LAST MINUTE REMINDERS!!!!!!
Persuasive Argument Prompt.
- Begin with an engaging opening paragraph. Recommended: Start with an anecdote that works persuasive. The anecdote should lead directly to the issue and your specific thesis.
- Each body paragraph should have a specific, illustrative example. Use history, current events, or personal experience. The more detailed the better.
- HOW? WHY? These are the key questions. HOW does your specific, illustrative example prove/support your thesis? WHY should your audience think as you do on this issue? If you have 3-4 sentences per body paragraph that do just this, then you should expect a high score.
- End your paper with a final, persuasive appeal. Do NOT summarize. Try to win the argument with your last paragraph.
- Remember: Your audience is people who either disagree with you or have not yet made up their minds. Write in a manner to persuade this audience to your way of thinking. Reach out to them and fully explain WHY they should think as you do.
- Address the Opposition: Related to the last point: You can’t persuade someone who disagrees with you if you don’t address their thinking. Explain why they are incorrect. Or, if they have a good point, explain why your position is still the best choice.
- Be sure that you have a clear position. This is an argument FOR one position. Don’t try to play both sides. That’s not persuasion.
- The synthesis prompt is argumentative. All advice for the Persuasive Argument prompt applies here.
- Write one body paragraph in which you synthesis three sources in support of one of your points. The graders are evaluating your ability to merge outside facts/sources with your own. Show off!
- Be sure to cite all facts, etc., taken from the sources. Consider this a research paper. Failure to cite sources can lead to a failing score, as you would be plagiarizing.
- Use at least four sources. Five or more is recommended. The more, the better.
- As you read over the documents, be sure to underline, circle, etc., all potential evidence/facts/quotes that you might use. On exam materials, create a simple chart (t-chart, etc.) to compile ideas on which to write. After each idea, put the document source (A, B, etc.). At the end of the reading, you want to quickly and easily see all possible ideas on which to write and which sources contain that information.
- Recent prompts have used phrasing like, “Take a position…on what the most important considerations should be…..” Keep in mind that BOTH the considerations and the order in which they appear may differ from others. What should the most important consideration be? Be prepared to argue WHY.
- Your introduction should clearly establish the issue, the writer’s rhetorical purpose, and specifically reference the primary rhetorical strategy. (But avoid a “laundry list” of tactics. Don’t say, “The writer uses emotional appeal, metaphors, and an analogy.” Say, “The writer attempts to make his audience feel guilty by comparing their behavior to…..”)
- Your body paragraphs do three essential things: (1.) Identify a rhetorical choice. (2.) Present specific evidence—with direct quotes being preferable.) And (3.) Explain WHY the writer made this choice and HOW this choice affects/shapes the way the audience thinks or feels. The more time spent on (3.), the higher your score will be.
- Consider the order of ideas/choices in your analysis: Most arguments build, such that the ending naturally follows a series of steps. Address these steps (or stages) in order as you write. (For example: In America Needs Its Nerds, Leonid Fridman first established that America has an anti-intellectual culture; then he established that our international rivals have a pro-intellectual culture; and then he ends by suggesting that America’s future is endangered unless we changed our habits. –In this example it would be silly to begin your analysis by talking about strategies used at the end first. Follow the argument! Show your understanding as to how the writer develops the argument through his or her choices.)
- End your paper by analyzing the writer’s concluding strategy or choices. Do NOT end with a dull sentence like, “In conclusion, the author used the above-described strategies to convince his audience that ________.”
- Worth repeating: Talk about the intended effect on the audience. WHY did the writer make this choice? HOW does this choice affect/shape the way that the audience thinks?
- Do NOT give your opinion in this essay unless asked. In rare cased, students have been asked to first analyze and then evaluate an argument. Be sure to do exactly what you are asked to do.
What are "rhetorical strategies"?
Consider the following:
1. Figurative language (e.g., metaphors, similes)
2. Analogies (or comparisons in general)
3. Emotional Appeals (how does the writer target the audience's emotions?)
4. Logical Appeals (how does the writer target the audience's intelligence?)
5. Attempts to establish credibility
6. Use of repetition (if they repeat it often enough, people tend to believe it)
7. Diction (note patterns of words)
8. Standout sentences (that is, sentences designed to grab your attention)
9. Tone (consider how effective sarcasm can be)
10. Cause-effect argumentation (if this happens, then....)
11. Addressing the opposition
12. Use of historical precedents (this falls under analogies but is worth noting separately)
13. Contrast (sometimes a writer best shows his position by contrasting it to another, weaker view)
14. Selection of Detail (remember, the person making the argument chooses what you see and don't see)
Remember the Keys to AP Writing!
You can do it!
How does the writer's choice affect the reader/listener?
