This class is designed to help you become a better writer and critical reader, an essential skill in college and beyond. During the course of the year you will explore writing in different rhetorical modes and learn how to incorporate various stylistic techniques into your own writing. Class readings are primarily contemporary nonfiction, but we’ll also study literature from as early as the Renaissance. Responses to these selections will be both formal and informal. You will have the opportunity to write, consult, revise, edit, and collaborate.
During the course of the year, you will
- Write daily (informal responses, formal essays, and research papers on paper, as well as online composition via Google Docs and Youth Voices (Links to an external site.). We'll also support our literacy learning through the use of online resources like AP Classroom and NowComment,
- Read daily to explore various nonfiction forms, both independent reading and course selections,
- Develop your vocabulary through extensive reading and by using vocabulary.com (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
- Study grammar, usage, and mechanics as a means to improving your own writing,
- Participate in writing and response groups to assist in the editing and revision process. Sometimes these will be done face to face in class, other times they will be mediated digitally,
- Complete timed writing activities in preparation for the AP exam and college classroom
- Create original compositions inspired by published writers,
- Prepare and submit your own writing for publication and entries to contests.
Keep all written work in your writer's notebook, which will stay in the classroom. Your teacher will periodically read your notebook for assessment purposes. Reserve the first pages of your writers notebook for the table of contents. The exams you’ll take are cumulative, so don’t recycle anything in your notes or notebook until the term ends. You must bring something to read and write with every day to class; the first 10-15 minutes are usually designated as individual reading/writing time. Always have a free-reading book with you.
Write all in-class journals in ink, but word-process all revised writings and written homework. There is a ten percent deduction for each day an assignment is late. The work you do in this class must be your own; if you cheat or plagiarize you fail that assignment and are subject to the consequences as outlined in the Judge Handbook. Do your best work on all assignments even though you may revise a lot of your work.
How to do well in this class
- Prepare to learn. Bring your binder, paper, assignments, and books.
- Act appropriately. In whole group activities, raise your hand to speak, and listen actively. In small groups, function as a team member. For individual work, read and/or write silently.
- Respect everyone and everything in the room.
Assessments: Essays are graded according the the AP rubric. Drafts, journals, online compositions are assessed holistically. Grades will be updated in Skyward on the 15th and the 30th of each month. Semester grades are computed by 40% first quarter, 40% second quarter, and 20% semester exam.
BYOD: JMCHS allows students to use personally owned devices such as laptops for educational purposes. You may use these devices in this class with permission. Similar to other personally owned items, the school is not liable for the loss, damage, misuse, or theft of personally owned devices brought to school. All device maintenance and upkeep is the sole responsibility of the device owner.
Contact info: It’s a lot easier to get in touch with me via email through my school email address. I’m usually at school until 4 p.m. every day.
AP info: If you take this class, you must take the AP exam in the spring. See me, if the cost of the exam is an issue. If interested, here's the syllabus for this class (Links to an external site.) that was approved by through the AP course audit conducted by the College Board.
Books for 2018-19
- Thank You for Arguing. Jay Heinrichs
- On Writing. Stephen King
- Aftershock. Robert Reich
- 1984. George Orwell
- Othello. Shakespeare. Folger edition, ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-7755-0
- Desert Solitaire. Edward Abbey
The required books that you'll need in class during the first month of school are Thank You For Arguing and Curious Researcher (in addition to the other summer reading books). We will read 1984 during the rest of the first semester. You won't need Othello, or Desert Solitaire until second semester.
Finally, in addition to his teaching, Mr. Sloan has been conducting educational research for over 20 years. This year is examining argumentative writing and civic engagement. Here is a link to this year's consent letter (Links to an external site.). If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Sloan.
Acknowledge that you understand and agree to the above by filling out the form below.
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
To add some comments, click the "Edit" link at the top.