5 Steps to a 5: AP English language 2017 (2016)
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PRACTICE EXAM 2
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PRACTICE EXAM 2
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Total Time—1 hour
Carefully read the following passages and answer the questions that follow.
Questions 1–10 are based on the following passage from Annie Dillard, What an Essay Can Do .
1 . Which technique does the author employ to focus the reader’s attention on the specific topic of the passage?
A. use of parallel structure
B. identifying herself with her audience
C. beginning each paragraph with the same subject
D. use of passive voice
E. use of anecdote
2 . Based on a careful reading of the first paragraph, the reader can conclude that the author blames the death of the “novel of idea” on
A. real life and situations
C. appeal to philosophy
D. reliance on historical data
3 . The primary rhetorical strategy the author uses to develop the first paragraph is
D. cause and effect
4 . Near the end of the third paragraph, Dillard states, “The essayist does what we do with our lives; the essayist thinks about actual things. He can make sense of them analytically or artistically.” The most probable reason for the author choosing to write two separate sentences rather than constructing a single, longer sentence using a listing, is
A. to reinforce cause and effect
B. both subjects are of equal importance, although separate processes
C. to create a parallel situation
D. to contrast the two ideas
E. to highlight the criticism of fictional writing
5 . In paragraph 3, in the sentence beginning with “The real world …,” the word “there” refers to
A. the fictional world
D. “the real world”
E. short stories
6 . The primary rhetorical strategy the author uses to develop the second paragraph is
A. contrast and comparison
7 . In terms of her position on her subject, the author can best be categorized as
A. an adversary
B. a critic
C. an advocate
D. an innovator
E. an artist
8 . An example of parallel structure is found in which of the following lines taken from the passage?
A. “But eschewing it served to limit fiction’s materials a little further, and likely contributed to our being left with the short story of scant idea.”
B. “The essay may deal in metaphor better than the poem can, in some ways, because prose may expand what the lyric poem must compress.”
C. “The elements in any nonfiction should be true not only artistically—the connections must hold at base …”
D. “… that is the convention and the covenant between the nonfiction writer and his reader.”
E. “In either case he renders the real world coherent and meaningful; even if only bits of it, and even if that coherence and meaning reside only inside small texts.”
9 . The contrast between the short story writer and the essayist is based on which of the following?
C. fundamental reality
E. clarity of purpose
10 . The tone of the passage can best be described as
A. impartial and critical
B. condescending and formal
C. candid and colloquial
D. clinical and moralistic
E. confident and informative
Questions 11–21 are based on the following passage in which Henry James responds to a literary critic’s ideas about the state of the English novel.
There is one point at which the moral sense and the artistic sense lie very near together; that is in the light of the very obvious truth that the deepest quality of a work of art will always be the quality of the mind of the producer. In proportion as that intelligence is fine will the novel, the picture, the statue partake of the substance of beauty and truth. To be constituted of such elements is, to my vision, to have purpose enough. No good novel will ever proceed from a superficial mind; that seems to me an axiom which for the artist in fiction, will cover all needful moral ground: if the youthful aspirant take it to heart it will illuminate for him many of the mysteries of “purpose.” There are many other useful things that might be said to him, but I have come to the end of my article, and can only touch them as I pass. The critic in the Pall Mall Gazette, whom I have already quoted, draws attention to the danger, in speaking of the art of fiction, of generalizing. The danger that he has in mind is rather, I imagine, that of particularizing. I should remind the ingenuous student first of the magnificence of the form that is open to him, which offers to sight so few restrictions and such innumerable opportunities. The other arts, in comparison, appear confined and hampered; the various conditions under which they are exercised are so rigid and definite. But the only condition that I can think of attaching to the composition of the novel is, as I have already said, that it be sincere. This freedom is a splendid privilege, and the first lesson of the young novelist is to learn to be worthy of it. “Enjoy it as it deserves,” I should say to him; “take possession of it, explore it to its utmost extent, publish it, rejoice in it. All life belongs to you, and do not listen either to those who would shut you up into corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing superfine air, and turning away her head from the truth of things. There is no impression of life, no manner of seeing it and feeling it, to which the plan of the novelist may not offer a place; you have only to remember that talents so dissimilar as those of Alexander Dumas and Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Gustave Flaubert have worked in this field with equal glory. Do not think too much about optimism and pessimism; try and catch the color of life itself. If you must indulge in conclusions, let them have the taste of a wide knowledge. Remember that your first duty is to be as complete as possible—to make as perfect a work. Be generous and delicate and pursue the prize. (1884)
11 . James draws a distinction between the purpose of the novel and
A. the moral theme
B. the artistic sense
C. the mind of the producer
D. obvious truth
E. the substance of beauty
