•  http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_A.html

    http://www.appracticeexams.com/ap-english-literature   - this site offers lots of practice questions and practice tests

     AP Essay Rubric  - here is a practice rubric

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESkflL8yhFQ                                                                                               youtube video on prose essay
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l5_lfarUzY                                                                                                   youtube video on poetry essay 

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Important quotes with analysis

    from Brittany Morgan and Jessica Goncalves

    1.  “That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years” (1).  This quote is from the beginning of the novel as Amir begins to narrate the story. He is referring to watching Hassan being raped in the alley and as an adult now, how this still follows him. This reveals one of the main themes of the novel that your past does not disappear, the guilt and memory can haunt you. In Amir’s case this one day never left him in peace.

    2.  “America was different. America was a river, roaring along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Some place with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins. If for nothing else, for that, I embraced America” (136).   This quote shows Amir’s thoughts about America. One of the main themes of the novel is guilt, but hand in hand with that is the theme of hiding from your sins and not facing your past. This quote shows how Amir uses America and its vastness to hide from his true thoughts and wrongdoings.

    3.  “My body was broken—just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later—but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed” (289).   This quote is taken from the scene when Assef is beating up Amir in Kabul when Amir has come back to rescue Sohrab. In the middle of Amir being pummeled he finally feels the weight he had been feeling for years lifted off his shoulders. This quote relates to the theme of redemption and how Amir finally redeemed himself but doing this selfless act in honor of Hassan for his son.

    4.  “A boy who doesn’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything” (22).  Amir overhears Baba complaining to Rahim Khan that he lacks courage and the ability to stand up to the boys in the neighborhood. Even from a young age, Baba was able to tell that his son was not strong enough to stand up to others and he noticed something was “missing” from Amir. Baba noticed that Amir never stands up for himself because he always lets Hassan defend him. Baba believes someone who can't stand up for himself can't stand up for a friend, or his principles, or anything. When Amir overhears Baba's speech with Rahim Khan he is hurt deeply. This quote is ironic because Amir watches Assef rape Hassan and doesn't intervene. This foreshadows his inability to speak up and help Hassan when he was being bullied, and when he ends up serving as Amir’s sacrifice. Baba recognizes that Amir does not acquire the quality within himself that he does, to courageously stand up for what he believes in.

    5.  “You pathetic fool! Someday you'll wake up from your little fantasy and learn just how good of a friend he is” (72).  Assef calls Hassan a fool for standing up for Amir, and he tries to make Hassan see Amir is not a true friend of his. He does this by giving examples of Amir’s disloyalty and disrespect towards Hassan. He asks “Would he ever do the same for you? Why does he only play with you when no one is around?” Amir does cruel things to Hassan, but he also reads to Hassan and spends almost all his free time with Hassan, making them as close as brothers. This scene is ironic because Hassan ultimately ends up being a sacrifice for Amir when he is raped and tortured by Assef and his friends. Even though Amir and Hassan are almost like brothers, Assef tries to highlight the ways in which Amir has been a terrible friend and how he only sees Hassan as a lower, servant-like companion.

    from Jonathan Dely, Sean Campbell, Justin Suter

    6.  “Hassan was standing at the blind end of the alley in a defiant stance: fists curled, legs slightly apart. Behind him, sitting on piles of scrap and rubble, was the blue kite. My key to Baba’s heart” (71).  (Jonathan)  This quotation is revealing more than anything else. It occurs early on in the novel – page 71 – and during a time where Amir blindly focuses on his needs and his needs alone. His friendship with Hassan is true but it’s also self-providing. This quotation reveals how much impressing Baba means to Amir – clearly more than the potential strengthening of his and Hassan’s friendship. The blue kite symbolizes success – but in a distant and derived form.  Amir views this accomplishment as an opportunity to warm up to his stoic father rather than to become closer with Hassan. This shows what he values: a silent sense of self-satisfaction rather than an outward expression of gratitude and love for his half-brother. As Hassan pants out of breath tired and scraped, all Amir can focus on is that kite. Not the kite runner. 

    7.  “‘Why are you saying these things?’ I said.

