Modern Political Rhetoric – ‘What is the relationship between the citizen and The State’?

As we continue our examination of the question ‘What is the relationship between the citizen and The State’, we turn our attention to modern political rhetoric. You guys will need to continue improving and building your analytic skills, as well as making connections between texts, ideologies, history and politics.

In our last series of rhetorical analysis, you will first examine the speeches of President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama, former President Ronald Reagan, and the Amendments to the Constitution.

Next, using reliable research sources, you need to find an example of a speech from a US President or elected official that most closely defines or represents the relationship between the citizen and the state as you interpret it. You will need to annotate the speech and note where the language and rhetoric of the document connects to the Amendments or compares/contrasts with the speeches you analyzed this week for Socratic Seminar. As you analyze the speech you’ve picked, focus on the following questions:

  1. What is the speaker’s purpose?
  2. Do they achieve their purpose effectively through rhetoric?
  3. How does their rhetoric define the relationship between the citizen and the state?
  4. How does the speaker’s rhetoric align with that of our founding documents?
  5. How do the speaker’s rhetoric encourage, or not encourage, citizens to be active in their relationship with the state?

You should then write a reflection discussing how the interpretation of  our founding documents, or our Nation’s ideals, or the relationship between the citizen and the state, changes over time. You should reference the speeches you’ve analyzed in this reflection – the one you’ve selected, and the three I provided to you (Reagan, Trump, Obama). You should also reflect on how culture/technology/and beliefs influence that interpretation. At the end of this reflection, hypothesize what elements of our modern culture most impact our interpretation of our founding documents.

You will submit the annotated speech, and submit the typed reflection in the Google Classroom.

 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Rhetorical Analysis: Politics – What is the relationship between the citizen and the State?

From ‘The Language of Composition:Reading, Writing, Rhetoric”: 

“Politics, the process by which groups make decisions, play part in all human interactions. When we study history, the social science, religion or business, we learn about politics; whenever we read the newspaper or watch the news on television [or online], we see politics in action; and when we discuss issues with our classmates and friends or involve ourselves in our community, we engage in politics […] Thus one could argue that politics is the cause of all social change.

Democratic governments, such as the one under which we live, exercise power through the will of the people. With that power comes the responsibility, even the responsibility to dissent if necessary. So what is the nature of patriotism in democracy? Is it loyalty to the government of loyalty to the ideals of the nation? How is American patriotism colored by the fact that our country was born out of a revolution? […]

Educated citizen – the root word of the word politics is the Greek word for citizen – must know about the politics of the world as well as the politics of their own country. “

As we begin our first unit over Rhetorical Analysis, we will be examining a series of speeches, letters, articles by, and about, politicians and the political systems that surround us and our relationship with them.

Each Tuesday you will be analyzing and writing on a previous AP Language and Composition Free Response question that relates to this topic. Each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we will be conducting Socratic Seminar, projects and class discussion over extended readings that address the same topics.

democracy2Please see the list below for the texts you will need to analyze and engage with over the course of this unit, while we ponder and examine the question “What is the relationship between citizens and The State?”. These texts provide us a selection of “interrelationships amount citizens, their states, and the world” and well as “voices delivering sardonic criticism and lofty idealism; you will encounter the immediacy of personal reflections on the nature and experience of war” and you will read contemporary pieces by our current national leaders.

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Elections

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Rhetorical Precis Writing

“Précis” is French for “specific” or “precise.” A rhetorical precis is an excellent exercise in being sucicent and being able to identify the most important information in an article or text you are engaging with. Throughout this course you will need to not only read all of the assigned texts for class, but if you wish to perform well on the Q3 essay or during Socratic Seminar, you should be pushing yourself to read Read READ – and creating a precis for those articles and documents that you read is a good way to have a concrete set of ‘notes’ or a reminder to review later.

