Magnasoles Ap Essay Examples

 Welcome to Mrs. Pierce’s AP Language and Composition class!  In order to obtain the most conducive learning environment, I will use the following classroom and grading policy.  It is important that you and your parents read this policy, in order for you to be successful in this class. The easiest way to contact me is via email; however, do not hesitate to call if you have a question. 


Teacher Contact Information

Janelle Pierce, M.A. English & M.A. Teaching

Phone: (480) 279-7300



Office Hours: Mon/Th 2:15-2:24pm or by appointment


Required Supplies

·         College ruled, white loose-leaf paper

·         Pen (black or blue)

·         Highlighters in multiple colors

·         College ruled spiral notebook

·         Additional items may be required as projects are assigned.


Course Description

Students in this introductory college-level course read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of nonfiction prose selections, deepening their awareness of rhetoric and how language works. Through close reading and frequent writing, students develop their ability to work with language and text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy, while strengthening their own composing abilities. Students examine and work with essays, letters, speeches, images, and imaginative literature. Students frequently confer about their writing during formal and informal class discussions. Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Central course textbooks include:

·         Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)

·         Everything’s an Argument with Readings, 4th Edition (Andrea A. Lunsford)

·         The Bedford Reader, 9th Edition (X.J. Kennedy)

NOTE: By acknowledging this syllabus via email, you are permitting your teen to read the texts listed herein, as well as other reading selections as assigned. All texts have been reviewed/approved by the HHS Administration and many are listed on the AP College Board reading list. However, parents are encouraged to also review and research these and other titles as they are assigned. Then, if at any time you prefer an alternate text or reading assignment be created and provided for your teen, please email me directly at with your request.


Course reading and writing activities should help students gain textual power, making them more alert to an author’s purpose, the needs of an audience, the demands of the subject, and the resources of language: syntax, word choice, and tone. By early May of the school year, students will have nearly completed a course in close reading and purposeful writing. The critical skills that students learn to appreciate through close and continued analysis of a wide variety of nonfiction texts can serve them in their own writing as they grow increasingly aware of these skills and their pertinent uses. During the course, a wide variety of texts (prose and image based) and writing tasks provide the focus for an energetic study of language, rhetoric, and argument.

Students prepare for the AP® English Language and Composition Exam and may be granted advanced placement, college credit, or both as a result of satisfactory performance. As this is a college-level course, performance expectations are appropriately high, and the workload is challenging. Students are expected to commit to a minimum of five hours of course work per week outside of class. Often, this work involves long-term writing and reading assignments, so effective time management is important. Because of the demanding curriculum, students must bring to the course sufficient command of mechanical conventions and an ability to read and discuss prose.

The course is constructed in accordance with the guidelines described in the AP English Course Description and several, if not all, scoring components are addressed each quarter throughout the course. See the final page of this syllabus for a list of AP Language and Compositions scoring components.


Student thinking, writing, reading, listening, and speaking are at the center of class activity. Grading is viewed in this context. Student performance and progress, as evidenced by papers, in-class commitment, homework, and daily preparation is continually assessed.

Course products are regularly reviewed by the instructor and grades are updated weekly in the online Synergy gradebook. To access the Synergy gradebook, go to the HUSD website at and click on the Parents or Students tab at the top of the screen. Then scroll down and click on the ParentVue or StudentVue link.

The following letter-grade system will be used to grade student work:

100%-90%     A

89%-80%       B

79%-70%       C

69%-60%       D

Below 60        F

Student performance in connection with important course components contributes to each student’s final grade for the course in the following manner:

60% Assessments

20% Classwork/Homework

20% Final Exam


Extra Credit:

I do not offer extra credit assignments. If you are meeting the expectations, you will not need extra credit.