12 . From the opening of the passage, it is clear that the author’s attitude toward the creation of a work of art is
13 . According to James, beauty and truth are directly related to
A. the novel
C. a picture
D. a statue
14 . According to the fourth sentence, the word “axiom” can best be defined as
A. a mystery
B. an anecdote
C. a paradox
D. a rule of thumb
E. a proverb
15 . In the fifth sentence, “There are many other useful things that might be said to him, but I have come to the end of my article, and can only touch them as I pass,” the pronoun “him” refers to
A. “youthful aspirant”
B. “the critic”
C. “the producer”
D. the artist in fiction
E. the author
16 . In the seventh sentence, “The danger that he has in mind is rather, I imagine, that of particularizing,” the word “rather” is used to establish
A. a paradox
B. an analogy
C. an ambiguity
D. a syllogism
E. an antithesis
17 . According to Henry James, the freest form of art is
18 . In the middle of the passage, the sentence “ ‘Enjoy it as it deserves,’ I should say to him; ‘take possession of it, explore it to its utmost extent, publish it, rejoice in it,’ ” includes an example of
A. a complex sentence
B. parallel structure
C. an analogy
E. passive voice
19 . In the second half of the passage, if the student follows the logic and advice of James in the set of sentences beginning with “This freedom is a splendid …” and ending with “the truth of things,” that student would have to
A. imitate the great writers
B. pray for inspiration
C. recognize that only after death can a writer be assessed properly
D. ignore James’s advice
E. turn away from writing
20 . Also in the middle of the passage is a sentence beginning with “All life belongs …” and ending with “the truth of things.” The metaphor, “this heavenly messenger,” contained in this sentence refers to
B. the teacher
E. the critic
21 . The overall tone of the passage can best be described as
A. informal and sarcastic
B. condescending and sardonic
C. didactic and exhortative
D. reverential and laudatory
E. indignant and contemptuous
Questions 22–35 are based on the following passage from Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.”
22 . The controlling analogy of the passage is
23 . Melville describes Nantucketers as all of the following except :
B. natives of the sea
C. farmers of the sea
D. strangers to the land
E. exploiters of the Native American claims
24 . The tone of the passage can best be described as
A. self-congratulatory and confident
B. formal and pompous
C. admiring and hyperbolic
D. informal and cynical
E. pedantic and objective
25 . The most probable reason for repeating and italicizing “There ” in the middle of paragraph 4 at the beginning of two main clauses in the same sentence is to
A. force the reader to look for an antecedent
B. sound poetic
C. provide a break in a long, complicated sentence
D. emphasize the sense of place
E. indicate sympathy for the plight of the Nantucketer
26 . The shift in the focus of the piece occurs in which line?
A. The first sentence of paragraph 2
B. The first sentence of paragraph 3
C. The first sentence of paragraph 4
D. The third sentence in paragraph 4
E. The last sentence
27 . The first paragraph contains an extended example of
A. parallel structure
C. periodic sentence
28 . Melville retells the Native American legend of how the island was settled in order to
A. have his audience identify with the Native American population
B. make the passage seem like a parable
C. contrast with the reality of the Nantucketers
D. bring a mythic quality to the subject
E. highlight the plight of the Nantucketers
29 . The development of paragraph 3 is structured around
A. spatial description
B. selection of incremental details
C. central analogy
D. parallel structure
30 . Based on a careful reading of the passage, complete the following analogy:NANTUCKET:ILLINOIS ::
A. merchant ships:pirate ships
B. Native American:eagle
C. ivory casket:skeleton
D. backs of sea turtles:chairs and tables
E. walrus:prairie dog
31 . One may conclude from the information contained in paragraph 3 that “Himmalehan, salt-sea Mastedon” refers to
A. the ocean
B. the whale
C. the power of nature
D. Biblical vengeance
32 . The purpose of the passage is most probably to
A. encourage people to settle on Nantucket
B. use Nantucket as a model of ecological conservation
C. honor the indomitable spirit of the Nantucketers
D. plead for the return of Nantucket to the Native Americans
E. present a nostalgic reminiscence of the writer’s birthplace
33 . Melville uses thus twice in this passage: once in the second sentence of paragraph 2 to begin the Native American legend about the island being settled. What is the reason for using thus a second time in the first sentence of paragraph 4?
I. to begin a comparative legend with the Nantucketers settling the sea
II. to balance the first part of the passage with the second part
III. to reinforce the formality of his presentation
D. I and II
E. I, II, and III
34 . The subtle humor of the first paragraph is dependent upon
E. ad hominem argument
35 . The last sentence of the passage continues the analogy between
Questions 36–44 are based on the following passage from Lucy Stone, “A Disappointed Woman,” a speech she gave to the national women’s rights convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October, 1855.
36 . The tone of the passage can best be described as
A. pedantic and cynical
B. flippant and irreverent
C. reverent and somber
D. indignant and argumentative
E. ambivalent and resigned
37 . A major hypothesis presented by the speaker is that
A. religion is the cause of women’s position in the United States
B. women are not as intelligent as men
C. education is the only way to cure the evils of society
D. the question of Women’s Rights is a philosophical issue
E. women and African Americans are on the same level
38 . What can the reader infer based upon the sentence found in the middle of paragraph 1 that begins with “I was disappointed …” and ending with “and the housekeeper”?
