AP Language

Advanced Placement: English Language and Composition

Summer Reading and Writing Assignments

Kelly Giguere [email protected]

Image result for readers make the best writers

Welcome to AP English Language! In this class, we will be focusing on the writer’s craft. Students will become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of forms as we examine the rhetorical strategies writers use to achieve their purpose. Among these strategies are tone, juxtaposition, figurative language, parallel structure, repetition, diction, and syntax. Use the AP Language and Composition Glossary of Literary and Rhetorical Devices for more information on these terms as well as others that will be important during our work together. 

Consider how each author uses these strategies as you read the following two works this summer:

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 
  2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

While reading each work, take notice of the moments when you find yourself pausing to reflect on a passage. Why does a particular passage resonate with you? How does the writer use the strategies listed above to achieve their purpose? Mark these passages using post-it notes, creating a digital reading log, or writing in the books if you purchase copies.  After reading both works, decide which novel you will use for each assignment.  

Assignment #1:  Select ONE of the novels to analyze the passages in further detail. Remember that the focus is on the writer’s craft. How did Hosseini or Walls use the strategies listed above to achieve their purpose? Select eight quotes that span the novel. Write a paragraph about the rhetorical choices the author made; explain how those choices impacted the author’s purpose. Properly cite each passage or note the chapter number if you are using an e-reader. Remember that the passages you select do not have to be dialogue.   

Assignment #2:  Choose ONE of the following prompts for the novel you did not select for your quote analysis and compose a three-page, typed, double-spaced essay. 

Essay Options:

  1. For A Thousand Splendid Suns, explain how the shift in narration provides readers with a fuller understanding of Mariam and Laila. You must use a minimum of four textual citations in the essay’s body paragraphs.  


  1. For The Glass Castle, Oscar Wilde once said, “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.” Explain what Walls’ memoir reveals about the influences of parents on their children. How does Wilde’s quote relate? You must use a minimum of four textual citations in the essay’s body paragraphs. 

When writing your essays, be mindful of the conventions of good writing that you have learned in your English classes and adhere to those conventions. Be sure to use proper MLA format. The following website can help you use MLA guidelines correctly:


      If you use an e-book, you may use:


THESE ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 23RD—a week before school begins. (Welcome to AP!)

You must submit both assignments to www.turnitin.com before midnight. Assignments submitted after the deadline will lose one letter grade each day the paper is late. NO ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER FRIDAY, AUGUST 26TH


To create an account for our class, go to www.turnitin.com and follow the directions using the information below.  (Note:  If you already have an account, log in through that account, and you will be able to add the account for our class.) *If you have any issues with turn-it-in, please email me and submit your work as an attachment.

The enrollment password is Skedaddle1, and the ID# 34877733

Once you are in, you will be asked to provide an email for your username and then to create a password of your choice.  PLEASE use your LHS email address as we will be using school email to communicate.  Also, write down your password because I have no way of retrieving it for you.

Be ready for an additional assessment on the reading upon our return to school.  Once we have completed the assessment, we will have a Socratic seminar on each of the works. You will be expected to ask relevant questions and to provide specific feedback during these discussions. As you read, mark the sections of the text you will want to return to. Keep a list of questions you would like to ask your colleagues about the reading.

Assignment #3:  

Email assignment (Send to [email protected]):

Prior to August 29th, please send me an email that introduces yourself. (If you are a returning student, share what has happened in your life over the past year.) Your email should be well written and contain three solid paragraphs about yourself. Tell me why you took AP Lang, how you spent your summer, what you enjoy most/least about English, and anything else you want me to know about you. Please be sure to write “AP LANG” and your name in the subject line. This email will count as an assignment.

I have already set up a Google Classroom page for our AP Lang classes to use over the summer.  Our code is iny5gpf.  Please sign up and check back for announcements. You may also reach out to me via email with any questions. If you’d like to stop by Room 627 and introduce yourself before leaving for the summer, please feel free to do so. I am available during E, G, and H periods. I look forward to discussing these excellent works with you in the fall. Have a great summer!