Upon completing the AP English Language and Composition course students should be able to:

·         Analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques

·         Apply effective strategies and techniques in their own writing

·         Create and sustain arguments based on readings, research and/or personal experience

·         Write for a variety of purposes

·         Produce expository, analytical and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary sources, cogent explanations and clear transitions

·         Demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writings

·         Move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing and review

·         Write thoughtfully about their own process of composition

·         Revise work to make it suitable for a different audience

·         Analyze image as text

·         Evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers


AP Exam Scores

The AP exam scores on the free-response questions are combined with the results of the computer-scores multiple-choice questions; the weighted raw scores are summed to give a composite score. The composite score is then converted to a score on AP’s 5-point scale. While colleges and universities are responsible for setting their own credit and placement policies, AP scores signify how qualified students are to receive college credit or placement:


AP Score



Extremely well qualified


Well qualified




Possibly qualified


No recommendation


AP Exam scores of 5 are equivalent to A grades in the corresponding college course. AP Exam scores of 4 are equivalent to grades of A-, B+ and B in college. AP Exam scores of 3 are equivalent to grades of B-, C+ and C in college.


Credit and Placement for AP Scores

Thousands of two- and four-year colleges and universities grant credit, placement or both for qualifying AP Exam scores because these scores represent a level of achievement equivalent to that of students who have taken the comparable college course. This college-level equivalency is ensured through several AP Program processes.


Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as intentionally using information from or property of another without permission in order to obtain an unfair advantage or receive a grade or score that was not legitimately earned. This includes copying information off of another student’s paper, copying and pasting or quoting/paraphrasing large amounts of information from outside sources (in excess of 20% in one assignment, even if properly cited), purchasing papers from the Internet and submitting them as one’s own, allowing others to complete one’s work, AND using one’s own final draft work previously submitted for a grade.

In the event of plagiarism or cheating of any kind, the minimum action to be taken includes a verbal warning, parent contact, and possible loss of credit. The maximum action to be taken includes 1-2 days in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension and possible loss of credit.


Mandatory After-School Tutoring (MAST) Policy

What is the policy? 
Every student, whether working in an on-level class, an AP/honors class, and/or under an Individual Education Plan or a 504 Plan, is expected to complete classwork and homework assignments on time*, to the best of his or her ability, and on a consistent basis so that the course grade remains above a C. If at any time a student's grade falls below a C as a result of missing work, the student will be assigned Mandatory After-School Tutoring (MAST) every Tuesday and Thursday until the grade is raised to a C or higher. 
 * "On time" refers to either the regularly scheduled due date or an extended due date per teacher-parent-student agreement or an adjusted due date per an IEP or 504 Plan. Students may not extend their own due dates, without approval from the teacher, at any time. 

How do I know if I have MAST?
It is each student's responsibility to remain aware of his or her course grade by checking StudentVue on a weekly, if not daily, basis. When students are assigned MAST, an email will be sent home by Monday at 3 p.m. to alert parents and I will try to remind students, as well, but students will not necessarily be contacted directly. Even without being reminded, students with Ds and Fs will be expected to show up on time for MAST on Tuesday and Thursday.

When and where is MAST?
MAST is held in Mrs. Pierce’s room every Tuesday and Thursday after school, from 2:15 to 2:45. Students who are late will not be allowed to enter. Students who leave early will be rescheduled to serve the entire session the following week. Students must come to MAST prepared with all the resources, assignment directions, etc. that they need to work on upcoming assignments with Mrs. Pierce. Music players, cell phones, tablets, etc. are not permitted.

What if I miss MAST?
If a student misses a scheduled MAST session, s/he will automatically be assigned an additional session during the following week to make up for the missed session. If a student misses three scheduled MAST sessions (consecutively or not), s/he will be referred to the principal or an assistant principal for disciplinary action and s/he may be assigned in Saturday school or suspension, at the principal's or assistant principal's discretion.

Late Work Policy

No late work will be accepted for any reason without written permission from Mrs. Pierce OR an excused absence from administration. For any assignment not submitted by the original deadline or an approved extended deadline, a zero will be posted in the grade book and the student will not be provided any recourse to remove the score. This policy applies to ALL course work including, but not limited to, the following: in-class activities, homework practice activities, formal essays, timed writes, projects, presentations, formative assessments, weekly quizzes, unit tests, etc. 

Students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are strongly encouraged to follow the policies outlined herein. However, if an IEP specifically allows for extra time on assignments, the student may automatically extend a due date upon conference with Mrs. Pierce, either verbally or in writing.

If you have a conflicting issue with an assignment, please talk to me BEFORE it is due! It is unacceptable to come to class unprepared.

Zeros are unacceptable.

*See the teacher page listed above, under Teacher Contact Information, for information about due date extension requests.


