AP Language and Composition is slept on

Novalea Verno, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In an attempt to fill up my schedule my junior year, I picked a random AP class that fit an open period I had. What I didn’t know was that I would find myself taking my favorite class to date – AP Language and Composition.

AP Lang. and Comp. is an advanced English course that usually replaces English 3 and it is taught by Brandy Detwiler. The class focuses on teaching students how to write, read and analyze rhetorical arguments. The curriculum has an emphasis on non-fiction text ranging from full novels to short letters.

During syllabus week I was nervous by the amount of non-fiction we were expected to read for the class. My prior experience with English courses had been limited to fiction. After picking up the first novel we had to read as a class, Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”, I was quickly relieved to find that the factual recount of a mass murder read like a fictional story.

I wasn’t alone in my observation of the non-traditional text. Caitlyn Shaffer, who took the class her sophomore year, found the text we analyzed also fairly accessible.

“[It] opened my eyes to a new world of English Literature. I was able to learn so much while having fun at the same time,” said Shaffer.

The fun we had in that class was credited to our teacher. Detwiler went out of her way to make sure each lesson was engaging from beginning to end. She constantly communicated with the class and the conversations helped students overall.

Since AP Lang. and Comp. is structured around the idea of building and understanding arguments, there was a lot of time for open discussion and even small debates. This aspect of the class was one of my favorite parts because being able to interact with other students really helped me apply what we were learning to real scenarios.

Given that it was an AP class, the AP exam was a big part of the course. To prepare for this test we constantly wrote practice essays and looked over past prompts. The continual repetition of skills helped keep old lessons fresh in my mind and helped me on the exam. I felt very confident going into the test and sure of my skills as a test taker.

The lessons I learned transferred to other classes as well. The ability to form a thesis and compose rhetorical arguments has been useful in my history classes. Learning how to understand the rhetorical situation has helped make me a better communicator as well.

If you’re looking to fill an open period next semester or are already thinking ahead to next year, I encourage you to give AP Lang. and Comp. a try.