Unit 1: Fundamentals of the AP Language and Composition Course & Exam
Objectives: Students will understand the content of AP Language and Composition exam by discussing the information in the AP language review
Do Now: Read the course goal and explain what each goal means. Select a goal you feel might be the most challenging to you and explain briefly why. Share in pairs.
What does the exam look like? What types of essays are we going to write? What kinds of passages are we expected to read ? What kind of skills are expected to acquire?
In small groups of three , read and discuss the assigned sections. Share with the class.
HW: Read the 1st passage and complete the multiple choice s questions. Check your answer and bring in two questions or challenges that you encounter while doing the reading.
Lesson 2: Rhetorical Triangle
Objectives: Students will understand the rhetorical triangle and apply the knowledge to responding to passage-based multiple choice questions in small groups.
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
- copies of AP Language exam
- copies of AP Lang course descriptions
Vocabulary: Aristotelian rhetorical analysis, rhetorical traingle
- What does rhetorical reading mean? How is it different from simply ” reading”? (21)
- What is rhetorical action? How different is rhetorical analysis from literary analysis? (22)
- What are the four purposes of discourse according to Kinneavy?(23)
- Rhetorical reading is a). analytic process that begins as a search for rhetorical purpose along with verbal meaning b). asking questions of not just what the writer means to say in this text or how the author conveys the meaning but who the writer or speaker is and why and to whom s/he has chosen to write or speak these particular words on this particular occasion c). analyzing verbal texts in social contexts in terms of how texts signal the writers’ intent through such strategies as word choice, arrangement of content, representations of self and audience, appeals to reason, appeals to audience value and emotions d). all the above
- What are the five canons or principles of Aristotelian rhetorical analysis?What does each rhetoric mean?
Discuss in groups of 2 or 3 passage-based ( first passage) the challenging Multiple-choice questions you encountered during you practice. ( Group 1: Q1-3; Group 2: Q4-6; Group 3: Q7-9; Group 4: Q10-11)
- Identify one example that requires your knowledge of rhetorical reading to answer.
- Identify the evidence that helps you determine the answer. Explain.
End of the Lesson Assessment: Share and submit evidence and explanation that support the correct answer choice.
- Read passage 2 ( pages 52) and find the evidence that supports each correct answer choice. Provide some explanation if necessary.
- Analyze the synthesis essay directions of 2014. What does the essay ask you to do? What is the topic? What’s the situation? Who may be the reader? How are the sources used in the score 7 essay? Are they effectively used to argue for his point? Why or why not? Read the 7 sources and underline in each source two sentences that you believe suggest the author’s purpose.
Lesson 3 : Writing a Synthesis Analysis
Objectives: Students will understand the essential elements such as argument, counter argument, collapsing argument, etc. in a synthesis essay through analyzing an exemplary essay provided by the College Board.
Materials: copies of AP Lang 2014 exam part I synthesis essay sources and sample essays
Do Now: Complete the group presentations on rhetorical reading and rhetorical triangle; share in small groups your analysis of the multiple questions based on passage 1.
- Share one example that requires your knowledge of rhetorical reading to answer.
- Share the evidence that helps you determine the answer. Explain.
Mini Lesson with Guided Practice
In a group of 2-3, discuss the purpose of an assigned source from the 2014 exam. Provide one evidence that supports the purpose.
Share in class your discussion.
Steps to Write a Synthesis Essay
- When reading each source, underline 1 or 2 statements that represent the author’s message or use your own words to describe the author’s main argument. Underline the evidence that supports it.
- Draft a T-chart with Argument on the left and Counter-Argument on the right.
- Topic: Is College Worth its Cost?
|Pro Arguments||Counter Arguments|
a. Liberal Arts Education teaches students life skills that enable to live a successful life.
b. shapes economy and culture
|Source A: Manual trades are more attractive, technologies are changing rapidly|
|Source D: Education pays off financially||Source C: College grads’ salary does not grow proportionally with inflation|
a. Very small percentage people can make it without education
b. 86% college investments is good personally
|Source E: : tuition soars|
|Source F: Education helps with character growth||Source F: long-term financial burden|
3. Decide how to construct a thesis based on ideas from three sources.
4. Determine how to organize the essay by reviewing your pro-arguments in a logical order ( ascending) to create a rising trajectory.