A. Lucy Stone is not a religious person.
B. Teaching was not considered a worthy profession.
C. The speaker is an adventurer.
D. Stone values the opinions of others.
E. She is married with children.
39 . The theme of the passage is best expressed in
A. paragraph 1, sentence 3 (“When, with my brothers …”)
B. paragraph 1, sentence 7 (“In education …”)
C. paragraph 2, sentence 1 (“The question …”)
D. paragraph 2, sentence 6 (“This is seen …”)
E. paragraph 3, sentence 9 (“Wendell Phillips says …”)
40 . Stone develops her speech using all of the following except :
A. an ad hominem argument
B. an anecdote
C. direct quotations
E. an ethical appeal
41 . In light of the passage, how can the following sentence near the end of the first paragraph best be characterized? “It shall be the business of my life to deepen this disappointment in every woman’s heart until she bows down to it no longer.”
A. ironic and paradoxical
B. analytical and pedantic
C. formal and detached
D. informal and anecdotal
E. allegorical and ambivalent
42 . Based on a careful reading of the passage, one can assume that the speaker
A. believes that women are superior to men
B. believes that religion is the salvation of women
C. believes in fate and destiny
D. believes that foreign countries are more enlightened about women’s rights than the United States
E. is disappointed with her female contemporaries
43 . In the sentence beginning with “Wendell Phillips says …” in the middle of paragraph 2, Lucy Stone develops her point using
A. an analogy
B. a straw-man argument
C. a syllogism
D. an ad hominem argument
44 . The speaker’s purpose is most probably to
Questions 45-54 are based on the following excerpt from a review and discussion by Christopher Jencks of American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare , written by Jason DeParle and published by Viking/Penguin in 2005. The review appeared in the December 15, 2005, edition of The New York Review of Books .
45 . The essence of the argument presented in this passage can be found in lines
46 . The organizational pattern of the passage is
A. general to specific
B. specific to general
C. familiar to unfamiliar
D. most important to least important
E. cause and effect
47 . The reader may infer from lines 35–38 that the writer
A. believes welfare is clearly a success
B. believes welfare is failing to meet dismal situations
C. admires the welfare programs of countries other than those of the United States
D. maintains that there has been little need for welfare reform since 1996
E. believes that the goals of the United States are the proper ones
48 . The tone of the passage can best be described as
49 . Which of the given footnotes is a primary source?
50 . A critical reader of this passage should ask all of the following questions about footnote 7 except :
A. What is the relationship between Swingle and the author of this review?
B. How many estimates were actually constructed?
C. To what does the word all refer?
D. What are Swingle’s qualifications as a reliable source?
E. Can I locate an annotated citation about Swingle in another section of this review?
51 . Another effective means of presenting the statistical material found in this passage would most probably be a(n)
A. personal anecdote
B. short story
C. one-act play
D. chart or graph
E. interview with a homeless mother
52 . The footnote that most likely reflects a specific bias is found in
53 . In lines 35–38, the author’s bias/agenda is most clearly evidenced through
A. statistical information and interpretation
D. diction and syntax
54 . Based on a careful reading of footnote 5, the reader can correctly assume that Winship and Jencks are
A. recognized authorities in this field
B. social workers
D. welfare reformers
E. employees of the federal government
END OF SECTION I
Suggested Writing Time: 40 minutes
Based on the Constitutional First Amendment guarantee of the right to freedom of speech, some citizens and citizen groups have used public burning of the American flag as a means of political expression. A proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Is desecrating the flag a legitimate form of expression guaranteed by the Constitution? Should the Constitution be amended to protect the flag?
Carefully read the following sources (including any introductory information). Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that the flag should be protected under a constitutional amendment.
Make certain that you take a position and that the essay centers on your argument. Use the sources to support your reasoning; avoid simply summarizing the sources. You may refer to the sources by their letters (Source A, Source B, etc.) or by the identifiers in the parentheses below.
Source A (First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution )
Source B (The Proposed Amendment)
Source C (USA Today Survey)
Source D (Two Supreme Court Decisions)
Source E (Rehnquist’s Dissenting Opinion)
Source F (Editorial in the Los Angeles Times )
Source G (Congressional Votes)
Source H (Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett)
Source I (Editorial by Todd Lindberg)
From “The Bill of Rights,” The U.S. Constitution .
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances .
The Proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution taken from The Congressional Record . Available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r109:8:./temp/~r109rrd1VK:e0 .
The full text of the amendment:
The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States .
Results of a survey conducted by USA Today , June 23–25, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-06-26-poll-results_x.htm .
Some people feel that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to make it illegal to burn or desecrate the American flag as a form of political dissent. Others say that the U.S. Constitution should not be amended to specifically prohibit flag burning or desecration . Do you think the U.S. Constitution should or should not be amended to prohibit burning or desecrating the American flag?
Results based on 516 national adults in Form B:
Two Supreme Court Decisions related to the desecration of the flag. Available at http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/speech/flagburning/overview.aspx?topic=flag-burning_overview .
