When I first started teaching the AP English Language and Composition course 11 years ago, I added more nonfiction to my lesson plans. Still, during those first years, I persisted in teaching much of the fiction (and even some poetry) I had taught in the past, adapting my presentation of the works to suit the AP English Language course. It was a natural approach for me because fiction had been the focus of my academic life. In addition, the AP workshops I attended in those early years always offered suggestions about how teachers could use fiction in the AP English Language course. As I continued to teach the course, however, my reliance on fiction began to fade to the point where today almost all of the literature I teach in my course is nonfiction.
I began to realize that it was a good idea to focus more on nonfiction in my course because there were ample opportunities for students to study fiction in ninth, tenth, and twelfth grades, and especially in AP English Literature. (I teach my AP English Language course to juniors.). Every year when I reviewed the essay questions that were featured on the AP English Language and Composition Exam, and when I looked at past multiple-choice questions as they were released for classroom use, I became more convinced that nonfiction should indeed dominate the course, since nearly all material on those exams was nonfiction. Nonfiction, however boring it may be, is quite useful for the minds of the