This six-minute video will give you insights on how to write a strong essay for QUESTION 2 of your AP English Language and Composition Exam.

Serving Up Fries for a Living Wage: $20/hr and a 40-hour week in Denmark.
         New York Times, October 28, 2014 BUSINESS DAY          
Serving up Fries, for a Living Wage
Fast Food in Denmark Offers Something
U.S. Workers Long For

by Liz Alderman and Steven Greenhouse

Click the above link to read the story.

Write a CRITICAL REACTION in your journal comparing Fast Food Workers in the U.S. to those in Denmark.


Be sure you are keeping up with your journal assignments so you can become stronger at discerning the argument and rhetorical strategies in all nonfiction that you read.


"Ebola Blame Game Takes the Stage at Midterm Election Debates" by Juana Summers, NPR News
This is a news story, not an opinion piece. You are to tie the comment, "It's a terrible thing to say, but fear is a heck of a motivator," to what you know about Arthur Miller's theme in "The Crucible," and Robert Frost's warning in the last stanza of "Choose Something Like a Star."  This should be a strong, well-developed two paragraphs in your journal.

Albert Einstein's Letter to Phyllis, a 6th Grader
See page 9, 10 in your Language of Composition textbook.
Follow the assignment, and write your response in your Journal.

"Potlatch for Politicians," New York Times column by Timothy Egan.
Answer the questions on the handout as you write your critical reaction. Remember you are always charged with defending, challenging or qualifying. (You can disagree.)


Research is the driving force in college and university studies. Besides learning more about Mary Rowlandson, the purpose of this assignment is to let you explore the scholarly work that resides in our library system, and to expose you to the APA Style of writing a paper.  

Go to our Cy Woods Library Literature Resource Center by clicking on the link below.

Click Cypress Woods High School
When accessing from home, the Passwords for INFOTRAC -- cypresswds or lonestar

Inside INFOTRAC, enter Mary Rowlandson and hit SEARCH.  You will find scores of articles listed. These articles have been written by graduate students, who have done a great deal of reading and research in great depth on a particular topic. You may be surprised to see there are scores of articles that concentrate on Mary Rowlandson and her famous captivity narrative. Some of the articles merely mention Rowlandson; others compare her with other captivity narrative writers.

Look through at least five or six articles, skimming the first few paragraphs to gain a sense of what the article is about.  Then, choose one article that you like. Choose carefully.  Summarize that article in a paragraph of at least ten sentences. Identify the argument in this article and note how the writer supports her thesis.  Next, write a paragraph of no less than ten sentences in which you critique the article.  Do you agree with the article's argument?  Or, do you disagree?  Challenge, defend, qualify.

You must cite at least two direct quotes from the article, and two indirect quotes (paraphrases).
You must include a References page.  You must include a Title Page. You do not need an Abstract for this brief assignment.
See Purdue Owl online for APA Style.

Or, go to YouTube and select the 6th Ed. APA Lesson setting up Title Page and Citing.

Or, look at this PowerPoint from Mrs. Schexnaider:

Avoid contractions.
►Do not use or you.
►Maintain a formal tone.
►Read your paper aloud to check for awkward wording.
►Your paper will be two pages plus a one-page References page and a Title Page.
Double-Spaced.  Times New Roman, 12 pt.
►NO ABSTRACT PAGE is required.

►Pay attention to details.

Don't forget to FRAME your quotes from the source. We will be using EasyBib in the library to help you format your References Page.

First Draft of ENTIRE PAPER (4-5 pages) due Monday, Sept. 29
Final Draft due Thursday, Oct. 2.  Bring hard copy to class and submit a digital copy to turnitin.

RHETORIC--Unforgettable, Inspiring Language!

What is RHETORIC? Convincing language that carries lasting power. Good rhetoric elicits an emotional response from the reader or listener. Rhetoric is words used effectively-- in a powerful way to challenge, to refute, to reason and argue, to persuade—and most of all—to inspire.

The Power of  Great Rhetoric

Consider the rhetorical strategies, the use of parallelism, repetition, antithesis, rich imagery with emotional appeal, in the examples below.

We have a place, all of us, in a long story—a story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.”
--2001 Inaugural Address of George W. Bush

The above sentence is a historical summary, but it is made eloquent by repetition of "a story" and meaningful by juxtaposing opposing ideas (antithesis), careful parallel phrasing, and the use of words with noble connotations.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
--1961 Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

The above sentence which opens with a dramatic antithesis (well or ill) is not just a list—but a pledge, a promise. The use of simple verbs such as pay, bear, meet, support, oppose gives each short phrase great punch. But the direct objects that follow these action verbs show tremendous courage and determination: price, burden, hardship, friend, foe. The final phrase sings out the strong commitment to liberty and democracy during the Cold War struggle. Parallel structure keeps all these ideas lined up and clear--resulting in a very powerful, unforgettable statement.

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
-- Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, 1865

Abraham Lincoln provides a magnificent example of antithesis--opposing ideas placed side by side--in his opening phrase.  Malice is the opposite of charity, or love. None and all are direct opposites. These striking juxtapositions make clear Lincoln's point:  Americans must unite in love and blame no one for this war. Lincoln is also a master of parallel structure, of metaphors, and rich imagery. Each phrase is a carefully chiseled syntactical masterpiece. He portrays the nation as a wounded soldier in need of healing and consolation for loss. The words "widow" and "orphan" convey the deep tragedies being felt by both sides in the Civil War.

Repetition and Syntax“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
--1933 Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Simplicity. Syntax is the key to this phrase’s power. The positive statement— is underscored by the repetition of “fear itself.” This phrase became famous not just because of syntactical simplicity, but because it embodies the spirit of confidence and the candid truth that fear can traumatize people so they do not think clearly and take wise actions. (Remember that in 1933, the depths of the Depression, one quarter of Americans were in danger of starvation.)

Good rhetoric is about saying something in the strongest way possible. Consider this phrase: My fellow Americans, don’t ask what is my country going to do to help me? You should ask, instead, what can I do to help my country?

The above words are clumsy. They are not compelling or noble or even memorable.  But, look at the following famous line:

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”John F. Kennedy, 1961

This famous line uses a reversed syntax, sometimes called antimetabole, a clever grammatical structure in which the first clause or phrase is followed by a clause or phrase that is reversed, often repeating the same words. Kennedy’s words became unforgettable, not just because they carried great meaning, but because the idea was presented with powerful syntax.


"Please," said the frustrated teacher, "place commas and periods INSIDE the quotation marks."