus, simile, metaphor, extended metaphor, litotes, hyperbole, synecdoche, metonymy, and personification.

    Independent Readying & Analysis

    Every quarter the students will read and analyze non-fiction and fiction titles outside the curriculum of the course. The instructor will assign multiple artifacts over the course of the year that the students will be required to submit for assessment. This may include culminating projects include: character wheels, character analyses, Mock AP Exams, Book Club synthesis multimedia projects that address themes address through the readings, analysis of film in terms as interpretation of literature, AP-style multiple choice questions based on the readings, etc…

    The instructor will introduce new strategies should be introduced as innocuous, yet effective tools in the AP Language classroom. This environment affords them an open space in which they can practice and learn to become comfortable with these tools.

    Course Content

    Essays and Major Assignments

    All work is due on the due date and must adhere to MLA formatting norms, including margins, font, font size, and title requirements.

    A note about essays and major assignments: You are expected to share your writing with others. Please avoid writing about things that you may not be prepared to share with other students. In addition, avoid writing about subjects about which you feel incredibly strongly and are unable to openly discuss alternative perspectives.

    Homework, Activities, and In-Class Assignments

    Homework is due on the scheduled due date. Assignments and activities often have due dates that are assigned as the class progresses. Those due dates are upheld as are the HW assignments.


    Bellwork may be added or subtracted depending on how content within the session is altered. Students who miss class or are late to a class are not permitted to make up bellwork. This rewards those who are present and on time to class and acts as a penalty to those who are not.


    Vocabulary units will be given throughout the course of the term and terms are dependent upon the term emphasis. Quizzes will take place on Mondays; it is possible a cumulative exam will be given that covers all vocabulary at the end of a grading quarter and/or semester.


    Over the course of the school year, the following title will be taught, in whole or in part: Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson). Other titles may also be added as the year progresses. It is HIGHLY recommended that students obtain personal copies of the novels. This will allow students to annotate appropriately as they read. E-reader copies are NOT allowed.

    Course Schedule      

    Unit 1: An Introduction to Rhetorical Modes and Analysis (Fall Semester)

    The fall semester is geared towards introducing the student to the analysis of style through bi-monthly essays. The essays address stylistics elements of voice and tropes that fall therein. The first week of school, students will analyze a selection of text and generate a 750-1000 word writing sample that allows the instructor the ability to introduce the 9-point Advanced Placement rubric and to assess a baseline writing assessment on the new AP students.

    Unit 2: Rhetorical Modes of Writing (Fall Semester)

    The students study the Rhetorical Modes, including narration and description; essays that compare/contrast, classify & divide, and define; essays that analyze a process; essays that analyze cause & effect; and essays that satirize. Students will also read, evaluate, and write arguments and persuasive essays through a study of Media Analysis: Rhetoric, Persuasion, and Propaganda.

    By introducing the timed writings early in the first semester, the course establishes natural progression of the class towards the May examination.

    Unit 3: Analyzing Rhetoric/Everything’s an Argument (Fall/Spring Semester)

    The argument essay of the AP Language exam is the third question the students must address during the examination. This unit will highlight the basic appeals, purposes, and premises of arguments. Students will be able to take a position on particular topic and use specific evidence to support their claims. Students will also be able to deepen their understanding of audience, they will be able to analyze visuals for arguments, and they will be able to identify logical fallacies and their effects. Their major project will be a rhetorical analysis of a documentary film.

    In addition to timed-writes and the documentary film project, students will also be given focused time practicing for the multiple-choice section of the exam.

    Unit 4: Documented Argument, Synthesis, and Research (Spring Semester)

    This unit builds on and expands the argument concepts in Unit 2. Students will build the canon of “Memory”, they will learn strategies to use to read and answer the prompt, and students will create their own synthesis question to better understand the construction of the question so they will be able to comprehend what is being asked of them on the exam.

    Students will continue to focus and build on the topic of synthesis.During the unit students will continue to strengthen their research skill and be able to produce multi- draft papers.

    As students get closer to the exam date, they will need opportunities to improve on their own “stylistic maturity.” This unit provides that outlet. Students will write in the basic modes or essay types including narration; description; process analysis; comparison and contrast; division and classification; and cause and effect.

