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AP English Literature and Composition

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1 AP English Literature and Composition
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”—A.A. Milne ( )

2 Welcome to AP Seminar! This semester-long course is one of two courses designed to not only prepare you for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam but also offer you a challenging program of literary analysis and composition, which will prepare you for the rigors of college. To be successful in this course, you will need a commitment to hard work and a desire for challenge. Through your participation in classroom activities and discussion as well as your completion of essays, papers, and projects, this course will help you to develop the following literacy skills: Analyzing and interpreting literary works through a variety of “literary lenses.” Sharing both written and oral interpretations of literary works. Developing and demonstrating “close reading” skills. Recognizing and using a variety of literary evidence, including both direct references and indirect references, from a variety of sources, including credible literary criticism, to formulate and defend interpretations of literary works. Using sophisticated diction, syntax, organizational, and transitional skills in writing. Developing and practicing procedures for answering objective and subjective test items such as those appearing on the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Exam. For more information about the AP English Literature and Composition Exam, visit the following website: “The AP English Literature and Composition Exam.” AP Central. The College Board Web. 14 July <http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/ 2002.html#name11>.

3 AP Seminar Essentials Big Picture Concepts: Big Picture Questions:
Literature serves as both a mirror and a window—encouraging both introspection and extrospection, allowing us to explore the past as well as predict the future, and expanding our worldviews. Literature reflects the human condition. Literature expresses many atavistic and universal archetypes, motifs, and themes. Writing and speaking are atavistic forms of communication. How does the literature being studied help us understand ourselves, others, and the world in which we live? How does literature being studied reflect the human condition? How does the literature begin studied express atavistic and universal archetypes, themes, and motifs? How has writing evolved? How do the authors’ stylistic choices and use of literary devices establish tone and express theme? What details in the literature being studied elicit thoughtful reflection, promote questioning, guide inquiry, and illustrate “big ideas” (i.e., themes)?

4 About the Exam The AP program was designed in 1955 to give high-school students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and prepare for college by engaging in rigorous and relevant college-level course work. The AP Literature and Composition Exam will be given the morning of _____________________; it will last approximately three and a half hours. Section I of the test consists of approximately fifty-five multiple-choice questions pertaining to poetry and prose analysis; this section will last sixty minutes. Section II of the test consists three essay prompts: one based on poetry, one based on a prose or drama passage, and one open-ended (usually focusing on theme); this section will last two hours, so you should take approximately forty minutes per question. While your essays will be graded as rough drafts, this section of the exam is designed to evaluate your ability to decipher a writing prompt and respond to it accurately, insightfully, and stylistically. Remember the three C’s: clarity, conciseness, and cogency. Also remember quality is more important than quantity. There will be a ten minute break between sections. You can have the College Board send your grades directly to the colleges of your choice, or you can have your grades “banked.”

5 About Scores and Grades
The multiple-choice section accounts for forty-five percent of the overall exam grade. The essay section accounts for fifty-five percent of the overall exam grade; each essay is weighted equally. The total number of correct answers on the multiple-choice section is multiplied by a number (usually 1.23) found by dividing 67.5 possible points (45% of 150 total points) by the number of multiple choice questions on the test (usually 55). Each essay is scored using a rubric with a 1 to 9 point scale: a score of 1 through 4 is considered weak; a score of 5 through 9 is considered acceptable to excellent. You could look at it this way: 8-9 is an A, 6-7 is a B, 5 is a C, 3-4 is a D, and 0-1 is an F. Each essay is then multiplied by 3.05, a multiplier which is found by dividing possible points (55% of 150 total points) by 3 (the total number of essays) by 9 (the total rubric point value for each essay). The College Board arrives at your final grade by adding each score together to get a composite score, ranging from 0 to 150 points, which is then cross-referenced with an AP grade on a 1 to 5 point scale: 5 means exceptionally well qualified 4 means well qualified 3 means qualified 2 means possibly qualified 1 means no recommendation

6 Computing Your Grade Let’s say you have 32 correct answers on the multiple-choice section, which consists of 55 questions. You would then multiply 32 by 1.23, which would be approximately 39 points (32 x 1.23 = 39.36). You then scored 4, 6, and 7 on your essays. Each essay would by multiplied by 3.05 and then added together. The final score for the essay section would be approximately 52 points ( = 17 x 3.05 = 51.85). Your final composite score would be approximately 91, which most likely would be converted to a 4 on the AP scale. Congratulations!