Make-Up Work Policy

In the event of an excused absence, an assignment due date will be extended equal to the number of days the student was excused. Make-up work will be accepted for full credit up to the new due date and IF it is submitted correctly, with a short note (on a separate sheet of paper) attached to the top of the late assignment indicating the specific dates and days the student was excused. It is the student’s responsibility to find out what s/he missed while absent by checking the class calendar on the teacher page and conferring with peers AND to calculate new due dates correctly and to ensure work is submitted properly, according to these guidelines.


Tardy Policy

Students must be in their seats when the bell rings. If a student arrives to class late, they will be required to sign in. Upon the third tardy, students will be assigned after school detention with the teacher. Upon the fourth tardy, students will be referred to administration and s/he may be assigned in Saturday school or suspension, at the principal's or assistant principal's discretion.


Attendance Policy

An absence is defined as a student's non-attendance in the student's assigned classroom during an assigned period. The difference between an excused absence and an unexcused absence is parents have followed procedures to excuse a student by calling the attendance line. However, the accumulation of excused and unexcused occurrences will result in potential consequences. ALL absences accrue towards the limit of 10 per semester. Higley Unified School District has implemented a limit of ten absences per semester. If the student acquires ten or more absences during a semester, the student will lose credit in those classes. To earn credit while auditing a class, the student must submit an appeal to administration, attend all classes after the appeal is presented, and pass the semester final exam with a minimum of 75%. Subsequent appeals can be appealed to the School Board.


Classroom Expectations

Students are expected to adhere to all guidelines outlined in the HUSD Student Code of Conduct, including (but not limited to) the following:

·         No food, drink, or gum is allowed in classrooms (no gum allowed on campus).

·         No hats are allowed in classrooms.

·         Students are expected to come to class prepared every day with the materials listed above and all homework and reading assignments completed.

·         At any time, if your cell phone is visible or heard it will be confiscated per the HHS policy and stored in the bookstore until after school (see your student handbook). Ipods in class are a “no” unless I specifically say, “yes.” There is a time and place for them.

·         Students must be in their assigned seats when the beginning bell rings and must remain on task until dismissed by the instructor at the closing bell.

·         Hall passes will not be permitted except in cases of emergency or school-related business and all students must sign out and back in to the classroom. Out of courtesy, please do not ask to leave while I am addressing the group as a whole. You will not be allowed to use the restroom in the first or last 10 minutes of class – use your passing periods. 


Discipline Policy

Failure to adhere to any of the guidelines outlined in the HUSD Student Code of Conduct and/or the expectations listed above are subject to the following disciplinary actions.

·         First Offense: Student-teacher conference (possible parent communication)

·         Second Offense: Parent contact

·         Third Offense: After school detention

·         Fourth Offense: Parent conference (may involve counselor/administrator)

·         Fifth Offense: Referral to administration

Note that more serious offenses may result in immediate ASD, parent conference, and/or referral to administration.


Diversity Policy

All individuals have a right to an educational environment free from bias, prejudice and bigotry. As members of the Higley High School educational community, students are expected to refrain from participating in acts of harassment that are designed to demean another student’s race, gender, ethnicity, religious preference, disability or sexual orientation.  Students will send submission copies of papers to the website.  Submission copies are due by 11:59 p.m. on the day prior to the due date.  The writer of any paper with a significant match to one or more sources without proper documentation is subject to disciplinary action.  Students are expected to follow the tutorial for the website within the first few days of class, establishing their passwords and profiles.


Classroom Activities

See the final page of this syllabus for a list of AP Language and Compositions scoring components [noted in brackets below].

Daily Writing Practice [SC3]: Daily activities focus on honing various writing skills, including imitation exercises, anecdotal writing, grammar and usage strategies, using academic voice in writing, and creating tone through word choices and syntax. Students will also analyze how graphics and visual images both relate to written texts and serve as alternative forms of text themselves.

Vocabulary Assessments [SC3, SC12]: Students study rhetorical device terms in relation to rhetorical strategies used in writing through close reading activities and imitation writing exercises. In addition, students study vocabulary word lists from course readings, outside research, class discussions, and personal discovery. Biweekly tests are used to assess students’ ability to recognize word meanings in context and their ability to use new vocabulary effectively in written communications.

