Manual 22056069

Manual 22056069
AP Requirements
You will have to take the AP test at the
end of the year to receive college credit
for my course (excluding dual credit
students). You can earn up to six hours!
 You must also take many applied
practices in class and a full practice
exam on April 2nd, as the practice exam
is required of all students (excluding
dual credit students).
Test Format
Multiple Choice (45%)- 60 minutes to
answer approximately 55 questions
 10-minute break between Section 1 and
 Three Essays (55%)- 55 minutes for
synthesis essay, 40 minutes for
argument essay, and 40 minutes for
rhetorical analysis essay
Multiple Choice Help
Don’t skip questions. Answer every one!
Circle your answers in the book and then,
after each passage, transfer them over.
 If you are running out of time, quickly
answer the word in context questions.
 Read the FULL question; those “EXCEPT”
questions can kill you.
 You probably want to skip around to
answer the easiest ones for you and then
come back to fill in the rest, so you get to
more questions that you know you have a
chance of answering correctly.
Most Common
Multiple Choice Questions
Word in context- what does this word
 Main idea- be able to grasp important
 Terms- rhetorical and literary devices
 Function- what is the effect of a
 Organization/structurecharacterizing/clustering
The 3 Prompts Will Be:
Synthesis Essay
 Argument Essay
 Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Thesis and Topic Sentences
Everything you write should relate back to
your thesis, which should, in turn, relate
back to the prompt.
 Use topic sentences and transitions for
each paragraph.
 Have your thesis and topic sentences
written out in your outline before you begin
to write. This will help keep your essay tight
and structured. Don’t spend too much time
on your outline. 10 mins. MAX
AP Critical Thinking Ability
This test is assessing your thinking skills
just as much as your writing skills.
 Don’t write what everyone else is going to
 Use mature and interesting
evidence/examples to support your point;
take from history, literature, current events,
school knowledge… Keep personal
examples to a minimum.
Speculate about our culture
The trend in recent years is to include
essays or nonfiction pieces with prompts
that ask the reader to comment on our
 Ex.
○ Entertainment/technology
○ The media & its effect on democracy
○ Money/Narcissism
Look for the underlying points
Ex. The Onion
A Modest Proposal
Reading the background information given to you in the
directions will always help you identify satire.
Avoid immaturity in your writing,
“shows” – go deeper
 “positive” or “negative”
 Writing, “In conclusion…” in your
 Restating the thesis exactly in both your
intro and conclusion
Don’t use a formula for your
structure if you can help it.
(“5 par. Essay”)
Use Effective Verbs –WRITE
(present tense focusing on what the author is doing)
Conveys, reveals, connotes, delineates,
emphasizes, accomplishes, advocates,
represents, presents, implements,
enhances, contrasts, demonstrates,
reflects, asserts, contributes, creates,
permeates, flows, illustrates, alludes,
displays, paints, portrays, elucidates,
Every piece will have various levels of
 It’s your job to look for that curve, that shift.
If you do, you will take your essay to the
next level of critical analysis, which will
help you get from a 6-7 to an 8-9.
Timed Writing
Introduction: Get to the point immediately! Don’t worry about
lead-ins. Answer the question (or prompt) directly. (Instead of
saying, “In this poem the speaker clearly shows his attitude
toward love…” say, “The speaker conveys a very cynical attitude
toward love…”)
Material: Be sure to use specific details from the text to support
your general answer. Do not quote long passages, but do make
specific references to the text and include short quotations.
Organization: Although ideally you’d like to set up perfectly
logical paragraphs and coherent analysis, time restraints may
make this impossible. Try to plan your general structure ahead of
time, but feel free to stray from the plan if it’s necessary to cover
the material. Your reader will understand your time constraints.
Essentially, the first paragraph will directly answer the question
or prompt; the middle paragraphs will provide specific details to
support that position; and the final paragraph will tie ideas
together. {Tell me…show me…tie it together!}
Timed Writing Cont’d
Transitions: Try to provide logical flow between
paragraphs, but do not be afraid to break the flow if
you discover important ideas that need to be added.
Here you can use conversational transitions to bring
in addition material: “Let me back up for a minute to
clarify a point made earlier…”
Tone: Tone tends to be more conversational, though
you want to be as formal as reasonably possible.
You are trying to show that you understand the
question or prompt.
Title: Not needed. Don’t waste the time.
Timed Writing Cont’d
Drafts: One draft is all you have time to do. Make
your writing as legible as is reasonable to expect in
the limited time allotted. Do not use valuable time
trying to recopy the essay. Be sure to use blue or
black ink. Whiteout takes time and breaks the flow of
ideas. Neatly cross out errors and keep writing.
Readers will tolerate a few spelling or punctuation
errors because of the time restraints. However, if
errors are too frequent, they will impede the flow of
the reader and give the impression that you have
poor language skills. Be careful but not obsessive.
Argument Question:
Recognize the complexity of the question.
 That is ½ of the purpose of the argument.
 That is a path to a higher score- qualify!!!
If you qualify, make sure you still favor a
side. Don’t come across as wishy-washy.
 Do not use hypothetical evidence.
