Preparing for the AP Exam – Free Response Question 2: Rhetorical Analysis

Section II of the AP Language and Composition Exam contains three free response questions, which students will have 2 hours and 15 minutes (or 135 minutes) to complete. Section II of the exam accounts for 55% of students scores. It is suggested that students spend:

  • 15 minutes for reading source materials for the synthesis prompt (in the free-response section)
  • 120 minutes to write essay responses to the 3 free-response questions

Prompt Types

  1. Synthesis: Students read several texts about a topic and create an argument that synthesizes at least three of the sources to support their thesis.
  2. Rhetorical Analysis: Students read a non-fiction text and analyze how the writers language choices contribute to his or her purpose and intended meaning for the text.
  3. Argument: Students create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.

You have been practicing the Rhetorical Analysis, or Q2, prompt all year without even knowing it! Every rheotrical analysis you have done up till point has prepared you for the Q2 free response questions, so breathe easy AP kids – it won’t be as hard as you imagine!

 

There are a few things you can do to to ensure you do your best on the Q2 Essay:

  1. Read the prompt carefully! The prompt is the small paragraph at the top of the page – it should tell you vital information such as who the author of the piece is/was, the title of the piece, when it was published and where. Sometimes the prompt give you more information, such as the historical context of the piece, the author’s perspective or position, or the purpose of the piece. The prompt will also tell you exactly what to write!
  2. Read the text and annotate it! This is what the essay is all about… and I can assure you that those of you who annotate the text will do better than those who do a cold-writing. Remember, you’re not just looking for every stylistic and rhetorical device they author has used – you want to pay attention to the ones that seem to be most effective in achieving the purpose or appealing to their specific audience. Don’t forget the canons – delivery, organization and arrangement can be the things that help you write a deep analysis and not a surface level assessment of the rhetoric being used.
  3. MANAGE YOUR TIME. Don’t spend 30 minutes annotating the text, even though it is an important step. Also, don’t spend 30 minutes writing the introduction. You will have 135 minutes for all three essays, so its important that you learn to manage your time and work quickly and efficiently.
  4. Don’t just list all of the devices you see – pick the most effective ones to write about, and write DEEPLY about them. You need to pick an angle to write you analysis from… don’t just go through the text in chronological order and list all the devices the author uses!

 

While I will be giving you feedback on your timed writing and you will be conducting peer review throughout the semester, I strongly suggest you meet with me after school or during lunch to review your writing at some point. The more one-on-one time we can spend on your writing the better, and unfortunately we just don’t always have time to do that together in class.

**NOTE – I will be uploading ALL of the past rhetorical analysis prompts from previous AP Language and Composition Exams for you in the ‘Resources’ tab. PLEASE PRACTICE SOME OF THESE ON YOUR OWN. We can only do so many in class together before we have to move on and study the Synthesis Essay and the Argumentative Essay….. I am more than willing to work with you after school if you choose to practice additional prompts on your own! 🙂

 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

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.

 

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!

 

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018 Uncategorized

Arguments on Education: David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water”

As we continue to look into the topic of Education in America in order to answer our essential question ‘Do we provide an equal education to all citizens?’, we turn our attention to the prolific post-post-modern writer David Foster Wallace and his commencement address to the graduating class of 2005 at Kenyon College.

In this commencement speech Wallace addresses and poises a few questions for his readers/audience:

  • How do we understand the ‘real world’, if we only live it through our own immediate experiences and point of view, where we are the ‘center of the universe’?
  • How much of the task of adapting our world view actually involves or requires ‘higher education’?
  • How do you construct meaning from experience?
  • What is the difference between ‘teaching you how to think’ and ‘learning what to think about’?
  • What is the role of higher education in your everyday life?

Consider these questions as you read the speech, and prepare for a collegiate discussion of the text in class tomorrow.

 

The audio of this commencement speech is available on YouTube if you would like to hear Wallace deliver it himself. Additionally, I have included a link to the full version of the speech, as a few paragraphs were missing in our textbook’s abbreviated version.

Click here to access the full version of Wallace’s speech.

 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2017

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 2017

Preparing for the AP Exam – Free Response Question 2: Rhetorical Analysis

Section II of the AP Language and Composition Exam contains three free response questions, which students will have 2 hours and 15 minutes (or 135 minutes) to complete. Section II of the exam accounts for 55% of students scores. It is suggested that students spend:

  • 15 minutes for reading source materials for the synthesis prompt (in the free-response section)
  • 120 minutes to write essay responses to the 3 free-response questions

Prompt Types

  1. Synthesis: Students read several texts about a topic and create an argument that synthesizes at least three of the sources to support their thesis.
  2. Rhetorical Analysis: Students read a non-fiction text and analyze how the writers language choices contribute to his or her purpose and intended meaning for the text.
  3. Argument: Students create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.

You have been practicing the Rhetorical Analysis, or Q2, prompt all year without even knowing it! Every rheotrical analysis you have done up till point has prepared you for the Q2 free response questions, so breathe easy AP kids – it won’t be as hard as you imagine!

 

There are a few things you can do to to ensure you do your best on the Q2 Essay:

  1. Read the prompt carefully! The prompt is the small paragraph at the top of the page – it should tell you vital information such as who the author of the piece is/was, the title of the piece, when it was published and where. Sometimes the prompt give you more information, such as the historical context of the piece, the author’s perspective or position, or the purpose of the piece. The prompt will also tell you exactly what to write!
  2. Read the text and annotate it! This is what the essay is all about… and I can assure you that those of you who annotate the text will do better than those who do a cold-writing. Remember, you’re not just looking for every stylistic and rhetorical device they author has used – you want to pay attention to the ones that seem to be most effective in achieving the purpose or appealing to their specific audience. Don’t forget the canons – delivery, organization and arrangement can be the things that help you write a deep analysis and not a surface level assessment of the rhetoric being used.
  3. MANAGE YOUR TIME. Don’t spend 30 minutes annotating the text, even though it is an important step. Also, don’t spend 30 minutes writing the introduction. You will have 135 minutes for all three essays, so its important that you learn to manage your time and work quickly and efficiently.
  4. Don’t just list all of the devices you see – pick the most effective ones to write about, and write DEEPLY about them. You need to pick an angle to write you analysis from… don’t just go through the text in chronological order and list all the devices the author uses!

 

While I will be giving you feedback on your timed writing and you will be conducting peer review throughout the semester, I strongly suggest you meet with me after school or during lunch to review your writing at some point. The more one-on-one time we can spend on your writing the better, and unfortunately we just don’t always have time to do that together in class.

The first timed writing we will be looking at is the 2006 prompt, or, The Plastic Pink Flamingo Essay.

Click here to access the prompt.

Click here to access the rubric for Q2 essays and samples of student essays for the 2006 AP Language Exam.

**NOTE – I will be uploading ALL of the past rhetorical analysis prompts from previous AP Language and Composition Exams for you in the ‘Resources’ tab. PLEASE PRACTICE SOME OF THESE ON YOUR OWN. We can only do so many in class together before we have to move on and study the Synthesis Essay and the Argumentative Essay….. I am more than willing to work with you after school if you choose to practice additional prompts on your own! 🙂

 

AP Language and Composition

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.

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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

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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