5. Find a counter argument for each argument you make.
6. Collapsing the two opposing arguments.
Student Independent Study
In a small group, read and annotate the exemplary essay and identify the structure of the essay as well as introduction, body paragraph and conclusion.
Share your findings.
Assessment: How to generate a synthesized thesis?
A. Analyze 3 multiple-choice questions based on passage 2, which will be assigned in class.
- Share one example that requires your knowledge of rhetorical reading to answer.
- Share the evidence that helps you determine the answer. Explain.
B. Analyze the rhetorical analysis essay 2A (SCORE 8).
- Purpose: the literacy situation will play a role in construction our purposes.
- Audience: for whom the writing is intended. It shapes a composer’s message.( different style and voice)
- Persona: a composer’s persona includes the stances she takes, her tone, the vocabulary she uses, her voice and style- everything that makes up the image she portrays in her text. A composer’s persona is influenced by the previous texts she has read, the audience she’s composing for, and the purpose, medium, and the genre of what she’s composing. A write’s persona is socially constructed.
- Medium: Medium and modes are closely related. If a mode is a channel of communication-oral, visual, digital, print- then a medium is the tool that the composer uses within the channel to deliver his or her message. For example, composers working in a visual mode might use medium such as photographer, paining or billboards. Composer working in a print mode might use mediums such as books, magazines, newsletters or fliers.
- If a mode is a channel of communication-oral, visual, digital, print- then a medium is the tool that the composer uses within the channel to deliver his or her message, then genre is a form of that tool that is appropriate for specific literary situations. For example, within the oral mode of communication, there is a medium of the speech, and within the medium of speech, there are genres such as wedding toasts, political acceptance speeches, graduation speeches, etc. EACH GENRE OF SPEECH IS APPROPRIATE in a specific kind of situation (politically rally, a graduation, a wedding etc.)
- Purpose and audience affect the persona, which is shaped by social contexts.
- Every factor of a literary ( rhetorical) situation- purpose, persona, genre, audience, medium,- is influenced by social contexts. An audience’s ethnicity, social class, political beliefs, and so forth influence its responses to a text and a composer’s persona is shaped by her personal history and values at language communities she belongs to.
Based on the definitions of each element within rhetorical situation, explain respectively the elements as described in the direction as well as revealed by the text. Map it out in a small group or add to your presentation.
Share in class.
Independent Practice: Group presentation and discussion
While each group presents, the rest of the class provide critique. Teach lead discussion.
- Point out the specific purpose of the speech ( “condemn” companies for raising steel prices as well as ” appeal” to “everyman audience” for communal sacrifices)
- Specify the context ( for raising steel prices)
- Reveal/ the speaker-persona: where does the speaker stand on the issue? ( “include himself as “we”; “he is on their side; united with them”; set himself apart from another privileged group- steel executives; us vs them , contempt and righteous indignation- tone)
- Thesis: Such us vs them distinction is a crucial justification for the contempt and righteous indignation that Kennedy heaps on the steel companies.
Body Paragraphs: Illustrate the purpose
Body Paragraph 1
- In addition to his appeal to class warfare, he switches to patriotism. The speaker lists the people he wants to appeal to such as ” union workers, reservists and servicemen, every American businessman and farmer” to connote ” a fighting spirit, rugged individual ingenuity and self-reliance, ones hundred Americanism.
- Shift tone ( But Kennedy is not in bed with the unions by noting that the steel companies enjoy an ” unusually good labor contract” and highest earnings in history” implying that steel companies have right and reason to succeed.
- The economic status of the steel companies lends further credibility to Kennedy’s condemnation( purpose) of them, in particular after he had asked “each American and the steel companies to consider what he would do for his country”. Instead of making necessary sacrifices, they take advantages of the people and situation by increasing the prices.