 It must be real (use your AP History knowledge,
your knowledge from reading & being an
informed citizen).
Synthesis Essay
Make sure you cite by using quotes, summaries, or
paraphrases- both direct and indirect citations.
Make their words work for you by incorporating only
what you need of the quote; never use full paragraphs
(or even full sentences) if you can help it.
Embed their words in your own words; this is the most
mature way to synthesize.
You must cite 3 documents (citing more than 3 can
actually lower your score, but citing less than 3 will give
you an automatic score of 3 or less)
Yes, you can bring in outside information.
The synthesis essay is not worth more, so don’t waste
all your time on it.
Synthesis Cont’d
Your argument should be the focus of
the essay, NOT the sources themselves.
Don’t split your paragraphs around your
sources (one paragraph dedicated to
each source). Synthesize the sources
into your argument. Pretend you’re
writing a research-based argument (yesdefend, challenge, or qualify) paper and
your research is already done for you.
Don’t let the sources take over.
For the Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Remember you can use my formula for
times’ sake: (The author) uses diction,
syntax, and figurative language in order
to (insert his or her specific rhetorical
purpose). You don’t have to, but it’s a
nice fallback and will get you where you
need to go.
Discussing purpose and effect ( WHY the
author uses the device or what his/her
intended effect is) is more important than
listing terms.
Diction: word choice that is meaningful– takes
connotation into account and helps set up a
tone, a mood, or a theme.
Syntax: rules of language– sentence length,
structure, punctuation, word order, active vs.
passive verbs, repetition, etc.
Figurative Language: language that isn’t literal,
i.e. metaphors, symbolism, allusions, etc.
Discussing purpose & effect is always much more
important than listing terms.
 Read the prompt carefully, and make sure you know
exactly what is being asked before you dive right in.
 Reading the background information at the top of the
source will help you identify anything strange about a
piece– including if it’s satirical in nature, or if it’s a
bogus source (they have been known to try to trick
students this way in the synthesis essay). This
information can also tell you who wrote the
passage/source, why they are relevant, and, possibly
most helpfully, can place it in an appropriate historical
context that can get you making connections and give
you a starting point.
Think like the
College Board
The front line and the last line of the
piece will be important.
 Discuss their function.
Don’t explain the terms
Remember your audience.
 Your reader knows what polysyndeton
is, asyndeton, etc.
 Your reader is a college professor or an
experienced AP Teacher.
 If you can’t remember the technical
term, or freeze up, discuss punctuation
or diction, or ANYTHING you feel might
be purposeful or have an effect.
Your essays will be graded holistically.
 5 is considered passing.
 To receive an 8 or a 9, you must
demonstrate either control of language
or a brilliant perspective/argument.
General Rubric
9-8 Superior papers specific in their references, cogent in
their definitions, and free of plot summary that is not
relevant to the question. These essays need not be
without flaws, but they demonstrate the writer's ability to
discuss a literary work with insight and understanding and
to control a wide range of the elements of effective
composition. At all times they stay focused on the prompt.
 7-6 These papers are less thorough, less perceptive or
less specific than 9-8 papers. These essays are wellwritten but with less maturity and control than the top
papers. They demonstrate the writer's ability to analyze a
literary work, but they reveal a more limited understanding
than do the papers in the 9-8 range. Generally, 6 essays
present a less sophisticated analysis and less consistent
command of the elements of effective writing than essays
scored 7.
Rubric Cont’d
5 Safe and “plastic,” superficiality characterizes these essays.
Discussion of meaning may be pedestrian, mechanical, or inadequately
related to the chosen details. Typically, these essays reveal simplistic
thinking and/or immature writing. They usually demonstrate
inconsistent control over the elements of composition and are not as
well conceived, organized, or developed as the upper-half papers. On
the other hand, the writing is sufficient to convey the writer's ideas and
stays focused on the prompt.
4-3 Discussion is likely to be unpersuasive, perfunctory,
underdeveloped or misguided. The meaning they deduce may be
inaccurate or insubstantial and not clearly related to the question. Part
of the question may be omitted altogether. The writing may convey the
writer's ideas, but it reveals weak control over such elements as diction,
organization, syntax or grammar. Typically, these essays contain
significant misinterpretations of the question or the work they discuss;
they may also contain little, if any, supporting evidence, and practice
paraphrase and plot summary at the expense of analysis.
Rubric Cont’d
2-1 These essays compound the
weakness of essays in the 4-3 range
and are frequently unacceptably brief.
They are poorly written on several
counts, including many distracting
errors in grammar and mechanics.
Although the writer may have made
some effort to answer the question, the
views presented have little clarity or
Eat and sleep right the TWO days
before the test (including the day of the
test, which is May 11th).
 You don’t want to burn out by the last
section of the multiple choice or by the
last essay.
 This could make a difference between a 3
and a 4 or a 2/3.
What to bring
Be at DHS (location to be announced)
by 7:30 AM on Wednesday the 11th of
 You must bring: a blue or black pen, a
couple of sharpened #2 pencils, and a
highlighter is optional.
 Dictionaries and thesauri are not
allowed either.
Ask me in class; ask me during tutorials; or e-mail me:
[email protected]
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