In order to write a successful precis, and really to do well in this class, you need to be an active reader.  “Active reading requires you to slow your reading down, engage more intentionally with the text, think about it, and focus your attention on its ideas. When you read actively, you can’t just flip pages and daydream about tomorrow’s plans…

    • Skim over the text before reading it.
      Look to see how long it is, where it’s published, how it may be divided into sections, what kind of works cited list it has, whether there are appendices, etc. Use the title to help you predict what the text is about and what it argues. This overview will help you to understand the context, genre, and purpose of this piece as well as help you gauge how long it will take you to read it and how it might be relevant to your class, paper, or project.
    • Take notes about the text’s key ideas and your responses to those ideas.
      Depending on the text and your preferences, these notes could be made on your copy of the text or article or in a separate place. Notes will help you remember and process what the text is about and what you think about it” (Wisc. University Writing Center).

In class we will review how to complete a precis, and read a sample article while looking at an example together

You will then need to work in your groups to write a precis for the article ‘The Ugly Truth about Beauty‘.

Following the format for rhetorical precis writing, and using the best elements from each of your groups in class, this is the sample precis we created in class today for David Barry’s articleL

In the Miami Herald article “The Ugly Truth About Beauty” (1998), David Barry explains that men and women have different perceptions of self-beauty. Barry illustrates this idea by arguing that women will never be happy with their appearance, while “…average is fine for men…(3). He also reasons that women have unreal standards of beauty to meet, which are established by society and multi-million dollar companies that make “women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie…” and ridicules the idea of men applying cosmetics under Brad Pitt. Barry contrasts men and women’s sense of self in order to explain how men view themselves as average, while women tend to place unrealistically high expectations on their own beauty. Barry directs this analysis to men who set unrealistic expectations for women, or don’t understand why women are so concerned with their looked, and to women who blindly try to meet these expectations by using satirical anecdotes and extended metaphors. 

Additionally, you need to be prepared to write a precis each week over a current event item from a reliable source. 

AP Language and Composition Spring 2018

Notetaking: Cornell Notes

Over the course of the semester you will be taking MANY notes in this class – and you need to find the format that works best for you! Many student do not even realize that there are different note-taking methods they can use, and as a result most students simply write down ‘everything in the powerpoint’, and have a hard time studying or using these notes. One of our goals this semester is to find a note-taking strategy that works for you, so please try out each method at least once to see if you like it.

 

The first strategy we will be working on is the Cornell Note-taking method.

Cornell Notes work well for students who like a clearly organized set of notes, with clear sections for vocabulary, questions, and information.

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As you take notes during lecture of during our short videos, keep track of important words and vocabulary in the far left column. You can go back later and define these words after you finish your notes. You can also write important leading questions in this column – again, to review and answer after you have finished the notes.

 

In the large right hand section you should take you long-form notes from the lecture of video. As the semester progresses you can even combine different note-taking techniques here, writing your notes in this section in outline form or as doodle notes.

 

Finally, the last section at the bottom is a place where you should write a one to two sentence summary of the main idea/key point from the information that has been covered in your notes. This is helpful later during studying AND then trying to sort through your notes for the information you’re looking for (again, we’ll be taking a lot of notes in this class, so this summary section can seriously save you some time later!).

 

 

10th Grade Literature 11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018 Spring 2018

Women’s Rights – Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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One of the major issues that we are examining during the Realist period is the fight for women’s rights. In class we will be examining the work of two women – Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth.

Each of these women worked to further the cause of suffrage and the abolitionist movement.

One of the main figureheads of the suffrage movement in America, Stanton wrote the ‘Declaration of Sentiments’, which were presented in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention. Stanton not only fought for women’s right to vote, but also for women’s property rights, employment rights, custody  rights, and right to birth control.

 

Click here to read her ‘Declaration of Sentiments’

sojourner_truth_lc1In addition to Stanton, Sojourner Truth also worked to support the cause of suffrage and abolition. Born into slavery, Truth would have 13 children (11 of them sold into slavery themselves, never to be seen again) before escaping to freedom. She then took on the role of public speaker, and used her own experience to encourage others not only to support the abolition of slavery but also the equality of women. Though she was illiterate herself, her speaking was clear and powerful. Many different versions of her famous ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’ speech exist today, but all of them share the similarity of tone and passion.