Socratic Seminars [SC4, SC9, SC11]: Students discuss current events (public policies, popular culture, personal experiences) with peers, using independent research of published political writing, essays, journalism and higher order thinking questions. Students are assessed on effective use of primary and secondary sources to support ideas expressed in prewriting, as well as during discussion.

Book Studies [SC3, SC5, SC7]: Students engage in at least one book study per quarter, based on a non-fiction text selected from the AP College Board reading list. Students analyze and evaluate text through close reading and annotation, small-group discussion, in-class written response, and formal essays.

Timed Writes [SC5, SC7]: Students write in several forms (expository, analytical and argumentative) in response to pre and Post-20th Century nonfiction readings (e.g., essays, journalism, political writing, science writing, nature writing, autobiographies/biographies, diaries, history, and criticism). Students use timed writes to identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques.

Writing Process [SC12, SC13, SC14, SC15, SC16]: Students conduct peer reviews and self-reflections on most timed writes and formal essays that proceed through several stages or drafts, in addition to submitting work for instructor review and feedback that help the students develop these skills:

·         A wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively

·         A variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination

·         Logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence, such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis

·         A balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail

·         An effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure

Formal Essays [SC1, SC2, SC4, SC12, SC13, SC14, SC15, SC16]: Students compose essays using different rhetorical modes (e.g., description, compare/contrast, cause-effect, analytical, persuasive and synthesis). Students submit several drafts for feedback from peers and the instructor and revise writing based on that feedback. Final drafts are assessed for effective use of rhetoric, a wide range of vocabulary, logical and coherent organization, balanced and illustrative discussion, and correct grammar and usage. Students utilize research to evaluate, use, and cite sources using a recognized editorial style (e.g., Modern Language Association, The Chicago Manual of Style, etc.).

Final Exam [SC5, SC7]: At the end of the each quarter, students take a 40-minute exam featuring one AP free-response question from a released exam, focusing on prose analysis and rhetoric. At the end of the second quarter and first semester, students take an 80-minute exam featuring two AP free-response questions from released exams – one focusing on prose analysis and rhetoric, the other on argument. At the end of the fourth quarter and second semester, students either take the actual AP Language & Composition exam or a mock AP Language & Composition exam featuring three AP free-response questions from released exams – one focusing on prose analysis and rhetoric, one on argument, and one on synthesis – and 54 multiple-choice questions.


Scope & Sequence Overview

First Quarter

Course Orientation, Introduction to Close Reading, and Rhetorical Awareness: Students are exposed to various rhetorical modes of writing. Reading activities focus on Post 20th-Century non-fiction and learning activities are designed to help students draw on texts from different cultural and historical milieus in order to increase familiarity with various rhetorical modes. Reading selections are used as a foundation for formal and informal written responses, as well as a basis for classroom discussion. Students will also experiment with various patterns of development in their own writing.

Week 1- Aug. 4-8

Close vs. Active Reading

Intro to Rhetoric


Week 2- Aug. 11-15



Week 3- Aug. 18-22

Boxman by Barbara Ascher

Annotate Essay

Map MC Questions

Audience Analysis

Connotation Assignment

Into the Wild ch. 1-2


Week 4- Aug. 25-29

Into The Wild CH: 5-8

Letter from Birmingham Jail Analysis

Periodic Structure

Citizenship Global Discussion


Week 5- Sept. 1-5

Into the Wild Ch.  13-16

Code Switching

Rhetorical Analysis- Sojourner Truth and Abigail Adams

Women’s Rights Global Citizenship Discussion


Week 6- Sept. 8-12

Into the Wild CH 17-18

Rhetorical Analysis- Anna Quindlen’s “Homeless”

Citizenship Global Discussion


Week  7- Sept. 15- 19

Complete Into the Wild

Tone Microanalysis

Benchmark Rewrite

Cannons of Rhetoric

Abstract Concept Essay

The Nature and Importance of Liberty Global Awareness Discussion


Week 8- Sept. 22-26

Using medical jargon to describe art

Narrative Workshop

Timed Write- Last Child in the Woods

MC Analysis- Last Child in the Woods

Take Home MC Due- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Take Home Analysis Writing Due- “Indispensable Opposition” by Walter Lippman

