AP English Language & Composition Summer Assignment 2016-2017 In order to prepare for AP Language and Composition, you will need to continue practicing your critical reading and writing skills throughout the summer. You will have one major assignment to complete for class and some vocabulary to learn for the start of the year. Hopefully you will also do some reading and writing of choice as well.
If you have questions over the summer about the course, your books, or the assignments, check out either of the course websites: www.aplangbricker.blogspot.com or www.aplangclark.blogspot.com. There you’ll find all kinds of resources AND your summer assignment posted. Add it to your favorites now as it will be an integral part of our class next year. Please read this document thoroughly and email either Mrs. Amy Bricker or Mrs. Laura Clark if you have any questions. Obtain your summer assignment books immediately, as you may have difficulty finding them at the last minute. Email one of the AP teachers by July 1, 2016 if you cannot purchase or find the books. [email protected] or [email protected] Plagiarism: The school’s plagiarism policy will be applied to any plagiarism for the summer assignment. You will not receive credit for plagiarism because you did not do the work. Furthermore, you may not make up the assignment. You may not use SparkNotes, Cliffsnotes, or any other materials to replace reading the actual book. This also means you may not use information from these websites for your paper (i.e. direct quotes or paraphrasing). You may not use materials from another student. Do not work collaboratively on this assignment.
1. 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology, 2nd or 3rd edition by Samuel Cohen This text is an anthology of essays that we will use throughout the school year. Although it is available at local bookstores, we suggest that you order a used copy online for about $10-15 or buy one from a former AP student.
2. A memoir from the list attached
1. Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynn Truss This text is meant to help you understand grammar rules that will help you in your writing and analysis. Pace yourself as you go; this is not a text that is recommended to be read quickly or in one sitting.
Assignment #1: Choose one of the memoirs from the list attached, and critically and closely read the text. Keep in mind that your author, in some way, shape, or form, is creating an argument here. Your job is not to agree or disagree with him/her necessarily, but as a student of language and composition, you should critique his/her argument. Read closely to determine what the argument is, how the author constructs it, and the strategies he/she uses in order to persuade his reader to believe it.
You need to TYPE a two-paragraph summary of the author’s main idea/argument in chapter 1. You need to TYPE a two-paragraph summary of the author’s main idea/argument in chapter 2. You need to choose one quote/passage from each of the subsequent chapters (chapters 3-the end). The quotes you choose should focus on the main ideas of the chapters. These should be the passages that capture the essence – the true meaning – of the text. Each quote also needs to be accompanied by a TYPED paragraph response. In each paragraph you need to: o explain how the passage "fits" into the chapter. o discuss the importance of the passage to the chapter’s main argument. o react to the passage as a reader. Make me understand WHY you have selected this passage. Considering that some of these books have multiple short chapters and to be fair to all students, we require that a minimum of 20 quotes be completed (for chapters 3-end). For example, if your book has 40 short chapters, then combine a few chapters to complete 20 quotes.
To generate responses, you can consider the following: o o o
o o o o o o
Why does the passage impress, intrigue, horrify, or puzzle you? Do you find the author’s use of language appealing or powerful? Does the passage jump off the page as a great descriptive passage? Does it prompt a strong response from you as you read it? Does it present itself as so well-crafted that you just love the sound of it? Is the language beautiful, descriptive, graphic? Is it particularly meaningful? Do you find yourself in agreement/disagreement with the ideas expressed? Does the passage remind you of a situation you have lived as well? Does the passage make you laugh out loud? Melancholy? Something else? Does the author raise intriguing questions or issues? Does the passage challenge or expand your thinking?
You are not limited to the above list, and I do not expect you to answer all of the above. Your responses to the passages should clearly explain to me WHY these passages mean something to you, WHY these passages caught your attention, and HOW these passages illustrate the author’s ideas. See next page for example quotations and response. 2
Passage taken from “A Plague of Tics” from Naked by David Sedaris
In this passage, Sedaris depicts a humiliating yet typical moment in his educational experience as a young child. The passage is humorous and also a bit melancholy. Miss Chestnut clearly does not understand that her usual tactics will not work under these circumstances. She uses sarcasm to convey her displeasure with his behavior and also addresses herself in the third person. Neither of these methods will get through to someone as sick as Sedaris who is not in control of his actions. While the situation is humorous because we can imagine Miss Chestnut’s frustration and confusion, it is also sad because no child would want to be chastised by an authority figure. Most likely Miss Chestnut has not been trained to handle a child with these special needs. It is unclear yet whether she will be a sympathetic figure in Sedaris’ life. Sedaris highlights the ignorance of OCD in the education system during this period in history.
According to her calculations, I had left my chair twenty-eight times that day. “You’re up and down like a flea. I turn my back for two minutes and there you are with your tongue pressed against that light switch. Maybe they do that where you come from, but here in my classroom we don’t leave our seats and lick things whenever we please. That is Miss Chestnut’s light switch, and she likes to keep it dry. Would you like me to come over to your house and put my tongue on your light switches? Well would you?”
Assignment #2: Familiarize yourself with these terms and examples of each. You do not have to turn in any work, but it would be a good idea to create note cards. Please be prepared to take a test on these vocabulary terms during the first week of school. Allegory Alliteration Allusion Analogy Anaphora Anecdote Antithesis Aphorism Apostrophe Assertion Assumption Asyndeton Attitude Bias Chiasmus
Satire Semantics Simile Simple sentence Style Syllogism Synecdoche Tone Topic sentence Trope Understatement Undertone Voice Wit Zeugma
Memoir Book List
AP Language and Composition
All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most. But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable.
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralson Hiking into the remote Utah canyonlands, Aron Ralston felt perfectly at home in the beauty of the natural world. Then, at 2:41 P.M., eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, an eight-hundred-pound boulder tumbled loose, pinning Aron's right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. Through six days of hell, with scant water, food, or warm clothing, and the terrible knowledge that no one knew where he was, Aron eliminated his escape option one by one. Then a moment of stark clarity helped him to solve the riddle of the boulder--and commit one of the most extreme and desperate acts imaginable.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele--Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles--as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary. Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien Before writing his award-winning Going After Cacciato, Tim O'Brien gave us this intensely personal account of his year as a foot soldier in Vietnam. The author takes us with him to experience combat from behind an infantryman's rifle, to walk the minefields of My Lai, to crawl into the ghostly tunnels, and to explore the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war gone terribly wrong. Beautifully written and heartfelt, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a masterwork of its genre.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer Into Thin Air is a riveting first-hand account of a catastrophic expedition up Mount Everest. In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of Hall and the other leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead. Krakauer's book is at once the story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Written within months of the events it chronicles, Into Thin Air clearly evokes the majestic Everest landscape. As the journey up the mountain progresses, Krakauer puts it in context by recalling the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history. The author's own anguish over what happened on the mountain is palpable as he leads readers to ponder timeless questions.