The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric / Edition 2

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The Language of Composition is the first textbook built from the ground up to help students succeed in the AP English Language course. Written by a team of experts with experience in both high school and college, this text focuses on teaching students the skills they need to read, write, and think at the college level. With practical advice and an extensive selection of readings —  including essays, poetry, fiction, and visual texts — The Language of Composition helps students develop the key skills they must master to pass the course, to succeed on the AP Exam, and to prepare for a successful college career. Revised based on feedback from teachers across the country, the second edition promises to be an even better resource for the AP Language classroom.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312676506
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 8/6/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1060
  • Sales rank: 77,314
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A unique team of authors who are AP English Language specialists. Renée H. Shea is a university professor who has directed freshman English programs; Lawrence Scanlon and Robin Dissin Aufses are English department chairs at high schools where they also teach AP English. Both Renée Shea and Lawrence Scanlon have been involved with the AP program for many years as faculty consultants and workshop leaders for both the Language and Literature courses.

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Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Rhetoric: Using the "Available Means"

    ACTIVITY Understanding Civil Discourse


    Lou Gehrig, Farewell Speech

  Occasion, Context, and Purpose

  The Rhetorical Triangle

    ACTIVITY Analyzing a Rhetorical Situation


    Albert Einstein, Dear Phyllis, January 24, 1936

    ACTIVITY George W. Bush, September 11th Speech



  Automatic Ethos

    King George VI, The King’s Speech

  Building Ethos

    Judith Ortiz, From The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria

    ACTIVITY Establishing Ethos


  Conceding and Refuting

    Alice Waters, From Slow Food Nation

    ACTIVITY George Will, "King Coal: Reigning in China"


    Richard Nixon, from The Checkers Speech

  Images and Pathos

    ACLU, The Man on the Left (advertisement)

  Humor and Pathos

    Ruth Marcus, from Crackberry Congress

    ACTIVITY Dwight D. Eisenhower, Order of the Day

  Combining Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

    Toni Morrison, Dear Senator Obama

    ACTIVITY Appealing to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos


    Tom Toles, Rosa Parks (cartoon)

    Activity World Wildlife Fund, Protecting the Future of Nature (advertisement)


    Jane Austen, from Pride and Prejudice

    PETA, Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse (advertisement)

    Anne Applebaum, If the Japanese can’t build a safe reactor, who can?

    ACTIVITY Tamar Demby, Alarmist or Alarming Rhetoric? (student essay)

    ACTIVITY Federal Highway Administration, Stop for Pedestrians (advertisement)


     1. The Times, Man Takes First Steps on the Moon

     2. William Safire, In Event of Moon Disaster 

     3. Ayn Rand, The July 16, 1969 Launch: A Symbol of Man’s Greatness

     4. Herblock, Transported (cartoon)


2. Close Reading: The Art and Craft of Analysis


  A Model Analysis

    Queen Elizabeth I, Speech at Tilbury

    ACTIVITY Looking at Rhetoric and Style

    ACTIVITY Winston Churchill, First Speech to the House of Commons


  Asking Questions

    Ralph Ellison, from On Bird, Bird-Watching and Jazz

    ACTIVITY Ralph Ellison, from On Bird, Bird-Watching and Jazz


    Joan Didion, from Los Angeles Notebook

  Using a Graphic Organizer

  From Close Reading to Analysis

    ACTIVITY Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth


    Groucho Marx, Dear Warner Bros.

  Developing a Thesis Statement

  A Sample Close Analysis Essay

    ACTIVITY Christopher Morley, On Laziness


    Dodge, It’s a big fat juicy cheesebuger in a land of tofu (advertisement)

    ACTIVITY Girl Scouts, What Did You Do Today? (advertisement)


  John F. Kennedy, Inauguration Address, January, 1961

  Eleanor Clift, Inside Kennedy’s Inauguration, 50 Years On

  United States Army Signal Corps, Inauguration of John F. Kennedy (photo)


3. Analyzing Arguments: From Reading to Writing


  Amy Domini, "Why Investing in Fast Food May Be a Good Thing."