    ‘Because you wanted to know,’ he spat. He pointed to an old man dressed in ragged clothes trudging down a dirt path, a large burlap pack filled with scrub grass tied to his back. ‘That’s the real Afghanistan, Agha sahib. That’s the Afghanistan I know. You? You’ve always been a tourist here, you just didn’t know it.’”               (Jonathan)  This quotation references a conversation had between Amir and Farid. Amir is astonished by the revolution Kabul has undergone since his childhood. He remarks to Farid about the stark contrasts he observes to which Farid snaps.  He condemns Amir for being raised sheltered and immune to the reality of Afghanistan existing outside of Baba’s protective domain. Thus, Farid spits at Amir claiming that he has always been a tourist in his homeland because he had never been exposed to the truth. Amir sees some truth in this statement and offers his apologies to Farid who responds to Amir telling him that his words mean nothing.  They mean nothing because they are supported by nothing. No experience. No knowledge of how Afghanistan had been crippled. Amir’s words are empty because they know nothing of what has become of his home. Just like a tourist would speak about a place he has yet to visit, Amir speaks of his home as if he had never lived there.


    8.  I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t. I just watched. Paralyzed” (73).  (Sean)  This quote is during the scene when Hassan is raped by Assef. Amir stood there watching, and he never did anything. His failure to act makes him a weak person. Later on in the novel, it comes up that Amir knew it was wrong to not act, which makes him an even worse person. He sat there and watched Hassan get raped. Although Amir didn’t consider Hassan a friend because technically Hassan was Amir’s servant, that doesn’t provide an excuse for Amir. Amir fell into his father’s description of him, he was cowardly and not a strong man. Amir later finds out that Hassan is his brother, and then he finally decides to act on Hassan’s behalf by saving his son.

    9.  “‘Ali was sterile,’ Rahim Khan said.
    ‘No he wasn’t. He and Sanaubar had Hassan, didn’t they? They had Hassan-’
    ‘No they didn’t,’ Rahim Khan said” (222).

    In this scene, Rahim Khan tells Amir that Hassan was his brother. Amir has lived his whole life not knowing this fact and becomes very upset by the fact that this secret was kept from him. This information changes the reader’s opinion of Baba. He comes across as a strong man who is very successful, but after learning this information, he becomes a hypocrite. Baba is always telling Amir that he can’t be a writer because that is not what a man does. Baba was worried that Amir would come across as soft, but really Baba was the soft one he just kept it a secret. Baba’s image changes completely after this scene, just as he says that life can be changed with just one choice.

    10.  “‘Hassan!” I called.’ ‘Come back with it!” He was already turning the street corner, his rubber boots kicking up snow. He stopped, turned. He cupped his hands around his mouth. “For you a thousand times over!” he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner” (67).

    (Justin)  This quote is right after Amir has won the kite tournament and Hassan is attempting to run the blue kite for him. The most important line from the quote is “For you a thousand times over”. It occurs a few times over the course of the novel and Amir finally says it to Sohrab in the final line of the book. The quote represents Hassan’s willingness to do anything for Amir, as well as his reverence for Amir. Hassan’s loyalty is soon contrasted with Amir’s cowardice and betrayal as Amir watches Hassan get raped. This contrast between Hassan’s love and Amir’s confusion and jealousy persists throughout much of the novel and is represented by this line.

    11.   “What was so funny was that, for the first time since the winter of 1975, I felt at peace. I laughed because I saw that, in some hidden nook in a corner of my mind, I’d even been looking forward to this… My body was broken-just how badly I wouldn’t find out until later- but I felt healed. Healed at last. I laughed (289).  This quote is from when Amir is “fighting” Assef. Amir is losing badly and his body is being broken, but he laughs because he finally feels good about himself. Amir experiences the warm feeling that one gets in one’s chest when one knows that they are doing the right thing. After spending so long being ashamed of himself, Amir finally is proud of his actions, and loves the way that this pride feels. This quote represents two themes from this novel, that it is important to be loving and sacrifice yourself for others, and that one always has a chance for redemption.


