AP Language and Composition Summer Reading Assignment Dr. Lisa Wieland

AP Language and Composition
Summer Reading Assignment
Dr. Lisa Wieland
First of all, WELCOME to AP English Language and Composition. I am
looking forward to working with you next year. This will be a CHALLENGING class, but if you
stick with me and do the work as assigned to the best of your ability, you should learn and develop
tremendously. 
In the class, you’ll learn that EVERYTHING’S AN ARGUMENT! If you think about it, even poetry
and fiction are persuasive in that they offer some kind of opinion. When school begins in the fall,
we will look closely at writing by studying Rhetoric (the art of expression and the persuasive use
of language) and reading classic and modern essays. To prepare for this, you are to read 2 books
this summer and complete several assignments with them (the details of these assignments are
below.) All work must be typed!
Believe it or not, I expect you to have all this finished by the first day of school. All of it will be
graded on thoroughness, insight, and clear, organized writing. These assignments will be worth a
total of 225 points in the major category. (The rubric is later in this assignment.).
If you have any questions or problems with the work, please feel free to call me (454-4022) or
email me at [email protected] Now, I will be out of town a couple of times this summer,
and I may not check my email EVERY day, but I will do my best to get in touch with you in a
timely manner.
Assignment #1: How to Mark a Book (essay)
Read the attached (short) essay, “How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer Adler before you read
anything else! I expect you to annotate everything you read this summer and will check your
annotations of Nickel and Dimed and of the novel you read and will give you a 25 point grade on
your annotations.
Assignment #2: Junior Summer Reading (fiction)
Choose 1 of the books from the list below. In order to do this assignment, you’ll need buy the book
so you can write in it and/or take careful notes as you read. When we read fiction this year, we
won’t be analyzing it quite in the way that you have before. Rather, we’ll be focusing on the
writer’s purpose and how he or she uses rhetorical
strategies (such as word choice, tone, style, etc) to
Book List:
achieve that purpose.
Frankenstein—Mary Shelley
The Picture of Dorian Grey—Oscar Wilde
1. Read the book carefully. As you read, take
Sense and Sensibility—Jane Austen
notes in the margins about important ideas,
Brave New World—Aldous Huxley
questions you have, etc.
Alias Grace—Margaret Atwood
2. As you read, look for the author’s rhetorical
1984—George Orwell
strategies.. Use the attached list of rhetorical
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie—Muriel Spark
strategies to help you locate rhetorical
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
strategies and mark and label passages that
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
contain them.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
3. When you are finished reading, create a READER’S LOG with 20 entries from
throughout the book. In this log, you’ll identify individual rhetorical strategies and
analyze them. Each entry should include all 3 of the following parts:
• Completely quoted passage from the book that illustrates a rhetorical strategy
and correct identification of the strategy exemplified by the quote.
• 2-3 sententence explanation of HOW the passage is an example of the strategy
(what about the wording or structure makes the passage a metaphor, asyndeton,
allusion, vernacular, etc).
• Explain WHY this example of a rhetorical strategy helps the writer develop his
or her theme (for example, does it create a feeling, image or relationship for the
reader, and how does that help the argument or tone? How is it persuasive?)
NOTE: The reader’s log should contain a variety of strategies, not just the same few over and over!
Here’s a sample log entry from Walden to get you started:
“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life
into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms. . .”
This quote is an example of ASYNDETON ( which is the elimination of conjunctions in a
I know this is asyndeton because he says, “to live. . . to cut . . . to drive”.
The use of asyndeton makes all the items in the series have equal value and emphasizes their
importance. Throeau’s use of asyndeton in the passage helps him to present his major themes
of living simply so that he can enjoy life to the fullest.
Assignment #3: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Buy this book. Read it actively (with a highlighter and pencil by your side so
you can mark it as you read).
2. Read carefully the following definitions of PATHOS, LOGOS, and ETHOS
(how the writer goes about making his or her case to her audience)
3. TYPE 3 one-page analyses of how Ehrenreich uses these three appeals
(pathos, logos, and ethos) in her book. Each one-page assignment should
address only one term. You are NOT summarizing her argument, but rather
ANALYZING her use of ethos, pathos, or logos to advance the argument(s) in
her book. Please note: Use quotes sparingly to supplement your analyses
(direct quotes should constitute no more than 10% of each one-page essay).
Possible questions to address: By using this type of appeal (logos, pathos, or ethos), is
Ehrenreich’s argument made stronger/weaker? How is it improved? How is it not
improved? Why does she use this type of appeal? Does the argument lend itself toward
Rhetoric—1) the art of finding and analyzing all the choices involving language that a writer,
speaker, reader, or listeners might make in a situation so that the text becomes meaningful,
purposeful, and effective for readers or listeners; 2) The specific features of texts, written or
spoken, that cause them to be meaningful, purposeful, and effective for readers and listeners in
a given situation.
