5 Steps to a 5: AP English language 2017 (2016)


Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High

CHAPTER 8 Comprehensive Review—Analysis

CHAPTER 9 Comprehensive Review—Argument

CHAPTER 10 Comprehensive Review—Synthesis


Comprehensive Review—Analysis


Summary: Examine structure, purpose, and style as evidenced in the modes of discourse.


Key Ideas

Image Learn the language of analysis and how to use it.

Image Acquaint yourself with rhetorical strategies.

Image Learn how selection of detail, subject matter, diction, and syntax contribute to style.

Image Learn how topic adherence and connective tissue unify your essay.

Image Understand the difference between active and passive voice.

Some Basics


For the AP English Language exam student, the definition of analysis is quite specific. It means that you are going to take apart a particular passage and divide it into its basic components for the purpose of examining how the writer develops his or her subject.

Are There Different Types of Analysis?

For the AP English Language exam, the different types of analysis include the analysis of structure, purpose, and style.


Discourse simply means “conversation.” For the writer, this “conversation” takes place between the text and the reader. To communicate with the reader, the writer uses a particular method or combination of methods to make his or her idea(s) clear to the reader.


Don’t let professional jargon throw you. Rhetoric is basically an umbrella term for all of the strategies, modes, and devices a writer can employ to allow the reader to easily accept and understand his or her point of view.


Here’s another piece of the lingo puzzle that you need not fear. Prose can be divided into FOUR primary categories. They are:

1 . EXPOSITION: illustrates a point

2 . NARRATION: tells a story

3 . DESCRIPTION: creates a sensory image

4 . ARGUMENTATION: takes a position on an issue and defends it

These are generally referred to as the modes of discourse . You should be able to distinguish among them but, do not become bogged down in worrying about these classes. They will be obvious to you. Being familiar with the professional terminology of this course is a way of beginning to develop a common vocabulary needed to discuss writing.


Rhetorical strategies include example, contrast and comparison, definition, cause and effect, process, analysis/division, and classification. The writer may also employ descriptive and narrative strategies. These are the basic approaches a writer uses to tell a story, explain a point, describe a situation, or argue a position. (Modes of discourse, for those in the know.)

What Is the Analysis of RHETORICAL STRUCTURE ?

Regardless of the length of a passage, the writer will employ one or more strategies to develop the purpose of the piece. Your job is to:

• Carefully read the passage

• Recognize and identify strategies used in the passage

• Determine how these strategies are utilized in the development of the author’s purpose


After this, it is up to you to use your own rhetorical strategies to present the points you want to illustrate in your analysis. Remember, your primary purpose is to analyze the passage. In so doing, you will probably employ one or more of the rhetorical strategies, such as example, cause and effect, or contrast and comparison.

There Is So Much to Know, How Can I Prepare Myself for the Exam?

First, don’t panic. You’re in an AP English Language course, and you will have a year to become prepared. The work of this course centers on developing those analytical skills required by the AP English Language exam. In this chapter, we are going to provide you with a brief overview of the different rhetorical strategies. For each rhetorical strategy, we will do the following:

• define the term;

• cite examples;

• provide practice with analysis; and

• offer suggestions for writing your own AP essays using that strategy.

Rhetorical Strategies



Definition: Example is a specific event, person, or detail of an idea cited and/or developed to support or illustrate a thesis or topic.

Here is an excerpt from Jane Jacobs’s “A Good Neighborhood” that uses examples.

Perhaps I can best explain this subtle but all-important balance between people’s desire for essential privacy and their wish to have differing degrees of contact with people in terms of the stores where people leave keys for their friends. In our family, we tell friends to pick up the key at the delicatessen across the street. Joe Cornacchia, who keeps the delicatessen, usually has a dozen or so keys at a time for handing out like this. He has a special drawer for them .

Around on the other side of our block, people leave their keys at a Spanish grocery. On the other side of Joe’s block, people leave them at a candy store. Down a block they leave them at the coffee shop, and a few hundred feet around the corner from that, in a barber shop. Around one corner from two fashionable blocks of town houses and apartments in the Upper East Side, people leave their keys in a butcher shop and a bookshop; around another corner they leave them in a cleaner’s and a drug store. In unfashionable East Harlem, keys are left with at least one florist, in bakeries, in luncheonettes, in Spanish and Italian groceries .

Practice with Analysis

1 . Underline the thesis statement.

2 . The topic/subject of the passage is ________________________________________.

3 . The purpose of the passage is to _____ inform _____ persuade _____ entertain.

4 . Does the passage contain an extended example? __________

5 . The passage contains how many examples? _________________________________

6 . Briefly list the examples. __________

7. The organization is _____ chronological _____ spatial _____ least to most important _____ most to least important.

Remarks About the Passage

This informative passage uses a lengthy list of examples to indicate informally the relationship between people and businesses in a neighborhood. There is no single extended example, but rather a series of more than eight examples.


It’s a good idea to actually mark up the passage as you answer the analysis questions. It will give you practice and help this process to become second nature to you.



Definition: Contrast/comparison is a method of presenting similarities and differences between or among at least two persons, places, things, ideas, etc. The contrast/comparison essay may be organized in several ways including:

• Subject by subject—Subject A is discussed in its entirety and is followed by a full discussion of Subject B.

• Point by point—A major point related to Subject A is examined and is immediately followed with a corresponding point in Subject B.

• Combination—In a longer essay, the writer may employ both of the preceding strategies.

Here is an example of a passage that uses contrast/comparison from W. H. Auden’s “Work, Labor, and Play.”

Between labor and play stands work. A man is a worker if he is personally interested in the job which society pays him to do; and that which society views as necessary labor, is from his own point of view voluntary play. Whether a job is to be classified as labor or work depends, not on the job itself, but on the tastes of the individual who undertakes it. The difference does not, for example, coincide with the difference between a manual and a mental job; a gardener or a cobbler may be a worker; a bank clerk, a laborer. Which a man is can be seen from his attitude toward leisure. To a worker, leisure means simply the hours he needs to relax and rest in order to work efficiently. He is therefore more likely to take too little leisure than too much; workers die of coronaries and forget their wives’ birthdays. To the laborer, on the other hand, leisure means freedom from compulsion, so that it is natural for him to imagine that the fewer hours he has to spend laboring, the more hours he is free to play, the better .

