Presentation on theme: "AP Language and Composition Study Session Notes"— Presentation transcript:
1 AP Language and Composition Study Session Notes
2 The Argumentative Essay
The AP English Language Exam's Persuasive/Argument essay, or Question 3, essentially requires the student to produce a clear, sophisticated response to a question that, at its heart, captures a large, enduring issue.Because of this, the process needs to focus not just on the expression of the ideas, but, primarily, the depth of the student’s perspective.This lesson will introduce three steps in that process: recognizing the true issues, creating a conversation to arrive at a sophisticated answer, and the organization of the essay, in that order.
3 2010 Argumentative PromptQuestion 3 of the2010 AP Exam asks students to defend, challenge or qualify a statement of Alain de Botton about humorists' role in society.To most students, this should be an accessible prompt, as they are familiar with many forms of humor, even if they have not yet considered the effect on society.For top scoring essays, the true work is done before the first line of the essay is penned.These activities are designed to guide students to the most sophisticated response they can produce, understanding that each student has a different capacity and base of knowledge from which to work.
4 Activity 1: Recognizing the Larger Issue
Sometimes Question 3 will directly capture the larger issue, and sometimes it will mask the issue in a more modern or topical spin on an enduring issue.Question writers may ask a question like "Do extreme views benefit a society?"-which is already the expression of the deep issueOr they may ask "Do social networking sites negatively impact interpersonal skills?"-which is a more specific question that requires the student to pull from it the true issues that the question raises.
5 Activity 1: Recognizing the Larger Issue
Practice in pulling the deeper issues from not only essay prompts but also literature in general will help the students understand that, in the end, they are entering a conversation that has been ongoing in the public sphere for a long time.The more they understand that concept, the more inclined they will be to broaden their perspective, which will ultimately lead to a more nuanced, sophisticated answer.The 2010 argument prompt straddles the line between directly capturing a general issue - the role of humorists in society - and suggesting large issues that students can discover, such as why a society would need the shield of humor to hide behind.
6 Activity 1: Recognizing the Larger Issue
The process of developing an argument requires you to understand that you are adding your voice to an ongoing debate.For many current issues, at heart lies a bigger issue that has persisted for decades, if not centuries.As time unfolds, the culturally engaged of all stripes (e.g., authors, artists, philosophers, politicians) contribute their own answers to the questions the issue raises.
7 Activity 1: Recognizing the Larger Issue
Examples:Thomas Jefferson with “The Declaration of Independence”-What is the ideal form of government?William Golding with Lord of the Flies-What is the true nature of man?Harper Lee with To Kill a Mockingbird-What influence does society have in shaping our prejudices? Or, what obligations do the just members of society have to other members of society?
8 Practice identifying the larger issue(s)
Should a driver's license be available to only those teenagers who are either currently enrolled in high school or who have graduated from high school?-Does success in education indicate responsibility, or, conversely, does a lack of success in education indicate a lack of responsibility?-Is driving a necessity in our society?-Does the inability to drive prevent people from the ability to support themselves?
9 Practice identifying the larger issue(s)
In the United States, should corporations be allowed to contribute an unlimited amount of funds to political campaigns?-Should a corporation's "voice" be protected as though it were a person's "voice"?-Does this idea of corporate participation reflect the intent of the framers of the Constitution?-What is the true intent of a representative democracy?-Are money and voice equivalent?
10 Practice identifying the larger issue(s)
With the ability to communicate instantly and to purchase nearly anything online, is the internet a positive or negative in terms of the social health of society?-What are the benefits and drawbacks of face-to-face communication?-Is community an abstract idea, a feeling, or is it a physical construct, a location?-Is physical isolation the same as social isolation?
11 Now consider in the 2010 prompt the larger issues that the question suggests:
Prompt: In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists is not merely to entertain but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Because society allows humorists to say things that other people cannot or will not say, de Botton sees humorists as serving a vital function in society. Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies de Botton’s claim about the vital role of humorists. Use specific, appropriate evidence to develop your position.Larger issues:-Does society need "dangerous" messages?-What does it say about a society that it needs humor to deliver these messages?-Does humor trivialize real issues?-Does humor reach a larger audience than earnest discussion?
12 Activity 2: Concession, Counterargument and the Conversation
A concession addresses what the other side’s argument is or may be.-By addressing it, you show your audience that you are sophisticated and considerate-You understand all sides of an issue, not just your own.A counterargument, after the concession, discusses why the other side’s argument is not accurate or appropriate.-Used correctly, the concession and counterargument can demonstrate your maturity and reasonableness.-Used incorrectly, it can show just the opposite – a mind that is closed and lacks insight.