Rhetorical modes: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Explain the writer's intent
Why does the writer think the reader/listener's opinion will be changed?
For Persuasive Arguments:
Specific thesis/specific examples
Hook the reader
Address the opposition
Don't fence sit!
Explain how and/or why your examples prove your thesis
For those who tend to score 4's and 5's on their essays, perhaps the key to last minute improvement is commentary. In commentary, the writer explains HOW or WHY the given evidence supports or proves his or her point. Commentary explains WHY the analyzed writer chose to use certain rhetorical strategies.
Simply having extended commentary improves most papers. The absence or limitedness of commentary results in low scores, as the writer never bothers to explain his or her thinking.
To better your commentary, consider using the following phrases after your examples:
From this example, one can.....
This shows that....
By this, the author.....
The intended effect of this.....
The reader (or audience) would.....
Whatever follows such phrases is analysis that explains HOW or WHY the state evidence proves the author's point, or supports the writer's ideas.
Papers scoring a 4 or less do not show adequate understanding. In other words, the commentary in 4's (or less) is nonexistant, not fully explained, or flat out wrong.
The following essential terms have been taken from an Official AP Prep guide. The test writers expect you to know them. Use the links in the Literary Terms Section of this website to compile definitions.
Ad hominem argument
figure of speech
irony (including verbal irony, situational irony, dramatic irony)
point of view (first person, third person, omniscient narrator, limited-third person)
rhetorical modes (exposition, argumentation, description, narration)
Also know the following terms that appear on the essay section:
attitude (or tone)
resources of language
SYNTHESIS - Read student samples
A MODEST PROPOSAL - EARN CREDIT FOR MISSED RESPONSES
Define unfamiliar vocabulary
Explain answers on the multiple-choice questions using the process of elimination (POE). Credit will only be given for specific referenced responses.
ETHAN FROME Argumentative EsaayAddress the following prompt in a well-developed essay: Having now read the novel Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, write a carefully reasoned, argumentative essay in which you defend (agree), challenge (disagree), or qualify (agree with conditions) the following statement: Ethan’s greatest hindrance to happiness is himself (meaning: Ethan’s life leaves him unhappy/unsatisfied, and it is entirely his fault).
Ethan Frome Project
|1. Jay||Discuss the use of stream-of-consciousness technique.
Wharton chooses a man for a narrator and a stranger to the town of Starkfield. Why?
Address frame story (prologue/epilogue) and its effectiveness.
Address the point of view and any shifts.
|Point of view
frame story stream-of consciousness
|2. Victoria||What are Ethan's chief characteristics? Choose passages to illuminate ideas. As he struggles to find some solution to the problem of Mattie's dismissal, he discloses traits of character that make you respect and pity him. What are they? Note the effect on Ethan of Mattie's tears; of Zeena's reading; of orders about the stove; of going to Shadow Pond; and of Mattie's showing him the letter.
Describe Mattie's background and unhappy experiences. Do you believe her boast that "she isn't the kind to be afraid"? Of whom is she afraid? Mattie's character is most fully developed in the ninth chapter. Explore reasons why Wharton did this.
Through Ethan's thought you learn the background of his wife. What were the circumstances of his marriage with Zeena? Why is Zeena a hypochondriac? Why doesn't Wharton explain Zeena's behavior? How do you account for it. How does Zeena show her dislike of Mattie?
Who are the minor characters? How do they contribute to the plot? Address Dr. Kidder, Harmon Gow, Mrs. Ned (Ruth Varnum) Hale, Andrew Hale, and Denis Eady.
|3. Kaitlin||How does setting reinforce mood, plot, and themes?
How do the details of setting , particularly of chapters four and five, reflect Ethan's state of mind.
How does setting help develop the novel's themes?
|4. Sam||Is the use of suspense important in this novel? There is a "hint" of disaster early. Where? Explain its effectiveness.
Ethan Frome is a model book in the use of irony. Outline instances of both irony of situation and verbal irony and trace how they provide unity in the novel.
Explain all the ironic implications of the concluding dialogue.
When and how does Wharton use foreshadowing throughout the novel?
|5. Jon||How does Wharton's choice of symbols affect the mood of the novel?
What relationships exists between symbols and themes in the novel? Between symbols and characters?
|6. Steven||Explore rhetorical language and figurative language in the novel.
How does the language reflect the mood or themes in the novel?