Practice with Analysis

1 . The topic/subject of the passage is ______________________________.

2 . Underline the thesis statement.

3 . The purpose of the passage is to _____ inform _____ persuade _____ entertain.

4 . The items being compared/contrasted are ______________________________.

5 . One example of a comparison in the passage is __________________________.

6 . One example of contrast in the passage is ______________________________.

7 . The pattern of development is _____ opposing _____ alternating.

8 . The organization is _____ subject to subject ____ point by point _____ combination.

Remarks About the Passage

As with most of your AP contrast/comparison selections, the emphasis is on distinction and contrast. In this passage, the author uses a pattern of alternating points that develops the contrast between work, labor, and leisure.

Cause and Effect


Definition: Cause and effect establishes a relationship: B is the result of A. The cause-and-effect essay can emphasize the cause or the effect, or can treat both equally. It can detail a single cause with many effects, or several causes with a single effect, or any combination. The organization can present the cause or the effect first. All of this depends upon the intent of the writer. Depending on his or her purpose, the writer can choose to present the most important idea in the beginning, middle, or end. The author can also choose from myriad strategies to develop the cause and effect, such as:

• facts

• statistics

• authorities

• anecdotes

• cases

• real or imagined scenarios

It should be noted that, in some cases, the successful writer of a cause-and-effect essay anticipates and addresses reader objections and/or questions.

Here is an example of a passage using cause and effect from Thomas Hobbes’s “Of the Natural Condition of Mankind” (1651).

From this equality of ability arises equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end (which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only), endeavor to destroy or subdue one another. And from hence it comes to pass that where an invader has no more fear than another man’s single power, if one plant, sow, build, or possess a convenient seat, others may probably be expected to come prepared with forces united to dispossess and deprive him, not only of the fruit of his labor, but also of his life, or liberty. And the invader again is in like danger of another .

Practice with Analysis

1 . Underline the thesis statement.

2 . The topic/subject of the passage is _________________________________________.

3 . The purpose of the passage is to ____ inform ____ persuade ____ entertain.

4 . List the causes. ________________________________________________________

5 . List the effects. ________________________________________________________

6 . The emphasis is on ______ cause ______ effect ______ causes ______ effects.

7 . The passage makes use of ______ statistics ______ facts ______ authorities ______ anecdotes ______ cases ______ real/imaginary scenarios.

Remarks About the Passage

The entire focus of this paragraph is on the singular result of one person’s envy for the possessions of another. If both cannot possess it, envy ensues, which leads to dispossession and/or violence.



Definition: Classification separates items into major categories and details the characteristics of each group and why each member of that group is placed within the category. It is possible to divide the categories into subgroups. The principle of classification should be made clear to the reader. (This is the umbrella term under which everything fits.)

Here is a passage that makes use of classification from Jane Howard’s “All Happy Clans Are Alike.”

… If blood and roots don’t do the job, then we must look to water and branches, and sort ourselves into new constellations, new families .

These new families, to borrow the terminology of an African tribe (the Bangwa of the Cameroons), may consist either of friends of the road, ascribed by chance, or friends of the heart, achieved by choice. Ascribed friends are those we happen to go to school with, work with, or live near. They know where we went last weekend and whether we still have a cold. Just being around gives them a provisional importance in our lives, and us in theirs. Maybe they will still matter to us when we or they move away; quite likely they won’t. Six months or two years will probably erase each from the other’s thoughts, unless by some chance they and we have become friends of the heart … [Those] will steer each other through enough seasons and weathers so that sooner or later it crosses our minds that one of us … must one day mourn the other .

Practice with Analysis

1 . The topic/subject of the passage is __________________________________________________.

2 . Underline the thesis statement.

3 . The purpose of the passage is to _____ inform _____ persuade _____ entertain.

4 . Identify the principle of division/classification. ________________________________________

5 . List the main subgroups. __________________________________________________________

6 . Cite the major characteristic(s) of each subgroup. _______________________________________

Remarks About the Passage

This passage briefly details two classes of friends, one by chance and the other by choice. The thesis given at the beginning of the excerpt is stated in general terms that lead the reader to the specific classifications.



Definition: Process is simply “how to” do something or how something is done. Process can have one of two purposes. It can either give instructions or inform the reader about how something is done. It is important to understand that a clear process presentation must be in chronological order. In other words, the writer leads the reader step by step, from beginning to end, through the process. A clear process essay will define necessary terms and will cite any precautions if needed.

Here is a passage that makes use of process from L. Rust Hills’s “How to Care for and About Ashtrays.”

To clean ashtrays the right way, proceed as follows. Take a metal or plastic or wooden (but never a basket) wastebasket in your left hand, and a paper towel in your right. Approach the ashtray that is to be cleaned. Put the wastebasket down on the floor, and with your released left hand pick up the ashtray and dump its contents of cigarette ends, spent matches, and loose ashes (nothing else should be in an ashtray!) into the wastebasket. Then, still holding the ashtray over the basket, rub gently with the paper towel at any of the few stains or spots that may remain. Then put the ashtray carefully back into its place, pick up the wastebasket again, and approach the next ashtray to be cleaned. It should never be necessary to wash an ashtray, if it is kept clean and dry. Throughout its whole lifetime in a well-ordered household, an ashtray need never travel more than three feet from where it belongs, and never be out of place at all for more than thirty seconds .

Practice with Analysis

1 . Underline the thesis.

2 . What is the topic/subject? __________________________________________________

3 . The purpose is to ______ give specific directions ______ be informative.

4 . List the major steps given in the selection. _____________________________________

5 . Is the essay in chronological order? ____ yes ____ no

6 . List any words that are defined. _____________________________________________

7 . Were there any other words that should have been defined? _______________________


8 . List any precautions given. _______________________________________________

9 . The process presented is _____ clear _____ unclear _____ complete _____ incomplete.

Remarks About the Passage

The formal tone of such a menial process makes this small paragraph a bit humorous. Its clearly developed ashtray cleaning process is quite complete and needs no added definitions nor precautions.



Definition: Definition identifies the class to which a specific term belongs and those characteristics which make it different from all the other items in that class. There are several types of definitions: physical, historical, emotional, psychological, and relationship(s) to others.

An essay of definition can be developed using any of the rhetorical strategies, and the writer should decide whether to be serious or humorous.