    12.“I’m telling you, Rahim, there is something missing in that boy….If I hadn’t seen the doctor pull him out of my wife with my own eyes, I’d never believe he’s my son.”

    This quote is said by Baba when he is discussing Amir with Rahim Kahn. He is in his study with Rahim and he feels as if there is something missing from Amir, a kind of toughness that Baba feels every young boy should have. Baba becomes very critical of Amir, saying that Hassan has more strength and bravery. This reveals that there is a chasm between Baba and Amir, and that their father-son relationship is flawed. It reveals that Amir takes more after his mother than his father, and that his personality is more quiet and reserved than boisterous and aggressive. From this point on we see Amir constantly try to prove himself to his father, and try to break the bond that inevitably exists between Hassan and Baba.


    13. “Afghans like to say: Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end…crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis (nomads).”

    This quote is said by Amir when he is reflecting back on his childhood and the struggles he has gone through. When Amir enters America and begins his life there, he always has Hassan and Afghanistan in the back of his mind. It is the memory that he cannot relinquish. This quote is also involved with Hassan’s rape and Amir’s inability to do anything when it was taking place. The guilt he feels from his cowardly behavior acts as an iron hand. It constantly follows Amir and does not release its grip until Amir travels back to Afghanistan and is beaten by Assef. This quote illuminates typical Afghanistan life and belief. It shows how many Afghanistan people lead their life: always moving forward. This quote also relates to how Amir leads his life in America. He is not completely happy, but continues to fight every day to move on from his past.


    14.  “ There is a way to be good again”.

    This quotation is said by Rahim Khan to Amir. Rahim Khan says this when he is speaking to Amir over the phone. Rahim Khan is in Afghanistan and Amir is in the United States living his new life. Rahim Khan hints at the fact that he knew what happened the day Assef raped Hassan. The way for Amir “to be good again” is to find Sohrab, who is Hassan’s son, and bring him to an American family who can take care of him. This quote reveals the pure relationship between Amir and Rahim Khan. Rahim Khan still believes in Amir and doesn’t look at him differently after hearing what Amir did to Hassan. This is also a chance for Amir to prove that he has the courage and strength of his father. Out of respect for Rahim Khan, and a chance to finally feel at peace with himself, Amir chooses to go back to Kabul and find Sohrab.


    15. “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft....When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”

    This quotation is said by Baba to Amir. Baba takes him on his lap and very seriously tells Amir this. Baba tells him that no matter what any of Amir’s teachers say, he must always remember what Baba has told him. He says this in order to teach Amir a very important lesson. He wants Amir to be an upstanding, honest young man. This quotation becomes ironic when Amir learns about Baba being Hassan’s father. This quote helps to characterize Baba because it shows that he wasn’t perfect, as he was in Amir’s eyes. Baba wanted to instill this into Amir’s head so he would never feel the guilt Baba has since Hassan was born. This quotation also foreshadows the guilt that Amir will feel after he cowardly does nothing when Hassan gets raped. It reveals much about Baba’s character. He doesn’t want Amir to be flooded with guilt. This quote further illuminates the theme of being imperfect. Even though some are believed to be perfect, nobody really is. Baba isn’t, and we learn this later on in the novel.




    AP English Literature Multiple-Choice Tips

    ap english lit tricks1. First, Read the Passages: Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a common misconception that you should read the questions before reading the passage, so you can work quickly and scan the text for the correct answer. One vital thing to remember is this: quicker isn’t always better. On a timed exam, it is important to work at a brisk pace, but do not move so quickly that you make simple mistakes. It’s best to read the passages before even glancing at the questions because it prevents error. By merely scanning the passage for the answers, you’re missing out on a plethora of content that could be vital to answering questions correctly later on in the test.

    2. Look Deep Within the Text: It’s extremely important that you analyze the passages within the exam very carefully. Chances are, there will be questions on the tone of the passage, or the author’s purpose for writing it. Was it to inform or persuade the audience? Perhaps the author used some literary devices like allusions or irony. Closely read the passages and you will have no problem identifying the answers to questions that are specific to the literature side of AP English.

