Author Archives: mrklein

A few words on argument…

As Toulmin says, arguments are composed of the claim (what you’re saying), the grounds (the most compelling evidence/reason to buy what you’re saying), and the warrant (the connection between grounds and claim). The rest is backing (less central, but still very important for persuasion).  Qualifiers are a different animal.  Qualifying (adding conditions which maintain validity– David Hume said “A wise [person]…proportions his beliefs to the evidence.”) is critical for insulating arguments against trivial or tangential objections (logically structuring an otherwise sound argument such that a single counter-example would sink your boat is a good way to be dismissed whole cloth). The rebuttal (concession leading to refutation or acknowledgment of counterargument(s)) is the salt that gives the bread its savor.

Use this responsibly in life, but brazenly pragmatically on the AP exam. In the synthesis (q1), argue effectively synthesizing the sources (use sources as grounds, warrant, backing, but be careful not to misrepresent, summarize or smuggle in a bare assertion as support for your own). In the rhetorical analysis (q2), argue effectively, unmasking the author’s strategies, using the conditions of the rhetorical situation to match the tactics to the effects. In the argument (q3), argue effectively: muster all of your persuasive forces after cogitating deeply to locate your central claim. Support your claim and minor assertions robustly (rule of 3) using illustrative examples from your reading and life experience.

Test yourself here by checking out this 3 minute read. See if you can identify the author deftly employing all of the above.


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AP Lang Study Group and Huck RP

Two new pages are up. Lang study group this week, Tues-Thurs. Details on page above. All AP Lang students at Blair welcome. Huck Research Paper details are posted. Hard copy sent to the presses and will be in your hands this week.

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Flower Week 2018 Prompts


Rhetorical Analysis


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5 Passive Voice Evasions and How to Fix Them

Get rid of passive voice with this one weird trick.

Mistakes have been made. But they can be remedied.

Don’t miss the table toward the bottom of the page.

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Huck Finn Reading Schedule and Journal Assignment

You can get it here. It is also posted on the course specific page. Keep up with the reading young scholars. It will be excruciatingly apparent (not to mention costly), very bad for all parties involved, if you do not.

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Flower Week…

…begins tomorrow and runs into next week.


Huck Finn reading schedule will be posted by 3:00pm today (and handed out today and tomorrow in classes).


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Passing the Final

Here’s your writing prompt. You will compose this essay the first class back from Spring Break. As always, I will evaluate with the AP rubric, tailored specifically for this assignment.

A bit of unsolicited, friendly, scholarly advice:

Look at the prompt right away and let it reside in your brain for a while. You may have heard that we do our best thinking in the shower. There’s something to that. You will know when the novel and the writing prompt have had time enough time to marinate. Strike when the time is right with a vicious pre-write. The essay will proceed to write itself in your sleep.


You MAY:

  • Outline, Brainstorm
  • Bring your book
  • Bring your dialectical journal


  • Draft your essay in advance
  • Engage in anything academically dishonest

*Note: 6th period: You will be completing this over two class sessions: 4/3-4/4.

Enjoy your break.

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