Mr. Frick's Classroom

"keep your face always toward the sunshine – and the shadows will fall behind you." – walt whitman, ap lang archive.

Welcome to Advanced Placement English Language and Composition .

The most recent in-class activity and homework assignments will appear first right here (Scroll down to see what you may have missed):

5/6: RA and Argument

1. Singer’s The End of Hunger:  SingerHunger

2. RA Essay: 40 minutes

3. Argumentative: Gophers for 10 minutes, debate for rest of class

4. Seminar online: AP Lang Final Test Prep

HW:  Rest for AP Lang test.

5/2: TKAM Film / Rhetorical Prompt

1. Finish watching T o Kill a Mockingbird

2. Create the rhetorical triangle for Atticus’s closing argument in the trial

SPECIAL:  Saturday online seminar – study session directions are found here: AP Saturday Study Session Information

4/30: Argument: Mandatory Voting

1. Read article

2. Summarize article in one paragraph and write a counter argument in one other paragraph.

4/28 Argumentative Prompt: Women in Politics

1. Write an Introduction from the quote prompts given in-class

2. Write an Outline for an Argumentative Essay with Topic Sentences.

3. Create a list of Gophers / Apply to paragraphs

HW: Finish Introduction

4/24  Multiple Choice

1. Complete MC test and Grade In-class

2. In Cold Blood Analysis of Part 2

HW: Continue reading In Cold Blood

4/22 Synthesis & Argmument: Senior Skip Day

1. Interview Classmates and come up with three reasons for consequences and three reasons against consequences of Senior Skip Day.

2. Write one synthesis paragraph FOR Senior Skip Day and one synthesis paragraph AGAINST Senior Skip Day.

3. Write one argumentative paragraph for, against, or qualifying YOUR opinion regarding consequences for Senior Skip Day.

4/18: Rhetorical Analysis for In Cold Blood

1. Read pages 32 – 34

2.  Prompt:  Truman Capote, is the writer and the inventor of the “true crime” genre,  marrying literary and journalistic ambitions. In 1965 he published In Cold Blood, a detailed account of the gruesome murder of a family in rural Kansas. Read the following excerpt (pages 32- end of central paragraph on page 34) and write an essay that analyzes how Capote uses rhetorical strategies to expose one element of hypocrisy in the small town of Garden City, Kansas.

HW: Finish Essay

4/16: ACT Practice, Etc.

1. Take one ACT English Practice Test

2. Read In Cold Blood … work on making Rhetorical Triangles for other author’s purpose/intent

HW:  Read pages 1 – 74 by Friday with paper annotations in the form of 2-3 rhetorical triangles with 2-3 purposes

4/14: In Cold Blood – The Rhetorical Appeal

1. Read pages 1-5, Rhetorical Triangle.

2. Background on In Cold Blood

3. ACT Practice (if Time)

4/10: Synthesis Work

1. Synthesis Test on Invasive plants and species

4/8 Welcome Back – Synthesis Week

1. Source Jigsaw: Animal Testing

2. Introduction practice

3. Topic Sentence & Source practice

4. Conclusions

HW:  No homework

3/28 Argumentative Seminar

1. Security vs. Privacy:  Security   (Download/ Read document… move onto #2)

2. After reading, write out an introduction to an argumentative essay, including a Hook and Thesis, and then outline an essay with 3-4 gophers.

– Robert Ford, playwright and composer

– Benjamin Franklin, U.S. Founding Father

Consider the quotes above and in a well-written essay argue whether security or privacy is more important in today’s society.

HW:  Just above, otherwise, have a nice Spring Break!

3/26 Argumentative Essay Practice

1. Argumentative Form #2 (Use same form from 3/24 lesson below; Use the Knowledge vs. Ignorance as a path to Happiness prompt given in class).

2. Argumentative Essay Prompt:

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” –   Salman Rushdie, Author, His book, The Satanic Verses, is currently banned reading in most Islamic nations.

“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”    – Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Prompt (Should take 40 minutes to complete) : Consider the quotes above and in a well-written essay argue whether or not there should be limits to the concept of “freedom of expression.”

HW: No HW as long as you turn in Argumentative Essay, Two Work Sheets, and Complete the Argumentative Topics Form on Google Docs.

3/24  Argumentative Topics

1.  Argumentative Form:   Form

2. Discussion on Huck Finn Argumentative Test

3. Practice Argumentative Topic #1:  Argumentative Sheet

3/20: ACT Practice Test

1. Grade/score AP Lang Multiple Choice Test

2. Take ACT Practice Test; Score Test

3. Final day to Sign-up for AP Lang Test

HW: FINISH Re-writes!

3/18: Multiple Choice

1. Complete Multiple Choice Packet: Reading Well is the Best Revenge.

2. Take MC Test

HW: FINISH all Re-writes.

3/13: Rhetorical Analysis Quiz

1. Using In-Class Prompt, Draw Triangle and write introduction to RA Essay.

HW: MC Reading and Stems:  Create 5 Multiple Choice Questions from  Reading provided here  : AP MCReadingRevenge   ; Example of Stems for your questions:  Stems

3/10 Rhetorical Analysis Prompt

1. Return Essay, RA Power Point.:  NEW  Rhetorical Analysis  Chart

2. Re-write RA Essay

HW: Re-writes; Any other missing work you would like graded. Complete Power Point here now:  AP Crunchtime

3/7 Huck Finn – Argumentative In-class Essay

3/4 Argumentative Essays

1. Return Essay. Argumentative Power Point

2. Re-write Argumentative Essay.

HW: Re-writes; Don’t forget final study session on March 8. In-class essay on Huck Finn on Thursday.

2/27: Synthesis Work

1. Journal Prompt:  Go back to AP Powerwords/ Metaphor and write and INTRODUCTION with a THESIS to the Synthesis Prompt:

HW: ACT Test Prep

2/25: Synthesis

1. Mock Exam Results:  Synthesis!  Powerpoint

2. Re-write AP Research and Synthesis essay.

HW: Re-writes.

2/21: To Kill a Mockingbird Film

2/19: Huck Finn Work Sheet & Argumentative Essay Gophers

1. Annotate Huck Finn and fill out Work Sheet:  Huck Finn Study Questions

2. Fill in Argumentative Essay Gophers:  Argumentative Prompt

HW: Finish Worksheets.

2/14: Review of RA and new MC

1.  Valentine’s Day prompt and MC questions; Keller Article :  Valentine’s Day

2. Write an Rhetorical Analysis essay and answer the Multiple Choice Questions: Suggested Time = 1 hour.

HW: Huck Finn reading

2/12   On Satire

1.Current Event Prompt: Olympic Controversy

2. Current Event Video: Satire

3. Reflection: If we can define satire as a piece of writing or performance art that uses irony, sarcasm, or ridicule to expose, denounce, or deride serious vice or folly, than IS the SNL piece satire? Use evidence from the article and video to support your argument.

4. Huck Finn Reading/ Annotation Time

HW:  Huck Finn, Research Papers FINAL due 2/14

2/4 – 2/10 Research and Writing 3, 4, & 5   

1. Research, Bibliography, and Writing:  Research Essay

2. Return all previous work

HW: Research Papers due on February 12.

1/31 Research and Writing 2

1. Cool Simulation: Link

2.  Research, Bibliography, Writing

HW: Research Paper,  Huck Finn  Annotations

1/29 Research and Writing

1. Excerpts from State of the Union:   State of the Union

2. Research Paper due on Weds., February 12:   Research  Power Point

HW: Research Paper, Huck Finn Annotations through page 100.

1/27 Research Project and Argumentative Research Paper on The Wealth Gap

Must be 5-7 pages. Bibliography in MLA format (Use EasyBib). Save and Share on Google Docs.

Pick one specific equity issue/subculture (e.g., poverty* as it impacts student achievement, seemingly limitless wealth* as it impacts the pursuit of happiness)  *Subcultures are often defined by geography, age, gender, race, religion, profession, sexual orientation.