7 Composite Score Range*
Formulas Multiple-Choice Score _____ x 1.23 = Section I Score _____ Essay 1 Score _____ + Essay 2 Score _____ + Essay 3 Score _____ = _____ x 3.05 = _____ Section II Score Weighted Section 1 Score _____ + Weighted Section II Score _____ = Composite Score _____ Composite Score Range* AP Grade 95-111 76-94 50-75 0-49 *This range varies slightly from year to year. 5 4 3 2 1

8 Things to Remember Highlight and annotate the text.
Try to answer the question in your head before looking at the responses. Look up the answer in the text. Eliminate wrong answers. Take an educated guess (You are no longer penalized for incorrect responses.) Focus on what you know. Consider how the author’s stylistic choices and use of literary devices establish tone and express theme. The AP exam expects analysis (AP = analysis)! Analysis is explaining; summarizing and paraphrasing is telling. Analysis illustrates a deeper understanding of the text. Use summarizing and paraphrasing only in support of your analysis.

9 The AP Free-Response Questions
Essays are evaluated not only on content but also on organization, style, voice, and mastery of basic writing skills. While essays are graded as rough drafts, too many distracting errors that inhibit meaning will negatively affect the grade. Read the essay prompts carefully and underline the specific tasks involved; in other words, underline key verbs that tell you what to do and how to do it. While you want to avoid merely summarizing plot, you may use elements of plot to provide a context for you argument and to defend your interpretations and evaluations. Make sure to address the “heart of the prompt.” Consider what you are being asked to analyze and how your are being asked to analyze it. The first two questions involve “close reading” of poetry and prose fiction. The third essay question involves analyzing a work of “literary merit,” usually a novel or a drama.

10 The AP Free-Response Questions (cont.)
Since you have a limited amount of time to write, you do not necessarily need to worry about a “lead-in.” If you have the time, however, it is a good idea to include a compelling “lead-in” that is related to the writing prompt and your thesis statement. Write a sophisticated and compelling thesis statement in your introduction. A good thesis statement uses strong verbs to present a focused claim. It does not merely repeat the prompt. If your thesis statement does not come to you right away, you can leave a few lines blank at the beginning of your essay and then fill in your thesis after writing your analysis, or you can build your argument inductively and then state your thesis in your conclusion. Develop your thesis statement with adequate support and commentary. Making ample and relevant references to the text, both direct and indirect, is important. Keep the direct references short and to the point. Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence, and develop each body paragraph with specific supporting details and commentary. Remember CEW (Claim, Evidence, Warrant) or MEL-Con (Main Idea, Evidence, Link, Conclusion). Clarify the “big picture” in the conclusion. Since you have a limited amount of time to work, you do not necessarily need to worry about writing a lengthy concluding paragraph; however, you should take time to bring your essay to a close in an interesting and insightful way.

11 The AP Free-Response Questions (cont.)
Use transitions to create a coherent, logical flow to your argument. If, however, you forget to make a point, it is better to work it in than leave it out. For example, you could write something like this: “Let me pause a moment to clarify a previous point…” Vary sentence structure, using short sentences to make crucial points and more detailed sentences to add variety and sophistication to your writing. However, avoid being too verbose! Use present verb tense when writing about literature. Write in the active voice. Write in a clear and confident voice that illustrates your personality as a writer. While you do not want to be too informal, your tone can be more conversational. Be creative but not ridiculous in your approach. Remember, literature is open to interpretation, so show that you are a perceptive reader and talented writer. Look for nuances, ambiguities, and apparent contradictions in the literary work to analyze. The bottom line, present a well-organized, well-developed, and skillfully written response to each prompt.

12 The AP Free-Response Questions: Summary
Answer the questions that you are asked. Organize your thoughts. Back up your claims with evidence from the text.

