From an essay I wrote in 2014:

Our kids need to be reminded, early and often, that to effectively write an argument is to stake out new ground. To challenge the reader and even threaten her worldview. Tomorrow, when I tell my students (in the nicest possible way) that their papers bored me, I suspect most will, at least privately, acknowledge that they bored themselves writing them. It may take just a few more moments to stake out a position that’s not right in the center of a topic or to expertly craft a single phrase or sentence in a way no reader could forget, but that’s what teaching writing demands.


Just a couple of reminders over the next week as we have a short school week and an absent teacher.

Make sure to complete your research paper by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. If you have already shared the document with me, please rename the file FINAL so I can find it in Google Docs.

  • Make sure your formatting (headers, Works Cited, etc.) is correct.
  • Double check citation
  • And don’t forget those databases!

On Monday-Tuesday, you can use class time to watch Into the Wild or continue working on your papers.

You also have an essay due next Sunday by 4:00. It’s an argumentative essay about one of the themes of Into the Wild and is located in the downloads folder.

Enjoy the break!

Essay 4: Civil Disobedience is due on Sunday, October 27 at 4:00 p.m.

Download and enjoy!

Your second essay for AP Language is due Sunday, September 22 at noon. You can download the prompt (and all the rest this year) here. While the structure of this essay will be much like the first essay about high school sports, it will require the use of evidence, so make sure that you download and annotate the prompt as you are reading.

Notes about writing synthesis style essays are available here in the Writing Guide.


We’ll talk more about how to effectively use these, but if you are working in Google Docs, I highly encourage you to make use of one of these tools before you submit your essays.