Analysis Prompt Scoring


Week 9- Sept. 29- Oct. 3

Thesis Practice

How to write a 5 or 6

On Being a Cripple by Nancy Mairs Timed Write

Naylor “A Word’s Meaning Can Often Depend on Who Says It” MC

Disabilities Global Awareness Discussion

Take Home MC Due- On Heroes, Heroic Worship, and the Heroic in History

Take Home Analysis Writing Due- Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World” by Scott Russell


Second Quarter

Deepening Appreciation of Rhetorical Strategies and Intimations of Argument: Students encounter numerous arguments through a variety of rhetorical modes. Activities are designed to help students utilize rhetorical devices to establish credibility (ethos), appeal to emotions (pathos), and arrange and support ideas (logos) in their own writing. Classroom activities focus on non-fiction selections and online news sources as a basis for written and oral discussion.

Week 11 Oct. 13- 17

Q1 District Writing Assignment

Rhetorical Strategies-Jigsaw

Rhetorical Strategies Presentation and MC

Environmentalists Timed Write

Take Home MC Due- “Of the Pathetic Fallacy”

Take Home Comparison Writing Due- “Coca Cola Letters” by Ira C. Herbert and Richard Seaver


Week 12 Oct. 20-24

Compare/Contrast Revisions

Outliers  by Malcolm Gladwell Argument Analysis Activity

Argument v Persuasion

Argument Writing Prompt (Lord Chesterfield)

Take Home MC- “Of Marriage and Single Life”

Take Home Comparison Essay- “1960’s American Society Passages A &B”

Opportunity Global Citizenship Discussion


Week 13 Oct. 27-31

Argument Body Paragraphs

Outliers Argument Analysis Activity

Argument Conclusion

Take Home MC- “On the Origin of the Species”

Take Home Argument- “Humor” by Alain de Botton

Value Priorities

Global Citizenship Discussion


Week 14- Nov. 3- 7

Complete Value Priorities Discussion

Outlier’s analysis and connection to Outliers CH 7

Multiple Choice- Jefferson on George Washington

Argument Writing-Controversy

Take Home MC – “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”

Take Home Analysis Essay- “The Future of Life” by Edward O. Wilson


Week 15 Nov. 10-14

Controversy Revision

Outliers Activity

Multiple Choice- Nathaniel Hawthorne on Abraham Lincoln

Take Home MC- “Utopia”

Take Home Argument- “Ownership”

Outliers Discussion- Ch. 7 and culturalism


Week 16 Nov. 17- 21

Argument Writing- Peer Review Take Home Arguments and revise

Voice Lessons Activity

Research Plan

Take Home MC- “A Modest Proposal”

Take Home Argument “Certainty and Doubt”


Week 17 Nov. 24- 28

Write a 9

Share 9’s



Week 18 Dec. 1-5

ENG 101 Research Activities- Gathering and Sources

“Why They Hate Us” from Everything’s an Argument

Faulty Reasoning

Persuasion/ Magna Soles

Take Home MC- “Civil Disobedience”

Take Home Analysis- “On the Want of Money” by William Hazlitt


Week 19 Dec. 8-12

Annotated Bibliography Due

Multiple Choice (c-129)- “I am a Woman”

Create Reductions to Absurdity

Persuasion Prompt - Cat Veto

Presentation Plan

Take Home MC- “The Souls of Black Folk”

Take Home Argument- “Rights of Man” Thomas Paine


Week 20 Dec. 15- 19

Final Presentation

Presentations Began

Final Timed Write

Finals 1991 MC


Third Quarter

Understanding and Developing Argument and the Synthesis Essay: Students continue to practice rhetorical analysis and argument techniques, with an increased focus on synthesis. Activities are designed to help students evaluate visual arguments, research data, make logical inferences, and produce written discussions using primary and secondary sources. Classroom activities focus on non-fiction selections and online news sources as a basis for written and oral discussion.

Week 21 Jan. 5-9

Welcome Back

Analysis Review- Laying the Foundation

Continue Analysis Review

Barry “The Great Influenza” Thesis/MC and AP Course Descriptions


Week 22 Jan. 12- 16

Intro to Visual Analysis- Laying the Foundation

Take Home MC- “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”


Week 23 Jan. 19- 23

Intro to Synthesis

Socratic Seminar Prep- Everything’s an Argument Ch. 21 “Who’s the Fairest of the All?”