  • Research why this equity issue exists (the harms and causes)
  • Research what has been done to try to achieve equity for people of this subculture OR what attempts have been made to prevent equity by people of this subculture. (What solutions are out there)
  • Research whether these attempts to achieve equity have been successful or not, or whether these attempts to prevent equity have been successful (What solutions are working or failing)
  • Specific Example:     Essential Question : Does the wealth gap affect Latino participation in the American political process?   Focus Questions :  How much wealth do Mexican-American women own? Do they vote or participate in civic life? What obstacles do Mexican-American women face to participating in politics? What efforts have been made on behalf of Latinas to become more involved in politics? What efforts are successful and which are not so successful?

HW: Read Huckleberry Finn with Annotations DUE Friday, January 31

1/23 Research Project Introduction

1. Simulation

2. Socratic Seminar: Wealth Gap

3. Research Project Keynote:

1/21:  Huckleberry Finn Introduction

1. Mock Exam Discussion

2. Journal Prompt

3. Huckleberry Finn Reading:  Huck

HW: Read Huck Finn

1/15: Socratic Seminar – Guns

1. Make a Claim (!)

2. Connect it to another claim (+)

3. Use data ($)

4. Insightful Commentary (-)

HW: None! Relax for AP Mock Exam

1/14: Argumentative Essay: Gatsby

1. Review Argumentative Essay Strategies

2. Speeches

3. New Socratic Seminar Topic:

HW: Prepare for Socratic Seminar.

1/10: Chicken and Rice

1. Turn in Papers for Synthesis Re-write.

2. Circle Topic: Debating “Smoker Hill”

2. Change Argumentative Essay into A Speech Assignment.

HW: Finish Argumentative Essay. (5 – 7 Minute Speech or Paper).

1/8: Re-Write Process

1. Class Events: Practice Session #2, Mock Exam

2. Re-write 15 lines; Charts

HW: Re-writes and Charts

1/6: Welcome Back

1. Hand back final

2. Re-write Synthesis Essay taking other side

HW: Synthesis Essay Re-written

12/16: DUE: Practice Tests

1. Final Procedures/ Weekend Redux (Hand out Synthesis)

2.  TIB Presentations

HW: Study for final

12/12: DUE: Technology Synthesis Re-write/ Practice Tests – Norming Finals

1. Final Procedures: What’s allowed – what’s not.

2. Pick one or two practice tests to take today… Turn in Monday along with re-write if still missing.

HW: Practice Tests

12/10: Synthesis Work

1. Journal Entry with Metaphor

2. I say, they say Sentence Frames

3. Highlighter FUN:  CDC

HW:  Rewrites are do with Rough Drafts on Wednesday, 12/11

1. Class Discussion of Nickel and Dimed

HW: Take home synthesis

12/4: DUE: Thanksgiving HW on Nickel and Dimed.

1. Synthesis Essay Power Point, Notes, and Lecture:  AP Synthesis  Power point;  AP Lang Synthesis Test  Notes.

2. Take home synthesis essay.

HW: Take home Synthesis Essay…  

12/2: DUE: Thanksgiving HW on Nickel and Dimed.

1. ACT prep and Practice

2. Saturday study session.

3. TIB and Independent Novel Grades / More presentations.

11/20: DUE  This I Believe  Recordings or Independent Novel Essay (by midnight) for LATE credit.

1. Read the first 10 pages of  Nickel and Dimed in out loud in circle groups… answer the  Nickel and Dimed Discussion Questions for Socratic Seminar (On Dec. 2):  Nickel and Dimes Questions

2. You may spend some time discussing the answers with your group.

3. By the end of class on Wednesday, you should answer each Discussion Question in complete sentences on your OWN paper.

HW: Read Nickel and Dimed and complete Rhetorical Analysis Prompt:   AP Thanksgiving Break Assignment

11/18:  DUE This I Believe Recordings or Live Presentation; Independent Novel Essay (by midnight).  RUBRICS for both HERE:  AP Lang Rubrics

1. Sign up for Study Session on December 14.

2 .   Check out Nickel and Dimed / Turn in Gatsby:   Thanksgiving Assignment (Due Dec. 2):  AP Thanksgiving Break Assignment

3.  This I Believe and Independent Novel Summative Assignment

11/14: Finish TIB today.

1.  Make sure you have finished your TIB documents. Check Folder . Regarding TIB ESSAY:  You must format it correctly (double spaced, paragraphs, title). You must resolve all comments. You must keep it between 300 – 500 words.

2. In the Folder, there is a new document for those of you who want to record your essay , including a Tutorial on how to use Audacity . You can jump off from these links a as well. Your audio recording must be turned into an Mp3 and emailed to Mr. Frick by Monday. Reminder: IF you do not record it over the weekend, you WILL be presenting it LIVE on Monday.

3.  Work on a polished TIB essay. If you finish early, work on your Independent Novel Essay:  Three-Four page TYPED PAPER (Double space. 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins) using rhetorical triangle for your introduction or rhetorical precis for your introduction answering with the claim: How does the American Dream in your Independent novel compare and contrast to Steinbeck’s view of the American Dream in  Of Mice and Men ?  THIS IS DUE on 11/18. NOT ACCEPTED as LATE WORK after 11/20.

11/12: Due: Independent Novel Annotations; AP Power Words; Rough Draft

1.  Check Annotations and AP Power Words.

2.  Turn rough drafts into polished pieces. Mr. Frick has gotten through edits on about 10. His goal is to get to edits for ALL of YOU by the end of the day, Weds. 11/13 in time for you to polish up your TIB Statements by the end of class on 11/14.

3. Final Drafts should be done by end of class on 11/14.

HW:  1. Audio recording EMAILED (Audacity/MP3) to Mr. Frick by Sunday 11/17 or Live Performance in class on 11/18;   2. Three-Four page TYPED PAPER (Double space. 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins) using rhetorical triangle for your introduction or rhetorical precis for your introduction answering with the claim: How does the American Dream in your Independent novel compare and contrast to Steinbeck’s view of the American Dream in Of Mice and Men ?  THIS IS DUE on 11/18. NOT ACCEPTED as LATE WORK after 11/20.

11/8:  Due: 3/4 Annotations in Independent Novel

Continue to work on your This I Believe essays. Today you will need to focus on peer editing to refine your claim statement and your anecdotes. IF you have resolved your peer editing issues regarding your initial brainstorming and anecdotes, you may begin rewriting for fluency, style, and rhetorical strategies.

HW: Finish Independent Novels with Annotations; New AP Power Words: Bolded Words

11/6: Wired Lab: This I Believe

Continue to work on your This I Believe essays. Today you will need to focus on peer editing to refine your claim statement and your anecdotes. IF you have resolved your peer editing issues regarding your initial brainstorming and anecdotes, you may begin rewriting for fluency, style, and rhetorical strategies .

HW: 3/4 book Annotations Due on 11/8, full book Annotations due on Tuesday 11/12.

11/4: Due: Acquisition Notebook Power Words; TIB Template #3

1. This I Believe Assignment, Part 3:  Folder   (Choose the TIB Template #3); Answer questions at bottom of template.

2. This I Believe Brainstorm and Peer Editing:  Folder   (Choose TIB Brainstorm). Create a NEW Document to begin you work. Begin with the clear This I Believe Statement. THEN, you MAY cut and paste from one of the Essays you began in TIB Template #3 as a starting point OR jump off from the questions at the end of the last assignment.

HW: READ! I need you reading and making sure you are annotating your Independent Novels (3/4 way through by Friday, Finish Book by Tuesday, November 12 ). 

10/31: Due: Annotations, half way through Independent Novel; TIB’s 1 &2.

1. New AP Power Words for acquisition notebook:  New Words :  Emphatic, Elevated, Frivolous, Dramatic, Didactic, Detached, Contemplative, Condescending, Combative, Brash

2. This I Believe Assignment, Part 3:  Folder   (Choose the TIB Template #3)

HW: Part 3 saved in your TIB folder; 3/4 way through Independent Novel; New Power Words.

