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English Department @ McKinley Education Campus

AP/Pre-AP Classes

The English department is committed to guiding students to become better thinkers and writers through inquiry-based lessons that offer exposure to classic and contemporary literature, non-fiction, analytical discussion, and quality writing instruction.  We offer a variety of Language Arts classes including; required English classes – Regular, Pre-AP and AP classes.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level courses that follow the College Board Advanced Placement guidelines. These courses involve an extensive accumulation of knowledge in the field that is tested on the AP exam. Colleges and universities have the option of accepting the AP results for college credit. While there is a fee to take the exam, financial aid is available. Gifted and talented students needs are served through Pre-AP and Advanced Placement programs. Students and parents are required to complete and submit an AP contract that outlines in detail the requirements of the class.


English I or English I Pre-AP: Introduction to Literature and Composition
Credit – 1 credit
Prerequisite: none

Students will study literature and sharpen reading, writing, and language skills. Students read literature from around the world, including the following genres: short story, poetry, memoir, autobiography, drama, and epic. They read examples of informational writing, such as a letter, Web site, magazine article, newspaper article, speech, editorial, and movie or book review. Along the way, they acquire and practice reading skills and strategies that are directly applicable to these literary and informational reading materials. In addition, students develop and practice writing and language skills. They employ the writing process to create narrative, expository, and persuasive compositions.

English I Pre-AP includes the same content as above at a more enriched level and adds how to create and evaluate media presentations and oral presentations and to fine-tune listening skills.

English II or English II Pre-AP: Critical Reading and Effective Writing
Credit – 1 credit
Prerequisite: English I or English Pre-AP

This course builds on English I and English I Pre-AP by developing both academic and life skills. Literary selections include short fiction and poetry from around the globe, modern drama works, and a contemporary novel. Nonfiction selections feature historical correspondence, diaries, logs, and famous courtroom arguments. Life reading skills target forms, applications, and work-related communication. Grammar review and vocabulary development are included in every unit. Summaries and annotations support fluency and comprehension of all reading material. The writing program builds confidence in young writers by targeting control of organization, effective sentences, and word choice. The course consists of 70-90 hours of instruction per semester.

English II Pre-AP course adds Shakespearean drama and more complex reading strategies that require students to question, predict, clarify and evaluate ideas presented in the texts. Students must complete rigorous grammar reviews and vocabulary development exercises in every unit.

English III: American Literature
Credit – 1 credit
Prerequisite: English I, II or English I Pre-AP, English II Pre-AP

This literature and composition course is a survey of American literature. The course builds literary and communication skills, including reading, writing, language appreciation and aesthetics, listening and speaking, viewing and representing, and research. Special emphasis is placed on writing expository, research, and creative compositions; honing critical and analytic skills through close readings of literary, historical, expository, and functional documents; using context strategies and an understanding of etymology to build vocabulary; and practicing communication skills. Reading selections cover a variety of genres and voices in American literature and expository prose. Students learn and practice workplace communication skills in special activities and they practice gathering, evaluating, synthesizing, presenting, and documenting information in a unit dedicated to writing research reports.

AP English III AP Language and Composition
Credit – 1 credit
Prerequisite: English II or English II Pre-AP

In AP English Language and Composition, students learn to understand and analyze complex styles of writing by reading works by many authors. Students explore the richness of language, including syntax, imitation, word choice, and tone. They also learn about their own composition style and process, starting with exploration, planning, and writing, and continuing through editing, peer review, rewriting, polishing, and applying what they learn to a breadth of academic, personal, and professional contexts. The equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, this course prepares students for the AP Exam and for further study in communications, creative writing, journalism, literature, and composition.

Students must take the AP exam for which there is a fee of approximately $80 for this exam if they do not take the test.

English IV: British and World Literature
Credit – 1 credit
Prerequisite: English III, the Pre-AP English III, or AP Language and Composition

British and World Literature is a survey of British literature that illustrates the origins of English-language literature and reflects its reach beyond the British Isles. The course emphasizes six core areas: reading, writing, language (appreciation and aesthetics), listening and speaking, viewing and representing (including media literacy), and research. The course gives students meaningful practice in fundamental literacy skills while introducing them to classics of British and world literature. Students are encouraged to think and respond independently, critically, and creatively to the subject matter, whether it is a work of literature, a piece of nonfiction writing, or a media work. 

AP English IV: English Literature and Composition

Credit – 1 credit

Prerequisite: English III, the Pre-AP English III, or AP Language and Composition

Students immerse themselves in novels, plays, poems, and short stories from various periods. They will read and write daily, using a variety of multimedia and interactive activities, interpretive writing assignments, and class discussions to assess and improve their skills and knowledge. The course places special emphasis on reading comprehension, structural and critical analysis of written works, literary vocabulary, and recognizing and understanding literary devices.

Students must take the AP exam for which there is a fee of approximately $80 for this exam if they do not take the test.



A Pre-AP course curriculum is an enriched, accelerated program based on introducing and developing College Board strategies. Compared to regular classes, Pre-AP courses expect a greater retention and appreciation of prior knowledge, as well as a deeper understanding of the course topics.

Pre-AP courses teach the skills necessary for success in AP courses and students should expect extensive reading and writing assignments. Enrolling in a Pre-AP course is highly recommended for students who wish to take Advanced Placement courses in the future.

Pre-AP Courses offered are:

  • Pre-AP English I
  • Pre-AP English II


AP Classes offered at McKinley Tech in English are:

  • AP English III: Language and Composition
  • AP English IV: Literature and Composition

Courses designated as “AP” are college-level courses and students should expect course subject matter and workload at a college level. Students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the AP exam at the end of the year.