    ACTIVITY Finding Common Ground

    Essay in Progress – Selecting a Topic


    ACTIVITY Identifying Arguable Statements

  Types of Claims

  Claims of Fact

  Claims of Value

    Roger Ebert, Star Wars

    ACTIVITY Analyzing a Review

  Claim of Policy

    Anna Quindlen, from The C Word in the Hallways

    ACTIVITY The New York Times, Felons and the Right to Vote

    Essay in Progress – Staking a Claim

  From Claim to Thesis

    Closed Thesis Statements

    Open Thesis Statements

    Counterargument Thesis Statements

    ACTIVITY Developing Thesis Statements

    Essay in Progress: Developing a Thesis


  Relevant, Accurate, and Sufficient Evidence

  Logical Fallacies

    Fallacies of Relevance

    Fallacies of Accuracy

    Fallacies of Insufficiency

  First-Hand Evidence

    Personal Experience

    Jennifer Oladipo, Why Can’t Environmentalism Be Colorblind?

    Fallacy Alert – Hasty Generalization


    Fabiola Santiago, In college, these American citizens are not created equal

    Current Events

    Fareed Zakaria, from When Will We Learn?

  Second-Hand Evidence

    Historical Information

    Samuel Walker, from Hate Speech

    Fallacy Alert - Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

    Expert Opinion

    Peggy Orenstein, from Just a Little Princess

    Fallacy Alert: Appeal to False Authority

    Quantitative Evidence

    Fallacy Alert: Bandwagon Appeal

    ACTIVITY Identifying Logical Fallacies

    ACTIVITY Dana Thomas, Terrors’ Purse Strings

    Essay in Progress – Using Evidence


  The Classical Oration

    Sandra Day O’Connor and Roy Romer, Not by Math Alone

  Induction and Deduction


    Malcolm Gladwell, from Outliers


     Essay in Progress –Shaping an Argument

     Combining Induction and Deduction

     Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

     ACTIVITY Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Declaration of the Rights of Women

  Using the Toulmin Model

    Analyzing Assumptions

    ACTIVITY Identifying Assumptions

    From Reading to Writing

    ACTIVITY Using Argument Templates


  Polyp, The Rat Race (cartoon)

  Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage (photo)

  ACTIVITY US Postal Service, The Heroes of 2001 (stamp)

  Essay in Progress – Using Visual Evidence


  Tom Toles, Heavy Medal

  Michael Binyon, Comment: absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobelpeace prize


4. Synthesizing Sources: Entering the Conversation

  ACTIVITY Reflecting on Sources


  Laura Hillenbrand, from Seabiscuit

  ACTIVITY Gerald L. Early, from A Level Playing Field


  Steven Pinker, from Words Don’t Mean What They Mean

  Steven Pinker, from The Stuff of Thought

  Steven Pinker, from The evolutionary social psychology of off-record indirect speech acts

  ACTIVITY Examining a Columnist

Conversation: Mandatory Community Service

  1. Neil Howe And William Strauss, From Millennials Rising

  2. The Dalton School, Community Service Mission Statement

  3. The Detroit News, Volunteer Work Opens Teen’s Eyes To Nursing

  4. Dennis Chaptman, Study: ‘Resume Padding’ Prevalent In College-Bound Students WhoVolunteer

  5. Arthur Stukas, Mark Snyder, and E. Gil Clary; The Effects Of "Mandatory Volunteerism"On Intentions To Volunteer

  6. Mark Hugo Lopez, From Youth Attitudes Toward Civic Education And Community Service Requirements


  Identifying the Issues: Recognizing Complexity

  Formulating Your Position

  ACTIVITY Supporting a Thesis

  Framing Quotations

  Integrating Quotations

  ACTIVITY Using Sources Effectively

  Citing Sources

  A Sample Synthesis Essay

  CULMINATING ACTIVITY Conversation: The Dumbest Generation?

