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Clarke’s Guide to the For the AP Language & Composition Exam.

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1 Clarke’s Guide to the For the AP Language & Composition Exam

2 What does the argumentative essay require of you? You must do three things: Understand the nature of the position taken in the prompt. Take a specific stand—argue, qualify, or disagree—with the assertion in the prompt. Clearly and logically support your claim.

3 Agree, Disagree, Qualify Do I want to write about this subject with the same POV as the writer/speaker? Do I want to write about this subject with the same POV as the writer/speaker?  Do I want to write from the position that the writer/speaker is totally wrong?  Do I think some of what the author writes is correct and some incorrect?

4

5 Why? Because it’s very difficult to write an effective argumentative essay with a strong voice that ‘sees’ both sides of the argument. It’s more likely that you’ll end up sounding unsure of your position on the topic.

6 Plan before you write! a list of ideas a list of ideas a chart a chart an outline… an outline… Whatever it is, give yourself time to THINK about your position!

7 Types of support you might use to convince your audience that your argument is viable include: Types of support you might use to convince your audience that your argument is viable include: –Facts / Statistics –Details –Emotional Appeal –Quotations –Definitions –Anecdotes –Cause and Effect –Appeal to Authority –Examples

8 Does it matter what tone is taken in your argumentative essay? NO. You can choose to be informal and personal, formal and objective, or even humorous and irreverent—just be certain your choice is appropriate for your purpose. You can choose to be informal and personal, formal and objective, or even humorous and irreverent—just be certain your choice is appropriate for your purpose.

9 Will I be penalized for taking an unpopular, unexpected, irreverent, or bizarre position on the given issue? NO. As long as you are addressing the PROMPT and appropriately supporting your position, there is no danger of losing points on your essay. As long as you are addressing the PROMPT and appropriately supporting your position, there is no danger of losing points on your essay. Your essay is graded for process, mastery and manipulation of language, not for how close you come to the viewpoint of your reader. Your essay is graded for process, mastery and manipulation of language, not for how close you come to the viewpoint of your reader.

10 Suggested time distribution for the argumentative essay: 1-3 minutes reading and working the PROMPT 1-3 minutes reading and working the PROMPT 3 minutes deciding on a position 3 minutes deciding on a position minutes planning the support of your position minutes planning the support of your position 20 minutes writing the essay 20 minutes writing the essay 3 minutes proofreading! 3 minutes proofreading!

11 Suggested time distribution for the argumentative essay: 1-3 minutes reading and working the PROMPT 3 minutes deciding on a position minutes planning the support of your position 20 minutes writing the essay 3 minutes proofreading!

12 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcasters in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas.

13 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcaster in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas. Now annotate your copy of the prompt…take about 3 minutes.

14 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcasters in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas. Wait. Hold it. Before you do anything else, make sure you understand what you are being asked to write. If you misconstrue the instructions, the highest score you can achieve is a 3 (out of 9). Look down here

15 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcasters in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas. Wait. Hold it. Before you do anything else, make sure you understand what you are being asked to write. If you misconstrue the instructions, the highest score you can achieve is a 3 (out of 9). Look down here

16 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcasters in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas. You know you’re going to either challenge (disagree) or defend (agree). But what, exactly are you agreeing with? Many students did badly on this essay because they misidentified the task. They wrote about com-tech being good or evil. That is not what you are challenging or defending. Look down here again

17 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcasters in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas. You know you’re going to either challenge (disagree) or defend (agree). But what, exactly are you agreeing with? Many students did badly on this essay because they misidentified the task. They wrote about com-tech being good or evil. That is not what you are challenging or defending. You are challenging or defending Minow’s ideas.

18 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcaster in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas. Okay, NOW annotate your copy of the prompt…take about 3 minutes.

19 An argumentative essay prompt: In his famous “Vast Wasteland” address to the National Association of Broadcasters in May of 1961, Newton Minow, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the power of television to influence the taste, knowledge, and opinions of its viewers around the world. Carefully read the following, paying close attention to how timely it is today, especially in light of the worldwide Internet. Minow ended his speech warning that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent in mankind’s history. This is an awesome power. It has limitless capabilities for good—and for evil. And it carries with it awesome responsibilities—responsibilities which you and [the government] cannot escape…” Using your own knowledge and your own experiences or reading, write a carefully constructed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Minow’s ideas.

20 Developing the opening paragraph Refer specifically to the prompt Refer specifically to the prompt Clearly state your position on the given issue Clearly state your position on the given issue Imagine being gifted the limitless capability for good and evil—the ability to control the world with one’s super powers. And, what are these powers? X-ray vision? Morphability? Immortality? NO, it is the most awesome power ever devised—the instantaneous influence over the taste, knowledge and opinions of mankind around the world. Even Superman would get a headache from this kind of power! This is not a great gift, it is an “awesome responsibility” according to the Newton Minow’s 1961 warning to the National Association of Broadcasters. Choice: Agree with the assertion. The writer agrees with Minow’s position but treats the assertion in a lighthearted fashion. The reader can expect a humorous and possibly irreverent tone in the essay.

