AP Lang Exam Prep

UPDATE 8:26 p.m.

I wanted to get this note up earlier today, but we were so busy during the District Tech meeting that I didn’t get a chance.

In addition to the tips below, I also just want to say that all of you will do great! Just remember how far you’ve come this year in terms of your analysis and writing skills. Don’t be afraid to showcase the voice you’ve developed all year long. Be funny, smart, personal, formal, brave. All of of you have tremendous reservoirs of knowledge in those noggins of yours. Tonight, review your notebook to keep all that knowledge fresh for tomorrow’s exam, especially for the open argument.

Remember, that you can go CFC or Classical for your organizational approach for the arguments (open and synthesis). For the Classical mode (similar to a 5-paragraph essay), use an open thesis, 2-3 body paragraphs, and don’t forget a concession to show the reader how reasonable you are. For the rhetorical analysis, you can either follow the passage and chunk each section, or if you see three major patterns or categories at work in the text, organize your paragraphs in that way instead.

Take a deep breath, get a good night’s sleep, come in for some breakfast munchies, and get pumped!  And with that, a classic pump up song from my era:


  • Review the “tips” sheets you received in class this last week.
  • Review many of previous years’ exam essays and responses on the official College Board AP Lang Student Site.
  • Practice! This is a skills-based exam, so the more comfortable and adept you are at answering the prompts, the better off you’ll be.
  • Review the tips on multiple choice here.
  • Submit your pump-up song (on the blog).
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Come early on Wednesday to drop off your bags and share some sustenance with your fellow AP Lang’ers. Doors open in room 290 at 6:45.

Extra Credit: NY Times Student Editorial Contest

For extra credit, participate in this year’s New York Times Student Editorial Contest. The contest invites students ages 13-19 to write about an issue they care deeply about in 450 words or less. You can find all the rules of the contest by going directly to the website. After you’ve looked through the contest details, earn extra credit by: 1) showing me a rough draft to get some feedback, 2) submitting to the contest and printing out the email confirmation from the New York Times.

The contest deadline is March 29. Please show me a rough draft well before then in order to maximize the time you will have to revise.

Get “Editorial”

Today, consider what you’ve learned in Chapter 3 about argument—claims (open and closed), types of evidence, logical fallacies, inductive v. deductive reasoning, and the Toulmin model. Apply your new understanding of argument by evaluating the editorials of leading publications. Although you may choose to read editorials from any major publication, I highly suggest looking at The New York Times (especially since the school has an on-campus subscription—as long as you are on the TESD network, you may view as many NY Times articles you like).

Read at least two editorials; look, in particular, at the regular NY Times columnists, some of whom are liberal and others who are conservative. Then use the handout distributed in class to take notes.

Due Thursday.

Week of 3/4-3/11

Come back throughout the week for updates. (And while you’re here—and if you’re looking for another way to procrastinate—check out Time Magazine’s list of the “25 Worst (We Mean Best) Infomercials.”)


  • HW: Read / Take notes on pp. 111-125 in text book. Read / Annotate “Magnasoles” AP Prompt (click here for a copy).


  • HW: Read / Take notes on pp. 125-131 in textbook. Complete activity on page 128.


  • In-class: Review activity on page 128. Editorial analyses.
  • HW: Finish editorial analyses; work on finding source for research (due Friday). Weekly Blog Challenge posted online for Week of 3/8-3/14.


  • In-class: Brainstorm editorial topics. Review types of organization (classical, rogerian, “commonplace”).
  • HW: First source for anthology due Friday. Period 4 WBC blog post due Thursday night.


  • In-class: Review editorials, organizational methods
  • HW: First source for anthology due tomorrow. Period 4 WBC blog post due tonight.

FRIDAY, 3/11

  • In-class: Organization Continue “Letter to Birmingham Jail”
  • HW: Period 1 WBC blog post due Monday night. Read “Letter to Birmingham Jail” in textbook. Outline King’s argument in notebook – Due Wednesday, 3/16.