contemporary controversies: synthesis assignment

AP Language & Composition – Spring 2014
For this unit, we will study the synthesis question. We will do this by having you write your own
synthesis prompt and then you will answer this prompt in an in-class essay.
Your prompt should look exactly like the attached sample question. It must include:
*Five-Seven source documents— five essays from your list and your visual analysis picture
The source documents must present myriad viewpoints and sides on your central topic.
Your typed prompt will be due on _____________________________________.
With the prompt, you should submit notes on each source and an abstract (summary) for each source.
In preparation for this in-class synthesis essay, you will have article and topic discussions with an
assigned group in class on
Discussion #1_____________________________
Discussion #2_____________________________
Each of these discussions will be graded. Please bring your completed note sheets each class, and
especially to the discussions. Discussions will last up to 30 minutes, and group members’ participation
will be assessed by both teacher and peers.
AP Language & Composition – Spring 2014
Please read the first FOUR of these articles or essays on your topic. Then, choose one of the remaining articles for
your fifth reading. You should take notes on each essay, looking to answer your prompt and essential questions.
David Denby’s “High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies” (p.709-714)
Mark Twain’s “Corn-Pone Opinions” (pp.717-720)
Scott McCloud’s “Show and Tell (graphic essay)” (pp.737-750)
Teresa Wiltz’s “Popular Culture in the Aftermath of September 11…” (pp. 751-758)
Steven Johnson’s “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” (pp. 766-776)
Corbert Trubey’s “The Argument Against TV” (pp.777-779)
Virginia Woolf’s “Professions for Women” (pp. 356-361)
Paul Theroux’s “Being a Man” (pp. 378-381)
Gretel Ehrlich’s “About Men” (pp. 367-370)
David Brook’s “Mind over Muscle” (pp. 410-412)
Rebecca Walker’s “Putting Down the Gun” (pp. 412-414)
Ann Hulbert’s “Boy Problems” (pp. 414-417)
Loren Eiseley’s “The Bird and the Machine” (pp. 601-607)
T.H. Huxley’s “The Method of Scientific Investigation” (pp. 609-614)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s “The Future of Happiness” (pp. 623-629)
Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate” (pp. 630-639)
Elizabeth Royte’s “Transsexual Frogs” (pp. 655-662)
Sven Birkert’s “Into the Electronic Millennium” (pp. 647-654)
Joyce Carol Oates’s “Against Nature” (pp. 840-847)
Wendell Berry’s “An Entrance to the Woods” (pp. 825-834)
Wangari Muta Maathai’s “2004 Nobel Peace Prize Speech” (pp. 834-839)
Chief Seattle’s “Message to President Pierce” (pp. 823-824)
Bill McKibben’s “It’s Easy Being Green” (pp. 862-867)
Daniel Glick’s “”GeoSigns: The Big Thaw” (pp. 881-887)
Jamaica Kincaid’s “On Seeing England for the First Time” (pp. 904-913)
Chris Hedge’s The Destruction of Culture (pp. 922-928)
Oliver Goldsmith’s “National Prejudices” (pp. 932-934)
Wole Soyinka’s “Every Dictator’s Nightmare” (pp. 957-960)
Chinua Achebe’s “The Empire Fights Back” (pp. 985-988)
George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” (pp. 979-984)
All gender, science, nature, and war and politics articles taken from:
Shea, Renee H., Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Disson Aufses, eds. The Language of Composition. Boston/New York:
Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008. Print.