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AP English Language Advanced Placement
AP English Language – Grammar
You will not have a computer for spelling and grammar checking. You will be all alone with a pencil and paper. Vince Lombardi was the late great coach of the Green Bay Packers. If he were training you, he would start by saying:
“Students, this is a grammar.”
Ok, what type of literary device was that ? Vince exact quote was “Gentlemen, this is a football”. Was it Exposition? Was it Narration? Was it Description? Was it Argumentation? Was it an intentional error to emphasize a point? Did the writer flunk Grammar School?
First, we’re going to start with the basics of grammar. We will make sure we’re executing all the fundamentals. The fundamentals are
I know you are thinking this is grade school stuff. However, the Internet is changing the way we communicate. Text message chops. Search engines optimize. Headlines minimize. Twitter just tweets.
The written English Language now looks spoken Chinese Language. Written Chinese is very hard to master. Spoken Chinese is very easy to master. It is bare bones communication. The text message “RU DANCING ” translates to “Are you going dancing tonight? Can I join you? ”.
Notice the tacit understanding needed. Contextual understanding may work for Chinese. Contextual understating may work for your last text message. Contextual understanding is NOT appropriate for legal documents or essay tests. (IMHO)
Unfortunately, your neural synapses are now programmed for this electronic shorthand to the point that you can’t easily and coherently organize a group of sentences into an Analysis Essay, Argumentative Essay, or a Research (Synthesis) Essay. (This last sentence has a very low Flesch Reading Ease Score. It was difficult to understand. The last sentence was for illustration. Complex sentences are good for college professors. Complex sentences are bad for understanding. Mental gymnastics are reserved for sudoku)
Therefore, students, start with the 101 Grammar Review Series. (ISH)
AP English Language – Writing Under Pressure
FreeCell is a PC card game that teaches you how to think ahead and recognize patterns. If you have enough time, only one of 32,000 games FreeCell can’t be won. Life is basically pattern recognition. However, an essay test is timed. The time pressure can cause you to make BIG mistakes. Pen and paper are only used in essay tests and traffic tickets. Everyone else uses a spell checker.
AP English Language – Synthesis (Research) Essay
You synthesize information every time you review a movie. You give 1 to 5-star ratings. You remember the trend of these reviews. Synthesis develops a thesis or theory. In theory, any Jackie Chan movie is safe for family viewing. (Do not see Burn Hollywood Burn. ) Well, welcome to the Research or Synthesis Essay.
Advanced Placement English Language – Analysis Essay
To get really good at FreeCell you have to recognize the repeating patterns of how the cards are lining up. The same strategy of pattern recognition applies to analysis essay writing. You have to recognize how the game is played.
The patterns that you will need to recognize to write an analysis essay
- Exposition : Illustrate a point of view
- Narration : Tell a story or parable
- Description : Create a mental picture using words. (the mind thinks in pictures)
- Argumentation : Write statements that prove your point of view
These patterns are developed by these strategies
- Giving examples
- Comparing something against something
- Cause and effect
AP English Language – Argumentative Essay
The key concepts of Argumentative Essays
- Recognizing the difference between arguable and non-arguable statements
- understanding the audience in order to be persuasive
- methods for establishing credibility
- proving the thesis through inductive or deductive reasoning
- avoiding the dangers of jumping to conclusions
- logical fallacies and personal attacks
- strengthening the essay by acknowledging opposing views.
AP English Language Study Videos Index
Names and defines all the parts of speech and likens them to objects and activities found around the construction site.
Introduces the concepts of simple and complete subjects and predicates are presented, with a basic introduction to subject and predicate modifiers.
Covers the formation of plural and possessive forms of nouns as well as some exceptions to the usual rules that can cause people to make mistakes.
Continues with the ‘building blocks’ analogy. The lesson emphasizes how the pronoun used must match the noun it replaces in number and gender.
Covers demonstrative, indefinite, interrogative and relative pronouns. The lesson includes the proper uses of the pronouns ‘who’ and ‘whom’ and other issues of agreement with noun referents.
Begins by defining verbs as words which describe ‘being and doing.’ Verbs are compared to the people and machines on the construction site.
Explains the purpose of verb tenses. Then it covers the six basic and six progressive tenses. The program begins ‘simple tenses’ (past, present, and future) and continues with explanations of the others.