Here is a passage that uses definition.


The dinner was fine, the play funny; let’s hope my drive home will easily top off a relaxing and rewarding evening. What a surprise! Brightly perched on my car’s windshield is a yellow ticket which not so brightly announces that I am being fined $50.00 for an expired parking meter. Grabbing the thing and choking it, I exclaim, “Bugdust!”

Now, let’s be honest. This ticket is neither an insect, nor is it dirt. So, am I blind, ignorant or just plain crazy? I hope none of the above. The expletive, “Bugdust,” is my personal substitute for the ever-popular, overused and vulgar, four letter curses. My background forces me to avoid these common, rude and inappropriate four letter words. And, heaven only knows that over the years I’ve had many occasions where I would have loved to use them. For much of my young life, when I found myself in a situation which cried out for some sort of exclamation, I usually reverted to RATS! or CRUMB! Really harsh curses, huh? However, years ago I came upon a substitute by sheer accident .

I was helping out in the kitchen at my sorority house. While chopping onions, I accidentally slipped and cut my thumb quite badly. I really needed a way to express my surprise, pain, and fear. Nothing inside my head would allow me to scream the usual expletives words. (By the way, I sincerely believe that a good deal of money spent on psychotherapy could have been saved had I been able to “just say IT.”) In that nanosecond, I wanted, I demanded that my mind come up with something—anything—that I could use. My mind obviously obeyed and began working at a frantic pace. “I hate insects; I hate housework.” My mind works in strange ways; it’s really warped. (Hmm, that’s a word I should also define.) Put two abominable conditions together. Voila! Murf’s rule = one new expression = BUGDUST. What a mind!

The people around me during the birth of this little word-gem said, “What the *@#?! does that mean?” I had to stop for a second. They were right. What did it mean? It was not the incinerated remains of a roach colony. It was not the unkempt environs of a roach motel. It was a way for me to say that I was monumentally angry. It was also a way for me to say I was hurting. It was original and ME .

Years have passed. And, so today . . .

It’s 15°; it’s snowing and icy; I’m cold. Let’s shop. I join the rest of the universe at the supermarket. Heaven only knows one needs rice crispy treats in the house when it snows. What I don’t need is the keys locked in my car. BUGDUST!

I’m doing 7 mph behind a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle being driven by its original owner. I miss the green light. I’m late for my dental appointment. BUGDUST!

And, into cyberspace … My computer just crashed. BUGDUST!

Practice with Analysis

1 . Underline the thesis.

2 . The topic/subject is ____________________________________________________________.

3 . The purpose is to _____ inform _____ persuade _____ entertain.

4 . The attitude of the writer is _____ serious _____ humorous.

5 . To what class does the word being defined belong? ____________________________________

6 . List the major rhetorical strategies used. _____________________________________________

7. The definition is _____ historical _____ physical _____ emotional _____ psychological _____ relationship(s) to others.

8 . Do you, as a reader, have an understanding of the definition presented? __________

9 . Briefly state your understanding of the term. ___________________________________________

Remarks About the Passage

The topic of the essay is the definition of the expletive bugdust . The thesis is the fifth sentence of the second paragraph. The primary purpose is to inform using humor. The rhetorical strategies used throughout the essay are example [paragraph 1] and anecdote [paragraphs 3 and 4]. The definition of bugdust is primarily emotional [last two sentences in paragraph 3 and the last two sentences in paragraph 4].

Now it’s your turn. Write a paragraph that defines a favorite word that is special or unique to you or your friends or family. Choose an attitude and go for it. When finished, ask yourself the same analytical questions you asked for the sample essay.



Definition: Narration is nothing more than storytelling. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Moreover, there’s a point to it—a reason for recounting the story that becomes clear to the reader. There should be a focus to the story as well. For example, your point might be that lying gets you into trouble. To illustrate this, you might focus on an anecdote about the repercussions of a specific lie you told your parents. Narration requires a specific point of view, such as:

• 1st person

• 3rd person omniscient

• 3rd person objective

• Stream of consciousness

A narrative generally revolves around a primary tension and employs character, plot, and setting. The point the author is trying to make corresponds to the literary term theme . The development of a narrative may be extended and fully developed or brief to support or illustrate the subject of an essay.

The following excerpt from “Death of a Soldier” by Louisa May Alcott is an example of a narrative.

John was dying. Even while he spoke, over his face I saw a gray veil falling that no human hand can lift. I sat down by him, wiped drops from his forehead, stirred the air about him with a slow wave of a fan, and waited to help him die. For hours he suffered dumbly, without a moment’s murmuring: his limbs grew cold, his face damp, his lips white, and again and again he tore the covering off his breast, as if the lightest weight added to his agony .

One by one, the other men woke, and round the hospital ward appeared a circle of pale faces and watchful eyes, full of awe and pity; for, though a stranger, John was beloved by all. “Old boy, how are you?” faltered one. “Can I say or do anything for you anywheres?” whispered another .

“Take my things home, and tell them that I did my best.”

Practice with Analysis

1 . The topic/subject is ______________________________________________________________.

2 . The purpose is to ______ inform ______ persuade ______ entertain.

3 . The focus is _____________________________________________________________________.

4 . The point of view is _____ first person _____ third person objective _____ third person omniscient _____ stream of consciousness.

5 . The setting is _____________________________________________________________________.

6 . The main character(s) is/are _________________________________________________________.

7 . The gist of the plot is _______________________________________________________________.

8 . List the sequence of the major events (beginning, middle, end)



Remarks About the Passage

This brief excerpt is enough of a story to allow you to identify the basic narrative elements. Employing the first person point of view, Alcott provides a beginning, middle, and ending to this episode that occurs in a hospital ward. Focusing on the boy’s death, the author illustrates the quality of John’s character.



Definition: Description is writing that appeals to the senses. It can be objective, which is scientific or clinical, or it can be impressionistic, which tries to involve the reader’s emotions or feelings. Description can also be direct or indirect, and the organization can be as follows:

• Chronological

• Spatial

• Emphasizing the most important detail

• Emphasizing the most noticeable detail

To create his or her description, the writer can employ any or all of the following literary devices:

• Analogy

• Concrete, specific words

• Appeal to the senses

• Personification

• Hyperbole

• Contrast and comparison

• Onomatopoeia

• Other figurative language

The following excerpt from Charles Dickens’s Bleak House uses description.