Click here to read her speech ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’

 

 

 

BONUS: Did you know that the original document ‘The Declaration of Sentiments’ has been lost? Click here to listen to an AMAZING podcast episode from the ladies over at ‘Stuff You Missed in History Class’ to learn more!

Be sure to watch the second half of the ‘Women in the 19th Century’ Crash Course video below!

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Realism – A Reaction to American Romanticism

This week we are beginning our unit on Realism, the literary response to Romanticism. The style of Realism includes representing REAL life lived by REAL people (not the idealized life that Emerson and Thoreau presented), and a simple, direct language that everyone could understand.

Issues that we’ll examine throughout this unit include the struggles and trials of the Civil War, the last stand of the Native Americans in the Indian Wars, the suffrage of women and the emancipation of slaves, the influx of a new immigrant population, and the growing divide between the rich and the poor.

As we move through the unit please keep track of how these issues and themes play out across the texts and how they interact with each other in the individual texts.

 

If you would like to review the video notes from class today, please view it below:

 

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

The Foreign Mission School and Religious Tolerance in America

The relationship between earlier settlers, and later Americans, and the Native inhabitants of this country is an ongoing topic that we revisit in the texts we study in class.  In our class discussions we have noted the use of stereotypes when referring the Native Americans – the term ‘Native America’ itself in its homogeneous application, the ‘Noble Savage’ and ‘Wise Chief’, the ‘Indian Princess’ and the ‘Squaw’ and the barbarous ‘Savage’. We have also discuss how the Native American individuals themselves also seemed to purposely play into these stereotypes knowing that, unless they appeared to fulfill the preconceived notions of the white settlers and early Americans, there was a greater chance of their protests and pleas being ignored (See the post over Red Jacket’s speech for more information on this).

While many of the founders of the nation practiced Deist principals regarding religion, Christianity was still the dominant religion and touchstone for most Americans. The conflict between Puritan ideals and the Catholics and Quakers eventually shifted into the conflict between Protestants and all other religions (even other sects of Christianity) by the time of expansionism. In the early days of settlement, the conversion of the Native American was seen as a vital step to ‘civilizing’ the new world (as we discussed in our readings of Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative and Ben Franklin’s ‘Notes Concerning the Savages’), and as America set her eyes westward to expand, so the need to convert and assimilate the Native people of the American west to Christianity became another vital step in expansion.

One of the earliest accounts of this attempt at conversion took place at The Foreign Mission School. As we discuss and analyze the writings of Native American and Hawaiian students of this school, it is important to have a deeper understand of its history and historical context.

The Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut was founded with the plan that it would draw young men from world cultures, educate them, convert them to Christianity, and then send them back to their native lands to spread their new found religion.

And click here to read and listen to a recent interview with the author of the new book “The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Early Republic” and read a short excerpt from the book

 

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Elias Boudinot

We we be examining the letters of two Cherokee students at The Foreign Mission School, David Brown and Elias Boudinot, to a Swiss Baron that wanted to fund the school. These letters were written at the insistence of the school’s principal who claimed that the letters were the students’ own writing except for the changing of “a very few words”.

Click here to read the letters of The Foreign Mission School students.

You will be working together in small groups to conduct a rhetorical analysis of the letters, focusing on the syntax, diction and rhetorical devices used by the students of the mission school to achieve their purpose of securing further funding for the school. Be prepared as a class the effectiveness of the author’s writing during the time period and compare that to its effectiveness to a modern readership. Also be able to discuss the reliability of the letter as a primary source document, and  cite specific evidence from the text that adds or detracts from its credibility.

Click here to listen to the podcast episode over ‘The Heathen School’. 

  • How does the school to achieve their purpose of securing further funding for the school?
  • How would you rate the effectiveness of the author’s writing during the time period and compare that to its effectiveness to a modern readership?
  • Cite specific evidence from the text that adds or detracts from its credibility.

*Note: If you are interested in researching or learning more about the issue of religious tolerance in America, this article from The Smithsonian can provide a jumping off point for more information – Click here for the Smithsonian article.’

Click here to review our in-class annotations over the Foreign Mission School letters.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017