Body Paragraph 2
In this paragraph, the student further complicate the situation and explain how the speaker demonstrates his persona( take American people’s side and calls for sacrifices in the crisis) and his purpose ( condemns the steel companies without alienating them or going to a war with them, instead, he uses reasons and economic facts to reveal their greed and unpatriotic action) in the context:
- Further evidence of Kennedy’s rhetorical caution can be found in his disclaimer that ” price and wage decisions…are and ought to be freely and privately made.” ( the speaker clearly sows his stance on this complicated situation- he does want his audience to believe regulating prices for private companies is a norm). Because in 1962, it would have been unprecedented for a President to coerce a private company into taking a specific economic action.
- Shift: Yet, in this extraordinary situation, he calls for everyone’s sacrifices( But again, Kennedy invokes the uncontroversially virtuous idea of “higher…responsibility ” so as not to undermine his message. And his final closing lines, cleverly put the ball in his opponent’s court. Kennedy does not directly go on the war path or appear to be aggressive, yet manages to appear strong and principled without giving the steel companies any ammunition to respond to the actual substance of his speech.
Conclusion: In the speech, Kennedy’s clearly justifies why he condemns the greedy and unpatriotic steel companies, in the meantime, calls for ” our ” sacrifices as a nation, which includes all- the unions, service men and steel companies. He stands as a leader united with his people during ” this serious hour”.
Homework: Analyse the Question 3 sample essay ( 2008) and create an outline for the essay.
Lesson 5: Argument Essay Question 3
Objectives: Students will understand how to defend, challenge or qualify Boorstin’s distinction between dissent and disagreement.
Do Now: Read the direction of Question 3 of AP Lang Exam 2008. What does the excerpt tell us about the meaning of “dissent”? Provide one supporting evidence that helps you define the meaning.
Mini Lesson with Guided Practice
How do we write an essay to appropriately defend, challenge or qualify Boorstin’s distinction?
- According to Borstin, “Dissent” is a great problem, …overshadow…, symptom,an expression, a consequence , a cause of all others. It produces dissension( quarrel). Its definition is “feel apart from others”. Dissent implies minority. A liberal society is killed by dissension which is cancel. What’s his attitude toward dissent? What’s his tone?
- According to Borstin, “disagreement” produces debate ( argument) and indicates majority. A liberal society thrives on disagreement which is the life blood of democracy. What’s his attitude toward disagreement? What’s his tone?
- Once you have understood Borstin’s different attitudes, you will take a stance on his distinction: do you agree( defend)? Disagree( challenge)?
- When asked to defend a position, one must explain the merits of the position–what makes it a workable, viable position. Supporting arguments would not merely restate, but actually develop the position.
- When asked to refute/challege a position, one must explain the problems with the position—why it is not a workable, viable position. Arguments should anticipate how the opposing reader might react to the supporting arguments and respond accordingly.
- When asked to qualify a position, the writer recognizes the merits of a position (claim) but then proceeds to disagree with the position citing specific evidence. Avoid using concrete words such as all,, none, always, never.
Independent Practice: Use the following format to write a Defend, Challenege and Qualify essay.
Essay Structure #1
Use in-text citation only. No bibliography or footnotes.
- Use one or two sentences to express your own view on the issue.
- Provide some context of the issue. (why does it matter?)
- State the opposing view on the issue by one of the candidates.( sharply and briefly point out the flaw with the argument)
- Introduce the affirmative view on the issue by the other candidate.
- Explain why you take his or her side.
- Body Paragraphs (3 paragraphs-each claim should address one aspect of the larger issue)
- Introduce the opponent’s view/claim on the issue and his/her reasons.
- Find facts that will help you refute his claim. Explain why the facts you are providing speak against the opponent’s view. (analysis of the facts)
- So what ( universal meaning by relating it to human rights, American life or society, or mores)
- Conclusion: Restate the affirmative argument and explain why it is important to our nation or American people.
For the three body paragraphs-
- ( Defend) State your candidate’s affirmative argument and claims. Identify merits and use facts to defend each merit.
- (Refute/Challenge) State your 2nd candidate’s negative argument and claims. Refute his/her claims by using facts or reasoning.