Take Home MC- “The Approaching Conflict”


Week 24 Jan. 26- 30

Socratic Seminar Prep- Everything’s an Argument ch. 22 “How Does the Media Stereotype You?”

Take Home MC- “The Function of Criticism at the Current Time”

Outline Synthesis prompt- Media and Presidential Elections


Week 25 Feb. 2- 6

AP Penny Syntheses- Penny Essay Prompt

Complete Group Essay- Penny Essay, Step by Step Guide(synthesis)

Norm Synthesis Grading- Sample Essays and Scoring Guide

“Make it Fabulous”

Socratic Seminar- Politics and Sports


Week 26 Feb. 9-13

Modes of Writing Review

AzMerit Intro

Fabulous and Modes Completion

Review Cards- World Views- Ap Crash Course ch. 14


Week 27 Feb. 16-20

AzMerit and AP MC- AP Multiple Choice 5

Synthesis- Memorials- Synthesis prompt-pgs 2-9

Synthesis Grading and Review- Research Step 1

ENG 102 Research- in lab with CGCC Librarian


Week 28 Feb. 23- 27

Intro to Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation Research in Lab

2012 USPS Synthesis- 2012 USPS Syllabus

                                                  2012 USPS Syntheses Sample Responses

Fast Food Nation Research


Week 29 March 2- 6

Computer Lab- Fast Food Nation

Multiple Choice Practice AzMERIT MC Handouts

Fast Food Nation Presentations

Socratic Seminar


Fourth Quarter

Preparation for AP Exam and Understanding Historical Rhetoric of Pre 20th-Century: Students continue working with nonfiction, with a focus on Pre 20th-Century non-fiction, as a foundation for formal and informal written responses, as well as a basis for classroom discussion. Activities are designed to help students perfect test-taking skills and techniques, in preparation for the AP Language and Composition Exam. After the AP Language and Composition Exam, which is administered in early May, students work with a selection of American literature. They also complete their college application essay at this time. Most students choose to complete the personal statement from the Common Application, which is available online (

Week 30 March 16- 20

Begin Q3 Synthesis

Final Review and Goal Setting

Q3 Synthesis

Library Research


Week 31 March 23- 27

Focused MC Question Analysis

Synthesis Test

Main Idea Focused Practice

Weary Blues Analysis


Week 32 March 30- April 3

Take Home MC- “Diary of Samuel Pepys”


Week 33 April 6- 10

Spring research paper due

Take Home MC- “Women and Labour”

Socratic Seminar Prep- Everything’s an Argument ch. 26 “What Role Should Religion Play in Public Life?”


Week 34 April 13- 17

Socratic Seminar Prep- Everything’s an Argument ch. 27 “What Should ‘Diversity on Campus’ Mean?”


Week 35 April 20- 24

AP practice test

Take Home MC- “The Tatler”


Week 36 April 27- May 1

ACT test

Note cards- rhetorical strategies review


Week 37 May 4- May 8

Note cards- rhetorical strategies review

Circle map review

Strategies mc


Week 38 May 11- 15

AP Lang. test

Intro ignite phoenix present


Week 39 May 18- 22

In class essay










Syllabus Acknowledgment Required ASAP


Syllabus Acknowledgement





Scoring Components



The course requires students to write in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) about a variety of subjects (e.g., public policies, popular culture, personal experiences).

1, 4


The course requires students to write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts with the revision incorporating, as appropriate, feedback from teachers and peers.



The course requires students to write in informal contexts (e.g., imitation exercises, journal keeping, collaborative writing, and in-class responses) designed to help them become increasingly aware of themselves as writers and/or aware of the techniques employed by the writers they read.

1, 2, 3, 4


The course requires students to produce one or more expository writing assignments. Topics should be based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres and might include such topics as public policies, popular culture, and personal experiences.

1, 2


The course requires students to produce one or more analytical writing assignments. Topics should be based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres and might include such topics as public policies, popular culture, and personal experiences.

1, 4


The course requires students to produce one or more argumentative writing assignments. Topics should be based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres and might include such topics as public policies, popular culture, and personal experiences.

