Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Third Period

You do not have this assignment sheet yet. You need it. Notice you wrote on the 3rd option last night.

Monday, March 21, 2011

That Assertive Angel

For your homework, blog your response to the following prompt:

Assertion Journal: The Angel in the House

Defend, challenge, or qualify the following assertion noting the complexity of the issue and acknowledging any possible objections to your point of view: the angel in the house is dead and no longer lives in the imaginations of either women or men.

Remember to explain the assertion, provide support for your position, and address the counterargument.   Responses should be 250-350 words.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Want a Wife

Mr. Mom: 1983
If you were out singing or jamming away (do they sing on the bus on band trips?), we went over our grammar (sorry you missed that, eh?) and read I Want A Wife. Please read that short, short article before Monday.

I hope you all had a great trip.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Notes on the AP Synthesis Prompt

Synthesis Reminders from the book
2010 Notes

2011 Notes on the AP Synthesis Prompt
Below are the synthesis notes posted to your respective blogs.

3rd Period

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime! (Summer and...?)

  • Using many of the sources given, or at least the required amount.
  • Addressing the prompt correctly.
  • Developing a position and making sure that position is clear.
  • Provide other backround information.
  • Address the sources and expand on them.
  • Answer "so what?"
  • Don't over-use the sources.
  • Don't summarize.
  • Unrecognizable thesis.
  • Misunderstanding the sources.
  • Not citing the sources used.
  • Not developing a position.
  • Not using any of the sources.
  • Not following a thesis.
  • Under-developed points for the argument.
  • Being too simplistic.
  • Using the sources smoothly rather then "plopping" them.
  • Thesis discusses the complexity of the issues.
  • The explanation of the context is clear to the reader.
  • Not getting overwhelmed by the sources used.
  • The conclusion addresses what the reader should continue to think about instead of summarizing the paper.

Nightrider, Kit, and the Three Amigos (McCrea, Stephanie, Madison, Cori)

What makes a good essay?
-Complex thesis (acknowledging both sides of the argument)
-Form/Develop a position (clear and strong)
-Understanding the sources and explaining the signifacance of each to the thesis
-Relating author of sources to their position
-Give your own opinion, not just the authors' opinion
-Combine your argument with the authors' but make sure yours is the main focus

What to avoid:
-overwhelming the reader with sources
-replacing your argument with the sources
-plopping quotes
-summarizing sources
-misunderstanding sources
-large quotes without commentary
-simplifying sources
-repetative conclusions/summary
-abrupt transitions

-Use specific data if available
-Take time to analyze sources and plan exactly what information you want to include
-Use sophisticated language

The Boys Are Back in Town (Chris, Will, Mark, and Luke)

1.What makes a good essay?
  • They contextualise the issue at hand for readers
  • Cite at least three sources
  • effectively supports their position by effectively synthesizing
  • thesis establishes a position
  • Recognizes the complexity of the prompt
  • sources enhance argument
2.What to avoid?
  • Over using sources
  • failing to cite sources
  • repetitive conclusions
  • lapses in diction and syntax
  • summerizing sources
  • sources replace argument
  • use many type of information to support your argument
  • develope your ideas with facts
  • cite or refer to anecdotes
  • cite quantitative data
  • cite an expert testimony
  • keep your position central
  • analyze the rhetorical situation in order to determine what is appropriate when it comes to sources
  • be sure to use good hand writting [sic]

Park Place (Ashley and ...?)

What makes a good essay?
Cite your sources.
Make a position and support it.
Don't steal the sources argument. Use their points to support yours.
Use quotes, don't paraphrase.
Use three or more sources unless, try two difference sources per paragraph.
Use whole quotes or at least edit them so they're not so long
Avoid repetition and oversimplification
Be careful of in-formalities
Read the prompt more than once and makes sure you read it correctly.
If you're going to use big words, know how to use them and how to spell them.
Multi-faceted argument.

Nicole and Riley's Synthesis

What makes a good essay?
-Cite your sources
-Make sure the quotes blend in and make sense
-Choose a side in the argument
-Quotes support side

What to avoid?
-Quotes from source are too long
-Not citing your sources (plagiarism)
-Misquoting source
-Abrupt transitions

-Using sources smoothly
-Citing sources
-Use facts and data

5th Period

D is for Dynamite! (Paola, Jessica, Dency)

1. The use of not only language control but also the effective use of sources and clearly choosing a side to create your own argument is the way you successful get a higher score on your essay.  They have to efficiently stay on topic throughout the entire paper and provide good conclusions.  To go from a 5 to a 6, the essay has to be a little more organized and it has to to have more thought behind it.
2. A lower essay is very simplistic in not only their use of sources but also the vocabulary.  They use sources, but they oversimplify them and simply summarize them.  They tend to sway back and forth between arguments.
3. You can have a higher score by creating a general outline with a thesis, not oversimplifying, and having a general idea of what sources you should use.

The 3 question thing in class (Dalton, Yusuke, Dustin, Kelin, Chris)

1.) What makes a good synthesis essay?
-  Sophisticated argument with synthesis of sources

a.) 5 to a 6?
-  You must connect your sources to your argument better

b.) 6 to a 7 or 8?
-  More complete, purposeful arguments and synthesis of sources.  Convincing argument.

2.)  What are characteristics of a lower essay?
-  Off topic, tangent, incorrect or amount of sources, not taking a position, misunderstanding, lack of control.

a.) Pitfalls you should avoid?
-  tangents, not citing sources, summarizing.

3.)  What are some strategies that you could employ to achieve success?
-  Plan before you write, answer every question on the multiple choice portion, annotate text before you start writing.