- (Qualify) You may compromise by stating that you agree with the opponent’s claim to certain extent but the consequence or reality the argument will lead to , you absolutely disagree. Use facts to qualify your viewpoint.
Overview: With this type of essay, you need to persuasively agree, disagree or qualify a stated quotation through a well-reasoned presentation of evidence developed from observations, experience, or reading. HAVING detailed development of evidence is crucial.
Step one: Interpreting the meaning of the assertion
- Make sure you understand what the prompt (assertion) is asking.
- State the meaning in your own words.
- Decide your initial position
- *BEWARE* of any prejudicial attitudes, sentiments, or stereotypes you have, these are not reasons to agree or disagree.
- Have specific and accurate evidence:
- be specific and accurate —named and factually correct
- avoid using movies, tv shows and other more informal aspects of society as evidence
- reflect a well-educated, widely-read, mature individual’s thoughtful reaction
- be unified, specific, accurate, adequate, relevant, and representative
- avoid evidence that everybody will cite.
Step two: Organizing the Essay
Begin by writing a meaningful opening sentence or two which makes a personal observation about the focus of question that reveals your thinking. DON’T write flowery, general beginnings…this is NOT TAKS!
- get to the point, use the first sentence or two to begin to define the meaning of the assertion.
- Allude to something here that will be finished in the conclusion.
- End with the thesis you wrote while Brainstorming.
- KEEP TRACT OF YOUR TIME…if you are running out of time at the end, skip part of the body and write a strong, “I know everything and I am King/Queen of the world” conclusion!!!
Agree or disagree with an assertion by explaining your stance.
- NEVER, NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER SAY: “I think, or I feel…you either agree or disagree.
- Acknowledge both sides of the argument.
- A con/pro paragraph works immediately after the introduction.
- Address every issue raised in the passage.
- Your evidence should be specifically named examples that support your claim.
- Having two unrelated examples is wonderful (personal observation, experience, and or reading)
- Each paragraph should end with an interpretation of the similar conclusion that can be reached after examining differing types of evidence.
Step three: The rest of the very interesting information
State your thesis in the form of a conclusion resulting from the evidence previously examined. Tie up loose ends established in the intro by making a conclusion about how the assertion just explored applies to the overall human experience.
- * Make sure you take a paragraph to clearly summarize what the assertion.
- * Use a variety of evidence. Try to include at THREE different examples with at least one of them being a novel of
- literary merit.
- * In your intro. You must clearly state if you agree or disagree.
- * Use examples that support your thesis. Don’t claim you disagree and then give examples that prove the assertion is true.
- * Read the ASSERTION carefully, you can’t make a passing score if you misread the prompt.
- * Fully explain your examples. A paragraph for each specific example.
- * At some point make a connection between the prompt and real life.
- * If you know the author’s names, state them
- * Try to use evidence that is unique, not one that everyone will be using.
- Topic sentence – refers to thesis found in the introduction
- Concrete detail sentence #1 shows support for the topic sentence. (For example…)
- Concrete detail sentence #2 shows support for the topic sentence (In addition…)
- Concrete detail sentence #3 shows support for the topic sentence (furthermore…)
Concluding sentence – sums up the paragraph
- That’s right each paragraph is about 11-12 sentences long.
- Author’s name: Avoid “the reading” or “the article” or “the prompt” – use the author’s whole name or last name Never refer to an author by first name only. Do not use: Mr., Mrs., etc
- Cliches: DON’T USE THEM, after all that’s why they are called cliché’s, they are overused.
- I: Avoid using first person too often. A few scattered is ok. Any word used too often is redundant.
- Indent: Clearly indent for paragraphs – do not skip lines between paragraph.
- Key terms: Define key terms in the context of your analysis if necessary – show you understand what the important ideas mean.
- Paraphrasing : Avoid extensive paraphrasing.
- Praising: Avoid praising the prompt essay or aspects of the prompt essay: “A perfect example…” – nothing is perfect; “This is an outstanding…” that is an opinion
- quotation marks: Use them!when appropriate!
