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AP English Language and Composition Test Introduction
Transcript of AP English Language and Composition Test Introduction
The Test Format
54 multiple choice questions
1.11 minutes per question
no penalty for guessing
45 percent of test
3 essay questions
40 minutes per question
55 percent of test
The synthesis question provides students with a number of relatively brief sources on a topic or an issue -- texts of no longer than one page, plus at least one source that is a graphic, a visual, a picture, or a cartoon. The prompt calls upon students to write a composition that develops a position on the issue and that synthesizes and incorporates perspectives from at least three of the provided sources. Students may, of course, draw upon whatever they know about the issue as well, but they must make use of at least three of the provided sources to earn an upper-half score.
enter the conversation
Read and analyze
how do the sources speak to the issue?
What claim is the source making?
What data or evidence does the source use to support that claim?
What Warrants or beliefs support the connection between the evidence and the claim?
What are all the posistions I could take on this issue?
Which position do I really want to take?
How would each source react to this position?
Does this suggest some refinement of your position? What does it reinforce?
Developed refined, robost, complicated position
Should appear after a sentence or two of contextualizing the topic
Argue your position by incorpoating the thoughts of others into your own thinking
"Source A takes a positons similar to mine."
"Source B, while not fully supporting my point, demonstrates..."
"Source C would offer the opposite position to mine. While clearly concerned about ........ the author doesn't account for ......"
this is 28lbs of glory
not greek "time" but the actual seconds you have left in your life
Read the following excerpt from the letter and write an essay that analyzes how Banneker uses
rhetorical strategies to argue against slavery.
Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the strategies Marquart uses to characterize the upper Midwest.
Then write an essay in which you analyze how Wilson’s
satire illustrates the unproductive nature of such discussions.
Then write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical
strategies Lippmann uses to develop his argument.
AP English Language and Composition Test
this is 28lbs of glory
because otherwise, you could have taken senior English
Define a position
Read the following sources (including the introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, evaluate the most important factors that a school should consider before using particular technologies in curriculum and instruction.
Read the following sources (including the introductory information) carefully. Then synthesize at least three of the sources into an essay that evaluates daylight saving time and offers a recommendation about its continued use.
Read the following sources (including the introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes
at least three of the sources, develop a position about what issues should be considered most important in
making decisions about space exploration.
Read the sources that follow (including the introductory information) carefully. Then choose an issue related to the
tension in schools between individuality and conformity. You might choose an issue such as dress codes, mandatory
classes, or the structure of the school day. You do not have to choose an issue that you have experienced personally.
Then, write an essay in which you use this issue to argue the extent to which schools should support
individuality or conformity. Synthesize at least three of the sources for support.
Read the following sources (including the introductory information) carefully. Then write an essay in which you develop a position on whether or not the penny coin should be eliminated. Synthesize at least three of the sources for support.
Read the following sources (including the introductory information) carefully. Then write an essay that develops
a position on whether or not there should be specific texts that all students of high school English must read.
Synthesize at least three of the sources for support.
Read the following sources. Then write an essay in which you develop a position on the most important considerations facing a person responsible for securing a work or art or an artifact for a museaum.
AP English Language Composition Test by Richard Cook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
1. Analyze the prompt. What is the prompt asking you to understand?
2. Read with the prompt in mind.
3. Note the literary devices that the author utilizes to achieve a purpose (usually mentioned in prompt)
4. Don't overlook simple literary techniques
5. Attempt to group literary moves.
6. Establish a thesis.
The author "uses" "literary terms" to "effect"
7. Organize the essay either chronologically or by term.
8. Draft, attempting to include well-crafted expressions of analysis. Make sure you are discussing the EFFECTS of the literay choices the author made.
9. Conclude with your own witty commentary about the topic synthesizing the author's material
Analyze how Barry communicates his fascination with the river to his readers
Write an essay in which you compare and contrast how each writer describes the birds and converys their effect on the writer as observer.
Write an essay in which you analyze how Oliver's style conveys the complexity of her response to nature.
Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant - Horace
Consider this quotation about adversity from the Roman poet Horace. Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Horace's assertion about the role that adversity (financial or political hardship, danger, misfortune, etc.) plays in developing a person's character. Support your argument with appropriate evidence from your reading, observation, or experience.
What is the author claiming?
Understand the prompt and his position
Do you agree, disagree, or see some middle ground?
What evidence supports your position?
Provide substantive, effective evidence
use reasoning and logic
media, entertainment, readings, current events, history
Pay special attention to language use
Everything hinges on a strong, well crafted, insightful claim.
Smart, witty, concise expression that defends, refutes, or qualifies
Express an intelligent perspective about the concept under discussion
The following passage is from Rights of Man, a book written by the pamphleteer Thomas Paine in 1791. Born in
England, Paine was an intellectual, a revolutionary, and a supporter of American independence from England. Read
the passage carefully. Then write an essay that examines the extent to which Paine’s characterization of America
holds true today. Use appropriate evidence to support your argument.
If there is a country in the world, where concord, according to common calculation, would be
least expected, it is America. Made up, as it is, of people from different nations, accustomed to
different forms and habits of government, speaking different languages, and more different in
their modes of worship, it would appear that the union of such a people was impracticable; but
by the simple operation of constructing government on the principles of society and the rights
of man, every difficulty retires, and all the parts are brought into cordial unison. There, the
poor are not oppressed, the rich are not privileged. . . . Their taxes are few, because their
government is just; and as there is nothing to render them wretched, there is nothing to
engender riots and tumults.
American essayist and social critic H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) wrote, “The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.” In a well-written essay, examine the extent to which Mencken’s observation applies to contemporary society, supporting your position with appropriate evidence.
In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists is not merely to entertain
but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Because society
allows humorists to say things that other people cannot or will not say, de Botton sees humorists as serving a vital
function in society.
Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical
writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies de Botton’s
claim about the vital role of humorists. Use specific, appropriate evidence to develop your position.
The first Buy Nothing Day—a day on which people are urged to purchase no goods—was organized in Canada in
1992 as a way to increase awareness of excessive consumerism. A Buy Nothing Day has been held yearly since then
in many nations. An online article, “Buy Nothing Day: 2006 Press Release,” urged worldwide acceptance of taking
a “24-hour consumer detox as part of the 14th annual Buy Nothing Day” in order to “expose the environmental and
ethical consequences of overconsumption” (“Buy Nothing Day,” courtesy Adbusters, www.adbusters.org).
Consider the implications of a day on which no goods are purchased. Then write an essay in which you develop a
position on the establishment of an annual Buy Nothing Day. Support your argument with appropriate evidence.