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Congratulations on your decision to take AP English Language and Composition II. Your choice suggests that you are an accomplished, confident reader and writer. Students who elect to take this class will have to show independence, initiative, and commitment—and complete a full schedule of reading and writing assignments. The reward for your efforts will be the empowerment that comes from finely honed communication skills, greatly enhanced chances of college success, and the possibility of college credit and higher placement in college composition courses. Although taking the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in May is not a condition of enrolling in this class, it is required for those students seeking college credit, and I encourage everyone to take it. One goal of this class is to help you prepare for that examination, and the curriculum has been submitted to the College Board for authorization as an AP class.

The course content links United States literature and composition. In the fall of 2005 the College Board announced changes in both the focus of the AP Language and Composition course and on the design of the exam itself. One of the new expectations is that nonfiction will be at the heart of the course. Your reading of nonfiction texts will include a close analysis of the ways writers use language to achieve their purposes and to connect with their audiences. You will also be participating in an ongoing investigation of issues and ideas. While our focus will be on language and the way language works, you will find that your studies in this class and your past or present studies in United States history will be mutually supportive. However, fiction, poetry, and drama will receive a lesser emphasis than in your past English courses.