Guide to AP® English Language

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Speeches

As you peruse these speeches — culled from both classic and modern contexts — pay close attention to the rhetorical tools that powerful orators employ. From the supercharged appeal to emotion to the precision of formal logic to the channeling of a collective memory, the rhetorical devices you will see in these speeches have served to quell a nation’s fears, rally an army to war, mourn a people’s dead, and herald a new era in American political life.

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Gettysburg Address (Abraham Lincoln, 1863) Free

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Inaugural Address (Barack Obama, 2009)Free

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Message to the Invasion Troops (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1944)Free

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On Women's Right to Vote (Susan B. Anthony, 1873)

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Nobel Prize Address (William Faulkner, 1950)

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Macbeth 1.7 (William Shakespeare, 1606)

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Henry V 4.3 (William Shakespeare, 1599)

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Coatesville (John Jay Chapman, 1912)

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To the Moon (John F. Kennedy, 1962)

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We Want Change (Pope Francis, 2015)

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Tear Down this Wall (Ronald Reagan, 1987)

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Ain't I a Woman (Sojourner Truth, 1851)

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Infamy Speech (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941)

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9/11 Address (George W. Bush, 2001)

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Give Me Liberty (Patrick Henry, 1775)

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Report on Civil Rights (John F. Kennedy, 1963)

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Pointe du Hoc Speech (Ronald Reagan, 1984)

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On the Death of John Brown (William Lloyd Garrison, 1859)

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On the Death of Martin Luther King (Robert Kennedy, 1968)

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The Quality of Mercy (William Shakespeare, 1596)

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Narrative Essays

The narrative essays in this course will take you inside the minds of some of the greatest influencers in history. Consider: How do these narratives reflect the broader historical and social context in which they are situated? How do different writers employ language and literary devices across time and racial, gendered, or socio-economic lines?

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Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Of the Coming of John (W.E.B. DuBois, 1903)

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Stickeen (John Muir, 1897)

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Walden (Henry David Thoreau, 1854)

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How It Feels to Be Colored Me (Zora Neale Hurston, 1928)

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The Second Coming (William Butler Yeats, 1920)

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Pamplona in July (Ernest Hemingway, 1923)

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Sonnet 12 (William Shakespeare, 1609)

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No Man Is an Island / Meditation 17 (John Donne, 1624)

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)

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Preface to the English Dictionary (Samuel Johnson, 1755)

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The Story of My Life (Helen Keller, 1903)

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Self-Reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841)

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To the Reader (Michel de Montaigne, 1580)

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The Land of Little Rain (Mary Hunter Austin, 1903)

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E Unibus Pluram (David Foster Wallace, 1993)

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The Santa Ana (Joan Didion, 1968)

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Argumentative Essays

Great argumentative speeches have the power to change history: to advocate non-violent resistance or inspire philanthropy, to influence despots or to call for peace. How did these writings come to occupy a place of such importance? What tactics did their writers use to shape the course of history?

CompletionAccuracy

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Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Corn-Pone Opinions (Mark Twain, 1901)

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A Law of Acceleration (Henry Adams, 1904)

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The Moral Equivalent of War (William James, 1910)

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The Handicapped (Randolph Bourne, 1911)

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On War (James Boswell, 1777)

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Letter from Birmingham Jail (Martin Luther King, 1963)

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Tradition and the Individual Talent (T.S. Eliot, 1921)

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The Crisis, No. 1 (Thomas Paine, 1777)

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Nature (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1836)

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Psychology of the Modern Branches (Frank N. Freeman, 1916)

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Letter to President Pierce (Chief Seattle, 1855)

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The Gospel of Wealth (Andrew Carnegie, 1889)

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Was the World Made for Man (Mark Twain, 1903)

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Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau, 1849)

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A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792)

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Battle of the Ants (Henry David Thoreau, 1854)

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Atticus Finch's Closing Argument to the Jury (Harper Lee, 1960)

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Extra Practice

How does a writer grip his readers? How does a speaker persuade her audience? Review core tenets of effective writing, from the judicious use of rhetorical devices to the different types of appeals to the various ways to structure an argument.

CompletionAccuracy

Accuracy is based on your most recent attempt.

Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Rhetorical Devices

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Rhetorical Fallacies

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Elements of Argument

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Organization and Structure

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Rhetorical Modes

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