10/29: Due: AP Power Words in Acquisition Notebook

1.   This I Believe Assignment, Part 2:  Folder   (Choose the TIB Template #2)

HW: Finish TIB Template #2 and save in your TIB folder; Annotations in 2nd Independent Novel should be half way by now.

10/25: Due: Marquart Re-writes and 10 line Style Chart

1. New AP Power Words for acquisition notebook: New Words :   Wry, Tentative, Suspicious, Scandalized, Sarcastic, Prudent, Pedantic, Outraged, Ominous, Melancholy, Incredulous

2. New Reading for Second Independent Novel: Half way through the independent novel WITH annotations.

3. Introduce This I Believe Assignment:  Folder

HW: AP Power Words, Independent Novel Annotations (Half of Book)

10/23: Due:  Independent Novel Annotations – (1/4 of book); Marquart Prompt Essay #7.

1. Free-write

2. Style Chart: 10 Lines on Marquart Prompt (Essay #7)

3. Re-writes: Whatever you have missing: Marquart (#7), Fridman (#6).

HW: All writing is due on Friday (Fridman Final / Marquart Final): 10/25.

10/21:  Due: Independent Novel Annotations – (1/4 of book)/ Make-up if you missed Quiz; Some of you still owe me Fridman Re-writes .

In Class:  (Make up Quiz)

1. Introductions: Triangle or Precis; Annotate Obama’s Presidential victory speech:  Obama  Speech. Craft an introduction. Take to Mr. Frick for immediate feedback and re-writes.

2. Your choice: Listen to Audio Comments/ Work on Re-write OR Rhetorical Analysis: Marquart Prompt Here:   Prompt :   Annotate, Triangle, Essay #7.

HW: Re-writes AND Marquart Prompt

10/17: Due: Re-writes or First Drafts of Fridman Prompt, Quiz (Terms due in Acquisition Notebook — final chance for scoring).

3) Introduction to Multiple Choice.

HW; Book Annotations – Paper will be the end Assignment. Annotate well.

1. AP Journal Entry

2. Fridman Prompt first draft OR re-writes

3. AP LANG Quiz on Thursday: RE Terms

HW: Finish Fridman Prompt / Study for Quiz!

10/10: DUE  Rhetorical Precis Sheet for Sanders Prompt AND Rhetorical Triangle for Fridman Prompt

1. Rhetorical Triangle for Fridman on Whiteboards

2 Timed Writing: Write a Timed Essay (45 Minutes) on the Fridman Prompt and Hand-in at end of class.

10/8:   DUE Rhetorical Precis Sheet for Sanders Prompt AND 15 NEW AP WORDS for  Acquisition  Notebook

1.  Power Point / Schemes & Tropes, Part Two:  Tropes

2. Participation Needed! Overhead Project for Sanders Prompt: Rhetorical Precis.

3. Create a Partner Document: 1 Scheme, 1 Trope, 1 Ethos, Pathos, or Logos

HW: Fridman Prompt: Annotate/ Rhetorical Triangle on back.

10/4: DUE   Sanders Prompt Annotations

1. Journal Prompt #3

2. Schemes and Tropes

3. Rhetorical Precis for Sanders Prompt:   Rhetorical Precis 2013

HW: Rhetorical Precis Sheet for Sanders Prompt AND 15 NEW AP WORDS for Acquisition  Notebook

10/2: DUE – Turn in Job’s Paragraph with Five-line re-write AND Style Chart

1. Journal Writing:  “Art is the antidote that can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another.” Barbara Kingslover, “High Tide in Tucson.”   Unscripted Free Write (4-6 lines) : If we changed the word antidote to gift, what effect would it have on the meaning of the sentence?

2. Homework Submission: Check-off Acquisition Notebook, Job’s Paragraph, Five-line re-write AND Style Chart.  Return Graded Homework.

3. More tools! Schemes and Tropes: Rhetorical devices  ;   Rhetorical Essentials

HW: Read and annotate Prompt, bring it Friday prepared to write an Introduction and make an outline.  Future:  Coming up will be a take home essay for rhetorical analysis on the prompt.

9/30:  DUE:  HW: Lengthy CLAIM paragraph choosing Logo, Ethos, or Pathos to analyze the rhetorical strategies Steve Job’s used in the Stanford Commencement Address. 

1. Journal Writing Explained

2. Journal Writing #1: Art is the antidote that can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another.  -Barbara Kingslover, “High Tide in Tucson.”   Answer Two Questions: 1. By using the word antidote, what does the author imply about the inability to feel for another?

3. Data, Claim, Commentary Workshop: First: Color Code, count categories. Second:  Essay Chart . Third, Re-write Five Best Lines (Homework).

HW: Re-write Five Best Lines 

 9/26:  DUE : Annotations on Job’s Speech

1.  Commercials / Means & Modes

2. Annotation for Job’s Speech:  View Speech:  Jobs Speech Link   Download Speech Here:  Jobs Speech Full

2. Tips and Rubric for Rhetorical Analysis:  RA ScoringGuide   Rubric:  Rhetorical Analysis Essays

HW: Write a lengthy CLAIM paragraph choosing Logo, Ethos, or Pathos to analyze the rhetorical strategies Steve Job’s used in the Stanford Commencement Address. 

9/24:  DUE : 1. AP LANG WORDS (11-15): Atmosphere, Attitude, Colloquial Language, Connotative, Deductive Argument / Power Words (11-15) Arid, Assiduous, Asylum, Benevolent, Camaraderie  2. Rhetorical Triangle: Commercials

1.  Annotation for Job’s Speech:  View Speech: Jobs Speech Link   Download Speech Here:  Jobs Speech Full

2. Rhetorical Triangle for Job’s Speech

3. Means and Modes for Job’s Speech.  Means/Modes Here:  Jobs

HW: Pick the one you feel you know the best and write a Claim, Data, Commentary paragraph on the Job’s Speech.

9/20:     DUE: Lincoln Essay Outline, Color Code Paragraph Re-write#2

1.  Claim, Data, Commentary Review / Color Code Paragraph Re-write #2

2. Rhetorical Triangle for Lincoln Prompt.

3. Write an Introduction and Working Thesis for Lincoln Prompt:  Lincoln RA Prompt

4.   Rhetorical Triangle:  Aristotle’s Mean’s and Modes. Power Point Here:  Triangle

HW:    1.  AP LANG WORDS (11-15): Atmosphere, Attitude, Colloquial Language, Connotative, Deductive Argument / Power Words (11-15) Arid, Assiduous, Asylum, Benevolent, Camaraderie  2. Rhetorical Triangle: Commercials

9/10:     DUE: One Paragraph Re-write (and PENS!) ; Acquisition Notebooks:  AP LANG WORDS (6-10): Antecedent, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Appositive, Assonance;  POWER WORDS (6-10):   Amicable, Anachronistic, Anecdote, Anonymous, Antagonist

1.  Re-write color- coding (Claim, Data, Commentary)

2.  Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address:   Lincoln RA Prompt ;  Annotation

3.   Using claim, data, commentary, write n OUTLINE for an essay answering the prompt.

HW:     Essay Outline

9/6:     DUE: One Page Reflection: Using the annotations bookmark, answer one of the reflection questions /  AP LANG WORDS (6-10): Antecedent, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Appositive, Assonance;  POWER WORDS (6-10):   Amicable, Anachronistic, Anecdote, Anonymous, Antagonist

1.  Rhetorical Triangle Discussion: Of Mice and Men

2.   Claim, Data, Commentary

3.   First Re-Write: PARAGRAPH (Pick any paragraph to re-write and turn into a monster-good paragraph following the models discussed in class).

HW:     One Page/Paragraph Rewrite. Also: Either a 4 in one pen or three pens of different colors.

9/4:     DUE:  AP LANG WORDS (6-10): Antecedent, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Appositive, Assonance;  POWER WORDS (6-10):   Amicable, Anachronistic, Anecdote, Anonymous, Antagonist

1.  Reading Of Mice and Men , Chapters 5 & 6

2.   One Page Reflection: Using the annotations bookmark, answer one of the reflection questions

HW:     Using the annotations bookmark, answer one of the reflection questions

8/30:     DUE: Signed Syllabus

1.  Collect and Collate Three Essays

2.   Rhetorical Triangle Fun! Watch commercials to pick out speaker, audience, and subject along with purpose, tone, and medium.

