Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A. Today I assigned the Rhetorical Analysis Essay using President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address from 1961.  The specific assignment details are written in the blue highlighted boxes on page 55 and 57 of the Language of Composition Textbook. I will give an additional overview of the assignment here on this site.  Students will use the analysis of the 1] rhetorical appeals (ethos/pathos/logos); 2] the language [diction/syntax/tone); and the 3] rhetorical devices (three that are the most used within the speech). the essay must be written in the third-person voice and be approximately 750-1000 words in length.  All student work must be hand written and show a design process prior to drafting. Rough drafts will be scored using the AP testing rubric. Due Date: October 19, 2012

B. Using the rhetorical continuum for political discourse students choose the most important three issues according to their own beliefs.  The three issues will be the topics used to write three separate persuasive speeches. Your teacher will evaluate the three speeches for their use of the rhetorical triangles in construction and choose the best work to be delivered to the class. Due Date: October 19, 2012

C. Students have been provided with examples of visual rhetoric that is being used in the world marketplace to persuade opinion.  Each student must collect ten (10) examples of rhetoric that is primarily visual (video/print advertisement/photo). Due Date: November 1, 2012


Language of Composition Outline Pages 1-34 Reading

AP Language and Composition

Unit 1: Lecture/Reading Outline

  1. Key Elements of Rhetoric
    1. Rhetoric is always situational
    2. The occasion or the time and place the material was written or spoken is the context.
    3. The goal that the speaker or writer wants to achieve is the purpose
    4. The thesis, claim, or assertion is a clear and focused statement that is situationally arguable
    5. The Rhetorical Triangle [Also known as Aristotle’s Triangle
    6. Describes  the interaction among subject, speaker, and audience [or subject, writer, and reader
    7. Describes how the interaction between subject, speaker, audience determines  the structure and language of the argument, a text or image that establishes a position
    8. A subject is chosen, studied,  and evaluated for supporting evidence
    9. A persona is developed, or the character a writer or speaker develops as he/she writes or speaks depending on the context, purpose, subject, and audience
    10. Appeal to Ethos, Pathos, and Logos[or rhetorical appeals
    11. Pathos is the rhetorical argument being made in order to manipulate the emotion of the audience –rarely effective long-term and therefore an argument that is pathos only is a weak argument
    12. Pathos arguments often use connotative language heavily due to its over-reliance on imagery and associative meanings
    13. Pathos arguments are heavily propagandistic in purpose and more polemical than persuasive.
  2. Visual Rhetoric
    1. Political cartoons are a form of visual rhetoric and are often satirical or critical
    2. Political cartoons are dependent on the conditions of the audience
    3. Political cartoons are visual commentary of primary societal issues
    4. Political cartoons are both visual and textual
    5. Captions assist the picture in appealing to ethos, pathos, and logos
    6. Often the text will alter the meaning of the picture as it would exist separate of the effect.

3. Arrangement

A. The Classical Model includes five aspects of structure used for speech and   writing

B. The introduction draws the reader or listener into the argument by establishing credibility…or ethos.

C. The narration provides factual information and background material and establishes why the subject is a problem that needs addressing…often appealing to logos.

D. The confirmation is usually the majority of the text and is the proof needed to make the writer’s argument and containing the most specific and concrete detail…makes the strongest appeal to logos.

E. The refutation addresses the counter-argument and is often the bridge between the proof and the conclusion as well as a method of anticipating objections to an argument…and often appeals primarily to logos.

F. The conclusion usually appeals to pathos and provides the most memorable emotional appeals and the unwritten and unspoken rhetorical question –so what?

4. Patterns of development

A. Narration refers to recounting and retelling of a series of events, based on personal experience and knowledge gained from reading and observation

B. Description emphasizes the senses by focusing on the sensory language of how something looks, sounds, tastes, smells, or feels.

C. Process Analysis explains hoe something functions, or how to do something and focuses on the clarity and logic of a process

D. Exemplification provides a series of examples, facts, specific cases, anecdotes, turns a general idea into a concrete idea making an argument clearer and more persuasive –includes logical proofs Aristotle labeled as induction.