    3. Carefully Read the Questions: If you don’t understand what the question is asking, you can’t possibly expect to know the answer. Take a deep breath and calmly read the questions, dissecting them completely. This will be easier to do for some questions than for others. Once you understand what it is exactly the question is asking, try to recall where in the passage the answer could be located. Also be sure to read the question in its entirety. Sometimes, the writers of the test will throw in certain words or phrases that lead the question in a different direction. For example, the words “EXCEPT” and “NOT” are often used at the end of questions, and this can confuse you. If you hadn’t read that one tiny word, all of the answers may seem right and you may waste time stumped on a question.

    4. Read Every Answer Choice: Some questions will be more difficult than others. Some questions are even designed to trip you up. Be sure to read every single word in every single answer choice; sometimes one word can make all the difference as to whether or not an answer is correct.

    5. Reread Parts of the Passage: If time permits, reread the parts of the text in which answers are located. Be sure the information matches one of the answer choices. You may even want to put a star, dash, or some other marking beside portions of the text that contain answers. That way, if you have extra time at the end of the test, you can go back and check your answers more quickly.

    6. Use Your Time Wisely: This is a timed exam. 60 minutes to complete 55 questions. This allows for an average of a minute per question, with some leftover time to account for reading passages. You have absolutely no time to sit at your desk staring blankly at questions you don’t quite understand. Luckily, there is no penalty for answers marked wrong—or answers not marked at all—on the AP English Literature exam. This means you should definitely skip the questions you’re unsure of. Mark them in some sort of way so that it is noticeable that you haven’t answered them yet. Then, if you have some time at the end of the test, you can go back and see if you can come up with the answer. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find an answer: guess! Remember, you’re only graded on the number of questions you get right; there’s absolutely no penalty for getting a question wrong.

    7. Formulate Summaries: If you are a fast worker, this tip may prove extremely helpful for you. A few of the multiple-choice questions may test your overall comprehension of the passages you read. In the margins of the page beside the passage, jot down a few bullet points outlining the plot progression. This way you can refer back to your notes when answering questions rather than searching the entire text.

    8. Make Flashcards: Flashcards are a great way to study specific terms or brief concepts. Since you will be tested on your understanding of certain terms, it is important that you know them like the back of your hand. Try making flashcards of different literary devices and review them periodically throughout the semester.

    9. Study Everywhere: This may seem a bit extreme, but it really helps. Take the flashcards you’ve made with you wherever you go. Keep them in your wallet, in your purse, or even in your car. Whenever you have a moment of free time, instead of scrolling through Twitter or Facebook on your phone, run through a review of your terms. It’ll stick better in your memory and help your AP Literature exam score in the long run.

    10. Test Yourself: The most helpful and effective way to prepare for the multiple-choice portion of the AP English Literature exam is by testing yourself. Prepare early in the semester for the exam. Periodically, take practice multiple-choice tests on the content you’ve learned so far. There are several websites out there dedicated to helping you quiz yourself for the AP Literature exam. One of these is Learnerator.com, which allows you to test your abilities on nearly every concept covered in the AP English Literature course.

    11. Don’t Stress It: The AP English Literature exam is one big test. Sure, it affects the amount of college credit you receive coming out of high school. But at the end of the day, it’s just a test. Anxiety and stress can severely affect your ability to function correctly. Over time, it can even start to have negative effects on your mind and body. Some people even develop anxiety disorders. Just remember, your mental health is more important than your grades. Take a deep breath periodically throughout the test. It’ll help calm your body and soothe your mind so you can concentrate better. Now that you have some tips on how to tackle the multiple-choice portion of the AP English Literature exam, it’s time to focus on the most challenging part: the free response portion. In this portion, you have two hours to complete three essays. This section tests your ability to analyze passages and dissect them to form logical interpretations to be illustrated in your essays.


    Here are some tips for nailing the free response portion of the AP English Literature and Composition exam:

    AP English Literature Free Response Portion Tips

    AP Lit FRQ

    1. Read the Question: The first step towards writing an awesome essay on the AP Literature exam is reading (and understanding) the question. What are the authors of the test asking for specifically? The answer to this question is the key to writing a well-rounded essay. The scorers of the free response portion want essays that are clear and straight to the point. Simply restating the prompt will result in a huge deduction of points. Regurgitating the question will show the reader that you may not be confident in your ability to dissect passages. This is an extremely bad impression to give, since the interpretation of text is the basis of the entire course.

