How to think like an AP Rater/Reader on the AP English Language “Synthesis” Free Response Question 1

Posted by Cassandra M. on 10/7/20 9:28 AM

As someone who tutors AP English Language and Composition (lovingly referred to as AP Lang) and as someone who struggled with timed writing herself, I know how daunting a task it can be to score a 5. Luckily for you, I’ve also served as an AP Rater/Reader and can offer some additional insight into what we are told to look for while scoring a student Free Response Question 1 Synthesis essay on the AP Lang exam.

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Tags: study skills, test anxiety, English, expository writing, AP exams

The Middle School Writers’ Workshop: 3 Steps to a Great Literary Essay Outline

Posted by Tess H. on 9/4/20 12:46 PM

Writing literary essays can be scary. Learning how to analyze texts through writing is one of the most challenging but fundamental skills that you’ll need in your academic career. Particularly for younger students, this task can be daunting. However, if you follow a few simple steps, it doesn’t have to be!

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Tags: English, expository writing, middle school

How To Read a Poem

Posted by Emily Ka. on 8/29/20 1:09 PM

You couldn’t care less about poetry, but you’ve been assigned the task of dissecting Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” or some other piece of romantic drivel. If this sounds like you, fear not! Like any skill, learning to read poetry can be mastered with practice and a bit of patience. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when reading and analyzing a poem. They are applicable to poetry written in any genre, style or language.

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Tags: English

How To Write More Clearly in Six Steps

Posted by Tess M. on 8/26/20 8:18 AM

Whether you’re writing a medical school admissions essay, a high school book report, a college research paper, or a personal statement for graduate school, clarity is key. But writing clearly is trickier than it looks. In my ten years of experience as a writing teacher and tutor, I’ve found that there are a few steps that students can take to more effectively communicate what they want to say. Want to write more clearly? Here are six ways to do it:

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Tags: homework help, creative writing, English, expository writing

Five quick-and-easy English words to elevate your writing

Posted by Anthony N on 8/13/20 9:57 AM

Anyone studying English will at one point or another recognize that the language is quite a hodgepodge. Centuries of outside contact – from Viking and Norman invasions to importations of Latin during the Renaissance – led to what would become the rich vocabulary of Modern English. But what should a savvy writer do with so much variation when crafting an essay, and why should readers care?

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Tags: English, expository writing

Tone and mood

Posted by Vidya R. on 4/8/20 11:00 AM

When attempting an analysis of a text for the IBDP English course, some of the advanced features that students have to understand concern tone and mood. It is customary to associate tone with dialogue and speech, and mood with the setting of novels. However, tone and mood are not just features of fiction and can also be found in non-fictional texts such as media texts, popular scientific articles and so on. They are inherent attributes of language.

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing

Confronting commas on the SAT writing and language section.

Posted by Elizabeth L. on 1/15/20 11:00 AM

You see commas everywhere when you're reading, and you may put them everywhere when you're writing, but do you really know when to properly use this tricky punctuation mark? The SAT requires you to know exactly when a comma is either necessary or obstructive, so it is important to take the time to learn comma rules as you prepare for the writing and language section of the test. To help you get started, here are a few scenarios that require the use of a comma:

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing


Posted by Alison on 1/3/20 11:00 AM

English is one of the languages in which spelling is a big deal. Spelling bees were created in English, and the concept is not present in other languages in which words are more often pronounced just like they look. In English, we have words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings and spellings (homophones). We also have a lot of words that are spelled the same but have different meanings; these words are homonyms, and they are the focus of this post.

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Tags: homework help, English, high school

Grammar: One to 1

Posted by Alison on 1/1/20 11:00 AM

When learning a new language, students almost always begin with the alphabet and numbers. We use letters, of course, to form words, which form sentences that express ideas of varying complexity in a form that people who read this written language can understand. Numbers designate a different kind of language, one that conveys equations and measurements, mathematical calculations and scientific formulas. But sometimes the two forms come together, when, for example, we are outlining how to follow numerical steps or stating someone’s age or simply noting that there is more than one right way to write numbers. How and when are we supposed to put numbers into words?

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing

Fun English Facts

Posted by Alison on 12/23/19 11:00 AM

English is weird. There is no denying it. As one of the most fluid languages in terms of its continued evolution over time, it has historically been quite a difficult language to learn. And yet, it is considered the world’s universal language. Below are 10 fun facts you may not have known about English:

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Tags: English