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The question the Supreme Court had to answer was: “Is the desecration of an American flag, by burning or otherwise, a form of speech that is protected under the First Amendment?” Justice William Brennan wrote the 5–4 majority decision in holding that the defendant’s act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution .
The court held that the First Amendment prevented Texas from punishing the defendant for burning the flag under the specified circumstances. The court first found that burning of the flag was expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. The court concluded that Texas could not criminally sanction flag desecration in order to preserve the flag as a symbol of national unity. It also held that the statute did not meet the state’s goal of preventing breaches of the peace, since it was not drawn narrowly enough to encompass only those flag burnings that would likely result in a serious disturbance, and since the flag burning in this case did not threaten such a reaction .
Subsequently, Congress passed a statute, the 1989 Flag Protection Act, making it a federal crime to desecrate the flag. In the case of United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990), that law was struck down by the same five-person majority of justices as in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) .
Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s dissenting opinion in the Texas v. Johnson (1989) case. Available at http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/texas.html .
In his dissenting opinion in Texas v. Johnson (1989), regarding Texas law against flag burning, the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote ,
The American flag, then, throughout more than 200 years of our history, has come to be the visible symbol embodying our Nation. It does not represent the views of any particular political party, and it does not represent any particular political philosophy. The flag is not simply another ‘idea’ or “point of view” competing for recognition in the marketplace of ideas. Millions and millions of Americans regard it with an almost mystical reverence regardless of what sort of social, political, or philosophical beliefs they may have. I cannot agree that the First Amendment invalidates the Act of Congress, and the laws of 48 of the 50 States, which make criminal the public burning of the flag .
Rehnquist also argued that flag burning is “no essential part of any exposition of ideas” but, rather “the equivalent of an inarticulate grunt or roar that, it seems fair to say, is most likely to be indulged in not to express any particular idea, but to antagonize others.”
“The case for flag-burning: An amendment banning it would make America less free.” An editorial that appeared in the Los Angeles Times , June 27, 2006.
THERE ARE MANY ARGUMENTS AGAINST a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw “the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Let us count the ways in which the amendment, which is disturbingly close to the 67 votes required for Senate approval, is unworthy of that body’s support:
• It’s a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist. There has been no epidemic of flag-burning since the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that destruction of Old Glory as a protest was symbolic speech protected by the 1st Amendment .
• As Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed out, “The First Amendment has served us well for over 200 years. I don’t think it needs to be altered.” Placing a no-flag-burning asterisk next to the amendment’s sweeping guarantee of free speech is a mischievous idea, and it could invite amendments to ban other sorts of speech Americans find offensive .
But the best argument against the flag amendment is the one some opponents are reluctant to make for fear of political fallout: It would make America less free .
Rare as flag-burning may be, a nation that allows citizens to denounce even its most sacred symbols is being true to what the Supreme Court in 1964 called the “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”
In that decision, and in 1989, the court interpreted the free-speech protections of the First Amendment generously but correctly. The Senate, including Feinstein and fellow Democrat and Californian Barbara Boxer (who has opposed a flag-burning amendment in the past), should let those decisions be .
Congressional votes regarding proposed constitutional amendment regarding desecration of the flag. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Burning_Amendment#Congressional_votes .
The chronology of the House of Representatives’ action upon the flag-desecration amendment running over a period of more than ten years:
Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett, the Christian Science Monitor ,
Boston, July 4, 2006. Available at http://www.cagle.com/news/FlagBurning2/2.asp .
Clay Bennett, Christian Science Monitor , Boston 7/4/06
An excerpt from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” an editorial by Todd Lindberg that appeared in the Washington Times , July 4, 2006. Available at http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20060703-102601-1107r.htm .
. . . the last thing that a constitutional amendment banning flag-burning strikes me as is a slippery slope toward broader restriction on freedom of expression. There are two reasons for this .
First, the flag is the flag; the only reason to accord it special status (if that’s what you decide) is that it is, in fact, the singular national symbol. We are not even talking about a ban on burning red, white, and blue things, such as bunting, nor of suppressing the debate over whether banning the burning of the flag is a good thing. It’s not hypocrisy but rather a pretty good philosophical point to say that the flag, as the symbol of the freedom to burn, baby, burn, is the one thing you shouldn’t burn. For if you burn the freedom to burn, you have no freedom. For more on the danger that lies in this direction, see the collapse of the Weimar Republic in Germany .
On the other hand, the flag is not the freedom itself but its symbol. The freedom continues even if a particular flag is consumed in fire. To burn the flag is not to burn the only flag. There is no “the” flag, only flags; or if there is “the” flag, it is an idea of the flag and therefore beyond the reach of the flames .
Except that a perfectly acceptable way to dispose of a worn-out flag, according to the old Boy Scout manual Dad gave me, is by burning. The ceremony is to be at all times respectful and somber. Here, one reveres “the” flag by seeing to it that “a” flag gets decommissioned properly. So the symbolic content is always present. When someone burns a flag in protest, it’s just not about the fire and the piece of cloth. The flag is indeed a symbol of a political community, and I’m not sure that political communities can get by without symbols .