    2. Come Up with a Thesis: A well-written thesis is the basis of all successful essays. As mentioned previously, do NOT restate the question. Come up with your own unique topic sentence to answer the question. Make it brief and to the point. You have the rest of the essay to elaborate on your thesis; that will be your body.

    3. Stay Organized: Organization is key to writing a great essay. Prepare an outline within the first few minutes of writing your essay. Perhaps even use a diagram, if you’re a visual learner. A clear and precise outline can help prevent rambling when answering the question in your essay.

    4. Use a High-Level Vocabulary: Since this is an exam for an Advanced Placement English course, it is imperative that you use a vocabulary that reflects a higher level of education. However, be sure that you use your impressive vocabulary in context. Nothing looks worse than using a word incorrectly in your essay. Be careful: only use words in which you know the definition.

    5. Use Your Resources: On the first two essays, you will be asked to read a passage and analyze it according to the instructions given in the question. Use the passage to your advantage. Frequently refer back to specific parts of the text. This will show the readers that you paid very close attention to detail when reading the passage. The specific references display the ability to close read, which is a skill covered frequently in an AP English Literature course.

    6. Prepare Early: The third free response question on the AP Literature exam is more open ended than the first two. You will be asked a question and you will be given the opportunity to answer it pertaining to a work of literature that you have read in class. It’s important that you keep this particular essay question in mind as you work throughout the semester. If a particular work of literature stands out to you, prepare early to choose this as the piece to write about in your third essay.

    7. Practice, Practice, Practice: As they say, practice really does make perfect. A good option for practicing free response questions involves searching the Internet for old exam rubrics. These show you exactly what the scorers are looking for in an essay. The AP Literature section of AP Central, a website created by the College Board to help with studying for exams, has several practice exams for your use. Take advantage of this and practice writing essays using different prompts from previous exams.

    8. Use a Good Writing Utensil: Nothing is worse than getting halfway through an essay and having your pen run out of ink, or your pencil getting smudged. Often, readers prefer the look and clarity of black ink to colored ink or the graphite of pencil. Take that into mind when going into the free response portion of the exam.

    9. Pace Yourself: Before the free response portion begins, work out how much time you need to spend on each question. It may even be helpful to bring a watch to time yourself on each essay. You need to give yourself ample time to complete each question. However, you also need to be sure that you are not rushing through the questions and leaving vital information out of your essays.

    10. Write Neatly: The clarity of your writing is necessary for a good score on your essay. If the reader cannot decipher your chicken scratch, how can they possibly score it?

    11. Don’t Leave Questions Blank: Although this may be acceptable for the multiple-choice portion of the exam, it is absolutely inexcusable for your essays. You only get three chances to prove your competency in the free response portion. Take advantage of this opportunity to show the readers how much you’ve learned from taking this AP course.

    12. Understand What the Readers are Looking For: As we said earlier, rubrics are a great resource to use when preparing for the AP Literature exam. They reflect exactly how your essay will be scored. It’s vital to understand exactly what the readers are looking for in a good essay. This includes:

    a) Plot comprehension: Whether or not you understand what is happening in the passages given to you to read. Pay close attention to the plot and how it develops as the story1 progresses.

    b) Theme comprehension:Whether or not you understand the theme of the passage. The theme is the dominating central idea in a work. It’s vital that you recognize the theme very early on in your essay.

    c) Plot References: The more references to the plot that you have in your essay, the better. However, this does not mean restate the entire storyline. This will bore the reader and make it seem like you are dancing around the question. Scorers like for you to be very clear and to the point in your essays.

    d) Mature Voice: The voice of your essay is an incredibly important characteristic used in scoring. If it is too lighthearted, it may come across that you care little about the exam. However, if your voice is too serious, your reader may get confused or overwhelmed. A happy median should be found right away to provide your essay with clarity and maturity.