Wharton often uses figurative language to heighten our perception of various story elements. Listed below are several
metaphors and similes from the novel. Explain the significance of each.
a. “Starkfield emerged from its six month’s siege like a starved garrison capitulating without quarter” (p. 7). (Setting)
b. “He seemed a part of the mute, melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe” (p. 11). (Character)
c. “…the coming to his house of a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth” (p. 25). (Conflict)
d. “The moon would push over the ridge behind the farm, burn a gold edged rent in the clouds, and then be swallowed
by them” (p. 58). (Style)
e. “It was as senseless and savage as a physical fight between two enemies in the darkness” (p. 83). (Conflict)
f. “…a mysterious, alien presence, an evil energy…” (p. 87). (Character)
g. “The inexorable facts closed in on him like a prison-wardens cuffing of a conflict” (p. 99). (Conflict)
h. “…they seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods…” (p.
i. “…her dark eyes had the bright witch-like stare that the disease of the spine sometimes gives” (p. 128). (Plot)
Ethan Frome is a pictorial novel. Using barren, hostile images, how does Wharton create a physical wasteland that serves a a metaphor for the life of the main characters.
Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, review pivotal passages from the novel that reflect an aphorism or allegorical perspective regarding the human condition.
|7. Joann||Wharton emphasizes the significance of little things inthe novel. Why?
How do details create beautiful harmony of tone and mood?
Explore clothes, architecture, and social customs in the novel.
|8. Colin||Discuss the realistic details that help create the sense of a life-like situation.
Is the ending realistic? Explain.
Discuss the use of local color and regionalism in the novel.
|9. Kevin||Does the novel accurately depict life in New England in the early 1900s?
Is Ethan's story a social tragedy forecast by the oppressive New England setting.
Where in the novel can we detect life in New England as it really was?
True or False? “Poverty renders people hopeless; they become incapable of changing their circumstances.” Explain your position regarding this statement.
Read the texts below. Then, write an informal (but grammatically correct) response to them. Are they satirical? Who or what is being satirized? Why? Are they effective? What do you think? (Reading Satire handout - if you need it)
"Once More to the Lake"
o You will be presented with an introduction to and a description of an issue that has varying viewpoints associated with it. Accompanying this is a selection of sources that address the topic. These sources can be written texts that could include nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, visual texts, photos, charts, art work, cartoons, etc. After reading and annotating the sources, the student is required to respond to the given prompt with an essay that incorporates and synthesizes at least THREE of the sources in support of your position on the subject. You will NOT be given “extra points” for incorporating more than three sources. You will NOT pass this essay if you fail to cite sources at any time.
o Use the sources as springboards or buttresses for your argument. Do not let the sources drive your essay.
o The College Board wants to determine how well a student can read critically, understand texts, analyze texts, develop a position on a given topic, support a position on a given topic, support a position with appropriate evidence from outside sources, incorporate outside sources into the texts of the essay, cite sources used in the essay
o Use the sources and your observations, readings, and experiences to support your thesis.
o This essay is a chance to demonstrate your ability to develop a “researched idea” using not only your personal viewpoint, but also the viewpoints of others.
o Don’t be alarmed by the length or complexity of the sources. You will choose your position, and you will choose which texts to incorporate. As long as you address the prompt and cite the required number of sources, you will be fine.
o You must be able to analyze the argument each source is making. What claim is the source making about the issue? What data or evidence does the source offer in support of the claim? What are the assumptions or beliefs (explicit or unspoken) that warrant using this evidence or data to support the claim?
o Ask the questions:
§ What are two or three possible positions that I could take on this issue?
§ Which of these positions do I want to take? Why? Keep an open mind, and choose the position that will allow you to have the best essay and supporting details.
§ Many of the best essays don’t have a simple and “easy” thesis but instead take a more critical approach that recognize the complexities of the issue.
§ Imagine arguing the topic with an individual. Argue your position and feel free to say things like, “Source A takes a position similar to mine,” or Source C would oppose this position, but here is why I still maintain its validity,” etc.
o This essay has two main approaches
§ First: Expository essay in which you develop your thesis and support it with specific examples from appropriate sources. You may use compare/contrast, cause and effect, or analysis
§ Second: Argumentative essay in which you take a position on a particular topic and support the viewpoint with appropriate outside sources, while indicating the weaknesses of other viewpoints.
o Common Errors
§ Not taking a clear position or wavering between positions
§ Substituting a thesis-oriented expository essay (informing the reader of the different topics/positions) for an argumentative essay
§ Being reluctant to engage in verbal combat because “everybody’s entitled to his or her opinion” so there’s nothing to argue about
§ Slipping out of focus by discussing imagery in general
§ Trying to argue about photography by using evidence from a literary reading list (for example, The Scarlet Letter) and sliding off topic into theme of appearance and reality
§ Lacking clear connections between claims and the data, and the warrants needed to support them
§ Trying to analyze style or rhetorical strategies instead of arguing a point (wrong essay…that would be analysis!!!)
o Carefully read the prompt and all introductory material. Many times the extra information will provide you with time-saving information.