- “Says”:DON’T USE THAT WORD…..These are “happy” words: Asserts acknowledges, stresses claims believes, Argues contends, suggests points out adds, Concludes begins indicates conveys
- “show”: Again this is a BAD WORD: illustrate produce establish present offer refute indicate create clarify reveal demonstrate convey provide portray prove illuminate discredit
- “than/then”: use “then” and “than” correctly. “Then” is when; “than” is a comparison that means “In relation to.”
- Thesis: make your thesis statement as specific as possible.
- you/your”:Avoid the second person voice: the use of pronouns “you” and “your”.
Analyze the sample essay provided and point out the strengths in the. How does the student argue in his essay? Defend? Qualify? or Challenge?
Homework: Make an outline of how you will write the NYCLA essay.
Lesson 6: Multiple Choice Questions
Objectives: Students will become familiar with the types of questions as well as strategies needed to answer the AP Language questions correctly through small group discussions using the provided heuristic.
- Review the types of questions and possible strategies
- Analyze the first passage on pages 47-51( Multiple choice questions). In a small group, students analyze the type of question based on the first passage and explain why ( clues in the right choice)
- What questions do we still have? ( each group reflects which strategies worked and questions they still have).
Overview of AP Multiple Choice Section
You are allotted 1 hour to answer between 45 and 60 objective questions on four to five prose passages. The selections may vary from works of fiction to nonfiction and from different time periods, of different styles, and of different purposes. These are NOT easy readings and representative of college-level work.
- Reading the text carefully is a must. Do not waste time reading questions before reading the text. Read the text carefully by doing the following as you read:
- Underline, circle, and annotate the text.
- Pay close attention to punctuation, syntax, diction, pacing, and organization
- Read the passage as if you were reading aloud paying close attention to emphasizing meaning and intent
- Hear the words in your head
- Trace the words with your finger; it will force you to slow down and comprehend the words you are reading
- Use all of the information found in the passage such as title, author, date of publication, and footnotes
- Be aware of organization and rhetorical strategies
- Be aware of thematic ideas
- Practice these techniques with all readings. A good pace is 1 ½ minutes per page
- Scoring: Number of questions right = raw score. The raw score is 45% of your total and is combined with your composition score. Your Multiple Choice can impact your essay score. The essay scorers already have your MC score and therefore have a “prediction” of the score that your essay should receive. Good test takers cannot “blow off” the essay section; good writers cannot fluff through the MC section. A psychometrician at the scoring table makes sure that essay and MC scores are in sync with each other.You must answer at least 38 questions correctly (aim for 40) if you want a high score.
- General Guidelines:
- Work in order; you will not lose your place on the scan sheet
- Write on the exam booklet; interact with the text
- Do not spend too much time on any one question
- Do not be mislead by the length of passages; length does not equal difficulty
- Consider all the choices; remember they are looking for the BEST answer
- Remember that all parts of an answer must be correct
- Don’t forget to carefully bubble answers. Mark your answer in the book as you read. DO NOT wait until the end to transfer answers in book to bubble sheet. You may bubble in “chunks” of 4-5 questions. Once you approach the end of the test or time limit, bubble each question as you answer it.
- When in doubt, go back to the text
- The MC questions center on form and content. You are expected to understand meaning, draw inferences, and understand how an author develops his or her ideas.
- Types of Questions
- Factual: Words refer to, allusions, antecedents, pronoun references
- Technical: Sentence structure, style, grammatical purpose, dominant technique, imagery, point-of-view, organization of passage, narrative progress of passage, conflict, irony, function of…
- Analytical: rhetorical strategy, shift in development, rhetorical stance, style, metaphor, contrast, comparison, cause/effect, argument, description, narration, specific-general, general-specific, how something is characterized, imagery, passage is primarily concerned with, function of…
- Inferential: effect of diction, tone, inferences, effect of description, effect of last paragraph, effect on reader, narrator’s attitude, image suggests, effect of detail, author implies, author most concerned with, symbol
- Categories: Use this to Make Sample Questions
the main idea/theme/attitude
- The author would most likely agree with which of the following?