13 Writing an Effective Thesis Statement
What literary devices are being used to establish tone and express theme? How are these literary devices being used to establish tone and express theme? When considering a thesis for a literary analysis, look for the ironic center in the literary work that unifies the whole! In other words, look for ambiguity, contradiction, paradox; explore the nuances of the literary work, and consider how they lead to a deeper meaning and understanding of the literary work! Thesis Pattern: Topic (author and title) + Strong Action Verb + “Sexy” Adjective + Literary Device (two or three) + Infinitive (to + strong action verb) + Insightful Observation/Interpretation (e.g., shifts in tone) + Theme (introduced with a present participle, an – ing word).

14 Thesis Statements The Road by Cormac McCarthy begins with a human head on a stake in the middle of the road; later in the novel, a father and son swim together beneath a waterfall. The Road by Cormac McCarthy illustrates extremely graphic violence juxtaposed with astonishing acts of kindness. The Road by Cormac McCarthy uses extremely graphic violence juxtaposed with astonishing acts of kindness. The Road by Cormac McCarthy uses extremely graphic violence juxtaposed with astonishing acts of kindness to illustrate humanity’s constant struggle with the “devil inside.” The Road by Cormac McCarthy uses extremely graphic violence juxtaposed with astonishing acts of kindness to illustrate humanity’s constant struggle with the “devil inside,” emphasizing that we are more than mere animals struggling to survive.

15 Close Reading Analyze not only what the literary work means but also how a writer’s stylistic choices express that meaning. Consider the small details and the larger ideas those details suggest. Ask questions and make observations, highlighting and annotating the text as you read. The texts used for close readings are usually not that long, so read them several times.

16 Close Reading (cont.) Ask first-impression questions.
Make observations regarding the following elements of style: Diction Denotation or Connotation Formal or Informal Abstract or Concrete Syntax Simple, Compound, or Complex Cumulative (independent to subordinate) or Periodic (subordinate to independent) Traditional (subject-verb-object) or Inverted (e.g., verb-subject-object or object-subject-verb) Figurative Language (Schemes and Tropes) Imagery Tone and Mood Special Considerations for Poetry Rhyme Meter Form Poetic Syntax (e.g., enjambment and caesura) Sound

17 Close Reading (cont.) First Reading: Highlight (circle and underline) and annotate interesting or unfamiliar words and phrases as well as elements of style. Second Reading: Make large-scale observations regarding what was highlighted and annotated during the first reading, paying close attention to patterns and shifts; highlight (underline) and annotate important passages that suggest meaning. Third Reading: Paraphrase or summarize smaller sections of the work (e.g., each stanza or paragraph) and then respond to the work as a whole.

18 Helpful Mnemonic Devices for Close Reading
DIDLS: diction (denotation and connotation), images, details (included and omitted, factual and figurative), language (style of language and figures of speech), sentence structure (syntax). TPCASTT: title, paraphrase (and analyze), connotation, attitude (tone), shifts (in tone, structure, point of view, etc.), title, and theme. SOAPSTone: speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, setting, and tone.

19 “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke http://www. poetryfoundation
The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt. Roethke, Theodore. “My Papa’s Waltz.” Poetry Foundation Web. 14 July <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172103>.

20 Thesis Statements Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” is a poem in which the speaker reflects upon his childhood relationship with his father, focusing on a specific incident that occurred one night when his father returned home from work. Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” illustrates the speaker’s paradoxical childhood relationship with his father. Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” juxtaposes imagery of playfulness and violence to evoke an ambiguous tone of reverence mixed with fear, illustrating the speaker’s attempt to reconcile his paradoxical childhood relationship with his father.

21 “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden http://www. poetryfoundation
Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices? Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays.” Poetry Foundation Web. 14 July <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175758>.

22 Thesis Statements Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” illustrates the speaker’s realization of an overlooked expression of his father’s love— building fires on cold Sunday mornings in winter. Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” uses perceptive diction, evocative imagery, and a regretful tone to illustrate the speaker’s realization of an overlooked expression of his father’s love—building fires on cold Sunday mornings in winter. Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” uses perceptive diction, evocative imagery, and a regretful tone to illustrate the speaker’s realization of an overlooked expression of his father’s love—building fires on cold Sunday mornings in winter, suggesting that a father’s love is often taken for granted.