The second reason I’m not worried about a slippery slope constricting expression once you ban flag-burning is that in the current environment, socially enforced restraints on expression are far broader and more important than legal restraints. In the case of flag-burning, if you do it now, most Americans will think you are an ingrate jerk, as noted above. But even if a constitutional amendment passes, no one is proposing the death penalty for flag-burning, nor life in prison. If you get busted, you can probably look forward to a few days in the clink, plus adulatory editorials in the New York Times.
So while I am not a great supporter of an amendment banning flag-burning, neither do I think that such an amendment would do harm if passed. If I were a member of the Senate, I would have voted for it. That’s because as an elected officeholder, I would feel more solicitous of the national symbol, as perhaps befits someone who has chosen to hold office in accordance with the principles and procedures of the political community in question .
Carefully read the following two passages on London fog. In a well-structured essay, compare the two selections with regard to purpose and style. Consider such elements as diction, figurative language, organization, syntax, and manipulation of language.
—(Tim Goodwin, 1997)
—(Charles Dickens, Bleak House , 1852–53)
In one section of Walden , Henry David Thoreau ponders the advice offered by elders in a society. Carefully read the following passage from this American classic. Then, in a well-constructed essay argue how your position on advice from elders relates to that of Thoreau. Use appropriate evidence from your own experiences, readings, and observations to explain and support your argument.
What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new. Old people did not know enough once, perchance, to fetch fresh fuel to keep the fire a-going; new people put a little dry wood under a pot, and are whirled around the globe with the speed of birds, in a way to kill old people, as the phrase is. Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it. If I have any experience which I think valuable, I am sure to reflect that this my Mentors said nothing about …
END OF SECTION II
1 . C
2 . E
3 . D
4 . B
5 . D
6 . A
7 . C
8 . E
9 . C
10 . E
11 . C
12 . E
13 . B
14 . D
15 . A
16 . E
17 . D
18 . B
19 . D
20 . D
21 . C
22 . B
23 . E
24 . C
25 . D
26 . B
27 . A
28 . D
29 . B
30 . E
31 . B
32 . C
33 . D
34 . B
35 . E
36 . D
37 . E
38 . B
39 . B
40 . A
41 . A
42 . E
43 . C
44 . B
45 . E
46 . B
47 . C
48 . A
49 . A
50 . B
51 . D
52 . E
53 . D
54 . C
Explanations of Answers to the Multiple-Choice Section
The Annie Dillard Passage
1 . C. Each paragraph opens with the words “the essay.” With this repetition, Dillard guarantees that the reader’s focus does not waver. It also provides the organizational framework of the passage. There is no passive voice present. (By the way, the previous sentence is an example of passive voice.) The author relates no personal narrative and does not identify herself with her audience.
2 . E. In the first two sentences, the author blames “contrived entrances” for killing “the novel of idea.” She supports this in the next to the last sentence in paragraph 1 by criticizing “fabricated dramatic occasions.” Both of these examples point to the artificial construct of fiction.
3 . D. The first paragraph contains two major cause-and-effect situations. The first is found in sentences 1–3, and the second is found in the last two sentences.
4 . B. The first of the two sentences states what the essayist does: he thinks. The second sentence tells the reader how he thinks and writes. By writing two separate sentences, Dillard reinforces the equal importance of each of these points.
5 . D. A careful reading of the sentence and a knowledge of how to locate antecedents can only lead the reader to choose “the real world.” Any other choice negates the correct meaning of antecedent/referent.
6 . A. The second paragraph clearly develops its point through a contrast and comparison between prose and poetry. None of the other strategies is present in the paragraph.
7 . C. Dillard’s subject is the essay. Her position is one of unswerving allegiance to its form and function. Nowhere does she criticize the essay or the essayist, and nowhere does she discuss innovations or the changing of its form. Dillard is an artist. This classification, however, does not reveal her stance on the essay form.
8 . E. Knowing the definition of parallel structure and being able to recognize it makes the choice of E an easy one. (“Even if … even if …”)
9 . C. Look carefully at sentences 1–3 of paragraph 3 and notice the author’s use of the words “connections,” “covenant,” “veracity,” and “truth.” With this specific diction, the only appropriate choice is C.
10 . E. The only choice that contains two adjectives that are BOTH applicable to the author’s tone in this passage is E. The purpose of the essay is to inform/explain the function of the essay and the essayist. This, in itself, is the support for choosing E. The confidence is apparent in the writer’s discussion of the other forms of literature.
The Henry James Passage
11 . C. This is located in the first sentence. Here James tells his audience that the quality of the mind of the producer is the key factor in creating high-quality art. The moral and artistic grow out of this quality. “Obvious truth” refers to his premise, and beauty is a by-product of the process.
12 . E. James’s diction is indicative of an elitist attitude. Note phrases such as “No good novel will ever proceed from a superficial mind …” He closes out any other possibility for a creative endeavor of quality.
13 . B. The question demands your close attention to the structure of the sentence. In this instance, beauty as truth is directly proportionate to intelligence. “This” applies to the novel, picture, statue. And, it is James’s vision.