    13. Listen to Your Teacher: This is perhaps the most important of all the free response tips. Over the course of the semester, your teacher will provide you with ample advice for the exam. Pay close attention to your teacher’s guidance. If the information your teacher gives you wasn’t relevant, they wouldn’t waste their time giving it to you. Your instructor knows the exam; it’s only logical to follow their advice.

    The AP English Literature and Composition exam is all about analysis of different literary works. Hopefully these tips will help you tackle this massive exam with ease.

    Tips Submitted by AP English Literature Teachers

    1. Always remember the author’s purpose. Retelling what happened in the story is not an analysis. You must understand and relay why the author wrote it the way he/she did and what he/she is trying to tell readers! That’s crucial! Thanks for the tip from Kim F. from Tavares High.

    2. Be original. Think about the fact that the AP Test readers have been looking at essays on the same topics for three days. What will you do to be original and stand out that will surprise the reader at 4:30 pm on day three? Brainstorm what everyone else will say before writing. Then, don’t write on those topics. Thanks for the tip from Mike G. from MPS.

    3. “Box the but because shift happens.” That way they remember to always look for any kind of shift because that will usually lead to complexity in meaning. Thanks for the tip from Amber B. at Madison County Schools.

    4. Answer the question as it is actually asked. It’s easy to see a title or an author and jump to conclusions, and sometimes that means students are writing about what they think the question is asking instead of what the question actually is asking. In the pressure to complete three essays in 120 minutes, it’s an easy mistake to make … and a good one to avoid! Thanks for the tip from Heather I. from Niles North.

    5. Answer the question in the introduction. Thanks for the tip from Rhonda G. from Sante Fe Public Schools.

    6. Focused writing on two or three aspects of the text (characterization, use of devices, etc) accompanied with analysis will generate a higher score than lightly touching on 5 to 7 aspects. As a reader we are happy that you can identify techniques, but what we are looking for is analysis. Thanks for the tip from Matt U. at Liberty High.

    7. Always answer the question: “So What?” Yes, the writer used an extended metaphor, so what? Why did they chose that metaphor? How does that choice reflect the author’s intent? What effect does it create within the text and within the reader? Provide the reader with the “so what” to help drive your analysis deeper. Thanks for the second tip from Matt U. at Liberty High.

    8. Brush up on your vocabulary – if you don’t understand the vocabulary used in the questions and/or answers, you will not be able to find the correct answer. There are many words with multiple meanings / nuances of meaning that will bring you to the wrong conclusion. Pay attention to the wording of the questions and answers! Thanks for the tip from Susan R. from Palm Beach Gardens High.

    9. Students who read widely and regularly are far more prepared to write and communicate clearly with a deeper understanding than students who do not read. Reading expands knowledge, vocabulary usage and comprehension and enables students to make connections within and between content areas which real world applications. Thanks for the tip from Elizabeth B. from Harrison High.

    10. Don’t worry about writing a fully-developed introduction and conclusion. Instead, use your time to focus on meaning. What important insights do you have to share? Make sure you provide much more analysis than plot summary. Begin with a clear thesis and end with one strong concluding statement. Thanks for the tip from Julie H. from Greenville High.

    11. Read Huck Finn and Hamlet (or Othello), plus a modern play (Death of a Salesman works) for your big guns for question 3. Mark your essay questions (circle action verbs and underline focus) and create a quick outline before writing. The time spent will prevent the heartache of not addressing the prompt. It’d be Peggy C. from Cherokee County Schools.

    12. Each essay is worth the same amount of points, but one is set for you to shine — know three books really well so that you can rock the free-response essay. On the test – do it first while your mind is still fresh. Thanks for the tip from Diane S. from Frederick High School.

    13. Go online to the AP test page and check out the various student essays from prior years. What makes an essay a 9? 7? or even a 4? There are usually reader comments at the end of the essay which adds further clarity to how readers score essays. Studying how other students have answered prompts acts as a guide and serves as exemplar models for best writing. Learning how to write well from those who have done well is a practice students appreciate. Thanks for the tip from Pam W. from Sandpoint High.

