AP Language and Composition Summer Assignment 2019

  • Directions: There are four parts to the summer assignment. Please complete ALL parts by the assigned date (if there is no date, it is due the first day of school).(1) If you have any questions, please email Mr. Gill. For a printable PDF of the assignment, click here

    Part I: Rhetorical Analysis

    1. Read Chapter 1 of The Language of Composition.(2) For each subheading/section of the chapter, summarize the main point in your own words (This can/should be no more than 1-2 sentences each.).
    2. Create flashcards for the following 30 terms and definitions and be prepared for tests throughout the year (including the first day).
    3. I will randomly assign you 5 of the terms via email. Create a seperate mini-poster (paper sized) for each term that visualizes the definition in some way.
      1. Be creative, colorful, and ultimately, helpful. These may hang in the room or hallways.

    1. Diction: Word choice.
    2. Declarative Sentence: A sentence that makes a statement.
    3. Appositive: A word or phrase that renames a nearby noun/pronoun.
    4. Juxtaposition: Placement of two things side by side for emphasis.
    5. Parallelism: The repetition of similar grammatical or syntactical patterns. A list.
    6. Interrogative Sentence: A sentence that asks a question.
    7. Antithesis: Parallel structure that juxtaposes contrasting ideas.
    8. Analogy: An extended comparison between two seemingly dissimilar things.
    9. Anaphora: The repetition of words at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.
    10. Ethos: An appeal to character (trustworthiness/honor).
    11. Ellipsis: The omission of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from context.
    12. Polysyndeton: The deliberate use of a series of conjunctions.
    13. Chiasmus: The repetition of words in an inverted order to sharpen a contrast.
    14. Periodic Sentence:  A compound-complex sentence where the independent clause is at the end (opposite of a cumulative sentence).
    15. Allusion: An indirect reference, often to another text or an historic event.
    16. Repetition: Purposeful use of a word, phrase, clause, idea, image, etc. more than once.
    17. Pathos: An appeal to emotion.
    18. Anecdote: A short account of an interesting event.
    19. Cumulative Sentence:  An independent clause followed by a series of subordinate constructions that gather details about a person, place, event, or idea. 
    20. Syntax: Sentence structure.
    21. Metonymy: Use of an aspect of something to represent the whole.
    22. Hyperbole: Exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis.
    23. Metaphor: A figure of speech through which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else, thus making an implicit comparison.
    24. Personification: Assigning lifelike characteristics to inanimate objects.
    25. Exclamatory Sentence: A sentence that makes a statement with heightened emotion.
    26. Tone: The speaker’s attitude toward the subject or audience.
    27. Imperative Sentence: A sentence that requests or commands.
    28. Asyndeton: Leaving out conjunctions between words, phrases, clauses.
    29. Synecdoche: A figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa.
    30. Logos: An appeal to logic.

    Part II: Narrative Nonfiction

    1. Read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.(3) As you read, for each chapter, make at least 1 dialectical journal entry, and a total of 16 entries (so some chapters will need more than 1 entry).(4)
      1. In each entry, make sure to include at least one literary or rhetorical devices notation for different devices (see the instructions linked below). Make sure to explain how each is used, for what purpose, and how the device helps the speaker argue his point in the chapter and achieve his overall purpose for the novel.
        1. You must use at least 11 different terms from the list above over the course of all entries.
      2. These will be turned in to turnitin.com by the following dates. If you fail to turn in the assignment on time, it MUST be turned in NO LATER THAN the next due date, or you will be removed from the course; two late submissions will also cause removal.
        1. July 7: Chapters 1-2
        2. July 21: Chapters 3-4
        3. August 4: Chapters 5-6
        4. August 18: Chapters 7-8
        5. First Day of School: Chapters 9-11

    Part III: Current Event Synthesis

    1. As you read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, consider the following statements.
      1. Education is the key to freedom.
      2. Power corrupts completely.
      3. Describing something truthfully is the only path to change.
      4. Race is the biggest influence on identity.
      5. Power is something given, not taken.
      6. Religion is often used to justify actions with other intents.
      7. Situational context rather than family is the biggest influence on who we are/who we become.
      8. The individual self is the most powerful force in a society.
      9. The collective community is the most powerful force in a society.
      10. Violence strips people of their individuality and identity.
      11. Power is asserted and maintained specifically through violence against the body.
      12. The impact of slavery is felt far beyond the specific enslavement of the individual.
      13. Power and violence corrupt the morals of the powerful.
      14. The United States is the land of the free.
      15. All humans are created equal, but the individual must make him/herself into who s/he is.
    2. Choose FIVE statements.
    3. For each statement you choose, find a newspaper or news/journalism magazine article from the past 3 years(5) that connects to the statement in some way (this can be a direct connection, support for the statement, evidence that refutes the statement, etc).
      1. For each article, provide a complete MLA citation and write an argumentative precis.(6)
    4. Then, in a detailed paragraph for each, defend, challenge, or qualify the statement using specific evidence from Douglass and evidence from the article to further support your opinion.
    5. Turn these in to turnitin.com before the first day of class.

    Part IV: Letter to Me

    Complete the Letter to Me assignment(7) and share it with me NO LATER THAN SUNDAY, JULY 21st.


    1. NOTE: DO NOT work with another student, search for answers, or in any other way receive outside help; this would constitute plagiarism. Refer to page 37 of the Parent/Student Handbook for MRHS’s Honor Code policy: MRHS Student/Parent Handbook
    2. Link: “Chapter 1.” Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric, by Renee H. Shea et al., 2nd ed., Bedford Books St. Martin’s, 2013, pp. 1–38.
    3. You can sign out a copy from me (Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas. Prestwick House, 2004.), but any version of the text is fine. Online versions available from Project Gutenberg.
    4. Link: Dialectical Journal directions.
    5. Some possible newspaper sources can be found at: The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The LA Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune. Some possible news/journalism magazines can be found at: The Atlantic, Time, The New Yorker, The Economist, Harper's Weekly, The National Review, The Weekly Standard.
    6. Link: Precis format and example.
    7. Link: Letter to Me Assignment.