21 Developing the opening paragraph Refer specifically to the prompt Refer specifically to the prompt Clearly state your position on the given issue Clearly state your position on the given issue Television may have been new in 1961, but radio had been around for a long time. When Minow claims that “instantaneous sight and sound is without precedent”, he is lying. The “power” he refers to was only half-new when he gave this speech, and radio had not become a frankenstein. He does not acknowledge all the good that had already come from the instant transfer of information. Severe weather alerts, news bulletins and public debates were and are important examples of the good this “power” can do. When the government decides they need to control the dissemination of instant information, the next step can only be censorship and misinformation; the kind we see in George Orwell’s Choice: Disagree with the assertion. This writer disagrees with Minow’s position, and supports his claim through allusions to historical events, past and current applications of technology, and a final allusion to a literary work. This writer chooses to limit the scope of his argument to attacking Minow’s claim that the government must not escape its responsibility.

22 Developing the opening paragraph Refer specifically to the prompt Refer specifically to the prompt Clearly state your position on the given issue Clearly state your position on the given issue Nowhere is the awesome power for good and evil of modern technology more clearly seen than in the Internet’s pervasiveness and influence. Newton Minow was right on target in 1961 when he warned the National Association of Broadcasters that the power of TV has “limitless capabilities for good—and for evil.” Choice: Agree with the assertion. The writer agrees with Minow’s position, but has decided to LIMIT the area of the argument to that of the Internet. Condensing one’s argument can provide focus and make the essay much easier to write.

23 After carefully reading and decoding the prompt, choose a way to organize your argument. For the purpose of this demonstration, let’s look at the writer who chose to agree with Minow, but limited the focal point of his argument to the Internet.

24 One Claim / Stance / Argument / Assertion Multiple Grounds / Supports/ Evidences (these become body paragraphs) One or multiple allusions to the Refutatio / Rebuttal AND IT INTRODUCES THE TOPIC COMPONENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL INTRO PARAGRAPH

25 INTRODUCING THE TOPIC There are a number of strategies for accomplishing this, including the ‘grabber’. Provide background information on a topic or problem; present an issue on context; give the history of the subject Relate a brief, interesting story or anecdote Supply facts and statistics that introduce the topic or that help define an important issue or problem. Present provocative questions or opinions that require further discussion or questions (however, see Strategies to Avoid, next page) Start with an extended example related to the topic and main idea. Quote from an authority or from someone whose opinion leads into the topic or highlights key ideas. Highlight the importance of a topic or issue by comparing it to another situation, historical period or issue; offer an intriguing analogy. Present a mysterious or interesting phenomenon worth exploring or explaining.

26 Which of these 3 student brainstorm lists are most likely to be successful (note that they all focus on the Internet argument)? Good Good –Education –Warning of dangers –Recognition of heroes –Involvement in humankind’s achievements –Instant communications with family & friends –Medical care –Links to the world –Entertainment Evil Evil –Promote hate –Distort reality –Help terrorists –Invasion of privacy –Threats to nat’l security –Create mass hysteria –Exploit children –Fraud –Conspiracy –Subvert elections –Brainwashing Responsibility Responsibility –Laws –Censorship –Self-censorship –Prior restraint –1 st Amendment –Financial gain –Copyrights –Parental control –V-chip –Personal checks and balances

27 A sample body paragraph based on the first list: Good Good –Education –Warning of dangers –Recognition of heroes –Involvement in humankind’s achievements –Instant communications with family & friends –Medical care –Links to the world –Entertainment One of the most rewarding applications of the Internet is its ability to provide instant communication between friends and family. A grandmother-to-be in New York is able to share in the moment by moment experience of her daughter’s pregnancy and her granddaughter’s birth in California through , scanned photos and quick videos. Likewise, the ability to instantly communicate with others may have saved the life of a doctor stranded at the South Pole. Her contact with medical resources and experts via the Internet enabled her to undergo surgery and treatment for breast cancer. Research and innovations in medical treatment are now available to those around the world via the “net.” Similarly, the ability for instance communication enables millions to enjoy concerts, sports events, theatrical presentations and other cultural activities without every having to leave home. These wonderful benefits are all because of the fabulous and awesome technological creation—the Internet.