    Unit 5: AP Language Exam Boot Camp Review (Spring Semester)

    This unit is organized around the four main elements of the test: multiple-choice, synthesis, rhetorical analysis, and argument free response essay questions. It focuses on strategies for success on the test that have been introduced and practiced throughout the year.

    Unit 6: Literature Study (Spring Semester)

    To close out the year students will engage in a Literature unit. They will be able to utilize everything they have learned throughout the year, using the written word, in an effort to prepare them for AP Literature their senior year.

    Teaching Resources

    As with any strong, organic Language & Composition Course, the instructor adapts, adopts, and removes titles from the course. The following incomplete smattering of titles may be taught in this classroom during the course of the year.


    • Canton, Elizabeth Cady. “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.”
    • Carroll, Andrew, ed. Letters to a Nation.
    • Edwards, Jonathan. “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God.”
    • Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers
    • Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference.
    • Joliffe, David. Everyday Use.
    • Kennedy, Dorothy. The Bedford Reader.
    • King, Stephen. On Writing.
    • Krakauer, Jon.  Into the Wild.
    • Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkewski, and Keith Walters. Everything’s An Argument: With Readings. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006.
    • McCourt, Frank. Teacher man.
    • Murphy, Barbara & Estelle Rankin. 5 Steps to a 5.
    • Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope.
    • Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation
    • Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta lacks.
    • Swift, Jonathan. “A Modest Proposal.”



    Grading is figured using a weighted system. Your grade will be based on a combination of effort and progress toward daily participation, scores on assignments, assessments (quizzes, tests, Socratic Seminars, major writing assignments, etc.), vocabulary and grammar, district-issued reading and writing assessments, and your ability to contribute full participation, including attendance, individual conferences, and adherence to student conduct codes and in some cases peer evaluation.

    You may access your grades, online, at any time outside of class. Please do not ask your instructor what your grade is or ask the instructor to play the “what if” game; your grade is yours and yours alone, it is your responsibility to do your best at all times. Grades will be updated weekly, at a minimum.


    Weighted Value







    100% – 90%





    89% – 80%





    79% – 70%




    69% – 60%




    59% – Below






    Parent access to grades

    Williams Field uses Synergy Grade Book/ParentVUE for grades & attendance. Teachers update grades regularly. Parents can access their child’s grades and assignments by going to the school’s website and clicking on ParentVue/StudentVue on the quick links bar (right side of the page). Students’ information is only accessible by using an individualized password assigned by the school.  Parents may contact office personnel/counselor for their child’s password at 480-279-8000.  

    Late Work Policy

    Since this course is designed to immerse and push students into the rigorous world of professional academics, writing, and language, there will be tight and unbending deadlines found in institutions of higher learning. That means assignments must be turned in on deadline. If you miss your deadline, no late work will be accepted; late work will be assigned a grade of 0.

    Student Expectations


    Participation is required of all students, at any and all times. Apathy is not accepted. You will find the instructor holds all students accountable, and expects:


    • Positive language at all time (this instructor has a ZERO tolerance policy for discriminatory language)
    • Contribution to class discussions
    • Appropriate input and involvement in group tasks
    • Attentiveness and preparation for presentations
    • Preparedness for minor tasks that build towards larger tasks
    • Appropriate, professional, respectful behavior during engaging discussion and class activity
    • Respect for the opinions and property of each of your classmates



    Regular attendance is very important to this course. Only if your absence is excused will you be given time to make up work. It is YOUR responsibility to find out what work you have missed during your excused absence. Check my Teacher Page/Canvas regularly for activities missed while you were gone and/or for assignments and homework.  After the mandatory one day for each absence, any missing work will receive a grade of zero.

    Tardy Policy

    Students are expected to arrive to class on time each day. Habitual tardiness will result in referrals at the 3rd, 5th, and 7th tardy. Upon receiving a referral, students will be assigned Saturday School on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month.

    Remind 101

    Communication is key. It is highly recommended that students and parents sign up to receive Remind text messages from the instructor.  Often the text messages are simple reminders of homework, but may also include announcements, etc. To receive messages via text, text @wfaplang to 81010.  You may opt-out of messages at anytime by replying 'unsubscribe @dominate6'.  Trouble using 81010?  Try texting @wfhsaplang to (623) 552-2758 instead.   


