Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

The Midterm

Your midterm will be a two-hour examination on Tuesday, January 22nd. The time and location will be posted in various places around the building.

Part 1: Questions on Rhetoric and Style

Note that you can complete the two parts of this exam in any order you wish. The first section asks you to respond to about an hour’s worth of questions on rhetoric and style on the following text:

You will be given a copy of the formatted Word document; you should also set aside time to read the article in its original, online format, because one or two of the QORAS will deal with those interactive elements. It’s also an excuse to play a video game in the middle of an English class.

As you annotate the text, refer back to this last post on rhetorical analysis. Focus on the DAMAGES-specific commentary in that post. My goal is not to trick you with esoteric terms or oblique analysis; I want to see if you can read, parse, and react to a complicated text. You can do that, by the way. You only need to slough off this idea that rhetoric and style are about dissection. It’s a kind of vivisection, if you want to use that metaphor; the text is alive and breathing, and if you cut into it too deeply or repeatedly, you will kill it. (That is a terrible metaphor. Let’s move on.)

You will be able to use your copy of Anderson’s article on the day of the exam. You will also be able to use any notes you’ve taken in your compendium. It would be a waste of time to copy over a thousand definitions or terms, after all; this is really about your use of time and resources, and you’ll still have to condense that preparation into a session of timed writing.

Part 2: Self-Directed Synthesis Argument

This is the evolution of the original synthesis-building assignment: You will construct a prompt on a subject of your choosing, and then you will write a response to that prompt on the day of the exam. Click here to load the folder with all of the synthesis-related materials:

And click here to load the two most important documents from that Google Drive folder:

You’ll need to use both in concert to develop an effective prompt. Of course, you also have model prompts and a week’s worth of class time; you’ll be able to bounce ideas off of me, your peers, and previous iterations of the AP exam.

More information:

  • You may write the prompt alone or in a group.
  • Your prompt must have six or more sources. One of those sources must be visual (e.g., a graph or political cartoon).
  • Whether you work alone or in a group, you will write an individual timed response on the day of the exam.
  • A copy of the prompt, whether you wrote it alone or with a group, is due on the day of the exam and must be attached to your timed response.
  • You must write your timed response in its entirety on the day of the exam. The suggested time is 45 minutes to write and 15 minutes to edit and revise.
  • You should not write the response ahead of time; you should, however, plan what you will write.

At the start of Q3, on or around January 28th, you must be ready to defend your writing and prompt-building choices and the process of creating both through metacognition and reflection, respectively. This is not part of the midterm, but you should keep it in mind.

One more thing: Watch this video.


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