E. Compare and Contrast juxtaposes two things to highlight their similarities and differences in order to better discuss the subtle differences or similarities in the method, style, or purpose of two texts

F. Classification and Division

1. The sorting and categorization of material by a reader or writer to  determine what goes together and why?

2. Allows for a writer to break down a larger idea into its components and better describe each part

G. Definition

1. Usually the first step in the development of an argument

2. Often clarifies terms and/or establishes purpose

H. Cause and Effect

1. The effects that result from a cause are a powerful foundation for an argument

2. Depends on clearly defined logos

3. Depends on careful delineation of a chain of events or circumstances

5. Art and Craft of Analysis

A. Analyzing Style

B. Conversing with Text

C. Graphic Organizer

D. Analysis to Essay

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

AP Language and Composition:

[Objective: Given non-fiction texts students will ne able to a] identify the rhetorical appeals’ effectiveness within the texts; b] identify purpose; c] evaluate a text’s effectiveness as an argument; d] acquire new vocabulary terms in the context of reading; and e] plan and implement strategies for compositions]

Focus Question: In what ways does the American Dream manifest itself in society? [Manifestation/Manifest Destiny]

1] Summer Assignment Parts I/II is due for review on 8/30/2012 and is due for scoring on 9/4/2012
2] Personal Narrative Application Essay [draft one/ and preliminary one page brainstorm sketch] due 9/7/2012

3] Basic Argument Structure: Hook/Claim/Concessions-Refutations/ Support/Call to Action [Everything is an argument and the rhetorical appeals triangle discussion–check out the book Everything is an Argument and the Language of Composition text reading assignment pages 1-34 for a further description of the rhetorical appeals]

4] Reading Assignment 1: Language of Composition [pages 1-34] Analysis of rhetoric

5] Reading Assignment 2: The Closing Circle by Barry Commoner [Part 1] [Students should actively read this section of the document to identify inaccessible vocabulary terms, the rhetorical method, arguments being made, and assumptions and analogies. of the writers.]
English 11/SpringBoard VI:

[Objective: Given that students must understand that various ethnicities, cultures, and historical time periods influence interpretations of the American Dream they will a] read and analyze materials to explore societal issues; b] identify and synthesize a variety of perspectives about the American Dream; c] determine audience, purpose, and perspective; and d] understand and apply writing conventions.]

1] What is an American by Crevecoeur [Students will read as part of the preassessment and then revisit as a tool for discussion about the changing identities of the American over time

2] Europe and America poem by David Ignatow [Students apply the critical analysis method of annotating poetry to the poem for better understanding of its parts and meaning]

3] Ellis Island by Joseph Bruchac  [Students apply the critical analysis method of annotating poetry to the poem for better understanding of its parts and meaning]

4] The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus [Students apply the critical analysis method of annotating poetry to the poem for better understanding of its parts and meaning]

5] Historic Cultural Pathways to the American Dream Questions [Springboard Level VI pages 14-16]

March 14, 2012

Periods 4-7: English 11 -SpringBoard VI

Explain the despotism clause of the Address to the National Convention by  Benjamin Franklin. [two paragraphs]

Despot = one who exercises power and authority for the sake of control of political subjects diminishing individual freedom

-ism = a belief in

Claim/Qualifier/Exception Phrases:

“In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and [this Government] can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” -Benjamin Franklin

March 13, 2012

Chicano Literature:

Reading Assignment: Breaking Through –Francisco Jimenez [pages 42-55]

Discussion of story elements in relation to large public issues around immigration

English 10: SpringBoard V:

“Until the lion has a voice, stories of safaris will always glorify the hunter.” -African Proverb

Reading Assignments:

A] “Prayer to the Masks” [poetry: SB V page 182]

B] “The Second Coming” [poetry: SB V page 183]

C] “An African Voice” [interview: SB V page 185]

Writing Assignment: Embedded Assessment Two: Literary Analysis Essay [MLA format] [SB V page 193]

Rubric for Evaluation [SB V page 194]



March 12, 2012

Chicano Literature:

Dialectical Journal Entry: Explain the lie Panchito tells his fellow students when they question him about his interaction with the Border Patrol.  Why is this a significant lie? What does the lie tell us about the weakness in the American immigration system?

Reading Assignment: Breaking Through pages 19-28; 29-41

English 10: SpringBoard V:

Purple grammar books: Chapter 17 review of sentence basics and parts of speech.