HW:     AP LANG WORDS (6-10): Antecedent, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Appositive, Assonance

          POWER WORDS (6-10):   Amicable, Anachronistic, Anecdote, Anonymous, Antagonist

8/28:     DUE: Why do you think certain passages in  Of Mice and Men  are important? Pick one of the reflection questions/prompts and  write on it before next class (Make a Claim, Introduce Data, Present your Commentary). This should be handwritten, double-spaced, front/back single page).  Annotation Bookmark Here:  Annotations bookmark .

1.  Syllabus & Syllabus Signature Page

2.  Power Point: What to expect on the AP Exam, Part Two & Three.  Power Point is HERE:  AP Exam Overview

3.  Of Mice and Men Table Discussions

4.   I Have a Dream Speech Rhetorical Analysis:  I Have A Dream ; New AP  Terms

HW: Signed Syllabus

8/26:   DUE: Acquisition Notebooks (10 Words) / Summer Assignment 

1.  Reading Annotations: Chapter One: Of Mice and Men

3.   Argumentative: 40-Minute Timed Essay (Essay #5)

HW:  Annotation Bookmark Here: Annotations bookmark . Why do you think certain passages in Of Mice and Men are important? Pick one of the reflection questions/prompts and write on it before next class (Make a Claim, Introduce Evidence, Explain, and Pertain Evidence back to Claim). This should be handwritten, double-spaced, front/back single page).

1.  Reading Annotations & Table Discussions: Article Here:  Darfur

2.  Power Point: What to expect on the AP Exam, Part Two.  Power Point is HERE:  AP Exam Overview

3.   Synthesis: 50-Minute Timed Essay (Essay #4)

HW:  Bring OM&M to Class /  Acquisition Notebook : 

          AP LANG WORDS (1-5):  Allegory, Alliteration, Allusion, Ambiguity, Analogy

          POWER WORDS (1-5):  Abbreviate, Abstinence, Adulation, Adversity, Aesthetic

DUE: Essay #2

1.  Seating Chart and Picture Day

2.  Power Point: What to expect on the AP Exam.  Power Point is HERE:  AP Exam Overview

3.   Rhetorical Analysis: 40-Minute Timed Essay (Essay #3)

Optional HW:   Begin Acquisition Notebook : 

          AP LANG WORD #1:   ALLEGORY       /           POWER WORD #1:   ADULATION     

  DUE:  Turn in Summer Assignment (Essay #1)

1.  Attendance and M & M.

2.   Essay #2 (Two Pages) : Should public schools go to a full-year schedule ?

Along with Essay Essentials, this Essay should include: Thesis (Claim), Evidence : both articles must be cited/ at least one citation per body paragraph, and Conclusion . Please use MLA In-Text Citation .

Resources: Longmont Times/Call article (In-class Handout) / Online Time Magazine Article

HW:  1. Finish Essay

 Syllabus is here:   AP Lang Syllabus  Summer assignment is here:  AP Lang Summer

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PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, expert guide to the ap language and composition exam.

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Advanced Placement (AP)

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With the 2023 AP English Language and Composition exam happening on Tuesday, May 9, it's time to make sure that you're familiar with all aspects of the exam. In this article, I'll give a brief overview of the test, do a deeper dive on each of the sections, discuss how the exam is scored, offer some strategies for studying, and finally wrap up with some essential exam day tips.

Exam Overview

The AP Language and Composition exam tests your rhetorical and composition skills. Essentially, how do authors construct effective arguments in their writing? What tools do they use? How can you use those tools to craft effective writing yourself? That is the essence of rhetorical analysis.

The exam has two parts: the first section is an hour-long, 45 question multiple-choice section. It includes five sets of questions, each based on a passage or passages. In this section, there will be 23-25 rhetorical analysis questions which test your rhetorical skills. There will also be 20-22 writing questions which require you to consider revisions to the texts you're shown.

The second section is free response. It starts with a 15-minute reading period, and then you'll have 120 minutes to write three analytical essays:

  • One essay where you synthesize several provided texts to create an argument
  • One essay where you analyze a nonfiction passage for its rhetorical construction
  • One essay where you create an original argument in response to a prompt.

You will have about 40 minutes to write each essay, but no one will prompt you to move from essay to essay—you can structure the 120 minutes as you wish.

In the next sections I'll go over each section of the exam more closely—first multiple choice, and then free response.

The AP English Language and Composition Multiple-Choice

The multiple-choice section tests you on two main areas. The first is how well you can read and understand nonfiction passages for their use of rhetorical devices and tools. The second is how well you can "think like a writer" and make revisions to texts in composition questions.

You will be presented with five passages, about which you will receive a small amount of orienting information, e.g. "This passage is excerpted from a collection of essays on boating" or "This passage is excerpted from an essay written in 19th-century Haiti." Each passage will be followed by a set of questions.

There are, in general, eight question types you can expect to encounter on the multiple-choice section of the exam. I've taken my examples from the sample questions in the " Course and Exam Description ."

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Magic eight-ball says there are eight types of multiple-choice questions!

Type 1: Reading Comprehension

These questions are focused on verifying that you understood what a certain part of the passage was saying on a concrete, literal level. You can identify these questions from phrases like "according to" "refers," etc. The best way to succeed on these questions is to go back and re-read the part of the passage referred to very carefully.

Comprehension.png

Type 2: Implication

These questions take reading comprehension one step further—they are primarily focused on what the author is implying without directly coming out and saying it. These questions will have a correct answer, though, based on evidence from the passage. Which interpretation offered in the answers does the passage most support? You can identify questions like these from words like "best supported," ‘"implies," "suggests," "inferred," and so on.

implies.png

Type 3: Overall Passage and Author Questions

These questions ask about overall elements of the passage or the author, such as the author's attitude on the issue discussed, the purpose of the passage, the passage's overarching style, the audience for the passage, and so on.

You can identify these questions because they won't refer back to a specific moment in the text. For these questions, you'll need to think of the passage from a "bird's-eye view" and consider what all of the small details together are combining to say.

3overall_passage.png

Type 4: Relationships Between Parts of the Text

Some questions will ask you to describe the relationship between two parts of the text, whether they are paragraphs or specific lines. You can identify these because they will usually explicitly ask about the relationship between two identified parts of the text, although sometimes they will instead ask about a relationship implicitly, by saying something like "compared to the rest of the passage."

4relationship.png

Type 5: Interpretation of Imagery/Figurative Language

These questions will ask you about the deeper meaning or implication of figurative language or imagery that is used in the text. Essentially, why did the author choose to use this simile or this metaphor? What is s/he trying to accomplish?

You can generally identify questions like this because the question will specifically reference a moment of figurative language in the text. However, it might not be immediately apparent that the phrase being referenced is figurative, so you may need to go back and look at it in the passage to be sure of what kind of question you are facing.

5imagery.png

Type 6: Purpose of Part of the Text

Still other questions will ask you to identify what purpose a particular part of the text serves in the author's larger argument. What is the author trying to accomplish with the particular moment in the text identified in the question?

You can identify these questions because they will generally explicitly ask what purpose a certain part of the text serves. You may also see words or phrases like "serves to" or "function."

6purpose_of_part.png

Type 7: Rhetorical Strategy

These questions will ask you to identify a rhetorical strategy used by the author. They will often specifically use the phrase "rhetorical strategy," although sometimes you will be able to identify them instead through the answer choices, which offer different rhetorical strategies as possibilities.

7rhetorical_strategy.png

Type 8: Composition

This is the newest question type, first seen in the 2019/2020 school year. For these questions, the student will need to act as though they are the writer and think through different choices writers need to make when writing or revising text.

These questions can involve changing the order of sentences or paragraphs, adding or omitting information to strengthen an argument or improve clarity, making changes to draw reader attention, and other composition-based choices.

body_composition

Some very important stylish effects going on here.

