AP English Literature & Composition

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AP EnglishLiterature &CompositionFORDUMmIES‰by Geraldine Woods

AP EnglishLiterature &CompositionFORDUMmIES‰by Geraldine Woods

AP English Literature & Composition For Dummies Published byWiley Publishing, Inc.111 River St.Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774www.wiley.comCopyright 2008 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IndianaPublished simultaneously in CanadaNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 ofthe 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization throughpayment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923,978-750-8400, fax 978-646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department,Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, 317-572-3447, fax 317-572-4355, or online athttp://www.wiley.com/go/permissions.Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the Rest of Us!, TheDummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com and related trade dress are trademarks or registeredtrademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be usedwithout written permission. AP is a registered trademark of The College Board. All other trademarks are the property oftheir respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONSOR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK ANDSPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THEADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLDWITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OROTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENTPROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FORDAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK ASA CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR ORTHE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFORMATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE. FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORKMAY HAVE CHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT IS READ.For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S.at 800-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available inelectronic books.Library of Congress Control Number: 2007942001ISBN: 978-0-470-19425-6Manufactured in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

About the AuthorGeraldine Woods has taught and tutored every level of English from 5th grade through APfor the past three decades. She’s the author of more than 40 books, including numerousbooks published by Wiley: English Grammar For Dummies, English Grammar Workbook ForDummies, Research Papers For Dummies, College Admissions Essays For Dummies, SAT IFor Dummies, and Punctuation: Simplified and Applied.

DedicationTo Paul, whom I’ve always known and am still getting to know.Author’s AcknowledgmentsI offer sincere thanks to these poets, playwrights, and novelists, who spin words into beauty:John Allman, Dana Crum, Dave Johnson, Hettie Jones, and Abigail Wender. I also acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the wonderful students who graciously allowed me to print theiressays in this book: Emily Gerard, Jessica A. Moldovan, Sophia Shapiro, and Peter Weinberg.I appreciate the unfailing help and good humor of Kristin DeMint, Stacy Kennedy, Joyce Pepple,and Jessica Smith of Wiley Publishing, as well as my technical reviewer, David P. Wetta ofYork Community High School in Elmhurst, IL. Finally, thanks are due to my supportive andwise agent, Lisa Queen of Queen Literary.

Publisher’s AcknowledgmentsWe’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration form located atwww.dummies.com/register/.Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media DevelopmentComposition ServicesProject Editor: Kristin DeMintProject Coordinator: Lynsey OsbornAcquisitions Editor: Stacy KennedyLayout and Graphics: Claudia Bell, Stacie Brooks,Carrie A. Cesavice, Brooke Graczyk,Stephanie D. Jumper, Christine WilliamsCopy Editor: Jessica SmithEditorial Program Coordinator: Erin Calligan MooneyTechnical Editor: David P. WettaProofreaders: John Greenough, Evelyn W. StillIndexer: Potomac Indexing LLCEditorial Manager: Michelle HackerEditorial Assistants: Joe Niesen, Leeann HarneyCover Photos: Getty ImagesCartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)Publishing and Editorial for Consumer DummiesDiane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer DummiesJoyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer DummiesKristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer DummiesMichael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, TravelKelly Regan, Editorial Director, TravelPublishing for Technology DummiesAndy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General UserComposition ServicesGerry Fahey, Vice President of Production ServicesDebbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