English 11: SpringBoard VI:

Reading Assignment: Address to the Federal Convention -Benjamin Franklin

Students need to write their own description of the Revolutionary point of view about the purpose of America using the questions on SpringBoard VI page 14 and knowledge of the following readings:

a] Speech to the Virginia Convention -Patrick Henry

b] The Declaration of Independence -Thomas Jefferson

c] Address to the Federal Convention -Benjamin Franklin

March 5, 2012


Chicano Literature:


Where does  the ” American” standard for behavior come from- that allows us to identify and fight corruption? (one page)

English 11 SpringBoard VI:

Based on Benjamin Frankilin’s hook and claim in his ” Address to the Constitutional convention” how has America become so corrupt that a good argument can be made that we have fulfilled his warning about despotism and corruption?- Half a page

Based on Benjamin Franklin’s hook and claim in his “Address to the Constitutional Convention” how are Americans incorruptible enough to maintain a constitutional government?- Half a page


Habits of Mind/ Questions

1. How do you know what you know? What’s the evidence? Is it credible?

2. What point of view are you hearing,seeing, reading? Who is the author?

3. Where is she/he standing? What are his/her intentions?

4. How are things connected to each other? how does “it” fit in? where have you heard or seen this before?

5. What if…? Supposing that…? Can you imagine alternatives? How might things be otherwise?

6. What significances does it have? Why is this important? Who cares?

March 2, 2012

Chicano Literature:

Conducting research in the computer lab for the quarterly research project: cultural history

Using Cornell Note format create two annotated notes for each class period spent researching [bibliography-notes-summary]

English 10 SpringBoard V:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe [Reading Chapters 22-24]

English 11 SpringBoard VI:

1. What has made this Declaration necessary, according to the fist paragraph?

2. What, acording to the second paragraph, are among the unalienable rights of the people? Under what circumstances may a goverment be abolished? Where does this goverment get its power?

3. Name some of the abuses of which the founders declare King George guilty?

4.What does this document “publish and declare” in the final paragraph?

5.Why do you think Jefferson says ” the pursit of Happiness” rather than merely “Happiness”?

6. After listing the colonists grievances, Jefferson makes clear the fact that they have tried using peaceful means to draw the king’s attention to their plight. What is the purpose of this statement?

7. What is the purpose of the last paragraph?

8. Is the tone of the last paragraph in keeping with that of the body of the Declaration? Why or why not?

9. What emotional effect is conveyed in the final sentence? what specific diction contribute to this effect?

10. Identify examples of the three parts of rhetoric. What rhetorical devices are used to deliver this rhetoric? Be specific.

11. Over all, based on your understanding, are the principles of this Declaration still in use today by our goverment and citizens? Why or why not? Give examples.

12. Clearly this document was persuasive. Would it still persuade people today to stand up for those “unalienable rights”? Explain.








February 28, 2012

Chicano Literature:

1. Quiz over the reading assignment : La Malinche: Heroine or Harlot

2. Short video on Tenochtitlan, capitol city of the Aztec Empire

Reading and Cornell notes:Hernan Cortez, Spanish Conquistador

English 10/SpringBoard V:

Writing activity [From a class generated list of virtuous character traits, students will narrow their choices to three and skim and scan through the book Things Fall Apart locating evidences of these virtues in the character Okonkwo’s behavior]

Once these points of evidence are established students will construct a 5-7 sentence paragraph explaining Okonkwo’s virtuous nature, even though he has negative qualities as well.  This will be used as a concessions/refutations aspect of the end of book essay.

English 11/SpringBoard VI:

The Declaration of Independence as a moral argument:

  • Write an introductory paragraph that includes a well constructed hook and a thesis for an argument in favor of the merits of the Declaration of Independence’s claim of natural rights for all mankind. 
  • Using the four cardinal virtues construct an argument that requires adherence to these virtues by choice in order to successfully live in a political system built upon the concept of natural rights to life, freedom,  and the ability to express  one’s own concept of happiness.
  • Using the fundamentals of the argument made by the Declaration of Independence provide support with reference to specific passages in the text, their practical applications in the modern world, and the necessary rules of society that must exist in order to protect one person’s abuses from infringing on another person’s guaranteed freedom.

February 7, 2012

Chicano Literature:

English 10/SpringBoard V:

English 11/SpringBoard VI:

Persuasive essay rough drafting on controversial American issues [typed copy in MLA format due Wednesday February 8, 2012]

Persuasive speech condensed from the essay [due Thursday February 9, 2012]

Pre-assessment for semester 2 grammar, sentence structure, and persuasion