The AP English Language and Composition Free Response

The free response section has a 15-minute reading period. After that time, you will have 120 minutes to write three essays that address three distinct tasks.

Because the first essay involves reading sources, it is suggested that you use the entire 15-minute reading period to read the sources and plan the first essay. However, you may want to glance at the other questions during the reading period so that ideas can percolate in the back of your mind as you work on the first essay.

Essay One: Synthesis

For this essay, you will be briefly oriented on an issue and then given anywhere from six to seven sources that provide various perspectives and information on the issue. You will then need to write an argumentative essay with support from the documents.

If this sounds a lot like a DBQ , as on the history AP exams, that's because it is! However, this essay is much more argumentative in nature—your goal is to persuade, not merely interpret the documents.

Example (documents not included, see 2022 free response questions ):

body-AP-Literature-synthesis

Essay Two: Rhetorical Analysis

In the second essay, you'll be presented with an excerpt from a nonfiction piece that advances an argument and asked to write an essay analyzing the rhetorical strategies used to construct the passage's argument. You will also be given some orienting information—where the passage was excerpted from, who wrote it, its approximate date, where it was published (if at all), and to whom it was directed.

Example (excerpt not included, see 2022 free response questions ):

body-AP-literature-Question-2

Essay Three: Argument

In the third essay, you will be presented with an issue and asked to write a persuasive essay taking a position on the issue. You will need to support your position with evidence from your "reading, experience, and observations."

body-AP-lit-Question-3

This doesn't look like a very well-constructed argument.

How The AP Language and Composition Exam Is Scored

The multiple-choice section of the exam is worth 45% of your score, and the free-response section is worth the other 55%. So each of the three free-response essays is worth about 18% of your score.

As on other APs, your raw score will be converted to a scaled score of 1-5. This exam has a relatively low 5 rate. Only 10% of test takers received a 5 in 2022 , although 56% of students received a score of 3 or higher.

In terms of how the raw score is obtained, the multiple-choice section is similar to other AP multiple-choice sections: you receive a point for every question you answer correctly, and there is no penalty for guessing.

The grading rubrics for the free-response questions were revamped in 2019. They are scored using analytic rubrics instead of holistic rubrics. For each free-response question, you will be given a score from 0-6. The rubrics assess three major areas:

#1: Thesis (0 to 1 points): Is there a thesis, and does it properly respond to the prompt?

#2: Evidence and Commentary (0 to 4 points): Does the essay include supporting evidence and analysis that is relevant, specific, well organized, and supports the thesis?

#3: Sophistication (0 to 1 points): Is the essay well-crafted and does it show a sufficiently nuanced understanding of the prompt?

Each scoring rubric broadly assesses these three factors. However, each task is also different in nature, so the rubrics do have some differences. I'll go over each rubric—and what it really means—for you here.

Synthesis Essay Rubrics

EVIDENCE AND COMMENTARY

SOPHISTICATION

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Time to synthesize this dough into some cookies.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Rubrics

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Examine your texts closely!

Argumentative Essay Rubrics

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The best kind of frenzy is a puppy frenzy!

AP English Language Prep Tips

Unlike its cousin, the AP English Literature and Composition exam, the AP Language and Composition exam (and course) have very little to do with fiction or poetry. So some students used to more traditional English classes may be somewhat at a loss as to what to do to prepare.

Luckily for you, I have a whole slate of preparation tips for you!

Read Nonfiction—In a Smart Way

A major thing you can do to prepare for the AP Lang and Comp exam is to read nonfiction— particularly nonfiction that argues a position , whether explicitly (like an op-ed) or implicitly (like many memoirs and personal essays). Read a variety of non-fiction genres and topics, and pay attention to the following:

  • What is the author's argument?
  • What evidence do they use to support their position?
  • What rhetorical techniques and strategies do they use to build their argument?
  • Are they persuasive? What counterarguments can you identify? Do they address them?

Thinking about these questions with all the reading you do will help you hone your rhetorical analysis skills.

Learn Rhetorical Terms and Strategies

Of course, if you're going to be analyzing the nonfiction works you read for their rhetorical techniques and strategies, you need to know what those are! You should learn a robust stable of rhetorical terms from your teacher, but here's my guide to the most important AP Language and Composition terms .

  • We've compiled a list of 20 rhetorical devices you should know.
  • A heroic individual from Riverside schools in Ohio uploaded this aggressively comprehensive list of rhetorical terms with examples. It's 27 pages long, and you definitely shouldn't expect to know all of these for the exam, but it's a useful resource for learning some new terms.
  • Another great resource for learning about rhetorical analysis and how rhetorical devices are actually used is the YouTube Channel Teach Argument , which has videos rhetorically analyzing everything from Taylor Swift music videos to Super Bowl commercials. It's a fun way to think about rhetorical devices and get familiar with argumentative structures.
  • Finally, a great book—which you might already use in your class—is " They Say, I Say. " This book provides an overview of rhetoric specifically for academic purposes, which will serve you well for AP preparation and beyond.

You also need to practice argumentative and persuasive writing. In particular, you should practice the writing styles that will be tested on the exam: synthesizing your own argument based on multiple outside sources, rhetorically analyzing another piece of writing in-depth, and creating a completely original argument based on your own evidence and experience.

You should be doing lots of writing assignments in your AP class to prepare, but thoughtful, additional writing will help. You don't necessarily need to turn all of the practice writing you do into polished pieces, either—just writing for yourself, while trying to address some of these tasks, will give you a low-pressure way to try out different rhetorical structures and argumentative moves, as well as practicing things like organization and developing your own writing style.

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Not the most auspicious start to an argumentative essay.

Practice for the Exam

Finally, you'll need to practice specifically for the exam format. There are sample multiple-choice questions in the " AP Course and Exam Description ," and old free-response questions on the College Board website.

Unfortunately, the College Board hasn't officially released any complete exams from previous years for the AP English Language and Composition exam, but you might be able to find some that teachers have uploaded to school websites and so on by Googling "AP Language complete released exams." I also have a guide to AP Language and Composition practice tests .

Once you're prepped and ready to go, how can you do your best on the test?

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AP Language and Composition Test Day Tips

Here are four key tips for test-day success.

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You are one hundred percent success!

Interact With the Text

When you are reading passages, both on the multiple-choice section and for the first two free-response questions, interact with the text! Mark it up for things that seem important, devices you notice, the author's argument, and anything else that seems important to the rhetorical construction of the text. This will help you engage with the text and make it easier to answer questions or write an essay about the passage.

Think About Every Text's Overarching Purpose and Argument

Similarly, with every passage you read, consider the author's overarching purpose and argument. If you can confidently figure out what the author's primary assertion is, it will be easier to trace how all of the other aspects of the text play into the author's main point.

Plan Your Essays

The single most important thing you can do for yourself on the free-response section of the AP English Language exam is to spend a few minutes planning and outlining your essays before you start to write them.

Unlike on some other exams, where the content is the most important aspect of the essay, on the AP Language Exam, organization, a well-developed argument, and strong evidence are all critical to strong essay scores. An outline will help you with all of these things. You'll be able to make sure each part of your argument is logical, has sufficient evidence, and that your paragraphs are arranged in a way that is clear and flows well.

Anticipate and Address Counterarguments

Another thing you can do to give your free responses an extra boost is to identify counterarguments to your position and address them within your essay. This not only helps shore up your own position, but it's also a fairly sophisticated move in a timed essay that will win you kudos with AP graders.

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Address counterarguments properly or they might get returned to sender!

Key Takeaways

The AP Language and Composition exam tests your rhetorical skills. The exam has two sections.

The first section is an hour-long, 45 question multiple-choice test based on the rhetorical techniques and composition choices.

The second section is a two-hour free-response section (with a 15-minute initial reading period) with three essay questions: one where you must synthesize given sources to make an original argument, one where you must rhetorically analyze a given passage, and one where you must create a wholly original argument about an issue with no outside sources given.