Narwhal Notes from "The ADD Class" (Kelli, Bryce, Mac, and Delaney)

What makes a good synthesis essay?
-Short quotes from the sources. Lengthy quotes are bad.
-Use sources logically. If it doesn't support your point, don't use it!
-Have a clear thesis. A quote from another source is not a thesis.
-You can use the points made in sources, but you need to focus on your own.
-Make a clear connection between sources and thesis.
-Show that you have an advanced understanding of what the sources actually mean.

What makes a lower synthesis essay? (Things to avoid)
-Do not just "plop" quotes. Explain why they are relevant and how they support your argument.
-As with any essay, do not write extremely long and overly complex sentences
-Do not just summarize the sources! Make your own!
-Avoid misinterpreting the sources

What are some strategies to achieve success on the AP test?
-Budget time wisely between all three essays. Leave the best for last.
-On multiple choice, if you don't know it, leave it for last!
-Stay on topic! In all three essays, going off on a tangent will not benefit you!
-Waste as little time as possible reading the prompts. But do not just skim it; misinterpreting the prompt leads to horrible failure.

The Dark Side has Cookies. What you got? (Natalie, Brooke, Shanice, and Megan)
  1. Interact with the sources, develops their own argument rather than paraphrase the articles, more fully developed argument, good voice and development of argument, officiant language, contains enough evidence of more-than-adequate synthesis, and have direct citations.
  2. Does not directly cite the sources, summarizes what the article say instead of creating an original their own argument, does not develop a unique position , writes a comparison/contrast essay of the articles, does not conclude their statements/argument, oversimplifies the argument, does not have control over writing style, inadequate response to the topic, abrupt transitions between paragraphs, quality of argument is uneven.
  3. Don't just summarize, go in-depth and explain fully, develop your own argument, be careful when citing and quoting from the provided text.
Arrows point you in the right(?) direction (Olivia, Grace, Monica, Jasmine, Alicia, Montana)

1. what makes for a good synthesis essay?
- sophisticated in their argument & synthesis of sited sources
- effectively support decision
- site atleast 3 sources
- they don't merely summarize issue

2. what are the characteristics of a lower essay?
- overwhelmed by sources
- summarize instead of making own argument
- have no recognizable thesis/weak
- sources not always sited
- writer misunderstands/misquotes sources
- large direct quotes without any commentary or explantation

 (Grace's arrows)

3. what are some strategies that you could employ to achieve success on the AP test?
- contextualize the issue
- thesis is complex
- go beyond citing sources and begin developing argument
- flowing argument that clearly states pount in argument
- best essays don't just summarize whole essay, they answer question "so what?"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Women's Brains

As we wrestle with the unpleasant, but important to understand Women's Brains by Stephen Jay Gould, work on the Rhetoric and Style questions 1-12 on pages 354-55 of the TLC book. They are due Wednesday for period 3 and Thursday for period 5, courtesy of the special HSPE schedule.

As you work with this essay, think about the implications of the ideas in the essay -- both those of Gould and of those he quoted. Are there echoes of those ideas alive and kicking today? How? When? Where? To what extent? ;) Thinking about these issues will prime you for the synthesis paper.

REMINDER: The Parallel Structures Grammar as Rhetoric and Style section beginning on page 339 is due Friday in class. Bring it in on paper as we will go over it and answer questions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

No unmarked woman

If you were on the band trip, read There Is No Unmarked Woman by Deborah Tannen in the TLC book on page 388. Blog 1-8 (p. 393) for Monday.

Now, just in case you thought the band was where are the musical talent resides in our class, Stephanie and McCrea are making a music video this weekend that we're hoping ends up on YouTube for us to enjoy. The song is a cover of a band I've never listened to on purpose until this morning when I learned they did the song "I Want It That Way." If you are like me and have little or no exposure to these boys from the back streets, here they are:

For those of you that wonder what kind of neighborhood produced those back streets, here is the Boss and his aging band doing Backstreets.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Synthesis and Development

There two things to do in this blog: one for one person out of each group and one for everyone.

  1. One person in each group should blog their findings from our research today. I will combine all that research into a post or page that you can reference later.
  2. In addition to the post on Being a Man, everyone should define what we mean by "development" when we talk about essays and arguments in a blog post. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Being a Man

Hemingway: Being a Man
Tomorrow, we will take our first synthesis write and your papers are due tonight (Mac, it's time to get started! You too, Megan!), so the questions for this essay won't be due until, say, Thursday (yea!). Those questions are 2-8 on pages 381-2.

For those of you who are really bugged that I did not include #1, feel free to do it as well. I don't want to be responsible for swelling the ranks of Western State.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Synthesis Essay

Not this synthesis...
For Monday, read through the end of chapter 3 (p. 85). We will discuss it on Monday and then dive into synthesis!

By the way, did you realize that today is the only day of the year whose date is also a command?  March 4th or "March forth!"

Have fun at Tolo!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sources for Audiences

Blog the assignment on page 72 of the TLC book. Google one of the columnists listed or try someone local. The main part of this assignment is to analyze their use of sources for what we can discern about the nature of their audience. Don't just say, their audience is educated or likes sports. Use examples from their work to establish and illustrate your claims.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Sorry this is up late. I had a looooong meeting. Anyway, the homework is to read Chapter 3 up to page 66 and blog the assignment on page 66 and following.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

AP Test

The goal
Signups for the AP test have arrived! If you plan to take the AP test in may, you need to pay a nonrefundable $15 deposit to the bookkeeper by March 21st. The total test amount is $87 this year.

If you are on free and reduced lunch, a substantial fee reduction is available. If you are not on free and reduced lunch, but could be, there are applications in the counseling center. If you would prefer, the application is linked here and at the food services page as well. If you aren't already signed up for free and reduced lunch, do so ASAP in order to get the reduced test fee (I think it works for the SAT as well).