    1. Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation

    2. Sharon Begley, The Dumbest Generation? Don’t Be Dumb

    3. Mizuko Ito, et. al., Living and Leaning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project

    4. Nicholas Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid?

    5. R. Smith Simpson, Are We Getting Our Share of the Best?

    6. Steven Johnson, Your Brain on Video Games

    7. Clive Thompson, The New Literacy

    8. Roz Chast, Shelved (cartoon)

5. Education

Do our schools serve the goals of a true education?
Central Essay
  Francine Prose, I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read
Classic Essay
Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Education
Other Voices
  James Baldwin, A Talk to Teachers
  Kyoko Mori, School
  Sherman Alexie, Superman and Me
 *David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
  Margaret Talbot, Best in Class
 *David Foster Wallace, This is Water
  Sandra Cisneros, Eleven
Visual Text
  Norman Rockwell, The Spirit of Education
Visual Text
  *Roz Chast, What I Learned
Conversation: The American High School
  Horace Mann, from The Report of the Mass. Board of Education
  Todd Gitlin, The Liberal Arts in an Age of Info-Glut 
  Leon Botstein, Let Teen-Agers Try Adulthood
  Edward Koren, Two Scoreboards (cartoon)
  *Diane Ravitch, Stop the Madness
  *Erik Hanushek, U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective (tables)
  *David Barboza, Shanghai Schools' Approach Pushes Students to Top of Tests
Student Writing
  Argument: Using Personal Experiences as Evidence
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
Suggestions for Writing
6. Community
Central Essay
  Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail (with public statement)
Classic Essay
  Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived, and What I Lived for
Other Voices
  Richard Rodriguez, Aria
  *Ellen Goodman, The Family That Stretches (Together)
  Lori Arviso Alvord, Walking the Path between Worlds
  *Robert D. Putnam, Health and Happiness
  *Dinaw Mengestu, Home at Last
  *Scott Brown, Facebook Friendonomics
  *Malcolm Gladwell, Small Change
  Aurora Levins Morales, Child of the Americas
Paired Visual Texts
  *Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want
  *Roz Chast, The Last Thanksgiving
Visual Text
  *Nissan, The Black Experience Is Everywhere
Conversation: The Individual's Responsibility to the Community
  *Andrew Carnegie, from The Gospel of Wealth
  Bertrand Russell, The Happy Life
  Garrett Hardin, Lifeboat Ethics
  Peter Singer, The Singer Solution to World Poverty
  *Zapiro, World Economic Forum (cartoon)
  *Christian Science Monitor, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and the Billionaire Challenge
  *Der Spiegel, Negative Reaction to Charity Campaign
Student Writing
  Synthesis: Incorporating Sources into a Revision
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
  Parallel Structures
Suggestions for Writing
7. The Economy
Central Essay
  Barbara Ehrenreich, from Serving in Florida
Classic Essay
  Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
Other Voices
  *John Ruskin, from The Roots of Honor
  Booker T. Washington, from The Atlanta Exposition Address
  *Lars Eighner, Dumpster Diving
  *Eric Schlosser, In the Strawberry Fields
  *Stephen J. Dubner & Steven D. Levitt, What the Bagel Man Saw
  *Matthew Crawford, The Case for Working with Your Hands
  *Fareed Zakaria, How to Restore the American Dream
  *Marge Piercy, To Be of Use
Visual Text
  Jeff Parker, The Great GAPsby Society
Visual Text
  *Tom Tomorrow, A "Handy" Guide to the Housing Market
Conversation: Materialism in American Culture
  *Henry David Thoreau, from Economy