2, 3, 4


The course requires nonfiction readings (e.g., essays, journalism, political writing, science writing, nature writing, autobiographies/biographies, diaries, history, criticism) that are selected to give students opportunities to explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies or techniques. If fiction and poetry are also assigned, their main purpose should be to help students understand how various effects are achieved by writers’ linguistic and rhetorical choices.

1, 4


The course requires students to analyze how visual images relate to written texts and/or how visual images serve as alternative forms of texts.

3, 4


The course requires students to demonstrate research skills and, in particular, the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources.

1, 2, 3, 4


The course requires students to produce one or more projects such as the researched argument paper, which goes beyond the parameters of a traditional research paper by asking students to present an argument of their own that includes the synthesis of ideas from an array of sources.

2, 3


Students will cite sources using a recognized editorial style (e.g., Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, American Psychological Association (APA), etc.).

1, 2, 3, 4


The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students’ writing assignments, both before and after the students revise their work that help the students develop a wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately.

1, 2, 3, 4


The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students’ writing assignments both before and after the students revise their work that help the students develop a variety of sentence structures.

1, 2, 3, 4


The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students’ writing assignments, both before and after the students revise their work that help the students develop logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence. Such techniques may include traditional rhetorical structures, graphic organizers, and work on repetition, transitions, and emphasis.

1, 2, 3, 4



The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students’ writing assignments both before and after they revise their work that help the students develop a balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail.

1, 2, 3, 4


The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students’ writing assignments both before and after they revise their work that help the students establish an effective use of rhetoric including controlling tone and a voice appropriate to the writer’s audience.

1, 2, 3, 4






























The Onion’s satirical article, “Revolutionary New Insoles Combine Five Forms Of Pseudoscience”, uses several rhetorical devices to campaign its innovative, revolutionary product: MagnaSoles shoe inserts. Using the fictional MagnaSoles as a model, the article humorously mocks the strategies used by companies to market products to attract its susceptible customers. Using an exaggerated or sarcastic tone throughout, it gives the read a true taste of the tactics used in today’s prevalent advertising. The passage quotes doctors in the field of pseudoscience and uses fabricated scientific jargon as an appeal to authority, it’s main rhetorical device.  Together, these rhetorical devices are used together with ethos and logos to give a hyperbolized version of a modern advertisement.

Throughout the article, questionable “pseudoscientist” are quoted about their new, groundbreaking product. The article quotes expert “biotrician”, Dr. Frankel, who discovered “a brand-new, cutting-edge form of pseudoscience known as Terranometry”. The scientist, with questionable ethos, uses fictional and “scientific-sounding “ words including of “kilofrankels”, and “comfortrons” when describing the effects of the MagnaSoles. The words contain parts of recognizable scientific terms today, showing how far advertisers will go to sell their products. The use of these words stresses the way that customers are easily manipulated by intelligent-sounding words when said by someone who claims to be an expert, without questioning the experts ethos.

The passage challenges logos when it continues with more absurd scientific ideas It goes on to talks about the “healing power of crystals to re-stimulate dead foot cells with vibrational biofeedback… a process similar to that by which medicine makes people better.” Not only are crystals not a real form of medicine, but also dead cells cannot be brought back to life.  A happy customer is pleased after her sprained ankle healed within “seven weeks” not only would the insoles not hat have had anything to do with the healing, they could have been detrimental as a sprained ankle usually takes less that seven weeks to heal. The credibility of the customer is also challengeable because MagnaSoles were released “less than a week ago”. The article ends with another “equally impressed” customer who is happy to say, “Why should I pay thousands of dollars to have my spine realigned with physical therapy when I can pay $20 for insoles clearly endorsed by an intelligent-looking man in a white lab coat?” This, possibly sarcastic, remark demonstrates that not only is the customer unaware of who is endorsing the MagnaSoles, he claims that he chose them over a proven medical treatment. The testimonials not only prove how outrageous the purchaser feedback in advertisements can be, but how embarrassingly naïve people are when buying products.

The Onion’s article effectively attacks the ethos used by companies by demonstrating how far advertisers will go to convince people into buying their dubious products. With its use of manipulative, “scientific-sounding” terminology and logos, “MagnaSoles” successfully imitates a real article used to advertise a product while continuing its satirical humor throughout. MagnaSoles goes from appearing slightly questionable to completely nonsensical. Few people, if any, who read the entire article, would truly consider ordering a pair.


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