AT English: Research and Composition

In college students are expected to know how to research and conduct their own study. If you don't know the difference between research and conducting a study—you're not alone. We cover quantitative and qualitative methods and help students design their own study; culminating with a thesis essay, talk and defense.

What are the major projects you will complete in this course?

Students complete a thesis essay, presentation, and defense.

Advanced Placement exam is available for this course.

Advanced Placement (AP) exams are available for this course. For more information on Advanced Placement, click here

This course is offered by the Quest program in SAS.

Students are able to receive credit through the Quest program. For more information on Quest, please click here.

Course Details

Katie Walthall

"You should take this course if you want to know more about reading to learn, writing for academics, and presenting to experts."

AT English: Research and Composition

ID: 48526 Grade: 11-12 Length: Year
Credit: English
Prerequisite: Completion of AP Seminar, AP Research, AT Seminar, AT Research & Catalyst, or AP English Language and Composition; or Semester I grade of A or higher in 11th-grade English course; or current English teacher recommendation.
Note: Quest students who completed AP Seminar and earned a score of 3 or better on the exam may choose to submit the thesis papers they produce in this course to the College Board for AP Research exam scoring. These students will be supported within Quest to follow the AP Research guidelines. To earn the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research exams and on four additional AP exams. The Advanced Topic (AT) designation indicates a course is at university level, putting it at or above the level of a traditional Advanced Placement (AP) course. This course has a grade point weighting of 0.5.

In order to receive credit in English Research and Composition, students must meet the following requirements: research using credible sources, dynamic oral communication, engaging digital communication, and well-composed written essays. For the student-driven project the students will develop an informed research question, then gather and analyze scholarly journals, as well as completing a statistical analysis of their own data. Their research will culminate in the writing of a thesis paper, thesis talk and defense. Throughout the units the students will deliver multiple presentations that consider how style, content and the advanced use of technology contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of a text (e.g. making documentaries, digital portfolios, websites, crafting arguments that rely on rhetoric to influence an audience). At the end of the year students will be able to communicate effectively in various formats while being mindful of audience and purpose.

Students wishing to earn Advanced Topic credit in English: Research and Composition will practice narrative, oral communication, digital communication, and argumentative skills at a level that demonstrates in-depth application of these skills. Students will complete one additional project per unit. These projects may be self-selected, but may also be suggested by the advisors.

Results that Matter


Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams


of 3's, 4's, and 5's received in AP exams in 2018


Advanced Topics (AT) courses


of the Class of 2018 graduates were awarded cum laude commendations

What Our Alumni Say


AT Research and Composition provides an opportunity for students to research areas that they are passionate about, rather than following a school criteria. Through this course, students learn how to synthesize information they find and develop skills to make multi-layered arguments. Due to the quality of the final product at the end of the course students have the chance to use it as a submission for AP Research or try to publish them independently. It is a great way to prepare for college as it teaches you how to gather information, turn them into arguments, and find ways to communicate it to your target audience.

Sushmit Dutta, Class of 2018