13 Activity 2: Concession, Counterargument and the Conversation
Look at Patrick Henry’s speech to the Virginia Convention in 1775 as an example:“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?”Concession: “They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary.”-Here, Henry acknowledges the argument of those who do not wish to fight the British.-By acknowledging their argument, not only does he show that he understands the points they make, and thus is open-minded.-The acknowledgement also provides him with an opportunity to refute that point, thus strengthening his own argument.Counterargument: “But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?”
14 Activity 2: Concession, Counterargument and the Conversation
Practice coming up with concessions in response to the following topic:Your school’s dress codeWith which element do you agree or disagree? (choose one side)Put yourself in the shoes of someone taking the other side – what would be that person’s strongest argument against you?-Remember, don’t demonize – assume your opponent is a fair-minded person.
15 Activity 2: Concession, Counterargument and the Conversation
Coming up with valid arguments against your perspective can be difficult, but it will lead you to more sophisticated answers.The more you are aware of potential holes in your argument, the stronger you can make it by filling those holes.The conversation map is an excellent pre-writing strategy for working through the complexity of an argument, developing concessions and counterarguments, and forcing yourself to search out the most sophisticated answer you can find.Look at the following conversation map responding to the prompt “Should high schools have dress codes?”
17 Now, with a classmate, create a conversation map over this topic of humorists’ role in society, similar to the one provided earlier over a school’s dress code. Think about all the questions and answers that need to be considered before reaching a conclusion.Prompt: In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists is not merely to entertain but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Because society allows humorists to say things that other people cannot or will not say, de Botton sees humorists as serving a vital function in society. Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies de Botton’s claim about the vital role of humorists. Use specific, appropriate evidence to develop your position.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION2010 SCORING GUIDELINES
Directions: This scoring guide will be useful for most
papers you read.
it seems inappropriate for a specific paper, askyour Table Leader for assistance. Always show your Table Leader books that seem to have no response or that contain responses that seemunrelated to the question. Do not assign a score
or -without this consultation.Your score should reflect your judgment
the paper's quality as a whole. Remember that students had only 40 minutes to read andwrite; the paper, therefore,
not a finished product and should not be judged by standards appropriate for an out-of-class assignment.Evaluate the paper as a draft, making certain to reward students for what they do well.All papers, even those scored 8 or
may contain occasional lapses in analysis, prose style, or mechanics. Such features should enter intoyour holistic evaluation
overall quality. In no case should you score a paper with many distracting errors in grammar andmechanics higher than a
9 Papers earning a score
9 meet the criteria for 8 papers and,
addition, are especially sophisticated in their argument,thorough in their development, or particularly impressive in their control
EffectivePapers earning a score
effectively defend, challenge, or qualify de Botton's claim about the vital role
humorists. The evidence andexplanations used are appropriate and convincing, and the argument
especially coherent and well developed. The prose demonstrates aconsistent ability to control a wide range
effective writing but
not necessarily flawless.7 Papers earning a score
7 fit the description
6 papers but provide a more complete explanation, more thoroughdevelopment, or a more mature prose style.6
Papers earning a score
defend, challenge, or qualify de Botton's claim about the vital role
humorists. The evidence andexplanations used are appropriate and sufficient, and the argument is adequately developed and coherent. The writing may contain lapsesin diction or syntax, but generally the prose
clear.5 Papers earning a score
5 defend, challenge, or qualify de Botton's claim about the vital role
humorists. The evidence or explanationsused may be uneven, inconsistent, or limited. The writing may contain lapses in diction
syntax, but it usually conveys the writer'S ideas.4
Papers earning a score
defend, challenge, or qualify de Botton's claim about the vital role
humorists. The evidence orexplanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient,
less convincing. The argument may be inadequately developed or have lapses incoherence. The prose generally conveys the writer's ideas but may be less consistent in controlling the elements
effective writing.3 Papers earning a score
the criteria for a score
4 but demonstrate less success
defending, challenging, orqualifying de
claim about the vital role
humorists. The papers may show less maturity in control
SuccessPapers earning a score
2 demonstrate little success in defending, challenging, or qualifying de
claim about the vital role
humorists. These papers may misunderstand the prompt,
substitute a simpler task by responding to the prompt tangentially withunrelated, inaccurate, or inappropriate explanation. The prose often demonstrates consistent weaknesses in writing, such as grammaticalproblems, a lack
development or organization, or a lack
coherence and control.I Papers earning a score
1 meet the criteria for a score
2 but are undeveloped, especially simplistic in their explanation andargument, or weak in their control
language, or especially lacking in coherence and development.
Indicates an on-topic response that receives no credit, such as one that merely repeats the prompt.Indicates a blank response or one that is completely