14 . D. A rule of thumb is a generally accepted truth as to how to proceed. In this context, James presents a ground rule for the young writer.
15 . A. This is a straight question about antecedents. To find the referent, look back at the sentence preceding this one.
16 . E. One needs to know and recognize examples of the terms used in this question. Here, “rather” opposes “generalizing” with “particularizing.”
17 . D. The sentence in the middle of the passage beginning with “The other arts …” will indicate to the careful reader that James is making a point to the student that art forms other than the novel are “confined and hampered.” No other choice is appropriate in this context.
18 . B. It is easy to see the parallel structure in this sentence. Notice “enjoy it”; “explore it”; “publish it”; “rejoice in it.” The other choices are not present.
19 . D. This question may seem daunting at first, but careful examination of the structure of the lines reveals that James is telling the student not to allow himself to be cornered into following advice that limits his horizons. Ironically, James has already limited the scope of art and the artist.
20 . D. The pronoun “this” in the middle of the sentence beginning with “All life belongs to you …” is your best clue to the answer “This” is referring to the word “art.” Therefore, the only appropriate choice is D.
21 . C. Through both the process of elimination and recognizing that both parts of your answer must be correct, the only appropriate choice is didactic, because the author is attempting to instruct the young novelist and exhortative in his urging the young writer to “catch the color of life itself.”
The Herman Melville Passage
22 . B. Throughout the passage, Melville builds his description on the comparison between items connected to the sea and those related to the land. Choices A and C are examples of this controlling analogy. D is another specific detail provided, and E is an example used by Melville to reinforce his description of the Nantucketer.
23 . E. Paragraph 4 supports choices A, B, C, and D. The only choice not supported in the text is E.
24 . C. The diction and selection of detail all support the tone of admiration. The hyperbole can easily be seen in paragraph 1 and the end of paragraph 3.
25 . D. Italics are used for very definite reasons. The purpose here is for emphasis. Melville wants to draw the reader back to the only other italicized word in the piece—Nantucket —the very first word of the passage.
26 . B. Here, pronouns are very important. In paragraph 2, this refers the reader to paragraph 1, which is about the island. These in paragraph 4 refers to the previous paragraph, which is about the inhabitants of Nantucket. The last sentence of the passage, while quite moving, indicates, again, a reference to Nantucketers. However, these in the first sentence of paragraph 3 is a definite shift in focus from the island to its inhabitants.
27 . A. The only choice appearing in the first paragraph is parallel structure, which is used throughout the listing of “extravaganzas” that Melville bestows on Nantucket. Many of the items in the listing begin with the word that .
28 . D. Keeping in mind the central focus of the passage, Melville’s retelling of the Native American legend is not to highlight or focus on Native Americans, but to reinforce his attitude toward the Nantucketers, whom he perceives in mythic proportions. He compares them to Noah, to Alexander the Great, and to Emperors.
29 . B. The question requires the reader to be aware of the consecutive details that build in size and importance: from the clam to the whale.
30 . E. The analogy established with Nantucket to Illinois is that of an island to a landlocked state. The only choice given that illustrates the same relationship is walrus to prairie dog. Here a walrus lives its life surrounded by the sea; whereas, the prairie dog is surrounded by the land.
31 . B. The whale is a “mightiest animated mass.” This can only refer to the largest creature in the sea. “Himmalehan” and “Mastadon” reinforce the power and size of the creature.
32 . C. The tone, diction, syntax, and selection of detail all point to Melville’s admiration of the fortitude, perseverance, and uniqueness of the Nantucketer.
33 . D. In this question, the repetition balances the dual focus: the island and its inhabitants. The diction and syntax of this selection are not formal, but rather a grand folk myth of epic proportions.
34 . B. Beginning with “There is more sand” and continuing to the end of the paragraph, Melville presents examples dependent upon extreme exaggeration.
35 . E. The paragraph develops an extended analogy that compares the world of the sea to that of the land, such as sea to prairie, sailor to prairie dog. None of the other choices are valid in this context.
The Lucy Stone Passage
36 . D. If you chose E, you’re out of our class for the day. Seriously, it is obvious that the speaker both is outraged about the treatment of women and demands the right of women to be recognized. No other choice is correct in both descriptions.
37 . E. The fifth sentence in paragraph 1 provides the answer to this question. In these two lines, the student should see that Stone makes a case that both women and blacks are not being educated and are by implication being treated in the same way.
38 . B. If the student carefully looks at the sixth sentence in paragraph 1, he or she will see that it is valid to conclude that the speaker does not hold teaching in high esteem.
39 . B. Each of these lines plays an important role in the speech. However, only one plays the role of controlling the entire thought process. The other choices are subtopics.
40 . A. Anecdotal support is found in the first six sentences of paragraph 1. A direct quotation is located in the second half of paragraph 2. Facts are used in the fourth and fifth sentences of paragraph 1, and the appeal to emotion is presented in the seventh sentence of paragraph 2. There is no ad hominem argument in the speech.
