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Study Tips with the Raj

A WEEKLY COLUMN OF THE MEDIEVAL TIMES



Introduction

Hello and welcome to my column! For those who are new to the column (everyone in this case), allow me to explain how Study Tips with The Raj works. Every week, I feature 3 different classes (e.g. English 10, AP Bio, Sports Medicine) and an upcoming assignment that is due in each class, and give tips as to how to complete the assignment, as well as general tips on how to succeed in the class. This time, I’ll do a special edition where I go over a large project that many juniors in AP English Language have.


Apologies for the lapse in production last week, the editorial board had to finalize some aspects of the physical newspaper and we ran into a couple of issues. Luckily, everything worked out, so you should also take a look at the physical newspaper when you have the chance.


AP English Language and Composition




AP English Lang is a junior-level class taught this year by Ms. Campos. In this course, you will learn the fundamentals behind how people convey their opinions through a variety of mediums and tactics. The AP English Lang exam includes a 45-question multiple choice portion to be completed in an hour and three essays that are to be completed in just over 2 hours. During the first semester, Ms. Campos gives her students over 3 months to complete a non-fiction book report of their choosing, which involves keeping a journal of one’s thoughts while reading, as well as writing an argumentative essay about the author’s main point in the book.


Assignment Name: Independent Non-Fiction Book Report Date Assigned: August 14, 2023 Due Date: November 13, 2023


  • Take Note of the Themes and Arguments in your Book: Very rarely does a book lay out all its arguments in a neat pile for you to write about immediately. Instead, writers use rhetorical devices, like metaphors, to ease the reader into hearing their views. These devices can show up anywhere in the story, so it’s best to make note of them as they crop up instead of trying to take inventory when you’re finished with the book.


(In George Orwell’s 1949 novel, “1984”, while not conveyed explicitly, Orwell argues about the dangers of the loss of individual liberty. What an author argues in their book or other form of media is most often only found by a deeper analysis of the themes within the writing.)


  • Treat the essay like it’s on the exam: Coupled with the journal is an essay in which you’ll take an argument made in the non-fiction book and cite evidence from the book to back up your argument. While you have a few months to complete the essay and book report, also keep in mind that this essay can help you learn how to format an argumentative essay for the AP exam, which is an important skill to have given the little under 45 minutes one has to complete each essay.



(This is the AP English Language exam format from the official course and exam description found on the College Board website. As pictured, you’re only given a little over a minute for each multiple-choice question and forty minutes for each essay)



  • Don’t put this report off: I cannot stress enough the importance of properly completing this book report. This report is the culmination of the study of rhetoric that you have gathered through this first semester, and thus your work should reflect this. I made the same mistake last year by putting off the report until the last minute, and I found myself at a disadvantage in class as well as during the exam.


General Tips for AP English Language:

Outside of the book reports, this class also focuses heavily on taking notes from the textbook, as well as familiarizing yourself with a wide variety of topics regarding current events. On the exam, the College Board can pull from any topic, give you either a few sources with which to craft an argument, or simply tell you to write an argumentative essay from scratch, and having a strong foundation in multiple topics will allow you to succeed when having to write these 3 essays for the free response portion. In addition, you will find that after having taken the class, you have a deeper understanding of how writers convey their messages and have a greater appreciation for the work they put in.


Closing

That wraps up this special edition of Study Tips with the Raj. If you’re in AP English Lang, I hope that these tips give you a better idea of how you’re supposed to do this book report and motivate you to turn it in on time. If you’re not currently taking AP English Lang, hopefully, you’ve gained some insight into how this class works and you might consider taking this class in the future. Next week I’ll be back with a few more featured classes where I’ll explain how to get their assignments done. If you have any comments or want to suggest a class to be featured, you can message me on my Instagram “the_raj_man”. But with that, thank you for reading, and this is the Raj signing off.


4 comments

4 Comments


This column is my favorite. I like how much effort you put into it, going to each class. This really helps people with tips, and more people should know about this. Good job. If you haven't already, you should do one on AP Psych!

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I wish we had this last year for AP Lang. Would have helped out a lot of people on the exam. Hopefully the juniors this year can use your advise for the exam.

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Raja, I think what your doing for the current AP students is something that will be the defining reason why they do good. I remember last year during AP LANG I always put this report off until the last minute and I cannot stress enough that it took me 12-15 hours to finish it in a day and the worst headache known to man. I completely regret it and should have paced myself throughout the 3 month run time of the assignment.

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Wow Raja, simply phenomenal. Although I took AP Lang last year, I wish I had this article during that time. Even though I passed the AP Lang test, you opened my eyes to ways I can make my life more efficient and how I should treat important assignments as if they were tests. This will not only make me do the assignments sooner, it will also prepare me for the test. Thank you Raja!

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