§ With visual texts
· Identify the subject/s
· Identify the major components
· Identify verbal clues such as titles, date, cartoonist, and dialogue
· Notice position and size of details of images
· Identify the primary purpose
· How do the details support the purpose?
o Pre-writing: Make marginal notes beside the text; highlight, underline, and circle key elements. Clearly mark and decide which position you will take and which sources will support your viewpoint.
o Opening Paragraph: Specifically address the prompt and clearly state your position on the topic (thesis with 3 ideas). You may use anecdotes, personal experiences, observations, startling facts/statistics, etc. to “catch” your reader’s attention.
o Body Paragraphs: Use transitions to connect ideas. Build up to your strongest point with each paragraph. When citing sources, all you need to do is put the source in parenthesis (Source A) or say, “According to Source A…..”
o Use a mixture of direct quotations, summary, and paraphrased quotations when incorporating your sources. Remember that you MUST establish a position and each source you choose MUST support and develop your position.
§ Summary: read a text closely and locate the key words/phrases that enable you to reduce the piece to its essential points
§ Paraphrase: transpose the original material into your own words. It will be close to number of words in the original text.
§ Inference: drawing a conclusion based on specific material
· Direct Quotation/Full citation provided at beginning of sentence: John Broder in his February 21, 2006, New York Times article titled “States Curbing Right to Seize Private Homes,” quotes Scott G. Bullock, “….”
· Direct Quotation/Citation placed outside the text: In a 60 Minutes interview presented on July 4, 2004, Jim Saleet, a homeowner, stated, “.….” (Source E).
· Paraphrase of and direct quotation third paragraph citation placed outside of the text: John Echeverria sees a danger arising from doing away with the powers of eminent domain. There is real danger the areas will experience “economic decline” (Source E).
· Combination of Direct Quotation and Paraphrase citation provided outside of the text (note the use of ellipsis): In 2005, a supreme court decision ruled that “…the government taking of property from private owner…” (Source C).
· Direct Quotation Citation after Sentence: 68% of survey respondents said that they “favored legislative limits on the government’s ability to take private property away from owners…” (Source G)
· Direct Quotation with Citation with Sentence: According to a survey conducted by CNN on July 23, 2005, 66% of those responding said “never” to the question, “Should local governments be able to seize homes?”
· Paraphrase Citation Outside Sentence: In recent polls conducted by both the Washington Times and CNN, over 60% said no when asked if local governments should be able to take over private homes and businesses (Source G).
o Conclusion: Restate main idea but do not simply summarize. Try to powerfully connect ideas or find another source that somehow unites all items discussed.
Ø It will most likely be first. You will know it is the synthesis because it will be the longest and will include sources.
Ø Highlight your specific task in the prompt.
o Many people wrote that Global Warming existed or did not exist; they failed to realize the prompt asked you to take a position on the key issues that leaders should consider when making policies that may affect global warming.
Ø Use the 15 minutes to peruse the sources and make notes about how each source fits into the assigned topic. Does it support it? It is against it? Does it offer an interesting insight?
Ø You must take a position. You cannot qualify on this prompt unless it specifically says qualify in the prompt. Even if it says “qualify,” essays are considered stronger when they choose a side. Your reader should know exactly where you stand by the end of your essay.
Ø The best essays addressed the counterargument/counter-position in the first body paragraph or introduction and then built their position and support in the next three paragraphs. They briefly mentioned the counterargument in the conclusion or last body paragraph but the essay clearly demonstrated one position.
Ø Don’t simply summarize the sources. Have a position and develop your position by incorporating and analyzing the sources.
Ø Don’t be intimidated. You have an opinion. Imagine Oprah asked you for your position on the topic or someone offered you a million dollars for your position; you would find something to say in this circumstance.
|March 26th||Synthesis 1- Penny
Brainstorm - Discuss
Read seven sources, annotate and label author's purpose and position
|March 27th||Write thesis and one paragraph specifically utilizing examples, illustrations, observations, as well as source integration
Analyze student responses
|March 28th||Synthesis 2 - Advertising
Brainstorm - Discuss
Read seven sources, annotate and label author's purpose and position
|March 29th||Write introduction and thesis
Analyze student responses
|March 30th||Read "Once More to the Lake" and complete activities
SEE WORKSHEET ATTACHMENT ABOVE
|April 3rd||Analyze student responses
"Once More to the Lake"
|April 4th||Synthesis 3-
Read seven sources, annotate and label author's purpose and position
|April 5th||Read Ethan Frome|
|April 16th-April 20th||SATIRE UNIT: Week One
A Modest Proposal
Shooting an Elephant
Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain
Multiple Choice Quizzes
|April 23rd - April 27th||Satire Unit - Extended Response to satirical pieces:
Advice to Youth
Girl Moved to Tears
Driving While Stupid
Presentations on Ethan Frome
|Satirical responses due Wednesday|