In order to make the rhetorical relationship—speakers to hearers, hearers to subjects,
speakers to subjects—most successful, writers use what Aristotle and his descendants called
the appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos. They appeal to a reader’s sense of logos when they offer
clear, reasonable premises and proofs, when they develop ideas with appropriate details, and
when they make sure readers can follow the progression of ideas. The logical thinking that
informs speakers’ decisions and readers’ responses forms a large part of the kind of writing
students accomplish in school.
Writers use ethos when they demonstrate that they are credible, good-willed, and
knowledgeable about their subjects, and when they connect their thinking to readers’ own
ethical or moral beliefs.
When writers draw on the emotions and interests of readers, and highlight them, they
use pathos, the most powerful appeal and the most immediate—hence its dominance in
advertisements. Students foreground this appeal when they use personal stories or
observations, sometimes even within the context of analytical writing, where it can work
dramatically well to provoke readers’ sympathetic reaction. Figurative language is often used
by writers to heighten the emotional connections readers make to the subject. Emily
Dickinson’s poem that begins with the metaphor “My life had stood—a loaded gun,” for
example, provokes readers’ reactions of fear or dread as they begin to read.
Logos: appeals to reader’s logic/reason
Pathos: appeals to reader’s emotions and interests
Ethos: appeals based on writer’s credibility, goodwill, “moral” or ethical standing, and
Assignment #4: OP/ED Articles:
To begin to gather ideas and support for the arguments you will be asked to make, you need to
read The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal,
The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, or other newspapers and newsmagazines
(Note: You can access the New York Times online; in their Sunday edition, they have a great
section called the “Week in Review” which gives a wonderful overview of the main events and
arguments of the week.)
From your reading, you will select 5 OPINION articles throughout the summer. I
recommend that you shoot for 2 in June, 2 in July, and 1 in August so that your choices
reflect variety and prove to your teacher (who I’m sure you’re trying to impress )
that you didn’t wait until the last minute to get started on your summer work.
2. For each of these pieces, you need to cut out or copy the article;
3. attach a half-sheet of paper on which you have typed the correct MLA citation for
the article ;
4. write a paragraph-length response focusing on whether you think the writer used
rhetorical strategies effectively to make his/her argument.
Great columnists to look for: David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Nicholas D. Kristof, Paul
Krugman, Frank Rich, Leonard Pitts, George Will, Gail Collins, Kathleen Parker.
Note: I will recognize and appreciate GOOD EFFORT here, and I will also recognize last-minute
weekend products. Take your time and start early! This is worth a lot of points, and you want to
start off the year strong!
Both books (Nickel and Dimed and the novel you choose)
are annotated thoughtfully and thoroughly
Reader’s Log for fiction
Nickel and Dimed essays (20 points each)
5 columns (8 points each)
/200 points
In the major category:
Here’s a list of Rhetorical Strategies to look for. (Note: this is a very incomplete list, but limit
yourself to these terms for now. We’ll learn LOTS more next year )
Allusion—reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the
reader will recognize
Anaphora—repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses
(Ex: “In books I find the dead as if they were alive; in books I forsee things to come; in books carlike
affairs are set forth; from books come forth the laws of peace.”)
Antithesis—a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced
Asyndeton—a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions
(“They spent the day wondering, searching, thinking, understanding.”)
Cliché—an expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off (“the
time of my life,” “at the drop of a hat,” etc)
Diction—the word choices made by a writer (diction can be described as: formal, semi-formal,
ornate, informal, technical, etc.)
Hyperbole—intentional exaggeration to create an effect.
Imagery—the use of figures of speech to create vivid images that appeal to one of the senses.
Inverted syntax—a sentence constructed so that the predicate comes before the subject (ex: In the
woods I am walking.)
Irony—the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between
what is expected and what acutally occurs (situational, verbal, dramatic)
Litotes—a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite
(describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, “It was not a pretty picture.”)
Metaphor—a direct comparison of two different things.
Metonymy—substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it
(“The pen [writing] is mightier than the sword [war/fighting]” .)
Paradox—an apparently contradictory statement that actually contains some truth (“Whoever
loses his life, shall find it.”)
Parallelism—the use of corresponding grammatical or syntactical forms
Parenthesis—comment that interrupts the immediate subject, often to qualify or explain.
Personification—endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or
Polysyndeton—the use, for rhetorical effect, of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural
(“And to set forth the right standard, and to train according to it, and to help forward all students
towards it according to their various capacities, this I conceive to be the business of a University.”)
Rhetorical question—a question asked merely for rhetorical effect and not requiring an answer.
Satire—the use of humor to emphasize human weaknesses or imperfections in socal institutions
Tone—the attitude of a writer, usually implied, toward the subject or audience
Vernacular—the everyday speech of a particular country or region, includes slang
Logos –see definition previous page
Pathos–see definition previous page
Ethos–see definition previous page