Reading is an important component to any writing class. You will be required to submit evidence of brief, weekly independent reading. Since this reading is independent, the choice of topic is yours. Read widely to explore a range of topics.
The goal of this assignment is to become exposed to as much high quality longform essay writing as possible. Read in a variety of publications or examine the writing styles of a single publication. Read one writer or a different writer each week. Note that the culminating project of this course is a research essay on a topic of your choice; use your weekly independent reading as a way to explore topics that interest you.
Expect to share what you have read with the class.
Find a piece of writing from a respected publication from the list below. Find feature-length, longform essays. These are generally longer articles or journalistic works (1000+ words), often originally published in the print edition of the magazine and then republished digitally. No blog posts (if you are unsure about what a “blog” post looks like, ask first). If a publication has a “magazine” tab, look there. Better yet, check out the great magazine display in the library (which is conveniently located next to the copy machine!).
- Print or photocopy your article if it is not your own
- Two words on printing: Save paper. Copy/paste into Word Online or Google Docs. Make the font smaller, single space the document, and increase the margins so you can annotate).
- Annotate the article for style and content.
- Observe diction, syntax, rhetorical strategies, selection of detail. Be sure to comment on what the author is doing (what effect do certain words or passages have? what does it make the reader think about? why?).
- Record your responses and questions in the margins. Make connections to other readings and things you have learned or heard about.
- You may annotate either directly on the article or on a separate sheet of paper. Consult Chapter 2 of our textbook for ways of analyzing a text. If you don’t annotate, use a dialectical journal or graphic organizer.
- For WARs #1-6 . . . Type up a SOAPSToneS analysis for each WAR. Be thorough. When you analyze the “occasion,” you may need to do some additional research to determine why a piece was published. Consult Chapter 1 of your textbook as needed.
- For WARs #7+ . . . Summarize and analyze your article by completing a Graff Template.
Turn in your weekly reading every Monday. First annotated reading is DUE MONDAY,
RECOMMENDED, APPROVED SOURCES
The following publications should provide you with plenty of interesting articles and essays to read. If you find a compelling article from an alternate publication, run it by me first.
For your convenience, hyperlinks provided below.
- The Atlantic
- The Economist (print edition)
- Fast Company > Features
- Forbes > Featured
- Good.Is > Features
- Grantland.com > Features
- Harper’s Magazine (not Harper’s Bazaar)
- Longform.org – A fantastic site that curates the best longform essays from around the web. Any article or essay published on longform.org is permitted, even if the the original source is not on this list.
- Longreads.com – Similar to Longform
- National Geographic Magazine
- New York Magazine > The Magazine
- New York Times Magazine
- New Yorker Magazine
- Newsweek > This Week’s Edition
- Scientific American Magazine
- Smithsonian Magazine
- Time Magazine
- Vanity Fair Magazine
Please note that Op-Eds are not permitted at this time. We we will be doing a separate opinion writing unit later this year. Feel free, however, to read reviews―film, music, book, etc.
Note: If you hit a paywall while looking at articles, take note of the title, author, and publication. Then search using the Stoga databases (try Ebsco or ProQuest). Chances are, you’ll be able to retrieve the article through the school’s subscriptions.
For examples and ideas for the types of reading you’ll want to do for your WARs, check out our AP Lang Diigo Group Page. I’ll be posting essays, articles, and other readings worth sharing to this group page throughout the year. (You are not required to use what I share, but you may find it helpful to see different types of recommended readings.)
NOTE: You must join the group first before viewing articles.
- Request to join by clicking the link on the group page.
- Set up a Diigo account.
- Once you have set up your account, edit your profile. Set your privacy settings to the most private settings possible. See below.