23 Comparison Essay “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke
“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt. Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?

24 Comparison Essay Point by Point Block Introduction First Main Point
“My Papa’s Waltz” “Those Winter Sundays” Second Main Point Third Main Point Conclusion Introduction “My Papa’s Waltz” First Main Point Second Main Point Third Main Point “Those Winter Sundays” Conclusion

25 Comparing Thesis Statements
Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” uses perceptive diction, evocative imagery, and a regretful tone to illustrate the speaker’s realization of an overlooked expression of his father’s love—building fires on cold Sunday mornings in winter, suggesting that a father’s love is often taken for granted. Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” uses robust imagery and a profoundly ironic tone to illustrate the paradoxical nature of the speaker’s childhood relationship with his father, suggesting that a father’s love is not always expressed through a gentle caress.

26 Thesis Statement Examples
The Road by Cormac McCarthy uses extremely graphic violence juxtaposed with astonishing acts of kindness to illustrate humanity’s constant struggle with the “devil inside,” emphasizing that we are more than mere animals struggling to survive. Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” juxtaposes imagery of playfulness and violence to evoke an ambiguous tone of reverence mixed with fear, illustrating the speaker’s attempt to reconcile his paradoxical childhood relationship with his father. Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” uses perceptive diction, evocative imagery, and a regretful tone to illustrate the speaker’s realization of an overlooked expression of his father’s love— building fires on cold Sunday mornings in winter, suggesting that a father’s love is often taken for granted.

27 Themes and Motifs Theme: a common, recurring topic seen throughout a literary work; or a prominent and oftentimes abstract idea in a literary work. Motif: a recurring element (e.g., object, idea, or character type) or contrasting elements in a work of literature that help to illuminate theme. When asked to explore how a motif (e.g., a Bar Mitzvah, a Bat Mitzvah, or a Quinceañera) helps to illuminate a theme, make sure to identify a prominent idea (e.g., empathy, not age, equals maturity) in addition to a common, recurring topic (e.g., coming of age). Example: Motif (Character Foils): Ultima and Tenorio Theme (Topic): Good vs. Evil Theme (Prominent Idea): For good to truly triumph over evil, we must learn to forgive those who perform evil deeds.

28 Fundamentals of Human Existence
Archetype An archetype is a basic model, a prototype, a paradigm, an exemplar. An archetype is atavistic and universal; it is a product of the “collective unconscious.” Character Types The boss The femme fatale (i.e., the seductress) The spunky kid The free spirit The waif (i.e., the good girl) The librarian The crusader The nurturer (i.e., the mother figure) The damsel in distress The chief (i.e., the godfather, the god-king) The bad boy (i.e., the rebel) The best friend The charmer (i.e., the player) The lost soul The professor The warrior (i.e., the all-conquering hero) The traitor The self-made man The sacrificial scapegoat The tragic hero Fundamentals of Human Existence Birth Growing up Death Love Family Tribal life Sibling rivalry Generational conflict Creatures and Symbols Lion Eagle Snake Tortoise Hare Rose Paradisiacal garden

29 Actor Archetype Explanation
Fourteen Actors Acting. Dir. Solve Sundsbo. The New York Times Magazine Web. 17 July <http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/12/magazine/14actors.html/>. Actor Archetype Explanation 1. Javier Bardem 2. James Franco 3. Natalie Portman 4. Jessie Eisenberg 5.Chloe Moretz 6. Matt Damon 7. Michael Douglas

30 Actor Archetype Explanation
Fourteen Actors Acting. Dir. Solve Sundsbo. The New York Times Magazine Web. 17 July <http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/12/magazine/14actors.html/>. Actor Archetype Explanation 8. Jennifer Lawrence 9. Noomi Rapace 10. Vincent Cassel 11. Anthony Mackie 12. Robert Duvall 13 Lesley Manville 14. Tilda Swinton


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