Thursday, October 21, 2010

FAQs for Prestwick House AP Language and Composition

What is this product?

Available November 15, Prestwick House AP Language and Composition is a book with full-length nonfiction passages, many of which are annotated, AP-style multiple-choice questions and free response items, and synthesis-essay activities. Each chapter provides both models and practice exercise.

How is the book organized?

The book is organized according to the various language and textual elements an AP student will have to examine and analyze on the AP language exam: structure and organizational patterns, language and syntax, rhetorical devices, etc.

For whom is this book intended?

Prestwick House AP Language and Composition is intended for the student who plans to take the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Exam. All of the models are accompanied by multiple-choice answers and explanations and sample student essays. Answer keys for the exercises are provided in an appendix. A glossary of literary and rhetorical devices and logical fallacies is also included to help the student become conversant with the language he or she will need to use to discuss the passages on the exam.

Is the book useable in the classroom?

Absolutely. The annotation, models, and answer keys are definitely classroom-friendly. Also, every nonfiction passage is complete and unabridged, allowing this book to become a primary text for nonfiction literature as well as an AP prep book.

Is this book compatible with the new Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts?

Absolutely. First of all, many of the goals of Advanced Placement, especially the analysis of literature and the examination of language, are at the heart of the Common Core Standards for Reading Informational Text. Second, all of the passages in the book were selected using the guidelines of the Common Core State Standards for Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity. Several of the passages actually appear in the CSS Initiative’s Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, and Range of Student Reading, Grades 9 – 12.

How is this book any different from other AP prep books that are available?

The biggest problem with those other AP-prep books is their generic and content-empty nature. Because the AP exam is essentially a skills exam, asking students to read and analyze unfamiliar texts, most prep book focus on the skills. Prestwick House AP Language and Composition is as much a literature text as a skills text. It is suitable for use as a core text, not just a supplemental.

What are some of the nonfiction texts featured in this book?

Passages in Prestwick House AP Language and Composition include:
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on 13 May 13, 1940” by Winston Churchill

  • Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry

  • “The Crisis, Essay 1” by Thomas Paine

  • “The Federalist,” selected papers by John Jay and Alexander Hamilton

  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel (1997 Nobel Peace Prize lecture)

  • Elie Wiesel’s 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

What are some of the features of this book that make it unique among AP Language and Composition texts?

  • Most of the passages are complete, not excerpted or abridged.

  • Many are annotated to point out to students the types of questions they should be asking themselves, and the features they should be noticing in their own reading.

  • Model multiple-choice questions with answers and explanations illustrate the thought processes required for a better understanding of the passages and a higher score on the AP language exam.

  • Sample student essays provide models for AP students to follow and imitate.
  • Appendices provide rich content and instructional material for a college-level English language course as well as strong preparation for the AP language exam.

Does this book include models and exercises for the relatively new Synthesis Essay?

Yes. The chapter on the Synthesis Essay also provides instruction and guidance on how to approach the synthesis task, how to use the sources, when to quote, paraphrase, summarize, etc.

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