Thursday, December 6, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter From A Birmingham Jail

For students thinking ahead about their final exam. Here's a great link to a copy of the letter posted by the MLK Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford. You will also find explanatory notes attached. click here to go to the letter

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AP English language and comp, honors English 11/12                   m crawford

1x8 (or 10) assignment.  (1 simple argument made with 8 [or 10] different rhetorical strategies)

The purpose of this assignment is to require students to demonstrate that they are familiar with and able to use effectively each rhetorical strategy listed below.

Step 1:  Using your textbook, your notes, reliable online resources,  examples from class, make sure you understand each of the rhetorical strategies listed below.  Make sure you understand them well enough that you cannot only identify them—you can make use of them.

Step 2:  Choose a simple point or simple argument you want to make.  Perhaps you want your parent(s) to allow you to adopt a dog; perhaps you are misguided enough to think that Leonardo DiCraprio is the best actor working today.* This assignment is meant to focus on the different strategies, not on the subtlety or complexity of your argument.  You are encouraged to be creative and funny.  Simple claim.  Wide range of strategies.

Step 3:  Write a single paragraph using the strategy of concern.  (Your first sample will demonstrate the use of example and will be very much like the sample page concerned with facebook)  Type this sample of your argument in a single paragraph in the format of our format guide.  The paragraph need not be an introductory paragraph; it could be a paragraph that would appear in the middle of a more complex essay.

Step 4:  Repeat step three for each of the following rhetorical strategies:

1. Illustrating Ideas by use of examples
2. Analyzing a Subject by Classification
3. Explaining by Means of Comparison
4. Using Analogy as an Expository Device
5. Explaining through Process Analysis
6. Analyzing Cause and Effect Relationships
7. Using Definition to Help Explain
8. Using Narration as an Expository Technique
(extra credit for 9 and 10)
9. Reasoning by Use of Induction
10. Reasoning by Use of Deduction

Step 5:  Identify each paragraph in terms of strategy employed and assemble the typed sample paragraphs in the order of the above list.

Step 6:  Submit your work at the beginning of the period on the date written below.

Miguel Buenaventura
AP English language and composition  
1 December 2012

Rhetorical Strategies Model

Claim:    Facebook is a waste of time.

Illustrating Ideas by Use of Example

A vulnerable young man has a few minutes of free time.  He picks up his phone and pokes at the big f app.  Here’s what he encounters:

His cousin has hung up her stockings.  She posted a photo.  Ugly stockings.  Ugly fireplace.
The ex-wife of his friend and mentor was just at Costco, shopping.  She doesn’t understand why the sample lady had so much to say about potato chips.
The guy from his favorite taqueria is very disappointed by the Chargers again.  He uses offensive language to describe his frustration.
His grandpa thinks Obama is going to take away his guns and make him live in a socialist commune with pot smoking, married, gay immigrants who just want government handouts.
A former classmate is happy that her boyfriend gave her a stuffed animal.
The son of a friend is “tired of all the haters.”
Some friend of a friend is “pinterested’ in something unbelievably stupid and would be “the happiest person in the whole world” if she could go see the new shiny vampire werewolf movie.
A middle-aged woman feels sad about a dog that had its face cut off by terrorists.  But she feels inspired by somebody who lost weight.
Lots of people like lots of stuff.   Other people don’t like doing some things.  Things like waking up.  Doing homework.  Waiting in line. Washing dishes.

He turns off his phone.  What an efficient use of his time.  He’s learned so much about the world.


Not all facebook users are alike; there are now over 1 billion of them.  But one can classify them in terms of their use habits or their enthusiasm for posting updates.  Some users are called . . .

AP language and composition mcrawford
Rhetorical samples (1x10 assignment)

Claim (the simple point I want to make): My neighbor Ed is unpleasant, ugly and annoying.

Illustrating Ideas by Use of Example

My neighbor Ed is unpleasant, ugly and annoying.  His appearance makes me uncomfortable.  He has these very obvious hair implants in a neat little row across his forehead—it seems like he and his “doctor” are trying to make hair grow in an area it didn’t likely grow in even before he went bald.   He always keeps his shirt open to display his gold chains.  He always wants to talk to you even when you’re in a hurry.  He asks you a question then before you can articulate your answer he talks over you to tell you his opinion on the subject.

Analyzing a Subject by Means of Classification

One’s neighbors can be classified in terms of how you feel when you see them.  There are the neighbors with whom you exchange greetings but with whom you might not ever have a substantial conversation.  The exchange is pleasant enough but neither party has the time to invest in a more developed relationship.  Most neighbors are like this.  There are others, more rare, (for me at least) with whom you do develop a more friendly relationship.  You have drinks or share meals and you may look after their place or gather their mail when they leave town.  Nice kind of neighbors to have.  There are the neighbors who don’t ever greet anybody.  One might wonder why but they usually don’t bother anybody.  Most troubling are the neighbors like Ed.  When I see Ed out by his garage, I try to avoid walking that way to my car even though it is the shortest route.  I’m glad I only have one neighbor in this category.

Explaining by Means of Comparison

Before I moved to my current address I had a great neighbor.  Clarissa is a retired teacher.  She lived next door.  Now Ed lives next door.  Sometimes I would hear Clarissa singing.  Now I hear Ed yelling at his son.  Once I heard Clarissa yelling, but she was yelling at president Bush on the television, telling him what she thought of his deceptive rhetoric.  I liked that.  Clarissa would come over to play with my dog and bring him treats and we’d have a glass of wine on the patio.  Ed comes over to tell me his opinions on how he can fix education.  He thinks teachers should wear suits and ties.  He thinks this would fix everything.

Using Analogy as an Expository Device

Having a neighbor like Ed is like having a rock in your shoe—only worse.  You can take you shoe off and dump out a painful rock.  You can’t get rid an annoying neighbor.   Maybe it’s more like having a gopher in your garden.  Have you seen Caddyshack with Bill Murray?  But then the gopher was kinda cute, and my neighbor is not even a little bit cute.  So that’s not a good analogy.  Maybe it’s