Continues the study of verbs with uses of the active and passive voice and the imperative and subjunctive moods. Some tricky irregular verbs are also covered, as is the preference for the active voice in certain kinds of writing.
Covers the basics on adjectives and adverbs, showing examples and using construction metaphors as visual anchoring.
Covers the basic rules and traditions regarding clauses and phrases. The parts of a sentence combine to make the whole like the parts of a building or house.
Covers rules regarding English capitalization and punctuation. It includes Capitalization of proper nouns, as well as the use of the period, exclamation point, question mark, comma, semicolon and colon.
Discusses dependent and independent clauses as they relate to the construction of complicated sentences and the concept of coordinate conjuctions.
Moves beyond rules of basic grammar and construction and into the area of organization and writing style. Designed for students who have already mastered the content of the earlier lessons to help them organize written assignments.
Pursues the proper presentation of written assignments further. It also covers use of parentheses and brackets and the proper punctuation of personal and business titles and academic degrees.
Covers how to organize and classify notes and various ways to organize a paper or report. Examples of reports organized by chronology and topic are shown, and writing commentaries, problem-solving reports and scientific experiments are covered.
Reviews basic English composition skills: expressive, persuasive and informative writing emphasizing the writer, reader or content; choosing a topic; techniques for generating ideas; identifying the audience; organizing the paper – paragraph unity, writing smooth transitions, coordination and subordination.
Introduces an intermediary step to writing a research paper without going through all of the steps in research or compiling an extensive bibliography.
Reviews the myriad sources and services available in libraries and how they can be accessed.Provides an introduction to the various categories of research materials and classification systems; presents information on online and computer-based systems including catalogs, periodical indexes, specialized indexes, government information and multi-media sources.
Presents information on selecting and narrowing a topic including the importance of choosing a subject of interest, making sure the subject can be adequately covered given the assigned paper length and time.
Presents information on classifying and categorizing materials into overview, focusing, and supporting materials; identifying and using primary and secondary sources appropriately; preparing a working bibliography; formatting note cards for books, periodicals, newspapers, and electronic materials.Information is presented on formulating a tentative thesis, using precise language, the importance of supporting the thesis with facts and limiting the thesis.
Makes suggestions for ensuring relevance, timeliness and value of gathered information. Presents information on choosing general or specialized materials, evaluating sources for authority and bias, evaluating online sources for authenticity and credibility.
Students are shown how to organizing ideas into phrase or sentence outlines, how to maintain balance with supportive statements, rearrange main points with subheadings and to fine-tune and reformulate the thesis.
Teaches the students to recognize the difference between arguable and non-arguable statements and how to turn a neutral statement into an arguable one.
reviews elements of good argumentative writing, provides examples for students to critique. Session with students in class is included.
Emphasizes importance of working from the outline for the first draft. Suggests techniques for paragraph development by separating note cards by topic headings, matching detailed notes to outline, interpreting information, using transitions, crediting sources, and avoiding plagiarism.
Professional writers discuss the importance of writing and revision. Information is presented on identifying and strengthening the thesis statement, matching paragraphs to the outline, using quotations and transitions appropriately.
Information is presented on documenting statements and ideas that are not your own and preparing a Works Cited or reference list.
Information is provided on retrieving, evaluating and using information from computer-based sources including online catalogs, internet search tools and CD-ROM or DVD databases.
Makes suggestions for reviewing the content of the paper for overall organization, paragraph structure, paragraph development, slant vs. bias, accuracy and polish.
Reviews criteria for checking the paper for grammatical and mechanical errors while looking for sentence unity and good paragraph construction.
Examples of research papers are provided as a review of elements to be considered in the second draft including sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, pronoun reference, use of second person.
The explication is presented as an explanatory paper in literature, fine arts or philosophy. Information is provided on critiquing a work for style, use of symbolism and analysis of meaning; differences from a research paper are pointed out with examples from novels and poems.
Interviews with professional writers are included to supplement a classroom session on writing critiques.
The abstract is presented as restating or paraphrasing a written work from history, sociology, political science, or psychology and condensing it into a summary.
Industry-specific business writing is introduced with lively examples from the world of business and includes interviews with top executives from national companies.
Writing for business or being ‘businesslikeö includes information on writing business letters, memos, reports, resumes and letters of application.
ôOne draft onlyö writing includes tips on taking an essay exam, writing an essay for a scholarship application, and completing a job application requiring a written statement.
