Course Outline

    OHGE** Introduction: The Qualities of Good Writing; Writing from Reading; Double-Column Notebook; Writing a Summary; Observing Details; Connecting Details; Making Inferences; and Arriving at an Interpretation.

    AP Skills* Lesson 1: Reading for literal comprehension and writing for analysis. Reading selections from Rosa Parks by Douglas Brinkley and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave by Frederick Douglas.

    OHGE**#1: Of Studies by Francis Bacon: Writing Prompt #3: Changing Bacon’s focus a bit, write an essay for modern audiences titled “On Reading.” In it consider different types of reading, purposes for reading, benefits of reading, difficulties involved in reading, and so forth. Your essay may be quite personal, focusing o your own experiences as a reader, or, like Bacon’s, more formal.

    AP Skills* Lesson 2: Close Reading, with attention to diction and writing for argument. Reading selections from The Crisis by Thomas Paine and “Manners,” from Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson.

    OHGE**#2: Writing and Reading by Richard Wright: Writing prompt #3: Recall some of your most vivid experiences as a reader and/or as a writer. Keep in mind that these experiences need not necessarily be positive.

    AP Skills* Lesson 3: Reading with an awareness of the author’s assertions and writing for argument with attention to rhetorical questions. Reading “The Perils of Indifference” by Elie Wiesel.

    OHGE**#3:  No Man Is an Island by John Donne: Writing Prompt #2: Paragraph by paragraph, closely analyze your own response to Donne’s prose. What does the meditation communicate to you?

    AP Skills* Lesson 4: Reading with an awareness of the author’s implications and writing for argument with attention to connotations of words. Reading “Words Sometimes Convey More Than Literal Meaning” by Ted Diadiun and “The Doctor Will See You For Exactly Seven Minutes” by Peter Salgo.

    OHGE**#4: Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard: Writing Prompt #2: Dillard’s essay is divided into six parts, all linked by repeated images and words. Analyze the essay to note as many of these linkages as you can. Then explore how several of these threads function meaningfully in the essay.

    AP Skills* Lesson 5: Reading for understanding the character of the writer in non-fiction and writing for analysis of the character of the writer through diction. Reading selection from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and “The Doctor Won’t See You Now” by James Gorman.

    OHGE**#5:  A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift: Writing prompt #2: Though Swift never fully drops his mask, he does make a number of veiled appeals toward sympathy for the Irish and legitimate suggestions for alleviating their predicament. Citing the text, examine when and where he does so. How can you recognize his seriousness?

    AP Skills* Lesson 6: Reading for understanding the role of syntax and writing for analysis of the syntax. Reading selections from “The Tell-tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

    OHGE**#6: Graduation by Maya Angelou: Writing Prompt #1: How do you respond to Angelou’s narration? What details do you find most striking or memorable? What would you say is the point of the story?

    AP Skills* Lesson 7: Reading for understanding figurative language in non-fiction; comprehending the language of the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries and writing for argument using analogy, hyperbole, metaphor, or irony. Reading selections from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, “The Ephemera: An Emblem of Human Life” by Benjamin Franklin, and from “Meditation XVII” by John Donne.

    OHGE**#7: Of Smells by Michel de Montaigne: Writing prompt #2: Write an essay of your own titles “Of Smells.” Focus on your own personal responses to the odors you encounter at home, in public, and in man-made and natural settings, as well as on how our culture seems to define good and bad smells. Don’t be afraid to be whimsical.

    AP Skills* Lesson 8: Reading for recognizing classic rhetorical devices and writing for analysis of the rhetorical devices in speeches. Reading Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address by John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

    OHGE**#8:  Politics and the English Language by George Orwell: Writing prompt #3: Examine several current examples of political or sociological writing—published political speeches, for example, or essays in a current sociological journal. Analyze the examples for the kinds of “tricks” Orwell lambastes.

    AP Skills* Lesson 9: Reading for understanding the purposes of specifically chosen words and phrases and writing for analysis of the author’s word choices. Reading selections from “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson and from Pentimento by Lillian Hellman.

    OHGE**#9:  Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Writing Prompt #2: If you have spent much time, as Emerson writes about, enjoying the solitary pleasures of nature, how closely have your experiences resembled his? In your essay, use clear description to convey your encounters as specifically as possible.

    AP Skills* Lesson 10: Reading with an awareness of audience and writing for analysis of the relationship between audience and text. Reading Graduation Address by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    OHGE**#10:  A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift: Writing prompt #2: Though Swift never fully drops his mask, he does make a number of veiled appeals toward sympathy for the Irish and legitimate suggestions for alleviating their predicament. Citing the text, examine when and where he does so. How can you recognize his seriousness?

    AP Skills* Lesson 11: Reading with an awareness of the author’s attitude toward the subject and writing for analysis of tone. Reading from Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” by Zora Neale Hurston, from Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, and “Checks and Balances” by Tom and Ray Magliozzi (Click & Clack).

    OHGE**#11: Road Warrior by Dave Barry: Writing Prompt #3: Scan some newspapers or magazines for another recent social trend, being reported in the media. Examine this trend from your own perspective and using your own examples—either comically, as Barry does, or more seriously.

