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Helping you write a better response to an AP prompt.

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Presentation on theme: "Helping you write a better response to an AP prompt."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping you write a better response to an AP prompt

2 A thesis must… be concise include a “why” be arguable answer prompt

3 Body paragraphs Must be organized organically Must NOT be organized by device

4 Language of prompt Rhetorical devices Are more than just rhetorical appeals like pathos, logos and ethos Look for repetition, rhetorical questions, parallelism, paradox or analogy (to start!)

5 Tone Is the author or speaker’s attitude Is the author’s feelings about the topic You must analyze language in order to determine tone Look at word choice: connotations, loaded language Look for irony, hyperbole, repetition

6 Point of view Usually 1 st person (narrator is part of story) or 3 rd person (narrator is outside of story). 3 rd person can be omniscient (knows everything about what everyone is thinking) or limited (knows everything about what some people are thinking) Can be free indirect speech: third person narration that takes on some of the characteristics of 1 st person narration (Austen employs this)

7 POV If a prompt asks you to focus on POV, it is usually because POV is interesting and important. Look for shifts in POV. Consider why the author chose this POV. What is gained? What is lost? How does it achieve author’s purpose?

8 “Theme for English B” prompt Write an essay in which you analyze how the poem’s tone, point of view and rhetorical devices reveal the speaker’s changing attitude towards the assignment. Develop your essay with specific references to the poem’s text.

9 Example Langston Hughes expresses a changing attitude in the poem as it progresses from one of simple observation to one that expresses how what he writes will be looked at differently. He expresses that he is still American and lives a normal life despite being labeled black. (46) What’s wrong? Wordy Buries prompt’s language in verbiage Not specific

10 Fixed it! In his poem “Theme for English B,” Langston Hughes’s tone changes from dubious to assertive as he reflects upon his writing assignment. (21) 1. Concise! 2. Includes title of poem! 3. Specific (describes the tone)! 4. Arguable! 5. Uses prompt’s language (change, tone, assignment)!

11 Example In “Theme for English B,” Hughes employs rhetorical devices, first person point of view, and tonal shifts to enhance the speaker’s progress from dubiousness of the value of his instructor’s homework to realization of the reciprocity of such an assignment. (40) What’s wrong? 1. Wordy!! 2. “employs” is almost as bad as “uses”

12 Fixed it In “Theme for English B,” Hughes’s rhetorical questions, first person point of view, and tonal shifts reveal the speaker’s attitude as it changes from playful dubiousness to wry acceptance. (29)

13 Song of Solomon prompt Read the passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze Michael-Mary Graham’s character as Morrison develops it through such literary techniques as tone, point of view, and language.

14 Example Morrison uses bombastic language, interjected by brief moments of practicality, to use Michael-Mary Graham’s own perspective to depict her as an artistic phony deluded within the world. (27) What’s wrong? 1. OMG! “Use” is in there twice! 2. Wordy and unclear 3. Could better reflect prompt

15 Fixed it Morrison’s bombastic language contrasts with her more reasoned narration, and the resulting irony makes it clear that Michael-Mary Graham is an artistic phony. (23) 1. Much more clear! 2. Less wordy!

16 Example Toni Morrison incorporates irony and hyperbole as well as free indirect point of view to satirize the pretentiousness of certain writers. (21) What’s wrong? 1. It’s not wordy! 2. It uses prompt’s language! 3. But why say “certain writers” when, in fact, it is Michael-Mary Graham she is satirizing?

17 Example In Toni Morrison’s passage from Song of Solomon, she displays Michael-Mary Graham’s character in a negative, self-centered, and inconsiderate light in order to further communicate the overarching theme of the primeval strength of spoken language. (35) What’s wrong? 1. Does not answer prompt! It’s a good idea usually to relate part to whole, but for this prompt you have only the passage. 2. Too wordy

18 Fixed it In Toni Morrison’s passage from Song of Solomon, the ironic tone and loaded language reveal Michael-Mary Graham’s character to be self-centered and inconsiderate. (23)

19 Example Michael-Mary Graham is a socialite who poses as a poet. Her concerns include appearances and her own importance, not her art. She is published, which provides her with followers to impress. Her own high opinion of herself fuels her need to appear important and impress everyone, but does not accept competition. (51) What’s wrong? 1. Quite wordy 2. So what? Where’s the argument? 3. Does not address the prompt 4. Would make good topic sentences for body paragraphs!

20 You fix it Michael-Mary Graham is a socialite who poses as a poet. Her concerns include appearances and her own importance, not her art. She is published, which provides her with followers to impress. Her own high opinion of herself fuels her need to appear important and impress everyone, but does not accept competition. (51)

21 For compare/contrast When asked to compare and contrast, remember that because one text uses devices x, y and z does not mean that the second text uses the same devices. Look at the poem’s overall meaning and how the author achieves that meaning regardless of the devices involved. Answer the prompt! What, specifically, is it asking for?

22 Compare/contrast DO NOT bounce back and forth between poems/prose in your analysis. DO NOT write paragraphs about poem A’s diction/syntax/tone and then write paragraphs about poem B’s diction/syntax/tone. DO analyze one poem organically, and then Analyze the other poem organically with reference to the first

23 Compare/contrast Your thesis and conclusion should bring the poem’s together. Example of introduction: Both Poem A and Poem B present autumn as a transitional moment, but they differ in their appreciation of this time. (short and to the point) Example of conclusion: While both poems discuss autumn, their interpretations are different. The first speaker sees autumn as a positive time for change, while the second sees it as the melancholy harbinger of death. (short and to the point again)


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