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among tiers of shipping and waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the heights, fog creeping into the cabooses of [coal barges]. Fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ‘prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds .

Practice with Analysis

1 . Underline the thesis.

2 . The topic/subject of the passage is __________________________________________________.

3 . The description is ______ objective ______ impressionistic.

4 . The passage contains examples of

• analogy, ex. __________________________________________________________________

• __________ concrete words, ex. __________________________________________________

• __________ imagery, ex. ________________________________________________________

• __________ contrast/comparison, ex. ______________________________________________

• __________ personification, ex. __________________________________________________

• __________ onomatopoeia, ex. __________________________________________________

• __________ other figurative language, ex. _________________________________________

5 . The intended effect is to __________ inform __________ persuade __________ entertain.

Remarks About the Passage

In its appeal to the senses, this loaded passage about fog contains about every descriptive device possible to re-create the almost palpable scene for the reader.

About Style

What Is Style?


Ask yourself a question—What is the difference between the comedy of Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy? We would all agree that they are both funny, but we would also say that each man has his own style. What makes Cosby’s comedy different from Murphy’s?

Consider the following:

• Subject matter

• Language (diction)

• Pacing

• Selection of detail

• Presentation—body language

• Attitude toward his material

• Attitude toward his audience

This is what we call style. You do this all the time. You know Jennifer Lopez has a different style than does Barbra Streisand.

If we were to give you two literary passages, you could probably tell which was written by Hemingway and which was written by Dickens. How would you know? Simple; you would use the same principles you considered with the two comedians:

• Subject matter

• Selection of detail

• Point of view

• Diction

• Figurative language/imagery

• Attitude

• Tone

• Pacing/syntax

• Organization

See how easy it is? The AP English Language and Composition exam expects you to be able to recognize and to explain how these elements function in a given passage.

How Do I Talk About Style?

You need to understand and to refer to some basic writing terms and devices. These include subject matter, selection of detail, organization, point of view, diction, syntax, language, attitude, and tone.

What follows is a brief review of each of these elements of style . In this review, we define each device, cite examples, and provide practice for you. (In addition, we have incorporated suggested readings and writing for you.)

Subject Matter and Selection of Detail

Since these two are dependent on each other, let’s look at them together. Unlike the poor, beleaguered AP Comp student who is assigned a topic, each author makes a conscious decision about what he or she will write. (In most instances, so do you.) It is not hit or miss. The author wants to make a point about his or her subject and makes numerous conscious decisions about which details to include and which to exclude. Here’s an example. Two students are asked to write about hamburgers. One is a vegetarian, and one is a hamburger fanatic. You’ve already mentally categorized the details each would choose to include in making his or her points about hamburgers. Got it? Selection of detail is part of style .

Note : Many authors become associated with a particular type of subject matter: for example, Mario Puzo with organized crime (The Godfather ), Steven King with horror and suspense (The Shining ), Upton Sinclair with muckraking (The Jungle ). This, then, becomes part of their recognized style.

Think about a couple of your favorite writers, rock groups, singers, comedians, and so on and list their primary subjects and selection of details.


The way in which a writer presents his or her ideas to the reader is termed organization . You do this every day. For example, look at your locker. How are your books, jacket, gym clothes, lunch, and other things arranged in it? If someone else were to open it, what conclusion would that person draw about you? This is your personal organization. The same can apply to a writer and his or her work. Let’s review a few favorite patterns of organization.

Writers can organize their thoughts in many different ways, including:

• Chronological

• Spatial

• Specific to general

• General to specific

• Least to most important

• Most to least important

• Flashback or fast-forward

• Contrast/comparison

• Cause/effect

As with your locker, an outside viewer—known here as the reader—responds to the writer’s organizational patterns. Keep these approaches in mind when analyzing style. (You might want to make marginal notes on some of your readings as practice.)

Point of View

Point of view is the method the author utilizes to tell the story. It is the vantage point from which the narrative is told. You’ve had practice with this in both reading and writing.

First person: The narrator is the story’s protagonist. (I went to the store.)

Here is an example from Charles Dickens’s The Personal History of David Copperfield .

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously .

Third person objective: The narrator is an onlooker reporting the story. (She went to the store.)

Here is an example from Sinclair Lewis’s Elmer Gantry .

Elmer Gantry was drunk. He was eloquently drunk, lovingly and pugnaciously drunk. He leaned against the bar of the Old Home Sample Room, the most gilded and urbane saloon in Cato, Missouri, and requested the bartender to join him in “The Good Old Summer time,” the waltz of the day .

Third person omniscient: The narrator reports the story and provides information that the character(s) is unaware of. (She went to the store unaware that in three minutes she would meet her unknown mother selling apples on the corner.)

Here is an example from Evan S. Connell’s Mrs. Bridge .

Her first name was India—she was never able to get used to it. It seemed to her that her parents must have been thinking of someone else when they named her. Or were they hoping for another sort of daughter? As a child she was often on the point of inquiring, but time passed, and she never did .

Stream of consciousness: This is a narrative technique that places the reader in the mind and thought process of the narrator, no matter how random and spontaneous that may be (e.g., James Joyce’s Ulysses ).

Here is an example from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying .

I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not. Jewel knows who he is, because he does not know that he does not know whether he is or not. He cannot empty himself because he is not what he is and he is what he is not. Beyond the unlamped wall I can hear the rain shaping the wagon that is ours … And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am is.

Chorus: Ancient Greek plays employed a chorus as a narrative device. The chorus, as needed, could be a character, an assembly, the playwright’s voice, the audience, or an omniscient forecaster.

Stage manager: This technique utilizes a character who comments omnisciently (e.g., Our Town , The Glass Menagerie ).

Interior monologue: This technique reflects the inner thoughts of the character.

Here is an example from Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin .

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed .


Diction, also termed word choice , refers to the conscious selection of words to further the author’s purpose. Once again, place yourself in the writer’s position. How would you describe your date last weekend to your parents? Your peers? Yourself? We’re guessing you used different words (and selection of details) for each audience. And, may we say, “good choice.”

That personal note out of the way, a writer searches for the most appropriate, evocative, or precise word or phrase to convey his or her intent. The author is sensitive to denotation, connotation, and symbolic aspects of language choices.