Contents at a GlanceIntroduction.1Part I: Hamlet Hits the Answer Grid: An Overview ofthe AP Lit Exam and Prep .7Chapter 1: Flying Over the AP Lit Exam: An Overview.9Chapter 2: “The Readiness Is All”: Preparing for the Exam .21Chapter 3: Getting the Most Out of English Class .31Part II: Poetry in Motion.53Chapter 4: Sorting Out Poetic Devices .55Chapter 5: Unraveling Poetic Meaning .67Chapter 6: Acing Multiple-Choice Poetry Questions .77Chapter 7: Mastering Essay Questions on Poetic Passages.89Chapter 8: Flexing Your Poetry Muscles: Practice Questions .101Part III: Getting the Story from Prose and Drama .121Chapter 9: Reading Fiction and Drama Passages .123Chapter 10: . . . And Nothing but the Truth: Reading Nonfiction Passages .141Chapter 11: Conquering Multiple-Choice Prose and Drama Questions .151Chapter 12: Writing Stellar Essays on Prose and Drama Passages .165Chapter 13: Practice Makes Perfect: Prose and Drama Questions .179Part IV: Paired Passages and the Open-Ended Essay .203Chapter 14: Free at Last: The Open-Ended Essay .205Chapter 15: Double Trouble: Paired-Passage Essays.219Part V: Dress Rehearsal: Practice Exams .235Chapter 16: Killing Three Perfectly Innocent Hours: Practice Exam 1 .239Chapter 17: The Moment of Truth: Scoring Practice Exam 1 .253Chapter 18: Spoiling Three More Hours: Practice Exam 2 .279Chapter 19: Checking In: Scoring Practice Exam 2.295Part VI: The Part of Tens.317Chapter 20: Ten Mistakes That Kill Your Essay Score .319Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Increase Your Know-How Without Studying.325Part VII: Appendixes.331Appendix A: Literary Works.333Appendix B: Quick Grammar Review.339Index.347

Table of ContentsIntroduction .1About This Book.2Conventions Used in This Book .2What You’re Not To Read .2Foolish Assumptions .2How This Book Is Organized.3Part I: Hamlet Hits the Answer Grid: An Overview of the AP Lit Exam and Prep .3Part II: Poetry in Motion .3Part III: Getting the Story from Prose and Drama .3Part IV: Paired Passages and the Open-Ended Essay .4Part V: Dress Rehearsal: Practice Exams .4Part VI: The Part of Tens .4Part VII: Appendixes .4Icons Used in This Book.4Where to Go From Here.5Part I: Hamlet Hits the Answer Grid: An Overview ofthe AP Lit Exam and Prep.7Chapter 1: Flying Over the AP Lit Exam: An Overview.9The Content and Structure of the Exam.9Taking a Closer Look at Typical AP Exam Questions .10The multiple-choice section .11The essay section.13All Things Score-Related .14Multiple-choice scoring .14Essay scoring .15The envelope, please! Your final score .16Receiving your score .16Dealing with the Practical Stuff .17Signing up .17Being mindful of important deadlines .18Showing up: What to expect on test day.18Life happens: What to do if you can’t take the exam.19Dealing with special needs.20Chapter 2: “The Readiness Is All”: Preparing for the Exam .21Exam Minus One Year.22September Preceding the Exam .22January Preceding the Exam .23March Preceding the Exam .24Two Weeks before the Exam.24The Night before the Exam .25Zero Hour: The Morning of the Test .25General Strategies for Saving Time on the Exam .26Zooming through multiple-choice questions.26Speed-writing the essays.27

xAP English Literature & Composition For DummiesChapter 3: Getting the Most Out of English Class.31Preparing for Class, Solo-Style: Working on Reading Comprehension.31Decoding and interpreting literature .32Recognizing style.36Taking Notes in Class.37Reading the Extra Mile: Beyond Course Assignments .38Hearing Out the Critics: Reading Literary Essays.39Using criticism correctly, as a supplement to your reading .40Finding well-written criticism .40Building Vocabulary for Fun and Profit.41Honing Your Essay-Writing Skills .43Deciding what to write.43Construction zone: Building the essay .46Writing with Flair: How to Take Your Prose Up a Notch .48Choosing specific statements over general claims.49Expressing yourself clearly .49Proceeding logically.50Spicing up your writing with variety .50Part II: Poetry in Motion .53Chapter 4: Sorting Out Poetic Devices .55Your Link to a Poem’s World: Imagery .55Expressing Creativity with Figurative Language .56Similes and metaphors .56Personification, apostrophe, synecdoche.57Discovering Symbolism, Irony, and Allusion .58Talking the Talk: Understanding Diction and Tone.60Adding Meaning with Sound.61Rhyme .61Rhythm (meter) .62Examining Form: Line Breaks, Stanzas, and Enjambment .63Appearance on the page.64Standard forms .66Chapter 5: Unraveling Poetic Meaning .67Decoding Literal Meaning .67Discovering poetic meaning with a simple set of steps .67Applying the steps to a classic poem .69Unearthing Deeper Meanings in Poetry .70Checking connotations and double meanings.71Applying free association .71Visualizing .72Listening .73Considering Context and Point of View .74Bringing Your Own Experience to the Poem .75Chapter 6: Acing Multiple-Choice Poetry Questions.77The Devil’s in the Details: Factual Questions .77Reading comprehension: Extracting details .77Vocabulary: Examining individual words.78Syntax: Singling out grammatical structure.80

