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APES: A Strategy for answering SAR questions

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Elizabeth Mays

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of APES: A Strategy for answering SAR questions

APES: Or how to answer a Short Answer Response...
Do Now:
Tall Tales use hyperbole to create a larger than life character to emphasize certain key traits. What key traits do you think Paul Bunyan shares with our modern day celebrities? Answer in 50+ words.
What is APES?

APES is a strategy for answering the Short Answer Response questions, both on the STAAR and off.
What strategies do you use to answer SAR's?
APE?
ACE?
How many quotes do you use?
Do you use quotes? Or paraphrase?
What key words do you include?
Answer the question.

This is the first sentence of your response.

Here, you rephrase the question into a complete sentence.

Never start an answer with the following statements:

“I think…”
“Yes, because…” or “No, because…”
“In my opinion…”

A is for…

This is the most important step in answering any question based on the text.

According to the rubric for the Short Answer Responses, if you do not answer the question, you will earn an automatic score of zero out of a possible four.

For example, if the question asks why Helios is angry with Odysseus’ men, and your answer is about his threatening to take the sun to the Underworld, then you didn’t answer the question. This is an automatic grade of zero.

A is for…

Let's Practice!
In the Paul Bunyan story, how does the author use hyperbole to present a theme which describes the hardwork and determination of people living on the frontier?
Proof! You can’t make a statement about a text without providing proof to back up your argument.

Relate this to lawyers in the courtroom. They can’t just say, “Justin stole the clothes from the store!” They have to provide PROOF to PROVE that Justin stole the clothes.

When writing about texts, your proof comes in the form of textual evidence (quotes from the text).

P is for…

When you add a quote from a text, you can’t just plop it in and call it a sentence. Here is an example from our question about Helios.

Here, the quote is plopped into the paragraph as its own sentence: “Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle. ‘
So overweening, now they have killed my peaceful kine, my joy at morning when I climb the sky of stars…


Don’t do this!

Here, only part of a quote is embedded into my own writing: Helios threatens to take the sun to
‘light the dead men in the Underworld
’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for slaughtering his ‘
peaceful kine
.’
Do this!

P is for…
P is for…
Proof includes:
Quotes
Paraphrases
Very short summary
Explanation.

In a sentence or two, you will explain how your quote proves your answer.

Remember that your quote must always relate to your answer, the first line in your response.

E is for...
This is one of the harder parts of the writing process because it requires you to really think about what you are going to say about the answer.

To help you get started, you can use
transition
words to start off your sentence.

Example: Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle. In a fiery rampage on Mount Olympus, Helios threatens to take the sun to ‘light the dead men in the Underworld’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.” Zeus understands that he cannot allow Helios to take the sun to the Underworld.
Consequently
, he assuages Helios’ grief by killing Odysseus’ men.

E is for…

E is for...
Here are some example transitions:
In doing so, the author...
Thus...
The author achieves this by...
Consequently...
Special Closing Statement.

This is the last one or two sentences of your answer.

Wrap up your thoughts and claims that you made in your answer.

Your goal with the S part of APES is to wrap up all of your ideas into a nice little package of coherent thought.

If you get really stuck, you can use a new transitional word or phrase such as “As a result…” or “What this shows…”

S is for…

WATCH OUT for these closing statement traps:

Do not use “In conclusion…”

Do not repeat word-for-word what you have already said.

Don’t bring up a new idea that you haven’t already addressed.

S is for…

Let’s look at the questions that we have already done and see how the S part of APES works.

Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle. In a fiery rampage on Mount Olympus, Helios threatens to take the sun to ‘light the dead men in the Underworld’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.’ Zeus understands that he cannot allow Helios to take the sun to the Underworld, so he assuages Helios’ grief by killing Odysseus’ men.
The only survivor is Odysseus because he was not a part of the slaughter.

S is for…

A is for...
Read the following example. Locate the statement that matches the A part of APES:


Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle.
In a fiery rampage on Mount Olympus, Helios threatens to take the sun to ‘light the dead men in the Underworld’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.’ Zeus understands that he cannot allow Helios to take the sun to the Underworld, so he assuages Helios’ grief by killing Odysseus’ men. The only survivor is Odysseus because he was not a part of the slaughter.”
Full transcript