Interpreting and explaining literature includes examples from poems, short stories, and novels with film clips from current movies made for TV. Writing about literature is presented as participating in reading by taking notes, paraphrasing, and recording initial reactions.
Students are instructed on how to become skilled at perceiving patterns in literature by using examples and metaphors from nature.
A review of basic English composition skills; expository writing: expressive, informative, and persuasive writing; identifying the audience; organizing the paper–coordination and subordination, paragraph unity, writing smooth transitions.
How to gather information, sift through the data, and arrive at a conclusion; common misconceptions about writing; the importance of selecting a subject of interest to the student; asking focusing questions; resource availability.
Classifying and categorizing information into overview, focusing, and supporting materials; preparing a preliminary bibliography: formatting index cards for books, periodicals, non-print materials, and personal interviews.
Judging the quality of source materials for relevance and recency; ranking the sources. How to use index cards for notetaking; direct quotations, paraphrasing, summarizing, and key terms.
Organizing ideas into phrase or sentence outlines; maintaining balance with supportive statements; rearranging main points with subheadings.
Recognizing the difference between arguable and non-arguable statements; understanding the audience in order to be persuasive; methods for establishing credibility; proving the thesis through inductive or deductive reasoning; avoiding the dangers of jumping to conclusions, logical fallacies and personal attacks; strengthening the essay by acknowledging opposing views.
Seminar session with students and instructor critiquing student essays for elements of good argumentative writing: identifying the audience, establishing credibility with supportive statements, and acknowledging opposing views.
Working from the outline: separating note cards by topic headings, matching detailed notes to outline, interpreting information, using transitions; crediting sources, avoiding plagiarism.
Classroom session with students and instructor reviewing student essays for exactness (accuracy of expression), explicitness, economy of language, and elegance.
Documenting statements and ideas that are not your own; preparing a ‘Works Cited’ or reference page. Detailed information on citing books, articles, and non-print materials using MLA (primary focus) and APA styles.
Appraising the big picture–reviewing the content of the paper for overall organization, factual accuracy, and paragraph unity; recognizing slant vs. bias, checking for precision and detail, looking for contradictions.
Checking the paper for sentence unity, looking for errors in grammar and paragraph construction. Reviews basic rules of grammar: subject-verb agreement, correct use of relative pronouns; deals with problems with prepositional phrases, misplaced modifiers, and mixed metaphors.
Classroom session in which students and instructor review essays for grammatical and mechanical errors. Sentence fragments and errors in spelling, capitalization, subject-verb agreement, pronoun reference, redundancies, and misplaced modifiers are identified and corrected.
The explication as an interpretative paper in literature, fine arts or philosophy; critiquing the work for style, use of symbolism and analysis of meaning; the explication as commentary; differences from a research paper are pointed out with examples from novels and poems.
Students and instructor review sample explications on Hemingway’s ‘Indian Camp.’ Essays are discussed for use of imagery, injecting personal opinion, and the importance of strong introductory paragraphs.
Restating or paraphrasing a written work from history, sociology, political science, or psychology and condensing it into a summary; steps in writing are presented with lively examples.
Students and instructor review abstracts written on three major news stories from ‘The New York Times’ on a given day. General rules of writing are suggested; SQRR method presented.
Treating the Lab Report as a scientific paper; writing with the idea of being published. Panel of experts discuss special concerns of writing for the sciences.
Differences between writing for business–being ‘business-like;’ writing business letters, memos, business reports, resumes, and letters of application.
Differences and similarities between writing an essay for class and writing an essay exam are examined. Note-taking, making an outline, using a timeline, and other techniques are suggested; identification of key and strategic terms: define, discuss, analyze, and compare and contrast.
Interpreting and explaining poems, short stories, and books; participating in reading by taking notes, paraphrasing, and recording initial reactions; the importance of rereading; writing about character and point of view.
Becoming skilled at perceiving patterns; basic elements of setting, plot, theme, foreshadowing, figurative language, and symbolism are explained.
How to convey your message in a clear and effective way.
By Neita F. Geilker, Ph.D.
Most professionals can write better than they do. Unfortunately, they often follow outdated and confusing guidelines–because they think they should.
How to produce clean, clear, and correct copy.
By Neita F. Geilker, Ph.D. and Grammar Guru