  *John Kenneth Galbraith, from Consumer Behavior and the Dependence Effect
  *Phyllis Rose, Shopping and Other Spiritual Adventures in America Today
  *Wendell Berry, Waste
  *Juliet Schor, from The New Politics of Consumption
  *Joan Smith, Shop Happy
  *Virginia Postrel, In Praise of Chain Stores
  *Scott DeCarlo, Forbes Price Index of Luxury Goods (table)
Student Writing
  Rhetorical Analysis: Analyzing a Prose Passage
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
  Short Simple Sentences and Fragments
Suggestions for Writing
8. Gender
Central Essay
  Stephen Jay Gould, Women's Brains
Classic Essay
  Virginia Woolf, Professions for Women
Other Voices
  *Benjamin Franklin, The Speech of Miss Polly Baker
  John and Abigail Adams, Letters
  *Judy Brady, I Want a Wife
  *Brent Staples, Just Walk on By
  Judith Ortiz Cofer, The Myth of the Latin Woman
  Deborah Tannen, There Is No Unmarked Woman
  *Matthias Mehl, Are Women Really More Talkative Than Men?
  Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll
Paired Visual Texts
  *Charles LeBrun, Chancellor Seguier at the Entry of Louis XIV into Paris
  *Kehinde Wiley, The Chancellor Seguier on Horseback
Conversation: Defining Masculinity
  *Leonard McCombe, Marlboro Man (photo)
  Paul Theroux, Being a Man
  Gretel Ehrlich, About Men
  Rebecca Walker, Putting down the Gun
  Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky, Why Johnny Won't Read
  David Brooks, Mind over Muscle
Student Writing: Argument
  Supporting an Assertion
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
Suggestions for Writing
9. Sports
Central Essay
  Gay Talese, Silent Season of a Hero
Classic Essay
  *Grantland Rice, The Four Horsemen
Other Voices
  Theodore Roosevelt, The Proper Place for Sports
  *Joyce Carol Oates, The Cruelest Sport
  Kris Vervaecke, A Spectator's Notebook 
  *Jane Smiley, Barbaro, The Heart in the Winner's Circle
  *Malcolm Gladwell, Offensive Play
  *Rick Reilly, Why I Love My Job
  *Caroline Alexander, The Great Game
  John Updike, Ex-Basketball Player
Visual Text
  *New York World, The 12th Man in Any Football Game (cartoon)
Visual Text 
  *Sports Illustrated, Yes! (cover)
Conversation: Paying College Athletes
  *Boris Drucker, I'm glad we won... (cartoon)
  *Frank DeFord, Pay Dirt
  *Michael Lewis, Serfs of the Turf
  *Bill Walton, My Priceless Opportunity
  *Michael Wilbon, As Colleges' Greed Grows, So Does the Hypocrisy
  *Steve Weiberg, Despite Criticism, NCAA Takes a Firm Stance on Professionalism
  *NCAA, Why Students Aren't Paid to Play
Student Writing
  Rhetorical Analysis: Comparing Strategies
  Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
  Direct, Precise, and Active Verbs
Suggestions for Writing
10. Language
Central Essay
  Amy Tan, Mother Tongue
Classic Essay
  George Orwell, Politics and the English Language
Other Voices
  *Walt Whitman, Slang in America
  *Gloria Anzaldœa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue
  Marjorie Agosin, Always Living in Spanish
  *Firoozeh Dumas, The 'F Word'
  *Charles Krauthammer, In Plain English
  *Steven Pinker, Words Don't Mean What They Mean
  Naomi Shihab Nye, For Mohammed Zeid of Gaza, Age 15 & Why I Could Not Accept Your Invitation
Visual Text
  *U.S. Census, Language Use in the U.S.
Visual Text
  *Jim Cummins, The Effects of Bilingualism
Conversation: Politics and the English Language
  *Institute for Propaganda Analysis, How to Detect Propaganda
  *Michiko Kakutani, The Word Police
  *Harper's, Skinning Cats, Nonviolently (table)
  *Mike Lester, NCAA Native American Mascots (cartoon)
  Geoffrey Nunberg, The —ism Schism
  Daniel Okrent, The War of Words: A Dispatch from the Front Lines (with letters to the editor)