    AP Skills* Lesson 12: Reading for understanding the organization of a reading selection and writing for argument in favor of or against the author’s view; analysis of diction and arrangement of material. Reading selection from How the Other Half Lives by Jacob A. Riis and Speech at the Women’s Convention by Sojourner Truth.

    OHGE**#12: The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson: Writing prompt #1: Compare the original draft with the final version of the Declaration. What would you point to as the most significant changes made by Jefferson? Do any of these alter the meaning of the document?

    AP Skills* Lesson 13: Reading for observing repeated imagery and patterns and writing for analysis of how rhetorical strategies reveal attitudes. Reading selection from Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

    OHGE**#13: Why I Went to the Woods by Henry David Thoreau: Writing prompt #2: Thoreau’s writing is characterized by extensive use of metaphor. Choose several of these to analyze in detail. How well does metaphor contribute to clarifying Thoreau’s ideas?

    AP Skills* Lesson 14: Reading for recognizing abstract and concrete language; Reading nineteenth and seventeenth century prose and writing for synthesizing from several details. Reading selections from “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving and from Wonders of the Invisible World by Cotton Mather.

    OHGE**#14: The Allegory of the Cave by Plato: Writing prompt #1: Analyze Plato’s allegory carefully, and then interpret it in your own words. What do the various elements of the allegory represent?

    AP Skills* Lesson 15: Reading for how the author creates atmosphere and writing for analysis of rhetorical strategies; observing details. Reading selection from “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards and “Diary, 12 August 1863” by Walt Whitman.

    OHGE**#15:  The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: Writing prompt #2: Write an essay in which you explain the different types of causes of a social phenomenon, such as the rise of teenage smoking; the popularity of a best-selling book (the Harry Potter series, for example) or a movie (The Lord of the Rings series, for example), or the success of a current fashion trend (low-riding jeans or body-piercing, for example).


    AP Skills* Lesson 16: Reading for responding to the author’s pathos and ethos and writing for analysis of the author’s emotional appeal; synthesizing opinions from several sources. Reading “I Will Fight No More Forever” by Chief Joseph, “The Death of Miles” by Marc Gellman, “When Life Makes You Cry Uncle” by Eugene Robinson, “Freedom of Hate Speech” by Jeff Jacoby, and ”Divisive in Any Language” by E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    OHGE**#16: Growing Up by Russell Baker: Writing Prompt #3: Write an essay about your relationship to a parent or adult guardian. As Baker does, present your subject honestly and without sentimentality.

    AP Skills Lesson 17: Reading for observing the author’s style and writing for analysis of how an author create style; argument in response to a person’s beliefs. Reading selections from The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama and from God and My Father by Clarence Day, Jr.

    OHGE**#17:  Stone Soup by Barbara Kingsolver: Writing prompt #2: Discuss the way Kingsolver uses personal experiences and anecdotes in her essay. Identify at least three instances of the personal that Kingsolver brings to bear as evidence to support her ideas about divorce or about families. Evaluate the extent to which you find her use of personal experience effective.

    AP Skills Lesson 18: Reading for determining the author’s purpose and writing for analysis of the purpose and how it is achieved; analysis of the relationship between purpose and theme. Reading “Child in Corner to Exact Revenge As Soon As He Gets Out” from The Onion and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker.

    AP Skills Lesson 19: Reading for recognizing the character of the speaker and writing for analysis of the personality behind the author’s voice. Reading “A Letter to His Wife” by John Winthrop, selection from ‘On Women’s Right to Vote” by Susan B. Anthony, and Preface to Doubt by John Patrick Shanley.

    AP Skills Lesson 20: Reading holistically; appreciating the overall effect of a writer’s achievement and writing for analysis of how rhetorical strategies contribute to a writing’s overall effect; argument with reference to a writer’s assertions; synthesizing a solution to a complex problem. Reading “Ode to Thanksgiving” by Michael Arlen, “Autobiographical Notes” by James Baldwin, “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, and “Once More to the Lake” by E.B. White.

    Everyday Use*** Chapter 1 - The Rhetorical Triangle: Persona, Audience, Subject; Context, Intention, Genre; Citizenship, Community, Conspicuous Consumption

    Everyday Use*** Chapter 2 – Systematic Invention Strategies, Arrangement, Style

    Everyday Use*** Chapter 3 – Writing as a Rhetorical Process; Revision for Persona, Audience, Subject, and Evidence

    Everyday Use*** Chapter 5 – Readers as Writers; Writers as Readers; Rhetorical Appeals in Making Meaning

    Grading: Course grades will reflect student performance on

    ·         Class Participation: homework, journals, and in-class activities

    ·         Quizzes: terminology, vocabulary, and revision, and editing

    ·         Deadlines: 100% if on-time; 70% if completed by 3:00 on the due date; any assignment that is turned in after the due date forfeits the process grade (i.e., ZERO)

    ·         Essays: scored according to AP rubric

    ·         Extra Credit: Though we will not cover any literature together as a class, I strongly encourage each of you to continue reading novels on your own. I will reward such initiative at the rate of 1 point on your marking period average for each 100 pages of approved independent reading. You will have to complete a Regents-style critical lens essay to finalize the points.

Last Modified on July 15, 2011