Table of ContentsWhat Lies Beneath: Interpretation Questions .82Considering the significance of sensations: Imagery .82Finding value in figures of speech.83It’s not just what you say, but how you say it: Tone and diction .85Reflecting on the whole enchilada: Structure.86Getting into the groove (or lack thereof): Rhyme and rhythm.88Chapter 7: Mastering Essay Questions on Poetic Passages .89Knowing What to Expect from Poetry Prompts .89Making Notes and Preparing to Write .91The Mechanics of Proving Your Case .93Inserting quotations.93Punctuating quotations .94Citing quotations .95Adding Your Commentary: Analysis without the Couch .96Wrapping Up with a Quick Conclusion.97Aiming Your Ballpoint at the Goal: A Sample Poetry Essay.98Sample poem and prompt: Wilfred Owen’s “Arms and the Boy” .98Sample essay about Owen’s poem .98Evaluation of the sample essay .99Chapter 8: Flexing Your Poetry Muscles: Practice Questions .101Selecting an Answer from Multiple Options .101Practice set 1.101Practice set 2.105Practice set 3.108Crafting Solid Poetry Essays.112Essay prompt 1 .112Essay prompt 2 .120Essay prompt 3 .120Answer Guide for Poetry Essays.120General essay requirements .120Potential points for essay 1.120Potential points for essay 2.120Potential points for essay 3.120Part III: Getting the Story from Prose and Drama .121Chapter 9: Reading Fiction and Drama Passages.123Tell Me a Story: Fiction and Drama in the AP Exam .123What’s Going On? Plot and Conflict.124Plot: It’s not just a piece of land .124Conflict: The element that brings in all the dra-ma! .126Where It’s At: Setting .128Who’s There? Characterization.129Overarching questions to consider .129What the characters look like.129What the characters say . . . .130How the characters behave and interact.131Significant objects associated with the character .133What’s in Style? Tone, Diction, and Point of View .133Tone and diction.134Point of view .136xi

xiiAP English Literature & Composition For DummiesWhat’s the Big Idea? Themes.137The Play’s the Thing: Drama Particularities.138Plot, conflict, and theme .138Setting: The fine print .139Characterization: Monologue, dialogue, and brackets tell all .140Chapter 10: . . . And Nothing but the Truth: Reading Nonfiction Passages .141A Preview of Nonfiction on the Exam .141Arguing and Exploring Ideas: The Essay .142Finding meaning in essay structures .142Paying attention to rhetorical techniques .144Once in a Lifetime: Memoir and Biography .146Clocks and calendars: Chronological structure .146Rhetorical techniques.148Chapter 11: Conquering Multiple-Choice Prose and Drama Questions .151Attacking a Prose or Drama Passage: A Quick How-To .151Testing Your Observation: Basic Reading Comprehension Questions .152Pointing out the “obvious”: Literal questions .152Say again? Interpretation questions .156Assessing the Role of Style and Technique .160Identifying the author’s purpose in choosing elements of style .160Pondering the order of events: Structure questions .162Questioning word choice and arrangement: Syntax questions.163Chapter 12: Writing Stellar Essays on Prose and Drama Passages.165Cracking Open the Essay Prompt .165Digesting the Passage and Deciding on a Focus .167Choosing Your Evidence .169Deciding whether to quote or summarize .169Selecting and inserting appropriate quotations.172Building on the Intro: Organizing and Discussing Your Ideas .173The grand presentation: Body paragraphs.174Making a statement based on your evidence: The conclusion .174On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! A Sample Prose Essay .175Sample excerpt and prompt.175Sample essay.

Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com and related trade dress are trademarks or registered . English Grammar For Dummies, English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, Research Papers For Dummies, College Admissions Essays For Dummies, SAT I . Getting the Story from Prose

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