- The narrator’s/writer’s/speaker’s attitude can be described as
- The author would most/least likely agree that
- The writer has presented all of the following ideas except
- We can infer that the author values the quality of
- The attitude of the narrator helps the writer create a mood of
- In context, lines “..” most likely refer to
the author’s meaning and purpose (Why did the writer…)
- “…” can best be defined as
- The purpose of lines “…” can best be interpreted as
- The writer clarifies “…” by
- The writer emphasizes “..” in order to
- By saying “..” the author intends for us to understand that
- By “..” the author most likely means
- The purpose of the sentence/paragraph/passage can be summarized as
- The passage can be interpreted as meaning all of the following except
the language of rhetoric (syntax, diction, figurative language, tone, etc.)
- A shift in point of view is demonstrated by
- The repetitive syntax of lines “…” serves to
- “..” can best be said to represent
- The second sentence is unified by the writer’s use of ….. rhetorical device?
- The word “…” is the antecedent for
- The style of the passage can best be characterized as
- The author employs “…” sentence structure to establish
- The tone of the passage changes when the writer
the speaker or narrator
the attitude (of the narrator or author)
word choice and selection of details (connotation)
sentence structure (syntax)
organization and structure (is there contrast, deduction, spatial description, etc.)
- The shift from “…” to “….” Is seen by the author’s use of…
- In presenting the author’s point, the passage utilizes all of the following except
- The speaker has included “…” in her argument in order to…
- The type of argument employed by the author is most similar to which of the following?
- The can be said to move from “….” To “….”
- The “…” paragraph can be said to be … in relation to …
- The structure of this passage is primarily one of ….
- rhetorical modes (narration, description, argumentation, etc.)
- All of the following modes can be found within the passage except
The rhetorical mode that best describes this passage is
- The author uses cause and effect in order to
- Which of the following best describes the author’s method of presenting the information
- The author combines retrospection with which other rhetorical mode within this passage?
documentation and citation
- Which of the following is an accurate reading of footnote…
- The purpose of footnote… is to inform the reader that the quotation in line
- Taken as a whole, the footnotes suggest that…
- From reading footnote…, the reader can infer that…
Student Independent Practice
- In a small group, students analyze the type of question based on the first passage and explain why ( clues in the right choice)
- What questions do we still have? ( each group reflects which strategies worked and questions they still have).
Exit Slip: What questions do you still have?
Homework: Analyze the assigned passage and identify the category of each question. If you can’t pin point the question, mark it as a question.
Lesson 7 Categorizing multiple choice questions
Objectives: Students will identify the categories of AP Language multiple-choice questions by referring to the language used in each question through small group discussions.
Do Now: Share a tip you found most helpful in dealing with multiple choice questions.
Activity 1: In assigned groups, share your findings ( type of question, question stem, identifying distractors, etc) based on the assigned passage. Record your findings including strategies you used in a word document as a group. Be prepared to share in the class.
Activity 2: Share in class each group’s findings.
Activity 3: Email me the word documents ( Damato.English@gmail.com).
Homework: Read Article 1 of the Constitution in ” Roots of Liberty”packet. Pick a topic of your interests: voting rights, marijuana or the environment. Annotate Article 1 and identify sections that address the following question( explicitly or implicitly):
To what extent, if any, is the federal government RESTRICTED by the powers enumerated under Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States in the regulation of ONE of the following: voting rights, marijuana, or the environment?
Objectives: Students will gain clearer understanding about rhetorical modes and organization of passage through small group presentation and discussions.
- share one technique you have read from reading the packet or your personal experience about AP Language multiple choice questions
- 3rd group presentation on the AP Language exam- passage 3 of multiple choice questions
Mini Lesson and Guided Practice
What are rhetorical modes?
Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse) describe the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of language-based communication, particularly writing and speaking. Four of the most common rhetorical modes and their purpose are narration, description, exposition, and argumentation.
In Article 1 of the Constitution (from ” Roots of Liberty”packet). Pick a topic of your interests: voting rights, marijuana or the environment. Annotate Article 1 and identify textual evidence with sections that address the following question( explicitly or implicitly). In small groups, identify details that address teh issues.