You'll receive one point for every correct answer on the multiple-choice section of the exam, which is worth 45% of your score. The free-response section is worth 55% of your score. For each free-response question, you'll get a score based on a rubric from 0-6. Your total raw score will be converted to a scaled score from 1-5.

Here are some test prep strategies for AP Lang:

#1 : Read nonfiction with an eye for rhetoric #2 : Learn rhetorical strategies and techniques #3 : Practice writing to deploy rhetorical skills #4 : Practice for the exam!

Here are some test-day success tips:

#1 : Interact with each passage you encounter! #2 : Consider every text's overarching purpose and argument. #3 : Keep track of time #4 : Plan your essays #5 : Identify and address counterarguments in your essays.

With all of this knowledge, you're ready to slay the AP English Language and Composition beast!

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Noble knight, prepare to slay the AP dragon!

What's Next?

Want more AP Lang review? We have a complete collection of released AP Language practice tests , as well as a list of the AP Lang terms you need to know and a guide to the multiple choice section .

Taking the AP Literature exam? Check out our ultimate guide to the AP English Literature test and our list of AP Literature practice tests .

Taking other AP exams? See our Ultimate Guides to AP World History , AP US History , AP Chemistry , AP Biology , AP World History , and AP Human Geography .

Need more AP prep guidance? Check out how to study for AP exams and how to find AP practice tests .

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2024 AP English Language and Composition Exam Guide

12 min read • august 18, 2023

A Q

Your guide to the 2024 AP English Language and Composition exam

We know that studying for your AP exams can be stressful, but Fiveable has your back! We created a study plan to help you crush your AP English Language and Composition exam. This guide will continue to update with information about the 2024 exams, as well as helpful resources to help you do your best on test day.  Unlock Cram Mode  for access to our cram events—students who have successfully passed their AP exams will answer your questions and guide your last-minute studying LIVE! And don't miss out on unlimited access to our database of thousands of practice questions. FYI, something cool is coming your way Fall 2023! 👀

Format of the 2024 AP English Language and Composition exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2024 AP English Language and Composition exam format will be:

Section I: Multiple Choice - 45% of your score

45 questions in 1 hour

Section II: Free Response Section - 55% of your score

2 hours and 15 minutes for:

1 synthesis essay

1 rhetorical analysis essay

1 argument essay

Scoring Rubric for the 2024 AP Lang Essays

Synthesis Essay

1 point for a defensible thesis that responds to the prompt

Evidence and Commentary

Max of 4 points for providing evidence from at least 3 sources that support the line of reasoning AND commentary that explains and analyzes the evidence

Sophistication

1 point any of the following:

Creating a nuanced argument

Showing the limitations of the argument

Making effective rhetorical choices

Employing a style that is vivid and persuasive

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

1 point for a defensible thesis that analyzes rhetorical choices

Max of 4 points for providing specific evidence AND consistently explaining how the evidence relates to the line of reasoning AND showing how the rhetorical choices contribute to the author's message .

1 point for any of the following:

Explaining the significance of the rhetorical choices ( rhetorical situation )

Explaining the complexities of the passage and their purpose

Argument Essay

1 point for a defensible thesis

Max of 4 points for providing specific evidence AND consistently explaining the relevance of that evidence .

Crafting a nuanced argument by identifying complexities

Explaining the limitations of the argument by placing it in a broader context

Making rhetorical choices to improve the argument

Check out our study plan below to find resources and tools to prepare for your AP English Language and Composition exam.

When is the 2024 AP English Language and Composition Exam and How Do I Take It?

How should i prepare for the ap lang exam.

First, take stock of your progress in the course so far. What areas have you excelled and which sections need more focus? Download the AP English Language Cheatsheet PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses!

Build your study plan to review every unit and question type, but focus most on the areas that need the most improvement and practice. We’ve put together this plan to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam

Practice essays are your best friends! The more essays you write, the more automatic the process will come, and the easier the AP exam will be!

Try some of the past exam questions here

We've put together the study plan found below to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam. Pay special attention to the units that you need the most improvement in.

Study, practice, and review for test day with other students during our live cram sessions via  Cram Mode . Cram live streams will teach, review, and practice important topics from AP courses, college admission tests, and college admission topics. These streams are hosted by experienced students who know what you need to succeed.

Pre-Work: Set Up Your Study Environment

Before you begin studying, take some time to get organized.

🖥 Create a study space.

Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. 

📚 Organize your study materials.

Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also, create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up!

📅 Plan designated times for studying.

The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.

🏆 Decide on an accountability plan.

How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First, set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!

🤝 Get support from your peers.  

There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you! Join  Rooms  🤝 to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together! 

2024 AP Lang Study Guide

🚧 unit 1 foundations of rhetoric: analysis of the rhetorical situation and claims ., big takeaways:.

Unit 1 is an introductory unit that lays the foundations for the reading skills associated with how to understand and analyze complex texts. Skills here include identifying the ASPECTS of a text, analyzing the claim given and the evidence used to support that claim, and determining the function of the “chunks” in the argument. Because the content in this unit is very foundational, it is looped throughout the rest of the course instruction.

Definitely do this:

📚 Read these study guides:

Unit 1 Overview: Claims , Reasoning , and Evidence

1.1 Identifying the purpose and intended audience of a text

1.2 Examining how evidence supports a claim

1.3 Developing paragraphs as part of an effective argument

🎥 Watch these videos:

College Board’s Instructional Video: Overview of The Rhetorical Situation .

Fiveable’s How to Read Like an AP Student .

Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statements  

Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraphs

✍️ Practice:

Use the Fiveable ASPECTS Guidesheet to help you break down a complex text.

🗺 Can you identify these rhetorical devices?

You won’t be asked to name drop on the exam, but it can be helpful to use devices when discussing strategies. Try this Quizlet to help prepare.

Unit 2 Foundations of Argument: Analysis of an author’s choices in appeals and evidence

Unit 2 is an introductory unit that builds onto the foundations of rhetorical ASPECTS and moves toward planning and writing your own arguments. This unit focuses on the relationships between subject, speaker, and message, including examination of the structure and purpose of the given argument. The unit then moves into the developing thesis statements and building your own arguments with a clear line of reasoning .

Unit 2 Overview: Organizing Information for a Specific Audience

2.1 Analyzing audience and its relationship to the purpose of an argument

2.2 Building an argument with relevant and strategic evidence

2.3 Developing thesis statements

2.4 Developing structure and integrating evidence to reflect a line of reasoning

College Board’s Instructional Video: Identify Rhetorical Situation in a Pre 20th Century Text .

Fiveable’s video on How to Find Rhetorical Devices  

📰 Check out these articles:

Here’s a list of recommended rhetorical devices with definitions and examples!

Use the Fiveable Rhetorical Precis Guidesheet to help you break down a complex text.

🗺 Can you identify these elements of practical argument?

You won’t be asked to name drop of the exam, but it can be helpful to use devices when discussing strategies. Try this Quizlet to help prepare.

👥 Unit 3 Confluence: Synthesis of multiple sources in argumentation

Unit 3 approaches multiple perspectives in argument through the lens of synthesis (that’s FRQ 1). In this study, you learn to identify effective and faulty reasoning while integrating a variety of evidence from credible resources that is properly cited in an original text.

Unit 3 Overview: Perspectives and How Arguments Relate

3.1 Interpreting character description and perspective

3.2 Identifying and avoiding flawed lines of reasoning

3.3 Introducing and integrating sources and evidence

3.4 Using sufficient evidence for an argument

3.5 Attributing and citing references

3.6 Developing parts of a text with cause-effect and narrative methods

Fiveable’s Introduction into Synthesis Essays and How to Begin Your Argument

College Board’s Instructional Video: Complexity in Argument .

🗺 Can you identify these elements of synthesis?

👀 Unit 4 Reasoning : Analysis of argument from introduction to conclusion

Unit 4 includes a greater depth of focus on the writing of effective arguments -- the line of reasoning created in the introduction, built with modes of discourse, and strengthened in the conclusion. An important note about these skills of argumentation is that they build toward all parts of every FRQ. 