For example, let’s look at “The evening invaded the street.” Here James Joyce chooses a strong verb to express his thought. What do you associate with this word? Does it affect you? What if he had said, “The evening caressed the street?” Diction makes a difference. (By the way, the first example is from “Eveline,” which is a story about a character’s personal war with herself.)

Diction is placing the right word in the right place. It is a deliberate technique to further the author’s purpose or intent. Diction builds throughout a piece so that ideas, tone, or attitude are continually reinforced. You should be able to identify and link examples of specific diction to the ideas, purpose, tone, or intent of the passage.

Let’s Try Another

Here is the bare-bones sentence outline of a paragraph.

She heard the story and accepted its significance. She wept in her sister’s arms. She went to her room alone .

Here is how Kate Chopin actually wrote her paragraph in “The Story of an Hour”:

She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment in her sister’s arms. When the storm had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her .

Now, you highlight those changes in words/phrases which transform the whole tone of the passage.

In this brief paragraph that describes Louise’s reaction to the news of her husband’s death, we can easily see diction at work. The first and last lines use a negative word to establish her separation from other women. The adjective paralyzed is also contrasted with Louise’s sudden , wild abandonment . The storm of grief is spent —as are her emotional responses. She is going away to be alone with herself.

See how the diction enriches the paragraph. Here, the reader begins to get a feeling for Louise’s unique character.


When writing your essay write, “Diction IS … ” or “An example of Salinger’s diction IS… .” Avoid saying, “Salinger uses diction.” It is a little point, but it is one that indicates a mature writer is at work.

Figurative Language and Imagery

Imagery is the written creation of sensory experience achieved through the use of figurative language. Figurative language includes the following:

• Analogy

• Sensory description

• Poetic devices, which include:

— metaphor

— simile

— hyperbole

— onomatopoeia

— personification

— oxymoron

— metonymy

— synecdoche

— alliteration

— assonance

— consonance

As an example, here is a passage excerpted from Herman Melville’s “Nantucket.”

And thus have these naked Nantucketers, these sea hermits, issuing from their ant-hill in the sea, overrun and conquered the watery world like so many Alexanders; parceling out among them the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, as the three pirate powers did Poland. Let America add Mexico to Texas, and pile Cuba upon Canada; let the English overswarm all India, and hang out their blazing banner from the sun; two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer’s. For the sea is his; he owns it, as Emperors own empires; other seamen having but a right of way through it. Merchant ships are but extension bridges; armed ones but floating forts; even pirates and privateers, though following the sea as highwaymen the road, they but plunder other ships, other fragments of the land like themselves, without seeking to draw their living from the bottomless deep itself. The Nantucketer, he alone resides and riots on the sea; he alone, in Bible language, goes down to it in ships; to and fro ploughing it as his own special plantation . There is his home; there lies his business, which a Noah’s flood would not interrupt, though it overwhelmed all the millions in China. He lives on the sea, as prairie dogs in the prairie; he hides among the waves, he climbs them as mountain goats climb the Alps. For years he knows not the land; so that when he comes to it at last, it smells like another world, more strangely than the moon would to an Earthsman. With the landless gull, that at sunset folds her wings and is rocked to sleep between billows; so at nightfall, the Nantucketer, out of sight of land, furls his sail, and lays him to his rest, while under his very pillow rush herds of walruses and whales .

Can you recognize the different examples of figurative language used in this paragraph? List several now.


Risking your closing the book, we are going to use the dreaded “G” word—grammar . Grammar refers to the function of words and their uses and relationship in a sentence. Syntax is the grammatical structure of sentences . Without syntax, there is no clear communication. It is the responsibility of the author to manipulate language so that his or her purpose and intent are clear to the reader.

Note: When we refer to syntax in the context of rhetorical analysis, we are not speaking of grammatical correctness, but rather of the deliberate sentence structure the author chooses to make his or her desired point.

We assume that you are already familiar with the basics of sentence structure and are able to recognize and clearly construct:

• phrases;

• clauses;

• basic sentence types: declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory;

• simple sentences;

• compound sentences;

• complex sentences; and

• compound–complex sentences.

We also assume that you have a good working knowledge of:

• punctuation,

• spelling, and

• paragraphing.

If you are in doubt about any of these, refer to the English handbook section of your composition textbooks. We also recommend The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. And, don’t forget, your teacher is your major resource who can provide you with information and practice. Be honest with yourself. If you need help, get it early in the term.

Carefully read the following passage for more practice with syntax .

It struck eight. Bella waited. Nobody came .

She sat down on a gilt chair at the head of the stairs, looked steadily before her with her blank, blue eyes. In the hall, in the cloakroom, in the supper-room, the hired footmen looked at one another with knowing winks. “What does the old girl expect? No one’ll have finished dinner before ten.”

— (Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing; “Bella Gave a Party,” Evelyn Waugh, 1936)

Did you notice the following syntactical elements and their effects in this selection?

• Short declarative sentences

— Repetitiveness is like the ticking of a clock

— Immediately introduces tension

• Simple declarative sentence beginning with subject/verbs

— Parallel structure with phrases beginning with in

— Pacing: clock ticking away time, uncaring

• Periodic sentence draws attention to the setting rather than the footmen

• Ends with a rhetorical question: reader drawn into the tension

You can see from just a brief analysis of the sentence structure of this passage that syntax plays an important role in the creation of character, setting, and tension.


We recommend that you choose brief passages from works which you study in your AP Comp class and practice this process on them throughout the year.

Here is a sentence structure activity you can use to review creating sentences using coordination and subordination.

Consider the following set of sentences.

I write.

I have a writing problem.

The problem is wordiness.

This tendency leads me somewhere.

It leads me to my writing awkward sentences.

These sentences confuse my readers.

I must edit my writing.

I must be very careful.

Rewrite this set of simple sentences THREE different ways, with each new sentence containing ALL of the information given. Each new sentence is to emphasize a different simple sentence (main clause) given in the original set. Bracket the clause you are emphasizing in each new sentence.


You might wish to work on this type of activity throughout the year with your class or with an AP Comp study group that you have formed.

Tone and Attitude

We are guessing that these terms have confused you, as indeed, they have confused our own students in the past. Both terms refer to the author’s perception and presentation of the material and the audience .