41 . A. Stone wants women to rise up and stop the oppression of their gender. But, according to this statement, she must actually see to it that women are oppressed until they can no longer bear it. It is only then that Stone sees their being willing to demand their rights.
42 . E. If you look carefully at the section of the speech beginning with “I wish that women …” and ending with “frequent bar-rooms,” you will note that Stone says she is disappointed that women concern themselves only with the superficial. Her remarks about religion, foreign countries, fate, and men are in opposition to the actual choices. Notice the use of the word ephemeral .
43 . C. The speaker aims for a logical conclusion when she points to Phillips’ definition of sphere. She creates an implied syllogism that if God cannot make a mistake, if God created each of us to do our best, this must apply to all—men and women alike.
44 . B. To exhort: to urge, to warn earnestly. In her speech, Lucy Stone is urging her audience to begin to stand up for their rights as women. She wants them to understand what is oppressing them and, as a result, to “no longer bow down to it.” A careful reading of the passage will indicate that the basis for the speech is NOT telling a story, nor is there an attempt to amuse or describe. The last sentence provides the final impetus for her exhortation.
The Poverty Excerpt
45 . E. The argument is derived from the examples presented in the other choices.
46 . B. Each paragraph provides specific statistics to support the claim that welfare reform is not a complete success. This thesis is presented at the end of the passage, NOT at the beginning.
47 . C. There is an indictment of the United States for failing to enact the policies and meet the goals that other countries have already put into practice.
48 . A. A cursory look at the inclusion and preponderance of statistics and other data with little personal commentary support this choice.
49 . A. All other footnotes cite sources, depend on other sources, or are personal commentary.
50 . B. It doesn’t matter how many estimates there are. What is important is the authority and reliability of Swingle.
51 . D. The presentation of so many statistics from various years demands a visual representation for clarity and ease of understanding. The other choices would only address a subjective aspect of the topic.
52 . E. This source comes from an organization whose very name states its potential bias and agenda.
53 . D. The words dismal and but , plus the phrases still a long way from and more compassionate all point to the author’s disapproval of the current policies of the United States.
54 . C. Within the footnote, Working Paper and the Internet address point to a recent research project submitted to an academic institution.
Sample Student Essays
Rubrics for Flag Amendment Synthesis Essay
A 9 essay has all the qualities of an 8 essay, and the writing style is especially impressive , as is the analysis and integration of the specifics related to the proposed flag desecration amendment and the given sources.
An 8 essay effectively and cohesively addresses the prompt. It clearly takes a position on the proposed flag desecration amendment and supports the argument using carefully integrated and appropriate evidence, including at least three of the given sources. The essay will also show the writer’s ability to control language .
A 7 essay has all the properties of a 6, only with a more complete , well-developed, and integrated argument or a more mature writing style.
A 6 essay adequately addresses the prompt. The argument is on the proposed flag desecration amendment and integrates, as well as makes use of, appropriate evidence, including at least three references from the given sources. These elements are less fully integrated and/or developed than scores in the 7, 8, 9 range. The writer’s ideas are expressed with clarity, but the writing may have a few errors in syntax and/or diction.
A 5 essay demonstrates that the writer understands the prompt . The argument/claim/position about the proposed flag desecration amendment is generally understandable, but the development and/or integration of appropriate evidence and at least three of the given sources is limited or uneven. The writer’s ideas are expressed clearly with a few errors in syntax or diction.
A 4 essay is not an adequate response to the prompt. The writer’s argument indicates a misunderstanding, an oversimplification, or a misrepresentation of the assigned task. The writer may use evidence that is not appropriate or not sufficient to support the argument, or may use fewer than three of the given sources. The writing presents the writer’s ideas, but may indicate immaturity of style and control.
A 3 essay is a lower 4 because it is even less effective in addressing the question. It is also less mature in its syntax and organization.
A 2 essay indicates little success in speaking to the prompt . The writer may misread the question, only summarize the given sources, fail to develop the required argument, or simply ignore the prompt and write about another topic. The writing may also lack organization and control of language and syntax. ( Note: No matter how well written, a summary will never rate more than a 2. )
A 1 essay is a lower 2 because it is even more simplistic , disorganized , and lacking in control of language .