28 A sample body paragraph based on the second list: The other side of the mass communication coin has the face of evil on it. The Internet offers hate mongers unlimited access to anyone with a connection to the World Wide Web. Groups like the Neo-Nazis can spread their hate messages to susceptible minds via bright, entertaining and engaging websites. What looks like a simple, fun game can easily reinforce the group’s hate-filled philosophy to unsuspecting browsers. With the potential for millions of “hits” each week, it does not take a rocket scientist to perceive the danger here. This danger is also present with the minds and bodies of curious and vulnerable Evil Evil –Promote hate –Distort reality –Help terrorists –Invasion of privacy –Threats to nat’l security –Create mass hysteria –Exploit children –Fraud –Conspiracy –Subvert elections –Brainwashing young people. Because of its easy access and easy production, “kiddie porn” is both possible and available via the Internet and the films any number of porn sites offer for downloading with the mere click of a keyboard key. Through contacts made through and/or chat rooms on the Net, children can be easily fooled and led to contact those who would abuse their bodies and minds for a quick profit or cheap thrill. With instantaneous messaging, whether real or imagined, positive or negative, a single person or group can set into motion mass hysteria just by warning of an impending disaster, such as a flood, fire, bomb, poison, and son on. There are obviously many more possibilities floating out there in the ethernet. These are just three of the evil ones.

29 A sample body paragraph based on the THIRD list: Just as there is the potential for both good and evil with regard to mass communication, so too is there the potential for both beneficial and destructive strategies related to reponsibilities. The most powerful regulator of our responsibility as individuals is our finger and its power to press a button or double click on a key and to “just say no.” With this slight pressure, we are able to exert monumental pressure on those who produce programs, websites, photos, documents, etc., which we find unacceptable. Who better to tell us what to watch, what to do, and what to think? All too Often many people prefer to abdicate their personal responsibility and give that power to either the government or the communication industry. We must never forget that dictators target the control and censorship of mass media as the first step in the total control of the minds and hearts of the populace. The laws, which we as citizens of a democracy look to, must never impinge upon our First and Fourth Amendment rights. Each of us has the right of free speech, and each of us has the right to privacy. None of us has the right to harm others or to limit the rights of others; why, then, would we give that right to the communication industry or to the government? Responsibility Responsibility –Laws –Censorship –Self-censorship –Prior restraint –1 st Amendment –Financial gain –Copyrights –Parental control –V-chip –Personal checks and balances

30 The concluding paragraph Spend your time in planning and writing the body of your essay Spend your time in planning and writing the body of your essay In a brief essay, you can be certain your reader can remember what you’ve already said, so there is no need to summarize your major points or to repeat the prompt. In a brief essay, you can be certain your reader can remember what you’ve already said, so there is no need to summarize your major points or to repeat the prompt. If you feel you MUST have a concluding statement/remark, make certain it is a FINAL remark that is of interest and is appropriate to your purpose If you feel you MUST have a concluding statement/remark, make certain it is a FINAL remark that is of interest and is appropriate to your purpose You may use the last sentence of your last body paragraph as your concluding comment. You may use the last sentence of your last body paragraph as your concluding comment.

31 A sample body paragraph based on the THIRD list: Just as there is the potential for both good and evil with regard to mass communication, so too is there the potential for both beneficial and destructive strategies related to reponsibilities. The most powerful regulator of our responsibility as individuals is our finger and its power to press a button or double click on a key and to “just say no.” With this slight pressure, we are able to exert monumental pressure on those who produce programs, websites, photos, documents, etc., which we find unacceptable. Who better to tell us what to watch, what to do, and what to think? All too Often many people prefer to abdicate their personal responsibility and give that power to either the government or the communication industry. We must never forget that dictators target the control and censorship of mass media as the first step in the total control of the minds and hearts of the populace. The laws, which we as citizens of a democracy look to, must never impinge upon our First and Fourth Amendment rights. Each of us has the right of free speech, and each of us has the right to privacy. None of us has the right to harm others or to limit the rights of others; why, then, would we give that right to the communication industry or to the government? Responsibility Responsibility –Laws –Censorship –Self-censorship –Prior restraint –1 st Amendment –Financial gain –Copyrights –Parental control –V-chip –Personal checks and balances

32 A sample body paragraph based on the first list: Good Good –Education –Warning of dangers –Recognition of heroes –Involvement in humankind’s achievements –Instant communications with family & friends –Medical care –Links to the world –Entertainment One of the most rewarding applications of the Internet is its ability to provide instant communication between friends and family. A grandmother-to-be in New York is able to share in the moment by moment experience of her daughter’s pregnancy and her granddaughter’s birth in California through , scanned photos and quick videos. Likewise, the ability to instantly communicate with others may have saved the life of a doctor stranded at the South Pole. Her contact with medical resources and experts via the Internet enabled her to undergo surgery and treatment for breast cancer. Research and innovations in medical treatment are now available to those around the world via the “net.” Similarly, the ability for instance communication enables millions to enjoy concerts, sports events, theatrical presentations and other cultural activities without every having to leave home. These wonderful benefits are all because of the fabulous and awesome technological creation—the Internet. Yes, this concluding sentence IS a little on the giddy side…

33 Argumentative Practice Essay Refer to your notes Refer to your notes Don’t take shortcuts Don’t take shortcuts I’ll put times up on the board I’ll put times up on the board You’ll get the whole 45 minutes to go through the entire process You’ll get the whole 45 minutes to go through the entire process


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