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AP Essay Review Poetry, Prose, and Open-Ended Questions.

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Presentation on theme: "AP Essay Review Poetry, Prose, and Open-Ended Questions."— Presentation transcript:

1 AP Essay Review Poetry, Prose, and Open-Ended Questions

2 I. AP Test General Overview Two parts: OBJECTIVE –55 minutes of multiple-choice questions –Usually 2 passages of poetry and 2 passages of prose 3 ESSAYS –2 hours; about 40 minutes an essay –Poetry selection –Prose selection –Open-ended question

3 II. Essay Common Sense Pointers A.Use what is on the page to help you B.Read footnotes C.Do not misspell authors’ names if they are given to you D.Do not misspell titles or words in the passages when they are given to you

4 E.Sometimes, the prompt does not give you the author’s name 1.You are not expected to know it. 2.If you do happen to know it, use it. 3.If you don’t know it, just refer to the author as “the author” or “the writer,” or, in the case of poetry, “the poet.” 4.The same may be true of the title of the work.

5 F.You are permitted abbreviations 1.For titles 2.For extremely long authors’ names 3.For long character names G.You may do so right from the start of the essay They know you are in a hurry, so they do not mind abbreviations H.Make them logical abbreviations 1.If you make it hard for them to decipher, they have a harder time being generous with your grade

6 I.Handwriting 1.Obviously, the neater the better 2.Readers, though, anticipate bad handwriting and will pass it around the table until they find three people who can puzzle through it J.Scratch-outs 1.You will not have time for white-out, 2.AP readers do not mind scratch-outs 3.They do not mind sterisks to indicate sentences you would like to add in 4.They do not mind arrows pointing to sentence order

7 A.You may use five paragraphs B.No citations are required on the AP test—in fact, they prefer you skip them C.Use of first-person formal is permitted: we, us, our, ours. D.Do NOT NOT NOT use I, me, my, mine E.Do NOT NOT NOT use you, your, yours Good News!!

8 III. Open-Ended Prompts

9 A. General Information 1.Generally the question students do best on 2.Generally the question students write the most on 3.Your Legends, River, Hamlet, and Othello essays were all open-ended questions from AP tests. 4.The difference on the test is that you get to pick the novel/play you will use to answer the question.

10 1.The choice of novel or play 2.An aspect the prompt wishes you to focus on 3.The “meaning of the work as a whole” B. Three Parts to the Prompt

11 The three elements of the open-ended prompt must all be addressed in the intro. They are also meant to be interwoven throughout the essay Each paragraph focuses on the specific aspect asked for in the prompt and then connects it to the UT

12 1. The Choice of Novel/Play a.You get to choose the novel/play you will write about. b.Do not write about poems or short stories or movies. c.Beneath the prompt will be a list of novel/plays they have offered as suggestions. d.These are meant only to give you ideas. e.You DO NOT have to write about a novel/play from that list.

13 In some works of literature, childhood and adolescence are portrayed as times graced by innocence and a sense of wonder; in other works, they are depicted as times of tribulation and terror. Focusing on a single novel or play, explain how its representation of childhood or adolescence shapes the meaning of the work as a whole. You may select a work from the list below or choose another appropriate novel or play of similar literary merit. Avoid mere plot summary. The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnA High Wind in Jamaica Black BoyThe House on Mango Street Bless Me, UltimaJane Eyre The Bluest EyeKafka on the Shore The Catcher in the RyeLittle Women Cat’s EyeLord of the Flies The ChosenMaster Harold and the Boys Great ExpectationsTo Kill a Mockingbird

14 f.You may use any novel/play of “literary merit.” i.All that we read in class and you read for MWDF are all works of “literary merit.” ii.You are not, however, limited to books you read for this class

15 g.You may also choose books you read outside of school, so long as they are works of “literary merit.” h.Be careful here, though: most popular fiction is not considered “literary merit.” i.Avoid the Twilight series, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, etc. ii.I think AP readers are also on the fence about The Lord of the Rings, particularly if you try to write about the whole trilogy as opposed to just one book.

16 2. The Aspect the Prompt Focuses on Extended references to myths Childhood Political statements Characters alienated by gender, race, class, or creed Scenes of violence Tragic heroes and the impact of their fall Characters who appear to be evil, but actually need sympathy Parallel or recurring events Tension between a passion and a responsibility This element varies widely Examples from past tests:

17 A.Your job is to make sure that whatever novel/play you choose fits with the aspect the prompt is focusing on. B.Example: “Tragic heroes and the impact of their fall” does NOT work for To Kill a Mockingbird, but does work with Othello. Likewise, childhood does not work with Othello, but does with TKM.

18 A.Prompts are designed in such a way that lots of novels/plays may be applicable. B.Upon reading the prompt, you will most likely have a few jump into your mind. C.Usually (but not always), the first book that jumps into your brain is the best choice for you. D.Before you plunge into the writing, make sure the book you have in mind actually works.