    14. Find a good literary timeline to conceptualize what you read in terms of the art movement and historical time period. These can provide insight into the texts as well as help you remember what you have read. Thanks for the tip from Paul H. at Walled Lake Central High.

    15. Have four novels of literary quality and one play that the student is comfortable analyzing so no question #3 can stump the student. Thanks for the tip from Bill O. from El Molino High.

    16. For all poetry: a. analyze the central purpose, b. explain the speaker’s attitude toward the subject, c. Analyze any figurative language. Thanks for the second tip from Bill O. from El Molino High.

    17. Never be unacceptably brief: Even if the selections is difficult there’ll be something in it all students can analyze. Analyze that and then keep writing! Thanks for the third tip from Bill O. from El Molino High.

    18. Learn and practice using the language and function of literature, poetry, and rhetoric. Plan and execute their usage in your style, syntax, and art, and use the language when critiquing in workshops and discussing classics. Thanks for the tip from Jon A. from Arts and Communication Magnet Academy.

    19. Do not merely skim to point out literary devices. (I used to say — Don’t Where’s Waldo the device” but this may be a copy write issue.) Zoom deep into the text to identify the device, explain in detail how the device is functioning and then zoom out to explain how it works to support the passage as a whole and how it connects to the universal human condition. This means the difference between writing a college level paper and writing a high school level paper. Thanks for the tip from Jodi G. from Saugus High. Thanks for the tip from Erin M. at Mercy County Senior High.

    20. Deconstruct the prompt – make sure you understand exactly what it is asking you to do – then use it as a focus for your annotation of the text on Q1 and Q2 and as a launching point for your notes and thesis for Q3. Thanks for the tip from Erin M. at Mercy County Senior High.

    21. Focus on two primary ideas (literary devices, elements of composition, etc…) for each essay in order to go deeper in analysis of each. Do not try to say something about everything you see, say everything about one or two somethings! Thanks for the tip from Erin M. at Mercy County Senior High.

    22. Take 10-12 minutes to read and deconstruct the prompt, annotate the poem or passage and develop a thesis before you begin writing the essay. That thinking and planning time will help you remain focused which will ensure that your essay is clear and cohesive. Thanks for the tip from Erin M. at Mercy County Senior High.

    23. Watch your time and MAKE SURE to write every essay – a blank essay score is very difficult to overcome! Thanks for the tip from Erin M. at Mercy County Senior High.

    24. Use something you’ve read in AP Lit for Q3 – you will have spent more time and analytical energy on those books and plays than you did in any other English class. Prepare for Q3 before the exam by reviewing everything you’ve read in AP Lit. Thanks for the tip from Erin M. at Mercy County Senior High.

    25. Pick two texts, one classic and one modern, get to know them backward and forward as well as the historical context around them. Thanks for the tip from Michelle Y. from Forest Park High.

    26. Address all aspects of the prompt! Look for complexity! Thanks for the tip from Lori Mill Creek High School.

    27. Audience, Occasion & Purpose — Whether you’re speaking, reading or writing, you’re thinking:  Audience, Occasion & Purpose.  Thanks for the tip from Mike L at Tilton School.

    28. Turn your words into pictures and your pictures into words.  Meaning: If you have an idea, anchor it to something concrete. If you have something concrete, associate it with an idea. Thanks for the tip from Jeff T at Lynden Christian High School.

    29. When writing essays, always tie your thoughts to the text (embed quotes)! Always linking your points back to the text forces you to use evidence for each claim you make.

    30. Analyze not summarize! Thanks for the tip from Lynne B. at Buchholz High School.

    31. Debate the questions.  Get students to debate the answers to AP multiple choice questions without your help. After they “quiz” on a passage and the questions for it, ask them how they think they did. The answer is always mixed, so give them an option: Keep the score they currently have OR discuss the answers in a large group without teacher’s help and take that community grade. They always pick the latter. Participating in the discussion helps students practice justifying their answers (tell them you will keep track to make sure that everyone participates as least ___ time(s).) As you observe their process,  you will gain all kinds of insight into students’ thinking process, they will learn from the ways their classmates explain their choices, and their scores are almost always 100!  Thanks for the tip from Wendy R from Weslaco East High School.