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AP Composition Summer Reading 2023

AP Language & Composition Summer Reading Assignment

Thank You For Arguing cover

Due Date: Your first Day of AP English Language (Late submissions will receive half credit)

A. Read the first 13 chapters of the following book. (Although the rest of the book is not required for your summer reading assignment, you are encouraged to complete the reading in full; it is an excellent introduction to the foundations of AP English Language and Composition.)

Heinrichs, Jay. Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion.

You are encouraged to buy this book “used,” but it is not required. Below you will find the ISBN for the book so that you can make sure you purchase the correct edition. ISBN: 978-0-593-23738-0

B. Summer Reading Assignment. You must complete each of the following tasks for each of the first 13 chapters of Thank You for Arguing. Be sure to respond to each task thoroughly and completely; your responses will count as a test grade for the first term. You should make sure your ideas are both organized and presented clearly and thoroughly. Please keep in mind that this is an AP class; therefore, we expect well-developed responses. If you pace yourself over the summer, this assignment will not be overly laborious. Note: It is expected that you complete your summer assignments individually. Although you may struggle, put forth your best effort and make sure that you complete all of what is detailed below. Coming in with incomplete work and claiming, “I didn’t get it,” is unacceptable.  For this summer reading assignment, you will be relating what Heinrichs discusses throughout his text with real-life examples of rhetorical concepts. That is, you will need to choose a rhetorical concept from each chapter—yes, you may choose what you write about—find a real-life example of an orator/author exemplifying the concept of your choice, and finish the assignment by explaining how the example exhibits the concept. If this sounds a little confusing, read the following directions.

What to Do: Complete the following tasks and make sure that your products look like the examples provided. In the end, you will have completed the following steps a total of thirteen times.

  1. Choose any rhetorical concept that Heinrichs explores in each of the first 13 chapters of the book. You have free reign here. Identify the chapter and the concept on which you would like to focus. E.g. Chapter 3: Arguing with Past-Tense Verbs
  2. Summarize—do not directly quote—the concept as presented in the text and follow that summary with a parenthetical citation. Follow this format: summary of concept in your OWN words (Heinrichs page#). E.g.: Forensic rhetoric relies on past-tense verbs. It usually places blame on an individual (Heinrichs 28-29).
    Note: After I summarized the concept, I added the parenthetical citation BEFORE I added a period to the sentence. Also notice how I spelled Heinrichs’ name correctly, and I did not put anything between Heinrichs’ last name and the page number: no pg., no comma, no pound sign (hash tag), or anything of the like. If you make any of these simple mistakes—a misspelled last name, a period before the parentheses, anything between the last name and page number—you will lose credit.
  3. Find a real-world example of the concept in action—please note, however, your example must be text-based. (You may use speeches, but you must make sure they have transcripts so you can copy the text from it.) Copy the text that illustrates your concept of focus and follow it with an MLA Works Cited entry. E.g.“Good morning, everybody. At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific: One faction, of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government -- all because they didn’t like one law. This Republican shutdown did not have to happen. But I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job.” Obama, Barack. "Statement on the U.S. Government Shutdown." Washington DC, Washington DC. 2 Oct. 2013. AmericanRhetoric. Web. 12 June 2016.
    Research Hints:
    1. Most rhetorical concepts in Thank You for Arguing are common moves of good authors and orators. Many speeches, articles, and/or advertisements include most of what Heinrichs details in his book. So, if you can find one or two speeches or articles that exhibit characteristics found in all 13 chapters—which I am sure you can—feel free to use examples from those one or two works throughout this entire assignment. You do not need to use 13 different works—one for each chapter—for this assignment. Please also note that you may not use any real-world examples that Heinrichs provides in his book as your example of choice when completing step 3. You may pull examples from your own reading, or you may want to find your examples at the following website: www.AmericanRhetoric.com
    2. You must create a MLA works cited page for the different works you use to complete the tasks you have been assigned. Monomoy pays for NoodleTools, so I suggest using that for creating the works cited. This needs to be included as the last page of your completed document.
  4. Last, for each chapter, you must explain how the example you find relates to the rhetorical concept of the chapter on which you are focusing. These explanations should be at least four (4) sentences, and better explanations will attempt to explain why and how the author uses the rhetorical concept of focus. Don’t forget, one concept per chapter = completing this task 13 times. E.g. In the example from Obama’s address about the government shutdown, he consistently presents past tense verbs such as chose, refused, demanded, etc. The purpose of such is to vilify the republicans of the House in the presence of the public. Once the blame is placed on those individuals, it is the hope of Obama that the general public will demand social justice from those who represent them. In his blame, he paints those who instigated the shut down as individuals who are obstinate and unconcerned with the general healthcare of Americans. In fact, these representatives seem mostly apathetic towards those they represent. Furthermore, in blaming the republicans, Obama makes himself—and his party—seem more innocent in the escalation of events that led to a government shutdown.

Below is a complete example of what you need to do for each chapter: (Your work should be formatted exactly like this!!!!!!)

  1. Chapter 3: Arguing with Past-Tense Verbs
  2. Forensic rhetoric relies on past tense verbs. It usually places blame on an individual (Heinrichs 28-29).
  3. Good morning, everybody. At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific: One faction, of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government -- all because they didn’t like one law. This Republican shutdown did not have to happen. But I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job.”
    Obama, Barack. "Statement on the U.S. Government Shutdown." Washington DC, Washington DC. 2 Oct. 2013. AmericanRhetoric. Web. 12 June 2016.
  4. In the example from Obama’s address about the government shut down, he consistently presents past tense verbs such as chose, refused, demanded, etc. The purpose of such is to vilify the republicans of the House in the presence of the public. Once the blame is placed on those individuals, it is the hope of Obama that the general public will demand social justice from those who represent them. In his blame, he paints those who instigated the shut down as individuals who are obstinate and unconcerned with the general healthcare of all individuals. In fact, these representatives seem mostly apathetic towards those they represent. Furthermore, in blaming the republicans, Obama makes himself—and his party—seem more innocent in the escalation of events that have led to a government shutdown.