Practicing for the AP Multiple Choice

Each Monday we will be practicing the multiple choice portion of the AP Language and Composition exam – this is much harder than multiple choice tests you have taken in the past, and to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident in May you need to practice practice practice!

There are a few things you can definitely expect of the multiple choice questions on the AP Exam:

  1. The passages you will have to read will be much harder than excerpts and passages you may have been exposed to in the past. Remember, AP Language is essentially a college level course and as such the level of difficultly in the passages will reflect this.
  2. The questions will be asked using complex syntax and diction, and you may have to reread the questions a few times to fully understand exactly what you’re being asked.
  3. There will often be more than one right answer, and your job will be to determine the ‘best right answer’.
  4. The test is written with the assumption that you are well read and versed in a variety of texts and topics, and will require you to make ‘text connections’. Go ahead and start broadening what you read and are exposed to each day in preparation… you don’t want to sit down and take the test, only to find that you don’t understand half the references needed.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to make this section easier:

  1. Scan the questions quickly first to determine what types of information you should be paying attention to… look at the key words and phrases in the questions to determine if you should focus on the purpose, rhetorical devices used, vocabulary, syntax, or a mix of these. Don’t spend a lot of time on this – just a quick run through to give your reading of the passage a little more direction.
  2. WRITE ON YOUR TEST. If the passages are not already broken up into smaller sections or paragraphs, do so and then write a few phrases in the margins summarizing the author’s point. If you see a particularly complex sentence while you’re reading, go ahead and take the time to quickly summarize it for later, as you won’t want to devote even more time to revisiting and rereading it.
  3. Use process of elimination. There will be answer choices that can be easily eliminated, answer choices that can be eliminated after careful consideration, and then you will be left with the final three or two. Determine which answer is the ‘best right answer’ – pay attention to the specific wording of the answer choice and question. Are one of the answer choices more detailed than the other? Paying close attention to the question, answers and text will be required to choose the ‘right’ answer.
  4. Make sure you revisit the text, especially if the question tells you which line numbers you should reference. If the question says ‘In lines 5-12’, then go back and reread lines 5-12!


We will continue to practice these questions throughout the semester, so don’t worry if you score poorly to begin with. Below you will find a packet containing more helpful hints and tips, as well as the scoring guide for the AP exam.

Click here for helpful tips and tricks for the multiple choice questions.

Click here for the first set of practice questions.

AP Language and Composition Spring 2016

Aristotle’s Five Canons of Rhetoric

In addition to considering the types of stylistic and rhetorical devices an orator uses, considering their tone, audience, subject and purpose, you should also begin analyzing speeches and orators for their use of Aristotle’s Five Canons of Rhetoric.

The Five Canons will add another layer of depth to your analysis, and will provide you a more holistic understanding of the text and orator in question. Think of the canons as another layer to your SOAPSTone, not as a separate step. The audience, purpose, and occasion will all impact the effectiveness of how the orator utilizes the five canons.


Click here to re-watch the short video over the five canons that we took notes over in class.

You will need to complete not only a SOAPSTone Plus analysis over the four speeches from class (Lou Gherig’s Farewell Address, Einstein’s Letter to Young Phyllis, President George W Bush’s 9/11 Address and King George VI’s 1939 Speech) but also analyze these speeches for their use of the five canons. Please view the videos below to analyze these speeches and their orators. You will present your group analysis on Friday, January 7th.

Click here to re-watch Lou Gherig’s Farewell Speech.

Click here to listen to King George VI’s Speech.

Click here to watch a re-enactment of King George VI’s speech from the move ‘The King’s Speech’.

Click here to watch President George W Bush’s address to the nation on September 11th, 2001.

AP Language and Composition Spring 2016

Our Textbook – The Language of Composition, Rhetorical Analysis Readings


This semester I will be pulling the majority of your readings from the text ‘The Language of Composition’. Because we do not have a class set of these books, I will be providing you with copies of the pages we will be using. Chapter one of the text covers Rhetorical Analysis, and can be accessed below:

Click here to access chapter one of our text.

Please feel free to read and print these pages as you wish.


Additionally, I have taken the readings from chapter 1 and condensed them into a short packet, for those of you that do not want to print all 20+ pages from the text.

Click here to access the shortened version that contain just the texts for chapter one, An Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis

Be sure to refer to chapter 1 of this text as we work through the first unit over Rhetorical Analysis – and please let me know if you have any issues accessing the texts throughout the semester!

AP Language and Composition Spring 2016

SOAPSTone Plus – A Review

We’re jumping right into rhetorical analysis this semester, and therefore you will need to briefly review the arch methods analysis using SOAPSTone Plus that we covered last semester. Below you will find a review and an example from Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative that we read together last semester.

Arch Method

Arch Method Rowlandson




You can also click here to review an in-depth powerpoint over the SOAPSTone Plus analysis method.

Please let me know if you have any questions or issues over this review!



AP Language and Composition Spring 2016 Uncategorized

Welcome Back AP Kids! Syllabus and 1st Day Paperwork

Students and parents – please click the links below for both the syllabus for this class (which details what materials you will need and the grading policy) as well as the Media Release form. Both of these will be due on Monday, January 11th, 2015.

Please use the next few days to familiarize yourself with the website, and to register for my Remind 101 text alerts on class assignments, tests and quizzes. You can find the registration information in your syllabus or at the bottom of the webpage! I’m excited to have a great year with you all! Please

AP Language and Composition Syllabus

Media and Social Media Release

If you have trouble navigating the website, please see the ‘About’ section at the top of the page for more information!


AP Language and Composition Spring 2016