Yeah, Write.

"That's not writing; that's just typing." –Truman Capote



Obama Speech

Here’s a link to the speech. It begins at 3:30. Or try THIS ONE.

Apparently he gave his speech at 1:30 this afternoon. Sorry about that. Still, watch it (it should be posted/made public and/or replayed soon) and the assignment stands as is. HERE is a transcript of his speech for your reference, but you still need to watch it. Also, I tweeted a Washington Post article and a Huffington Post article that respond to Obama’s student address (it’s over on the right in that Twitter box that’s usually empty) and HERE is another article about it just for good measure.

Do I need to read those? You’re wondering. Well, no I guess not. You don’t need to read them if you don’t want to be informed about the world and don’t care about your education and thus your life. (Logical fallacies of sentimental appeal and non sequitur and probably ten others.) But in all seriousness, I do think these are valuable to read, look at, and take up in some way, but no part of the assignment it particularly tied to any of them. They’re just informative and thought-provoking.

Your assignment is this: Watch Obama’s address sometime when you can (so, when it is made public and repeated, and You Tubed, and archived on news websites like and perform an informal, yet substantive and thoughtful rhetorical analysis. Post said analysis on your blog by Sunday __:00 (time to be determined, see poll). You may post it sooner if you wish.

Whaaaaaa? You say. No worries, you have the resources you need. You were given a “Rhetorical Analysis” sheet not too long ago and you are reading through the chapter in EAA all about speeches (Chapter 17: Spoken Arguments) and it literally walks you through how to do this. Speech analysis = rhetorical analysis of a speech. Make sure you comment on the following: tone, intonation, cadence, posture, gestures, general appearance, use of appeals, argument, diction — okay, so that’s like everything. But because this is spoken, you need to comment on how it sounds and how he looks while speaking, in addition to the usual stuff.

Don’t freak out, this isn’t huge. Your usual blog posts are 5 points, this one is 10 points. Use this as practice for those cryptic “things to come” that matter a whole lot. 

If you have questions, email me. It’s way easier than commenting on my blog. It’s also private so people can’t see your questions. You also should ask those questions sooner rather than later. If you wait until Sunday, I will be crabby with you. This weekend is Homecoming. Just to it tonight if at all humanly possible. If you cannot, do it tomorrow night. I know that on Friday you will be all busy with the parade and the football game and then on Saturday you have to go get a spray tan and get your nails and hair done and get all gussied up for the dance — oh, wait, it’s a blacklight dance so you’ll all probably just come in jeans.

In any case, it’s a busy weekend. Don’t wait.

Logical Fallacies

You should do this because I said so!

Step one: go to my website and then to your course page

Step two: find the LOGICAL FALLACIES item toward the bottom. Print it.

Step three: find resources on logical fallacies to help you with this task. Start with your book, Everything’s An Argument (ch 19) and then take to the internet. Try this or this. Google this, people, Google this. Here’s yet another site that deals with logical fallacies. There are many others. Go find them!

Step four:  Read the directions.

Step five:Work your way through the examples. There are about 20 of them; you needn’t do all of them, but do at least 10. Write on the sheet (in the margins) or on another sheet of paper. The goal is to sniff out and name the logical fallacies present in the arguments provided. It will require full attention and focus. Shut out everything else and let your brain work. Is the argument logical? Do the premises lead to the conclusion? When you think you’ve detected the fallacy and correctly named it, make sure you will remember tomorrow why you thought it was that one. If you cannot figure out what to name it, at least explain how the argument works (or doesn’t). Explain the problem.

BLA meeting #1 tomorrow. Make sure you review the handout about this practice and that everyone knows what to do for tomorrow and is ready to fully participate. 

Literacy Narrative re-writes are due on Friday. 

Holy Pathos, Batman!

These are just a few of many advertisements, campaigns, and PSAs that primarily use pathos (emotional appeals) to make their arguments. Or at least to make you take notice of their arguments. Feel free to link/embed any other similarly emotionally-charged videos that you find on your blog.

Some are powerful and effective, others are way over-the-top and basically rely on emotional warfare to make their point. Please be warned of the content if you are sensitive to any of these topics. The animated anti-bullying video is especially sensitive as it involves the hard issue of suicide as related to bullying.