  *Frank Luntz, from Words that Work
Student Writing
  Narrating: Reflecting on Personal Exerience
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
  Concise Diction
Suggestions for Writing
11. Popular Culture
*Central Essay
  James McBride, Hip Hop Planet
Classic Essay
  Mark Twain, Corn-pone Opinions
Other Voices
  Scott McCloud, Show and Tell (graphic essay)
  David Denby, High-School Confidential
  *Robin Givhan, An Image a Little Too Carefully Coordinated
  Steven Johnson, Watching TV Makes You Smarter
  *Daniel Harris, Celebrity Bodies
  *Chuck Klosterman, My Zombie, Myself
  Hans Ostrom, Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven
Visual Text
  Mark Tansey, The Innocent Eye Test
Visual Text
  *Andy Warhol, Myths
Conversation: Exporting American Pop Culture
  *Thomas Friedman, The Revolution Is U.S.
  *Heather Havrilesky, Besieged by 'Friends'
  *Dierdre Straughan, Who's Dominating Whom?
  *Kwame Anthony Appiah, from The Case for Contamination
  *Josef Joffe, The Perils of Soft Power
  *Joseph Nye, The U.S. Can Reclaim Smart Power
  *Slovakian Fan at World Cup (photo)
Student Writing
  Rhetorical Analysis: Analyzing Satire
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
Suggestions for Writing
12. The Environment
Central Essay
  Rachel Carson, from Silent Spring
Classic Essay
  Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Nature
Other Voices
  *Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic
  *Lewis Thomas, Natural Man
  *Bill McKibben, from The End of Nature
  Terry Tempest Williams, The Clan of One-Breasted Women
  *Joy Williams, Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp
  *E.O. Wilson, from The Future of Life
  *Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid
Visual Text
  R. Crumb, A Shorty History of America (cartoon)
Visual Text
  *Royal Dutch/Shell, Let's Go (advertisement)
Conversation: Sustainable Eating
  *Peter Menzel, Hungry Planet (photo essay)
  *Michael Pollan, A Naturalist in the Supermarket
  *James McWilliams, The Locavore Myth
  *Jonathan Safran Foer, The American Table and The Global Table
  *Nicolette Hahn Niman, Carnivore's Dilemma
  *Will Allen, A Good Food Manifesto for America
  *A.J. Jacobs, Farm to Table
  *Michael Specter, from Test-Tube Burgers
Student Writing
  Visual Rhetoric: Analyzing a Photo Essay
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
  Cumulative, Periodic, and Inverted Sentences
Suggestions for Writing
13. Politics
Central Essay
  Jamaica Kincaid, On Seeing England for the First Time
Classic Essay
  Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
Other Voices
  *Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address
  Virginia Woolf, Thoughts on Peace During an Air Raid
  Chris Hedges, from The Destruction of Culture
  *Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot
  *Laura Blumenfeld, The Apology
  *Marjane Satrapi, The Veil (geographic memoir)
  Tim O'Brien, On the Rainy River
Visual Texts
  Pablo Picasso, Guernica (painting)
  New Yorker, March 17, 2003 (cover)
   Harper's, April 2003 (cover)
Conversation: Colonialism
  *Christopher Columbus, Letter to King Ferdinand
  *King Ferdinand, The Requerimiento
  *Red Jacket, Defense of Native American Religion
  George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

  *Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence

  Eavan Boland, In Which the Ancient History I Learn Is Not My Own (poem)   Chinua Achebe, The Empire Fights Back
  National Park Service, Christiansted (brochure)
Student Writing
  Synthesis: Using Sources to Support an Argument
Grammar as Rhetoric and Style
  Subordination in the Complex Sentence
Suggestions for Writing

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