19 3. Meaning of the Work as a Whole A.A.k.a “Universal themes” B.AP readers expect you to provide a universal theme even if the question does not specifcally ask for “the meaning of the work as a whole.” C.Most open-ended questions these days use that catch phrase. i.We worked on these at the start of the year ii.For review, please see the PowerPoints located on the Class PowerPoints page

20 4. How Can I Prepare for the Open-Ended Question? A.Review 5-6 novels/plays in terms of plot, character names, and literary features More than 5-6 starts to run together in your mind B.You have your literary review sheets for this purpose C.You can also use SparkNotes D.You will have to use SparkNotes to prep for novels/plays we did not cover

21 5. Pointers for the Open Essay Itself: A.Ideally, you should remember the author’s name, title, and major/minor character names (+ their spelling) B.However, if on the test, you blank, you may substitute a letter for the name you’ve forgotten i.1-2 forgotten names is not a problem ii.Much more than that, and you probably don’t know the book well enough to use it

22 IV. Poetry and Prose Prompts

23 A. Selections for Poetry and Prose 1.Chosen for you 2.Poetry question—1 poem or a comparison between 2 poems 3.Prose question—usually an excerpt from a novel or short story 4.We’ve not practiced on prose selections, but you use the same techniques as with poetry.

24 B. The Poetry/Prose Prompt 1.Sometimes asks you about the meaning of the passage Example: Read the following poem carefully. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the poet uses language to describe the scene and to convey mood and meaning.

25 2. Sometimes does not ask about meaning, but wants you to summarize some aspect of the passage. Example: a vivid impression of Quoyle as a characterRead carefully the following passage from the beginning of a contemporary novel. Note the author’s use of elements such as diction, syntax, imagery and figurative language. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author’s use of language generates a vivid impression of Quoyle as a character.

26 3. Sometimes the prompt offers a “laundry list” of techniques/devices. a.Those techniques will definitely be present in the passage, BUT b.You are not required to write about only those techniques. c.You can pick others that you see that are not listed. d.You also will not have time to write about all of the techniques the prompt offers.

27 Example: diction, syntax, imagery and figurative languageRead carefully the following passage from the beginning of a contemporary novel. Note the author’s use of elements such as diction, syntax, imagery and figurative language. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author’s use of language generates a vivid impression of Quoyle as a character.

28 4. In more recent years, however, the prompts do not offer a “laundry list” of devices. a.They usually mention “figurative language” or “literary devices.” b.Regardless, the readers expect you will talk about poetic techniques that contribute to the poem’s meaning/aspect you are focusing on.

29 Example: in which you analyze the techniquesThe following two poems present animal-eye views of the world. Read each poem carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the techniques used in the poems to characterize the speakers and convey differing views of the world.

30 1.Don’t just review your literary terms sheet— memorize the definitions 2.Match terms to poems we used in class to demonstrate them 3.Review your Poetry Writes for commentary given to you there B. How do I Prepare for the Poetry/Prose Essays?

31 V. Differences between Open-Ended Prompts and Poetry/Prose Prompts OPEN-ENDED A.Universal theme (“meaning of the work as a whole”) always REQUIRED B.Cannot quote specifically from the novel/play, as you will not have it available (this is different than on Mrs. B’s essays) POETRY/PROSE A.UT needed only if asked for in prompt B.Quotes required

32 VI. Strategies: A. Timing 1.You are given 2 hours to write three essays 2.Equal division of time means you should spend 40 minutes per essay 3.Reading the prompt and passages and planning an essay should take no more than 5-10 minutes 4.That means the actual writing of each essay should be minutes. 5.No one will tell you when 35 minutes have passed, so you have to time yourself

33 A. Strategies: Timing 6.It is better to write most of 3 essays rather than to skip one all together 7.To this effect, conclusions are not hugely important to AP readers 8.If you time yourself for 35 minutes and are not finished, leave yourself space to come back, but move on to the next essay

34 B. Strategies: Planning 1.Outlines are not required, but they are a good idea 2.They should be brief—three to four points max 3.You are not required to stick with the outline if you change your mind as you write 4.AP readers do give some credit for outlines at the end of unfinished essays As the 2-hour limit nears, if you cannot finish the essay, write the outline for the rest of it

35 C: Strategies Which Prompt to Start with? 1. Strategy #1: Hardest essay first a.Read all the prompts and passages before you start writing any of them Your subconscious will work on two of them while you write the first b.Write the hardest one first i.You can write the essays in any order ii.You might do best on the hardest one if you are fresher

36 2. Strategy #2: Easiest Essay first a.Read all the prompts and passages before you start writing any of them Your subconscious will work on the other two while you write the first b.Start with the easiest one first i.You might feel it’s best to write on what you know best while you are fresh ii.Gives your subconscious time to think about the other 2

37 Strategies 3. Strategy #3: Write in the order they are given a.Read all the prompts and passages before you start writing any of them Your subconscious will work on the other two while you write the first b.Read the prompts as you go along and write in the order they are given May not gunk up your mind/confuse prompts


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