Unit 4 Overview: How writers develop arguments, intros, and conclusion

4.1 Developing and connecting thesis statements and lines of reasoning

4.2 Developing introductions and conclusions

4.3 Adjusting an argument to address new evidence

College Board’s Instructional Video: Understanding a Line of Reasoning .

Fiveable’s Effective Annotations .

Try Fiveable’s Guide to LOR Body Paragraphs .

🗺 Can you identify the rhetorical modes?

You won’t be asked to name drop them on the exam, but it can be helpful to use devices when discussing strategies. Try this Quizlet to help prepare.

🧐 Unit 5 Commentary and Analysis: Analysis of complex argument and intentional rhetoric

In Unit 5, the skills look at the minutiae involved in argumentation: development of the line of reasoning that produces strong commentary and maintains the primary claim through all parts of the writing. To achieve these goals, this unit includes a focus on transitions , modifiers , and qualifications for argumentative perspective .  

Unit 5 Overview

5.1 Maintaining ideas throughout an argument

5.2 Developing commentary throughout paragraphs

5.3 Using modifiers to qualify an argument and convey perspective

5.4 Using transitions

Fiveable’s video on How to Improve Analysis Part 1 and Part 2

As well as how to Embed Quotes into Body Paragraphs  

Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraphs  

Synthesis Essay Body Paragraphs  

Argument Essay Body Paragraphs

Tara Seale’s adaptation for Creating a Line of Reasoning .

🏃‍♂️ Unit 6 Rhetorical Risks: Analysis of multiple perspectives , bias , and shifts with new evidence

In Unit 6, you will notice a direct link building on the ideas of Unit 3 as this instruction looks at position and perspectives while synthesizing information strategically to support a claim.  For greater depth, this unit moves to modify a current argument to include new evidence .

Unit 6 Overview: Position, Perspective , and Bias

6.1 Incorporating multiple perspectives strategically into an argument

6.2 Recognizing and accounting for bias

6.3 Adjusting an argument to new evidence

6.4 Analyzing tone and shifts in tone

College Board’s Instructional Video: Creating a Nuanced Argument .

Fiveable’s video on Tracking an Author’s Argument  

🚀 Unit 7 Complex Argumentation: Analysis of effective arguments, including concession and refutation

The skills of Unit 7 are about putting all units of study together to look at the complexity of a given argument and the effectiveness of the pieces built into that argument.  Though many teachers will have addressed counterarguments, concessions, and refutations before reaching this unit, those skills are highly scrutinized in this segment of learning.

Unit 7 Overview: Successful and Unsuccessful Arguments

7.1 Examining complexities in issues

7.2 Considering how words, phrases, and clauses can modify and limit an argument

7.3 Examining how counterargument or alternative perspectives affect an argument

7.4 Exploring how sentence development affects an argument

Fiveable’s video on Arguments and Counterarguments  

College Board’s Instructional Video: How Argument Demonstrates Understanding .

Check your progress with Fiveable’s AP Language Skills Matrix .

📝 Unit 8 Style: Analysis of how style influences the audience movement

Unit 8 covers how to understand the influence style has on the audience , and the purpose behind each decision. By analyzing these various tactics, students are able to understand the author’s audience , and how to effectively persuade them. Style is an important part in connecting the rest of the course and understanding how the rhetorical choices and devices are used to accomplish a purpose .

Unit 8 Overview: Stylistic Choices

8.1 Choosing comparisons based on an audience

8.2 Considering how sentence development and word choice affect how the writer is perceived by an audience

8.3 Considering how all choices made in an argument affect the audience

8.4 Considering how style affects an argument

Fiveable’s Analysis of the Mindset of the Audience

College Board’s Instructional video: Analyzing and Understanding the Audience

College Board’s explanation of Elements and Context for Style  

Review this quizlet on Elements of Style for more practice.

✏️ Unit 9 Craft: Creation of your own complex argument with synthesis and rhetoric

The final unit of AP Language and Composition covers how to effectively form your own arguments by acknowledging and understanding complexities to create a nuanced and sophisticated argument. It focuses on your ability to comprehend and connect multiple sources to create a well reasoned, and detailed argument as well as how to add in your own rhetorical devices and choices to make your writing more persuasive and effective.

Unit 9 Overview: Developing a Complex Argument

9.1 Strategically conceding, rebutting, or refuting information

9.2 Crafting an argument through stylistic choices like word choice and description

Fiveable’s video on Creating your own Synthesis Arguments

College Board’s video on Complexities within Arguments and How to Create a Nuanced Argument

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How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay + Examples

What’s covered:, what is the ap language argument essay, tips for writing the ap language argument essay, ap english language argument essay examples, how will ap scores impact my college chances.

In 2023, over 550,148 students across the U.S. took the AP English Language and Composition Exam, and 65.2% scored higher than a 3. The AP English Language Exam tests your ability to analyze a piece of writing, synthesize information, write a rhetorical essay, and create a cohesive argument. In this post, we’ll be discussing the best way to approach the argumentative essay section of the test, and we’ll give you tips and tricks so you can write a great essay.

The AP English Language Exam as of 2023 is structured as follows:

Section 1: 45 multiple choice questions to be completed in an hour. This portion counts for 45% of your score. This section requires students to analyze a piece of literature. The questions ask about its content and/or what could be edited within the passage.

Section 2: Three free response questions to be completed in the remaining two hours and 15 minutes. This section counts for 55% of your score. These essay questions include the synthesis essay, the rhetorical essay, and the argumentative essay.

  • Synthesis essay: Read 6-7 sources and create an argument using at least three of the sources.
  • Rhetorical analysis essay: Describe how a piece of writing evokes meaning and symbolism.
  • Argumentative essay: Pick a side of a debate and create an argument based on evidence. In this essay, you should develop a logical argument in support of or against the given statement and provide ample evidence that supports your conclusion. Typically, a five paragraph format is great for this type of writing. This essay is scored holistically from 1 to 9 points.

Do you want more information on the structure of the full exam? Take a look at our in-depth overview of the AP Language and Composition Exam .

Although the AP Language Argument may seem daunting at first, once you understand how the essay should be structured, it will be a lot easier to create cohesive arguments.

Below are some tips to help you as you write the essay.

1. Organize your essay before writing

Instead of jumping right into your essay, plan out what you will say beforehand. It’s easiest to make a list of your arguments and write out what facts or evidence you will use to support each argument. In your outline, you can determine the best order for your arguments, especially if they build on each other or are chronological. Having a well-organized essay is crucial for success.

2. Pick one side of the argument, but acknowledge the other side

When you write the essay, it’s best if you pick one side of the debate and stick with it for the entire essay. All your evidence should be in support of that one side. However, in your introductory paragraph, as you introduce the debate, be sure to mention any merit the arguments of the other side has. This can make the essay a bit more nuanced and show that you did consider both sides before determining which one was better. Often, acknowledging another viewpoint then refuting it can make your essay stronger.

3. Provide evidence to support your claims

The AP readers will be looking for examples and evidence to support your argument. This doesn’t mean that you need to memorize a bunch of random facts before the exam. This just means that you should be able to provide concrete examples in support of your argument.

For example, if the essay topic is about whether the role of the media in society has been detrimental or not, and you argue that it has been, you may talk about the phenomenon of “fake news” during the 2016 presidential election.

AP readers are not looking for perfect examples, but they are looking to see if you can provide enough evidence to back your claim and make it easily understood.

4. Create a strong thesis statement

The thesis statement will set up your entire essay, so it’s important that it is focused and specific, and that it allows for the reader to understand your body paragraphs. Make sure your thesis statement is the very last sentence of your introductory paragraph. In this sentence, list out the key points you will be making in the essay in the same order that you will be writing them. Each new point you mention in your thesis should start a paragraph in your essay.

Below is a prompt and sample student essay from the May 2019 exam . We’ll look at what the student did well in their writing and where they could improve.