Tone, which often reinforces the mood of a piece, is easy to understand. Think of Edgar Allen Poe and the prevailing mood and tone of a short story such as “The Telltale Heart.” There is no doubt that the single effect of this story is macabre horror, which clearly establishes the tone.

An author’s attitude is not just the creation of a mood. It represents the stance or relationship the author has toward his or her subject . This type of analysis may require that you “read between the lines,” which is the close reading of diction and syntax.

There are some basics for you to consider when determining tone and attitude.

The author can indicate several attitudes toward the reader:

• Talking down to the reader as an advisor

• Talking down to the reader as a satirist

• Talking eye-to-eye with the reader as an equal

• Talking up to the reader as a supplicant or subordinate

The attitude may also be formal or informal.

• Formal tends to use diction and syntax that are academic, serious, and authoritative.

• Informal is more conversational and engages the reader on an equal basis.

In “The Telltale Heart,” it is fairly obvious that the diction and syntax help to create a macabre tone. At the same time, Poe’s highly academic and mature diction and syntax create a formal attitude as he relates his tale to his reader as an equal.

Jonathan Swift in “A Modest Proposal” presents a satiric attitude as he speaks down to (instructs) his audience. Likewise, Charles Lamb in “A Dissertation on Roast Pig” engages his reader with an informal attitude in his satire.

If you want to see a subservient or subordinate attitude, see Chief Seattle’s speech in our Practice Exam #1, essay question #1. Here, you will see how he employs diction and syntax to create a mocking humility that would serve his greater purpose.

The following is a list of adjectives often used to describe tone and attitude in a literary work. Feel free to add your own appropriate words.




Be aware that tone and attitude are frequently described using a pair of words in the multiple-choice section of the AP English Language and Composition exam. For example: bitter and disdainful . Both adjectives must apply for the choice to be correct.

What follows is a set of activities that can provide practice in recognizing and analyzing tone and attitude. We suggest you try them as you progress through your AP Comp course.

Consider the following passages:

Passage A

I am looking at a sunset. I am on the rim of the Grand Canyon. I have been on vacation for the past two weeks which I have been planning for over a year. I have always wanted to visit this geographic location. There are many people also looking at the same sight that I see. This is the first time I have witnessed this place and this event. There are many varied colors while this sunset is taking place. The sun disappears behind the Canyon walls, and darkness comes quickly after that.

Passage B

It was Monday morning. The sun was out, and I walked into the meeting. I was expecting to find some new people there. They were. I was introduced to them. The room was warm. Coffee was served. The meeting began, and the subject was our budget for the next year. There was discussion. I did not agree with many of the people there. A vote was taken after a period of time. The new budget was passed.

Passage C

I am looking at the new Wondercar. I am trying to decide whether or not to purchase or lease this car. It offers ABS, four-wheel drive, a V-8 engine, and the following extras: CD player, AC, power windows, door locks, etc., tinted glass, heated leather seats, a cellular phone, and luggage and ski racks. I would like the color forest green. The purchase price is $48,500. The monthly leasing payment after a $6,000 down payment would be $589.00 for three years.

Using your knowledge of tone, rewrite each of the above passages so that a specific tone is evident to your reader. Identify that tone/attitude. Once you have written the new passage, highlight those changes in diction and syntax which help you to create the tone and attitude you wanted.

Here is another activity that will allow you to practice your skills in analyzing tone and attitude:

Locate reviews of films, music, plays, cars, sports events, or teams—anything you can find that has been reviewed or criticized. These reviews can come from newspapers and/or periodicals you locate in an actual publication, or they can be from a real newspaper or periodical with articles posted on the Web. We suggest that you cut them out or print them out from the Internet.

Under each review:

• Cite the source and the date of the review

• State the tone the reviewer has

• Underline those words and/or phrases (diction ) used in the review that support and/or develop this tone

As an extra practice, you might try this. Follow the directions above. Only this time, you will be collecting the reviews for only one film, sports event, and so forth. Let’s see. You could try the New York Times , USA Today , the Wall Street Journal , Time , Newsweek , People , or Entertainment Weekly . Of course, you may know of others. Terrific; feel free to use them.

Again, try this with your class or study group. The more the merrier.

The following may serve as a final look at our review of style. We have been taking a rather concentrated look at some of the components of what the experts call “literary” style. As you know, two of the major components of style are: (1) the types of sentences an author chooses to use (syntax ); and (2) word choice (diction ). Below is a sample paragraph that provides some further practice with these two areas. This is the first, bare-bones draft .

Last night was chilly. I went into New York City. I went to see a reading of a play. It was a new play. It was a staged reading. It was read at the Roundabout Theater. The Roundabout Theater is on Broadway. It is on the corner of 45th Street. The play was written by Ruth Wolf. She writes about historical people. This play is about Mary Shelley. She was the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Percy B. Shelley was a poet. He is a very famous Romantic poet. Mary Shelley wrote books. She wrote Frankenstein . Many people know this novel. Many people really like the story. There were more than 200 people there. The play was long. It had two acts. It takes place in France and Italy. It also takes place in heaven and hell. There are three main characters. One character is Mary Shelley. One character is Percy B. Shelley. One character plays the archangel and the devil. There is a lot of talking. There is little action. I liked the talking. I wished there was more action. It is called a comedy. Many of the scenes were not comical. The play could not make up its mind. I do not think it will be produced .

1 . Now, using your knowledge of syntax and diction, rewrite this paragraph using coordination, subordination, phrases, and so forth.

2 . Once you have written a revised paragraph, work with someone and REWRITE it in a new and different way.

Here’s an example of one way to revise the passage.

Last night, I went into chilly New York City to see a staged reading of a new play at the Roundabout Theater on the corner of 45th and Broadway. Ruth Wolf, who is known for her productions about historical figures, has written a play about Mary Shelley, the wife of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Many people know Mary Shelley as the author of the popular novel Frankenstein . The play takes place in France, Italy, heaven, and hell with main characters Mary herself, Percy B. Shelley, and an archangel who doubles as the devil. The drama contains much dialog and very little action, which I sorely missed. Billed as a comedy, this play seemed to be unable to make up its mind between being a comedy or a serious tragedy. Because of this problem, I don’t believe this play has a real chance of being produced .

