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AP English Language synthesis essay analogies for the process

AP Language Synthesis Review Tips

If you’re in AP Lang exam review mode, you probably plan to spend the least amount of time dealing specifically with Question 1. Why do I think that? It may have been the last free response type you taught, so it’s fresh on students’ minds. It involves argument and documentation,…
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The Big Picture of AP Lang Argumentation Review

When reviewing for the AP Lang exam, we may need to review argumentation on these four levels: Analysis of an argument (reading within the multiple choice section) Analysis of the rhetoric of an argument (a possibility for Question 2 of the free response section) Written development of an argument (Question…
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teenagers editing for sentence fragments

The 7 Types of Sentence Fragments

Because grammar has boundaries and rules, teaching it is actually a reprieve from the subjectivity of analysis. I’m fully aware (and teach) that language is a fluid, constantly evolving thing and that the rules themselves have their own cozy little home in classism, racism, and misogyny; but sometimes, a sentence…
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AP English Language multiple choice

How to Explain Question Stems to Students

Let’s talk about closets. AP English Language teachers know that I love a good metaphor, and I throw them around willy nilly when it comes to multiple choice. Rods and Hangers In my small bedroom closet, I have one four-foot rod. I’m a clothing minimalist (mostly because no one sees…
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How to Practice AP Lang MC Remotely

As part of my AP Lang multiple choice series, I’d like to dive deep on just ONE synchronous strategy in this post. For this one, we’re looking at team competitions for practice. Remove the Incentive to Cheat on AP Lang Multiple Choice Rather than require a sudden moral evolution of…
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How to Outsmart the AP Multiple Choice Distractors

“Foils bought my house.” A friend whose husband writes standardized social studies tests said that line to me over lunch one day. Between expensive mouthfuls, she explained that anyone who is really good at writing THE foil answer choice can write his or her own ticket. Apparently, they are VERY…
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AP English Language multiple choice

5 Tips for AP Language Multiple Choice Prep

AP English Language multiple choice test prep can be miserable, but you can spread out the misery or even eliminate it. Because I am a nerd, I actually LIKE getting students ready for the multiple choice section of the AP exam. The clean-cut nature of time management and test-taking strategies…
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EXHAUSTED ENGLISH TEACHER ASLEEP AT DESK

When it is time to leave teaching?

I have a ceramic sign hanging in my home office, and it reads, “Leap and the net will appear.” My mom gave it to me when I left my second school. I had already leapt, and she wanted to assure me that a net was down there because I wasn’t…
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rhetorical analysis in AP English Language

Why Start with Rhetorical Analysis?

Whether school is on a traditional year-long schedule, a 4×4 block, or a modified block with A days and B days, there is a case to be made for starting with rhetorical analysis. Reason #1: Rhetorical analysis is the foundation of everything we do in AP Lang. On Day 1…
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SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS FOR RHETORICAL ANALYSIS

How to Spiral Rhetorical Analysis

What is spiraling? The concept of spiraling clicked for me when I was a curriculum specialist. (For three years, I came off the front lines and served as Secondary Writing Curriculum Specialist for a large district in North Carolina. I served the ELA teachers at 47 middle and high schools…
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BOY THINKING OF EVIDENCE FOR RHETORICAL ANALYSIS

4 Ways to Improve Evidence in Rhetorical Analysis

Call it a concrete detail, evidence, support, or proof. What defends a debatable idea is REAL, TRUE, FACTUAL, and APART from debate. If the topic sentence defends the thesis, and the concrete detail is strong, commentary will be (almost) a breeze. If the concrete detail is weak, irrelevant, general, or…
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templates and graphic organizers for rhetorical analysis in AP English Language and Composition

The Beauty and Dangers of Formulaic Rhetorical Analysis

Mrs. Stewart, my high school AP Lit teacher, passed recently, and I grieved. That woman taught me how to write; she reined in my verbosity (though some of you might disagree) and got me to calm down and get to the point. She did it with a formula, THE five-paragraph…
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