Are you really "Trying your best?"

"Trying your best" means studying for a test in advance. It means taking your time to complete a project or asking for help when you don't understand something. "Trying your best" is not waiting until the last minute to study. It's not depending on extra credit to get a higher grade. "Trying your best" means you really put forth effort inside and outside the classroom.

So if you find yourself with a low grade, ask yourself, "Did I really try my best?"


March 15

College Syllabi Activity

In this activity, you will read three (or more) course syllabi from UCLA and Occidental College. Then you will identify common traits amongst the professors' grading policies. In other words, what stands out when you review the grading policies.


December 7th, 2016

AP English Literature: Literary Device Project Redux

Here are the resources for the Group Literary Devices Project.

 Handout Word File PDF File
 Sample Presentation PowerPoint File PDF File


November 27, 2016

AP English Literature: Poetry!

I am sick, so sadly, I won't be there today. Yes, take a moment to cheer. In my place, Cristine and Milca will help lead today's class. Brief announcement: Poetry assessment (essay) will be next Monday.


Step #1: Writing Notes

Read this handout on how to write an essay on poetry. (Click the word "handout.") I will give you physical copies of this handout on Wednesday.


Step #2: Write, panic, stress out, cry, etc.

Now, let's practice writing a complete essay. You will have 45 minutes to complete this essay. Before you freak out, keep this in mind: your paragraphs on "The Ruins of Time" showed you can do this. There were many 3s and 4s.

When the timer (either Cristine or Milca) says go, click the following link to begin the essay: 2012 Poetry Question. (The essay prompt is on the second page.)


Step #3: Peer Review

Before you review each other's work, read the rubric criteria for a 7-6 score and then two sample essays in this file: Sample Essays. The essay scores are on the last page.


Step #4: Learning Literary Devices

Working in your groups, define and provide four examples of the following literary devices: synecdoche, metonymy, anaphora, asyndeton, polysyndeton, euphemism, synesthesia, and zeugma.

You might not have time to finish this, but do what you can. Each student should do this on her own paper. Some of these devices are difficult to understand, so write down any questions you have. We will review them on Wednesday.

And because it's worth mentioning: You will need to know these for the multiple choice section of the AP test and an upcoming group project. (Don't trip. It won't be graded.)


November 15, 2016

AP English Literature: Reassessment

Writing Prompt:

Wao attacks the assumption that American identity, or any national or personal identity, is uniform. What other assumptions do you think the novel attacks? Why would it be important for Díaz to unravel these assumptions?


If your essay simply repeats what's been said in class, I will stop reading your essay. The assessment is meant to gauge literary analysis, not regurgitation of what others have said.

September 15, 2016

Literary Devices Project

Here are the resources for the Literary Devices Project.

 Handout DOCX File PDF File
 Sample Presentation PPTX File PDF File
 Sample Essay DOCX File PDF File