The “Connective Tissue” Issue


Throughout this book, we use the term connective tissue . For us, this “tissue issue” has four components. The most obvious refers to transitions between paragraphs or sections of a piece. The other three are not as readily recognizable as is transition, but you need to know that they play a major role in the coherence of a written work. The mature reader and writer will learn to recognize and employ these elements:

• Transition—indicates a logical connection between ideas

• Subject consistency—the subjects of the main clauses in a sequence of sentences are consistent (inconsistency is often the result of passive voice)

Example: no: The photography was by Ansel Adams. I have always been a fan of this great photographer. The temptation to buy the photo due to the price was quite strong.

yes: I have always been a fan of the great photographer Ansel Adams. Because of the price of one of his photographs, I was tempted to buy it.

• Tense consistency—the use of the same tense throughout the selection

Example: no: When I have driven to work, I always used the same route.

yes: I always use the same route when I drive to work.

• Voice consistency—use of the active voice and avoidance of the passive voice when possible

Example: no: The bear was seen when Tim opened the door.

yes: Tim opened the door and saw the bear.

Note : Another method of creating cohesion and topic adherence is the use of “echo words” or synonymous words or phrases throughout the selection.

Those authors you recognize as good writers are skilled at building connective tissue. You should be able to recognize it and to employ it in your own work.

The following is a guide to transitional words and phrases.

Most often used and most “natural” transitions in sentences or brief sequences of sentences:

• and

• but

• or

• nor

• for

• yet

Some other commonly used transitions between paragraphs or sections of longer works:

• Numerical: first, second, third, primarily, secondly, and so forth

• Sequential: then, finally, next

• Additional: furthermore, moreover, again, also, similarly

• Illustrative: for example, for instance, to illustrate

• Contrast, comparison, alternative: on the other hand, nevertheless, conversely, instead, however, still

• Cause and effect: therefore, consequently, as a result, accordingly

• Affirmation: of course, obviously, indeed

Here is an activity that will provide practice with transitions. Using one of your essays, highlight all of the transitions and complete the following:

The following are the transition words/phrases that I have used to connect each paragraph to the one before it.


If you find that you are missing a needed transition between paragraphs, indicate that on the appropriate line that corresponds to that paragraph. Then, write the needed transitional word or phrase.

Note: This practice activity should be one which you do as often as possible. You may wish to do this type of editing with your class or study group. No matter how you do it, just DO IT.

Voice: Pen, Paper, Action!


Writing is a living process. Good writing moves the reader clearly from point to point. Voice and pacing play a major role in this process. Subjects are responsible for their actions. In the context of rhetorical analysis, the first type of voice is that “picture” of yourself as a writer that you consciously try to create for your reader. Just how do you want your reader to “see” and “hear” you: as confident, mature, knowledgeable, witty, reverent, friendly, caring, audacious …? What? This first type of voice is the result of all of the elements that make up style .

And, one of those components is the second type of voice . This type of voice refers to active or passive voice , which simply is the relationship between the subject and its verb. Almost every instructor or writer who teaches says one thing—“Use ACTIVE voice.”


To answer this question, look at the following sentences:

The ball was thrown by Jessica.

1 . What is the subject? ________________________________________

2 . What is the verb tense? ________________________________________

3 . Is the verb simple or compound? ________________________________________

4 . What is the prepositional phrase? ________________________________________

5 . How many words are in the sentence? ________________________________________

Jessica threw the ball.

1 . What is the subject? ________________________________________

2 . What is the verb tense? ________________________________________

3 . Is the verb simple or compound? ________________________________________

4 . Is there a prepositional phrase? ________________________________________

5 . How many words are in the sentence? ________________________________________

Which of the two sentences has the subject of the sentence doing the action? ______

Which one has the subject being acted upon? ______


When the writing lets the reader know that the subject is doing the acting , you have ACTIVE VOICE. When the subject is acted upon or is the goal of the action, and, therefore, NOT responsible, you have PASSIVE VOICE .

With this information, now identify which of the two sentences above is active and which one is passive. Without doubt, we know you chose the second as active and the first as passive. Good for you.

Here’s another example:

The treaty was signed last night .

Who signed the treaty? Whom do we blame if the treaty fails? We don’t know, do we? Passive voice avoids responsibility. It is a primary tool of those who want to obfuscate or of those who lack confidence and decisiveness. Why not give the true picture and write:

Last night, the President of the United States and the President of Mexico signed a mutual defense treaty .

Here’s a practice activity for you.

The huge red building was entered at the sound of the bell. Instructions were yelled at us by a mean-looking old lady . A crowd of six-year-olds was followed down a long hallway, up some steps, and down another corridor by me clutching my lunchbox. Mrs. Nearing’s room was looked for. Our destination was reached when we were loudly greeted by a tall, black-haired woman. A tag was pressed to my chest after my name was asked and a tag was printed by her. Several big six-year-olds could be seen inside the room by me. The door was closed with a loud bang. The glass near the top of the door was kept from shattering by a network of wires. The wires were observed to be prison-like. So, back in school was I .

You should have noticed that every sentence is written in the passive voice. Awkward and tedious, isn’t it? Now, it’s your turn. Rewrite this passage by simply changing all of the passive constructions into active voice.

Compare Your Revision with Ours

At the sound of the bell, I entered the huge, red building with hundreds of other kids. Just inside the entrance, a mean-looking old lady yelled instructions at us. I clutched my lunchbox and followed a crowd of other six-year-olds down a long hallway, up some steps, and down another corridor as we looked for Mrs. Nearing’s room. I knew we had reached our destination when a tall, black-haired woman loudly greeted us. She asked me my name, then she printed it on a sticky tag and pressed it to my chest. Once inside the room, I could see several other kids my age, some of them BIG. Finally, Mrs. Nearing closed the door with a loud bang. A network of wires kept the glass near the top of the door from shattering. These wires looked like the bars of a prison to me. I was back in school .

Have you noticed that many sentences written in passive voice contain a prepositional phrase beginning with by ? That by -phrase immediately following the verb (usually compound) can be a clue that you have passive voice at work in the sentence. GET RID OF IT, if you can.

Note: There are times when you deliberately want to use passive voice, but it should be a very conscious choice on your part. Here are four questions to ask yourself.

• Do you want to avoid stating who/what is responsible for an action?

