Summer 2011 Assignment


MSWord .doc download: SummerAssignment.doc

AP Language and Composition

Summer Reading and Writing    


Russell Rice: or  

Web site:


General comment about the course


The variety of texts in the course will include speeches, novels, historical documents, diaries, memoirs, essays, editorials, cartoons, advertisements (from various media), and films. Many texts are chosen to complement the student’s study of United States History in order to build interdisciplinary connections.


Concise summer “to do” list for AP Language and Composition:

  1.  ___ Buy two spiral journals
  2.  ___ Buy Creating America: Reading and Writing Arguments
  3.  ___ Buy The Art of Styling Sentences
  4.  ___ Select and buy a copy of a “task one” text (Rice’s suggestion: read a couple from the library then buy one you prefer)
  5.  ___ Journal responses to a “task one” text
  6.  ___ Responses to three-five “task two” editorials/opinions


You need to purchase:

  1. Two spiral journal notebooks for summer notes
  2. Moser, Joyce P., Watters, Ann. Creating America: Reading and Writing Arguments. Fourth Edition 2004, Prentice Hall. (Try Amazon – lots of used copies cheap! Try to get one without highlighting/notes.)
  3. Sullivan, K.D., Longknife, Ann. The Art of Styling Sentences. Fourth Edition 2001, Barron’s Educational Series.
  4. One of the texts from the list under “task one” below (so you can write in it)



Task one: Choose, purchase, and read one of the following books to suit your own interests and/or complement another course you are taking next year. There are over twenty options, so browse the summaries and reader reviews on Amazon if you are unsure what might engage you. Check out one or two from the library before making a purchase decision. Note: I don’t expect you to finish reading this book before school starts. However, I do expect you to finish it shortly thereafter! You will be working with it during the year.



In a reading journal (like a spiral notebook) make note of “Aha!” moments as you read. You might notice something that is completely new, and it’s worth noting. The text may confirm something you already think and believe, and it’s worth noting. The text might give a particularly interesting example to help support a point, and it’s worth noting. Basically, read and relax, but make casual notes as you come across notable items. For each:


  1. Page number
  2. Chapter title or number
  3. Topic-at-hand (an overview of what the author is discussing)
  4. The notable item
  5. Why you think it’s notable (What’s interesting about this?)


Task two: Read three to five magazine, newspaper, or blog opinions/editorials/commentaries/essays. In a journal like the one for the book selection in task one, read, clip, and paste (yes, physically) three to five opinions/editorials/ commentaries/essays (not news articles or informational features) from reputable newspapers or issue-based magazines. You should mix and match so as to obtain exposure to a range of topics, styles, and opinions. AND try to find at least one that connects in some way to the book you select for task one.



Examples of newspapers/magazines that are not recommended:


Then, handwriting your responses in your journal, comment on the aspects of each of the editorials that made you think, and your thoughts about the editorial or the issues – one response per editorial. There is no guideline as to length, but your responses should be thoughtful and detailed.

Some questions you might want to think about/comment on:



This assignment is a variation on multiple summer assignments. Originators include Jodi Rice and other AP teachers.