AP English Language and Composition

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About the Course

Learn about the elements of argument and composition as you develop your critical-reading and writing skills. You’ll read and analyze nonfiction works from various periods and write essays with different aims: for example, to explain an idea, argue a point, or persuade your reader of something.

New for 2024-25: MCQs Will Have Four Answer Choices

Starting with the 2025 exam, AP English Language and Composition multiple-choice questions (MCQs) will have four answer choices instead of five. Most AP courses have already implemented this change, which research indicates could improve your exam-day experience. This summer we’ll release updated resources reflecting the change. 

Skills You'll Learn

  • Reading closely, analyzing, and interpreting a piece of writing

  • Evaluating a source of information

  • Gathering and consolidating information from different sources

  • Writing an evidence-based argument

  • Drafting and revising a piece of writing

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

An introductory college-level literary analysis course

Recommended Prerequisites


Exam Date

Tue, May 14, 2024

8 AM Local

AP English Language and Composition Exam

This is the regularly scheduled date for the AP English Language and Composition Exam.

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

Unit 1

You’ll learn to identify and analyze the claims in a text and determine whether the writer backs up their assertions with reasoning and evidence.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Identifying the purpose and intended audience of a text
  • Examining how evidence supports a claim
  • Developing paragraphs as part of an effective argument

Unit 2

You’ll learn about how writers organize information and evidence to support a specific argument and appeal to a particular audience.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Analyzing audience and its relationship to the purpose of an argument
  • Building an argument with relevant and strategic evidence
  • Developing thesis statements
  • Developing structure and integrating evidence to reflect a line of reasoning

Unit 3

You’ll explore the range of perspectives around a topic and how various arguments can relate and respond to one another.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Identifying and describing different claims or lines of reasoning
  • Identifying and avoiding flawed lines of reasoning
  • Introducing and integrating sources and evidence
  • Using sufficient evidence for an argument
  • Attributing and citing references
  • Developing parts of a text with cause-effect and narrative methods

Unit 4

You’ll examine how a writer makes choices about methods of developing arguments, introductions, and conclusions.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Developing and connecting thesis statements and lines of reasoning
  • Developing introductions and conclusions
  • Developing parts of a text with comparison–contrast and definition–description methods

Unit 5

You’ll focus on the very specific and minute choices a writer makes to bring all the parts of an argument together.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Developing commentary throughout paragraphs
  • Maintaining ideas throughout an argument
  • Using modifiers to qualify an argument and convey perspective
  • Using transitions

Unit 6

You’ll work to understand the difference between position and perspective, how to consider bias, and how to integrate and address multiple perspectives in an argument.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Incorporating multiple perspectives strategically into an argument
  • Recognizing and accounting for bias
  • Adjusting an argument to address new evidence
  • Analyzing tone and shifts in tone

Unit 7

You’ll consider the breadth and complexity of arguments around a topic and what makes each successful or unsuccessful.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Examining complexities in issues
  • Considering how words, phrases, and clauses can modify and limit an argument
  • Examining how counterargument or alternative perspectives affect an argument
  • Exploring how sentence development affects an argument

Unit 8

You’ll explore the stylistic choices a writer can make and how those choices affect an argument.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Choosing comparisons based on an audience
  • Considering how sentence development and word choice affect how the writer is perceived by an audience
  • Considering how all choices made in an argument affect the audience
  • Considering how style affects an argument

Unit 9

You’ll consider a wide range of perspectives as you develop a complex argument.

Skills you will practice may include:

  • Strategically conceding, rebutting, or refuting information
  • Crafting an argument through stylistic choices like word choice and description

Credit and Placement

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Course Resources


AP English Language and Composition Reading Study Skills

Advice to keep up with the reading workload in your AP class.


See Where AP Can Take You

AP English Language and Composition can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Career Areas 98
Majors 46