Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SHS Reads: AP Language & Comp

Links to summer reading requirements and other resources to promote reading.


Google Classroom Code 2qq6b36

Please make note of assignment deadlines as explained below:

Part 1 - August 1              Part 2 - August 15           

Letter to Students

To all incoming AP Language and Composition students,

Welcome!   This work is not intended to mirror the rigor of the course, but it will allow you to stay in touch with some of your reading, writing, and analytical skills and get you acclimated with some of the concepts and skills we’ll be addressing throughout the class.

According to the College Board’s course description, AP Language and Composition “engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of contexts, and  in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes.”  Sound familiar?  It should.  In all likelihood, you’ve had a chance to work with these ideas in previous classes.  We, however, will be going into far more depth and exploring a greater variety of reading and writing techniques than you have before.  And the result will be far more effective critical readers and effective writers.

To satisfy the aforementioned goals, you are going to have an opportunity to work with some of these concepts over the summer. 

This work will be divided into three parts and these assignments must be completed in Google Classroom.  

Part 1:  An Exploration—Spend some time getting acquainted with rhetoric and rhetorical criticism.  Search these  terms online and see where that search takes you.  There are no specific requirements for this part, simply an exploration.  As you search, try to identify what those concepts are, their value, why they’re done.  Also look at them from a practical perspective—how are they done?  What approaches can be taken?  What tools can readers and writers use?  What are some examples of specific rhetorical devices and how can they be applied?  Once you’ve acquired a comfort level with the concepts, summarize your conclusions in a 250-300 word explanatory essay.  Put simply, if someone asked you “What is rhetoric/rhetorical criticism and why should I care?,” how would you answer?  In addition to  this being a great introduction to the concepts, this will also give us a head start in getting to know you as a writer.  The explanatory essay is due no later than August 1.

Part 2:  An Analysis—Now that you’ve got that solid foundation, you’ll have a chance to analyze how writers use those concepts to achieve their goals.  During the summer, look for a substantive opinion based article/editorial.  You have plenty of latitude with were you get these.  Most newspapers will have worthy examples, but also consider news and literary magazines as well.  Time**, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The New Yorker**, and plenty of others will have worthwhile and interesting content.  For the article/editorial you choose, write a 100-200 word analysis (not summary) that identifies the writer’s argument, highlights the rhetorical devices used, and explains why you agree or disagree with the writer’s position.  The primary focus of this piece of writing is analysis.  Look for ways that the writer uses the concepts that you researched in Part 1.  The article analysis is due no later than August 15.

I am sure that you will recognize the value of each of these, and I trust that you will also recognize that they are entirely manageable.  One of the goals, like mentioned earlier, is just to keep your existing skills current.  I am also available to respond to any questions and clarify any confusion and will be checking email regularly during the summer and encourage you to let us know what’s on your mind.   I also encourage you to consult with your AP classmates.  See what they’re doing.  Share ideas.  Get used to working with each other and asking each other questions.  We’ll be doing plenty of that in the fall.  Finally, enjoy your summer.  Sure, there’s work to  be done and you’re already probably looking towards the fall.  But don’t forget to enjoy the time, recharge your batteries, spend time with family and friends, pursue your passions, and  relax a little bit. 

Please let me  know if there’s anything I can do to help, clarify, explain, etc.   I look forward to hearing  from you this summer and seeing you in the fall.

Best to you!

Mr. Olkovikas

** Students are welcome to stop by the library to get one print copy of The New Yorker and/or Time Magazine. 

Part 2 - Finding Articles in EBSCO

The magazines Mr. Olkovikas mentions using, as well as many more are available in EBSCO.   Click here for remote username/password - the login with Google feature does not work unless you set up an account within EBSCO.  

Use the advanced search feature and change the drop down menu to SO to search a specific magazine by title.  

Need help?  Send Ms. Hopkins an email through your school Google account.