Anti-bullying animation/poem

Mom Prison

Pfizer “More Than Drugs”

Kids see, kids do

Sad Monkeys Environmental Ad


Stolen Post

I was just going to write about this very same topic and point you to the very same website. Prokott beat me to it, so I’m stealing this from her. What’s super duper awesome is that she said it almost exactly the same way I would. Check it out. Now. Go. Click on it!

“When Are We Gonna Get Our Essays Back?”: “I hate you Ms. Prokott, I can’t write a short nar…: For those of you who are struggling with keeping your narrative short, specific, and lyrical, I turn you to one of the greatest creative non…

Orwellian Political Speech

No. 3

I love blogs.

This little blog is in it’s third year of existence. Before it came two other… “training blogs” we’ll call them. What you’ll find here are assignments, links to helpful sites and sources, ramblings, and other entertaining-to-quite-entertaining things. I will post and I will expect you to read. Sometimes those posts will be assignments, but not always. I frequently post links and videos to things I think are interesting (and think you should read or view). I will be clear about what is and is not an assignment but you need to be aware of what is here regularly and what is new and also (wait for it) what I said in class.

Take a tour around. Notice there is a glossary page, links to grammar stuff, news feeds, and a place where your blogs will all be linked. You will create your own blog using blogger, tublr, wordpress, or whatever you prefer and you will e-mail me your blog’s URL so I can link to it.

If you browse the archives you’ll see all sorts of things that may or may not be relevant to us this semester. Assignments and courses evolve, so some of the things that past AP Compers have done may or may not show up during your stay here.

I would recommend that you subscribe to my blog so that you automatically get updates when I post, but at the very least link back to my blog from yours and/or bookmark my blog so you can easily find it.

Happy blogging!

Descriptive Writing

The horse came out into the field.

 He was black like a well-worn, yet polished patent leather loafer. The familiar pattern of clopping at syncopated intervals threatened to bowl me over if I didn’t dive out of the way. This is our way, I call him, coax him, convince him to join me and the field mice for a rush of thundering wild air before sunset.

She gave me a hard look as she walked by.

Her eyes bludgeoned my optimism for the day in one heavy thunk.

The sun is bright overhead.

Awash in a fluorescent glow of oranges, squinting into the lemon drops falling out of the sky…

There are many children playing in the park.

… noise, shrieking, giggles, taunts, and sticky, snotty, urine-soaked fun.

She has brown hair.

Chocolatey minks chase each other down her back.

His laugh is deep.

When he arcs back in his chair, we know it’s coming: it bellows up from his basement and tears through his flappy jaws into the one-silent air. It’s a velvet hammer; a cavernous cawing.

The night was cold.

 Sometimes you can see your breath crackle into ice droplets when you exhale into the blue black sky.

I am looking at the mountains.

Shards of history shoot out of the earth, billions of years of life and death, piled layer-atop-layer.

The colors of the painting were brilliant.

…smashing summer mangoes and pomegranate seeds into the canvas with geranium petals and inky blackberries and lime zest

The blanket feels soft and silky.

A shroud of butter clouds and milky cashmere…

The hamburgers at the picnic were good.

I sunk my teeth into the warm, spice-encrusted, fleshy disc with ravenous abandon and let the juices run down my chin in delight.

The cat is sleeping on the sofa.

Wedged between the frame and the pillow, twittering whiskers and rippling coats of striped and be-speckled fur stretch and roll, and sometimes chomp and swallow depending on the dream sequence, as hour lazes on into hour.

Top Documentary Films

Check out this site if you still need to select a documentary to watch for your BLA assignment. It is not an exhaustive list of every documentary ever made but it’s a good, solid list.

Answer key to AP practice exam

  1. E
  2. D
  3. C
  4. C
  5. A
  6. E
  7. C
  8. A
  9. A
  10. B
  11. A
  12. E
  13. E
  14. C
  15. D
  16. A
  17. B
  18. B
  19. D
  20. D
  21. B
  22. C
  23. C
  24. B
  25. A
  26. B
  27. C
  28. B
  29. D
  30. C
  31. A
  32. B
  33. D
  34. C
  35. C
  36. A
  37. D
  38. B
  39. A
  40. B
  41. C
  42. D
  43. E
  44. D
  45. A
  46. C
  47. C
  48. D
  49. B
  50. A
  51. E
  52. E
  53. E
  54. C
  55. B

Grade Inflation

Blog at

Up ↑