• Is there a specific goal or effect that you wish to emphasize?

• Do you want to create a “special effect”?

• Do you want to sound “academic” and avoid using the dreaded “first person” responsibility?

• If you can answer a loud “yes” to any or all of these questions, then you may decide to employ passive voice.

Let’s hear your voice—loud and clear! Take responsibility for what you think, say, and write. This is your voice. It is the real you. Give it life. Don’t suffocate it.


Pacing is the “movement” of a literary piece from one point to another. The primary component of pacing is syntax: sentence length, sentence type, and punctuation. There are several ways to add variety and pacing to your writing by:

• using a mixture of sentence types, known as sentence variety;

• using the rhetorical question;

• using the imperative sentence;

• using the exclamatory sentence; and

• varying the beginnings of sentences.

For example, if you were to compose a brief paragraph about writing an AP English Language and Composition essay, you could write:

I like to write essays for AP Comp class. I like to think through an idea, and I like to try out different approaches to discussing an idea. My AP teacher gives us lots of time to prepare our essays. He gives us a topic. Then, he has us do an outline and then a first draft. We have our first draft read by a member of our peer group. I do my revision after this. I also read my essay aloud to someone. Then, I’m ready to hand it in to my instructor for grading .

Note that all the sentences begin with subject and verb. All the sentences, except for the second one, are simple. The second is no more than a compound sentence made up of two very simple main clauses. Do you feel the tediousness and immaturity of this paragraph? There is nothing grammatically wrong with any of the sentences. However, would you be happy with this paragraph if you had written it? Something is missing, and that something has to do with pacing .

Rewrite this paragraph so that there is a variety of sentences and sentence beginnings. How does your revision compare with ours?

Because I like to think through ideas and try different approaches to presenting an idea, I really enjoy my AP Comp class. Another reason for my enjoying writing essays is my AP teacher’s approach to composition. For him and, therefore, for us, writing is not a quick, hit-or-miss assignment. After we choose a topic, Mr. Damon allows plenty of time for preparation, which includes outlining, writing the first draft, and reading by our peer groups. It is only after completing these steps that I revise and write the final draft I will submit for grading. It’s a good plan .

A Few Words About Coherence


Coherence is accepting your responsibility as a writer to “deliver the goods.” Your reader has expectations you are obliged to meet.

• Basically, the reader looks for some kind of announcement as to what is to follow (the thesis, assertion, claim).

• Near the end of the introduction, the reader expects to find some hints about the major points that you will discuss in your piece of writing.

• The body of the presentation will develop the discussion of each major point.

• The reader will expect to be led logically from one major point to another via “connective tissue.”

• The reader expects some sort of final comment or remark, not a summary. Among the many possibilities, this final “point” could be:

— an interpretation of the significance of the points of your discussion;

— a prediction;

— an anecdote;

— a question; or

— a quote.

Make certain that your ending/conclusion is related to your discussion. Don’t introduce new or irrelevant ideas or comments. Also, make sure that the final comment is consistent in tone and attitude with the rest of the paper.

Just as the reader has particular expectations of you as a writer, YOU have expectations when you read the writing of others and when you complete a rhetorical analysis of another’s written work. Ask the very same questions that are asked of you.

An Essay Editing and Revision Template


We are going to provide you with a template for editing and revision that we recommend you use throughout the year for your own essays. The more you use this template for your own writing, the more comfortable you will be when it comes to analyzing the writing of others. It will become almost second nature to you.

Before you begin to write the revised draft of your essay, respond to each of the following carefully . If possible, ask for input from your peers. Read aloud to each other. Listen to what you have written.

“For me, having an audience who gives me feedback is really important and helps me to see what needs to be revised.”
—Jessica K., AP student

The title of my essay is _________________________________________________________________.

I will organize my essay using (a rhetorical strategy) _________________________________________.

The thesis of my essay is in the __________ paragraph.

My intended tone/attitude is ___________________________________________________________.

I have used the following rhetorical devices/elements to create this tone:


The following are the transition words/phrases I have used to connect each paragraph to the one before it.

#1: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#2: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#3: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#4: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#5: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#6: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#7: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#8: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#9: ________________________________________________________________________________________

#10: _______________________________________________________________________________________

I use the ____________________ tense as the predominant tense in my essay.

I have checked the verbs in each of my paragraphs. They are all in the predominant tense except :

#1: _______________ (tense) _______________ Reason for using this tense is ________________________________________. (You must do this with each paragraph and with each verb.)

I have __________ sentences in my essay. __________ of them begin with the subject. __________ of them begin with a participle phrase. __________ of them begin with a relative clause. __________ of them begin with an adverbial clause. __________ of them begin with a prepositional phrase. __________ of them begin with an infinitive. __________ of them begin with a gerund.

I have __________ simple sentences in my essay; __________ compound sentences; __________ complex sentences; __________ compound-complex sentences.

I think I need to add more sentence variety to my presentation. ______ yes ______ no

I have made certain that there is a variety of sentence structures in my essay. ______ yes _______ no

My conclusion _______ is _______ is not a summary of what I have already said in my essay. If it is not a summary, identify the type of ending you have created. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I have discussed this inventory of my first draft with __________. These are the suggested areas for improving my essay:

The major things I have to work on when I revise my essay are:

Rapid Review

• Analysis is the deconstruction of a passage into its components in order to examine how a writer develops a subject.

• The AP English Language exam requires the analysis of structure, purpose, style.

• Discourse is conversation between the text and the reader.

• Rhetoric is a term for all of the strategies, modes, and devices a writer employs.

• There are four major modes of discourse:

— exposition

— narration

— description

— argumentation

• Rhetorical strategies are used to develop the modes of discourse:

— example

— comparison and contrast

— definition

— cause and effect

— process

— analysis

— classification

• Practice each of the rhetorical strategies.

• Style is the unique writing pattern of a writer.

• Style comprises:

— subject matter

— selection of detail

— organization

— point of view

— diction

— syntax

— language

— attitude

— tone

• Practice with stylistic devices.

• Review words that describe tone.

• Review “connective tissue”:

— transition

— subject consistency

— tense consistency

— voice consistency

• Practice using active and passive voice.

• Practice recognizing pacing in professional writing and in your own essays by sentence variety:

— construction

— openings

— types

• Utilize rubrics to gauge your essays.