Rating the Student Essays: Flag Amendment
This high-range paper:
• Effectively introduces the argument and indicates the opposition in paragraph 1
• Opens with an interesting example of parallelism
• Clearly establishes the writer’s position against the amendment
• Exhibits strong control of language: diction, syntax, transitions, rhetorical questions
• Builds a cohesive and convincing argument against the amendment by effectively introducing, combining, and commenting on appropriate sources
• Employs transition to further the development of the points in the argument: however , then , but , ultimately
• Creates mature concluding sentences in each paragraph that drive home the writer’s position
• Smoothly integrates and cites sources material
• Presents a coherent, strong voice and tone
This mid-range essay:
• Opens convincingly by including outside information to indicate the writer’s position against the amendment
• Incorporates and properly cites at least three sources to support the argument
• Adequately comments on the synthesized material and includes some relevant outside information to reinforce the sources used
• Indicates an understanding of the process of writing a synthesis essay
• Demonstrates control of language through diction and syntax
• Recognizes the bias in source material
• Adds to the argument by creating an analogous situation: the child testing the parents
• Understands tone and intent
Rubrics for “Fog” Essays
• Successfully identifies the purpose of each passage
• Effectively compares the style of each passage
• Refers to appropriate examples from each passage
• Effectively analyzes devices such as diction, organization, syntax, and manipulation of language in a clear voice
• Good connective tissue
• Focused organization and development
• Few, if any, flaws
• Correctly identifies the purpose of each passage
• Adequately compares the style of each passage
• Uses specifics from each passage to analyze rhetorical devices
• Adequately links examples to the analysis of the style and purpose of each passage
• Less well-developed than the high-range essays
• A few lapses in diction or syntax
• Inadequate response to the prompt
• Misunderstands, oversimplifies, summarizes, or misrepresents the purpose and style of each passage
• Insufficient or inappropriate use of examples to develop the demands of the prompt
• Lack of adequate control of elements of essay writing
“Fog” Passages—Student Sample A
“Fog” Passages—Student Sample B
Rating Student Sample A
This is a high-ranking essay for the following reasons:
• Effectively presents and discusses the purpose and intent of each passage (end of paragraph 2), (end of paragraph 3)
• Thoroughly addresses the stylistic differences between the two pieces (paragraph 2), (paragraph 3)
• Strongly supports his or her position with appropriate details from the passage (paragraphs 2 and 3)
• Well-focused throughout
• Mature voice and clear style
This high-ranked essay that is both informative and direct is so well-focused that the reader can almost see the writer’s mind at work. And, as a result, the audience comes away with a clear understanding of the differences between the style and purpose of the two excerpts.
Rating Student Sample B
This is a mid-range essay for the following reasons:
• Clearly indicates an understanding and an application of the prompt (paragraph 1)
• Good control of sentence structure
• Provides specifics from each text to support the analysis (paragraph 1), (paragraph 3)
• Clear transitions
• Clear topic adherence
• Obvious development lacking connections to insights resulting from a close reading of the texts
• A few syntax and diction errors
This mid-range essay is a concise, “bare-bones” presentation. Its strength lies in its clear focus and appropriateness of support. However, these citations are more like listings rather than serving as the foundation for discussions of their implications.
Rubrics for the Thoreau Passage
• Correctly identifies Thoreau’s attitude about the value of advice given by elders
• Effectively presents a position about Thoreau’s attitude
• Clear writer’s voice
• Successfully defends his or her position
• Presents carefully reasoned arguments making reference to specific examples from personal experience, knowledge, reading
• Effectively manipulates language
• Few, if any, syntactical errors
• Correctly identifies Thoreau’s attitude about the value of advice given by elders
• Understands the demands of the prompt
• Clearly states the position of the writer
• Presents a generally adequate argument which makes use of appropriate examples
• Less well-developed than the high-range essay
• Ideas clearly stated
• A few lapses in diction or syntax
• Inadequate response to the prompt
• Misunderstands, oversimplifies or misrepresents Thoreau’s attitude
• Insufficient or inappropriate use of examples to develop the writer’s position
• Lack of mature control of elements of essay writing
This prompt presented students with the opportunity to sound off about their place in the pecking order. Interestingly enough, the majority of the student writers disagreed with Thoreau or, at least, qualified his remarks. Relatively few chose to speak about parental advice, but they were willing to admit the influence of teachers, scientists/explorers, and grandparents. Often the anecdotal material rambled and needed to be connected back to the ideas of Thoreau. However, even with these shortcomings, the majority of the students obviously found this excerpt and prompt to be easily accessible.
Thoreau Passage—Student Sample A
Thoreau Passage—Student Sample B
Rating Student Sample A
This is a high-range essay for the following reasons:
• Clearly establishes a position regarding Thoreau’s assertion
• Thoroughly develops the argument with hypothetical and literary references
• Good topic adherence
• Excellent connective tissue
• Thorough development of the argument that reveals a well-read writer
• Mature voice, diction, and syntax
• Indicative of a willingness to stretch with regard to manipulation of language (paragraph 3, sentence 1) and support for the writer’s position (paragraph 4)
This high-range essay is clear, coherent, cohesive, and compact. It reveals a confident, smooth writing style. There is nothing extraneous contained in this concise, well-organized presentation.
Rating Student Sample B
This is a mid-range essay for the following reasons:
• Establishes a clear voice (paragraph 2)
• Indicates an understanding of the text and the prompt
• Addresses the prompt
• Presents a reasonable argument in support of the writer’s assertion
• Demonstrates topic adherence
• Interesting use of parallel structure (paragraph 1)
• Needs transitions (paragraphs 2 and 3)
• Paragraphing errors (paragraphs 2, 3)
• Several syntactical errors
The writer of this mid-range essay chose to develop his or her argument with an extended example. The conversational tone, although simple and straightforward, clearly supports the writer’s position.