Prompt: “The term “overrated” is often used to diminish concepts, places, roles, etc. that the speaker believes do not deserve the prestige they commonly enjoy; for example, many writers have argued that success is overrated, a character in a novel by Anthony Burgess famously describes Rome as a “vastly overrated city,” and Queen Rania of Jordan herself has asserted that “[b]eing queen is overrated.”

Select a concept, place, role, etc. to which you believe that the term “overrated” should be applied. Then, write a well-developed essay in which you explain your judgment. Use appropriate evidence from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument.

Sample Student Essay #1:

[1] Competition is “overrated.” The notion of motivation between peers has evolved into a source of unnecessary stress and even lack of morals. Whether it be in an academic environment or in the industry, this new idea of competition is harmful to those competing and those around them.

[2] Back in elementary school, competition was rather friendly. It could have been who could do the most pushups or who could get the most imaginary points in a classroom for a prize. If you couldn’t do the most pushups or win that smelly sticker, you would go home and improve yourself – there would be no strong feelings towards anyone, you would just focus on making yourself a better version of yourself. Then as high school rolled around, suddenly applying for college doesn’t seem so far away –GPA seems to be that one stat that defines you – extracurriculars seem to shape you – test scores seem to categorize you. Sleepless nights, studying for the next day’s exam, seem to become more and more frequent. Floating duck syndrome seems to surround you (FDS is where a competitive student pretends to not work hard but is furiously studying beneath the surface just like how a duck furiously kicks to stay afloat). All of your competitors appear to hope you fail – but in the end what do you and your competitor’s gain? Getting one extra point on the test? Does that self-satisfaction compensate for the tremendous amounts of acquired stress? This new type of “competition” is overrated – it serves nothing except a never-ending source of anxiety and seeks to weaken friendships and solidarity as a whole in the school setting.

[3] A similar idea of “competition” can be applied to business. On the most fundamental level, competition serves to be a beneficial regulator of prices and business models for both the business themselves and consumers. However, as businesses grew increasingly greedy and desperate, companies resorted to immoral tactics that only hurt their reputations and consumers as a whole. Whether it be McDonald’s coupons that force you to buy more food or tech companies like Apple intentionally slowing down your iPhone after 3 years to force you to upgrade to the newest device, consumers suffer and in turn speak down upon these companies. Similar to the evolved form of competition in school, this overrated form causes pain for all parties and has since diverged from the encouraging nature that the principle of competition was “founded” on.

The AP score for this essay was a 4/6, meaning that it captured the main purpose of the essay but there were still substantial parts missing. In this essay, the writer did a good job organizing the sections and making sure that their writing was in order according to the thesis statement. The essay first discusses how competition is harmful in elementary school and then discusses this topic in the context of business. This follows the chronological order of somebody’s life and flows nicely.

The arguments in this essay are problematic, as they do not provide enough examples of how exactly competition is overrated. The essay discusses the context in which competition is overrated but does not go far enough in explaining how this connects to the prompt.

In the first example, school stress is used to explain how competition manifests. This is a good starting point, but it does not talk about why competition is overrated; it simply mentions that competition can be unhealthy. The last sentence of that paragraph is the main point of the argument and should be expanded to discuss how the anxiety of school is overrated later on in life. 

In the second example, the writer discusses how competition can lead to harmful business practices, but again, this doesn’t reflect the reason this would be overrated. Is competition really overrated because Apple and McDonald’s force you to buy new products? This example could’ve been taken one step farther. Instead of explaining why business structures—such as monopolies—harm competition, the author should discuss how those particular structures are overrated.

Additionally, the examples the writer used lack detail. A stronger essay would’ve provided more in-depth examples. This essay seemed to mention examples only in passing without using them to defend the argument.

It should also be noted that the structure of the essay is incomplete. The introduction only has a thesis statement and no additional context. Also, there is no conclusion paragraph that sums up the essay. These missing components result in a 4/6.

Now let’s go through the prompt for a sample essay from the May 2022 exam . The prompt is as follows:

Colin Powell, a four-star general and former United States Secretary of State, wrote in his 1995 autobiography: “[W]e do not have the luxury of collecting information indefinitely. At some point, before we can have every possible fact in hand, we have to decide. The key is not to make quick decisions, but to make timely decisions.”

Write an essay that argues your position on the extent to which Powell’s claim about making decisions is valid. 

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible position. 
  • Provide evidence to support your line of reasoning. 
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning. 
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Sample Student Essay #2:

Colin Powell, who was a four star general and a former United States Secretary of State. He wrote an autobiography and had made a claim about making decisions. In my personal opinion, Powell’s claim is true to full extent and shows an extremely valuable piece of advice that we do not consider when we make decisions.

Powell stated, “before we can have every possible fact in hand we have to decide…. but to make it a timely decision” (1995). With this statement Powell is telling the audience of his autobiography that it does not necessarily matter how many facts you have, and how many things you know. Being able to have access to everything possible takes a great amount of time and we don’t always have all of the time in the world. A decision has to be made with what you know, waiting for something else to come in while trying to make a decision whether that other fact is good or bad you already have a good amount of things that you know. Everyone’s time is valuable, including yours. At the end of the day the decision will have to be made and that is why it should be made in a “timely” manner.

This response was graded for a score of 2/6. Let’s break down the score to smaller points that signify where the student fell short.

The thesis in this essay is clearly outlined at the end of the first paragraph. The student states their agreement with Powell’s claim and frames the rest of their essay around this stance. The success in scoring here lies in the clear communication of the thesis and the direction the argument will take. It’s important to make the thesis statement concise, specific, and arguable, which the student has successfully done.

While the student did attempt to provide evidence to support their thesis, it’s clear that their explanation lacks specific detail and substance. They referenced Powell’s statement, but did not delve into how this statement has proven true in specific instances, and did not provide examples that could bring the argument to life.

Commentary is an essential part of this section’s score. It means explaining the significance of the evidence and connecting it back to the thesis. Unfortunately, the student’s commentary here is too vague and does not effectively elaborate on how the evidence supports their argument.

To improve, the student could use more concrete examples to demonstrate their point and discuss how each piece of evidence supports their thesis. For instance, they could discuss specific moments in Powell’s career where making a timely decision was more valuable than waiting for all possible facts. This would help illustrate the argument in a more engaging, understandable way.

A high score in the “sophistication” category of the grading rubric is given for demonstrating a complex understanding of the rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context, etc.), making effective rhetorical choices, or establishing a line of reasoning. Here, the student’s response lacks complexity and sophistication. They’ve simply agreed with Powell’s claim and made a few general statements without providing a deeper analysis or effectively considering the rhetorical situation.

To increase sophistication, the student could explore possible counterarguments or complexities within Powell’s claim. They could discuss potential drawbacks of making decisions without all possible facts, or examine situations where timely decisions might not yield the best results. By acknowledging and refuting these potential counterarguments, they could add more depth to their analysis and showcase their understanding of the complexities involved in decision-making.

The student could also analyze why Powell, given his background and experiences, might have come to such a conclusion, thus providing more context and showing an understanding of the rhetorical situation.

Remember, sophistication in argumentation isn’t about using fancy words or complicated sentences. It’s about showing that you understand the complexity of the issue at hand and that you’re able to make thoughtful, nuanced arguments. Sophistication shows that you can think critically about the topic and make connections that aren’t immediately obvious.

Now that you’ve looked at an example essay and some tips for the argumentative essay, you know how to better prepare for the AP English Language and Composition Exam.

While your AP scores don’t usually impact your admissions chances , colleges do care a lot about your course rigor. So, taking as many APs as you can will certainly boost your chances! AP scores can be a way for high-performing students to set themselves apart, particularly when applying to prestigious universities. Through the process of self-reporting scores , you can show your hard work and intelligence to admissions counselors.

That said, the main benefit of scoring high on AP exams comes once you land at your dream school, as high scores can allow you to “test out” of entry-level requirements, often called GE requirements or distribution requirements. This will save you time and money.

To understand how your course rigor stacks up, check out CollegeVine’s free chancing engine . This resource takes your course rigor, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, to determine your chances of getting into over 1600 colleges across the country!

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