    Students will be encouraged to use iPod, iPhones, smartphones, cell phones, e-readers, netbooks, and the like electronic equipment ONLY for educational purposes in the classroom. Electronic devices are not allowed for personal reasons during class.  Immediately upon entering class, you will place your cellphone in your assigned cellphone pocket at the front of the classroom. If I see your cell phone out, I will confiscate it from you, and a parent will be asked to pick it up from the office.

    Class Rules

    In addition to the rules outlined in the Student Handbook/Code of Conduct, class rules are as follows:


    • Respect for each other’s ideas, opinions, thoughts, and property are required in the classroom at all time.
    • It is extremely important for you to attend EVERYDAY.
    • Come to class on time, prepared to learn and participate each and every day.
    • You should be working on your Bellwork and/or prepared with all class materials out and accessible by the time the tardy bell rings. Do not wait for me to remind you to begin.
    • No sleeping in class.
    • No bags/backpacks/purses on your desktop or in your lap; they should be placed on the floor by your desk.


    Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

    Every student in this class is expected to produce his/her own original work. Digital Photography makes it very simple to confirm original work. All instructors believe that cheating and plagiarism is intolerable; consequently, any act of cheating or plagiarism, intentional or unintentional, or acts of academic misconduct on any assignment, will result in an immediate referral for each act of Academic Misconduct and/or Plagiarism and failure for the assignment.

    Cheating is any form of dishonesty in an academic exercise. It includes, but is not limited to, (a) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, examinations, or any other form of assessment whether or not the items are graded; (b) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the faculty member in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (c) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to or administered by the school or a member of the school faculty or staff; and (d) fabrication of data, facts, or information.

    Plagiarism is a form of cheating in which a student falsely represents another person’s work as his or her own – it includes, but is not limited to: (a) the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; (b) unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials; and (c) information gathered from the internet and not properly identified.

    Cheating and plagiarism demonstrate a lack of integrity and character that is inconsistent with the goals and values of Williams Field High School. Academic dishonesty interferes with the assessment and feedback process that is necessary in order to promote academic growth.  Academic dishonesty defrauds the instructor with a false view of a student’s strengths and weaknesses.  It may prevent further instruction in areas of weakness and delay the student in reaching his or her potential.

    Alternatives to cheating and plagiarism

    No student needs to cheat or plagiarize.  Williams Field High School provides numerous support services for students to help them achieve success honorably.  Students who advocate for themselves and seek appropriate help when they need it will not need to cheat or plagiarize.  

    Behavior Plan

    To assist in the pursuit of a quality education, HUSD has established guidelines for student behavior.  If there are classroom concerns, I will make all reasonable attempts to follow the step listed:


    1. Conference with student (possible parent communication)
    2. Parent communication (possible referral)
    3. Parent conference (will include counselor or admin)
    4. Referral to administrator


     Diversity Statement


    All individuals have a right to an educational environment free from bias, prejudice and bigotry. As members of the Williams Field High School educational community, students are expected to refrain from participating in acts of harassment that are designed to demean another student’s race, gender, ethnicity, religious preference, disability or sexual orientation. 

    Parental Support Ideas

    Often families inquire as to how best they can support their children in school. Below are a few ideas of how best to support your student this year in school.


    1. Love learning. Be excited for work your student brings home. Be eager to listen to their stories about what they’re learning in school. Be interested in the practice he or she is doing for each and every class (even those you didn’t particularly like when you were his or her age.) If you model a love for learning, your son or daughter will naturally love learning, too.
    2. Arizona Standards encourage students to learn across disciplines, which includes tying together discussions on various topics. At home, discuss current events in our world. This could include culture, politics, sports, government, economy, etc. In discussion at home, include your personal opinions of the topic including evidence that supports your position. Ask your student his or her opinion and listen to the support her or she gives.
    3. Always remember it takes a community to educate a child. We’re in this together, so encourage and maintain a positive dialogue and communication with teachers.  Utilize the resources teachers use to ensure you are part of the learning community (Teacher Pages, Remind 101, etc.)


    Please contact me if you or your parents/guardians have any questions or concerns. Email is the preferred method, and I always return emails within 24 hours on school days and 48 hours on weekends.  While I prefer communication via email, you are also free to call and leave a voicemail.  I will return the call as soon as I am able to. Thanks, and I look forward to having an outstanding and challenging year with all of you!!

    Tara Andrade

    English Department at WFHS