top of page

Study Tips with the Raj




Hello and welcome to my column! For those who are new to the column, allow me to explain how Study Tips with The Raj works. Every week, I feature a few different classes (e.g. English 10, AP Bio, Sports Medicine) and an upcoming assignment that is due in each class, and I give tips on how to complete the assignment and general tips on how to succeed in the class. However, for this semester's final edition, I’ll do AP English Literature and the one and only journalism class.

AP English Literature

AP English Lit is a senior-level English class taught by Ms. Gardner and is usually the last class many students take. In AP Lit, the focus is on studying various literary works such as novels, poems, and other forms of media and seeing how the author uses various literary tools to express themselves and their beliefs. Just like any other AP class, all the material is made in preparation for an AP exam in May.

  • Build your vocabulary: Given the fact that you'll be analyzing texts that could've been written centuries ago, you're bound to come across words that you aren't familiar with nor are widely used nowadays. Therefore, it's best to bulk up on your vocab, which can be done mainly by reading more and searching up definitions whenever you come across a word that you're not familiar with, that way you'll only be surprised once while reading instead of during the AP exam.

(Many texts in AP LIt will require you to "read between the lines" to understand the point the author's trying to make)

  • Read between the lines: Although it may be preferable if writers could be as direct as possible with their arguments and avoid sending readers on wild goose chases, it may be for the best that writers leave room for literary interpretation. Oftentimes, to make literature more enjoyable both to write and to read, authors use various literary devices to get their points across, leaving the readers to make conclusions for themselves. As AP Lit students, you'll need to get good at digging deeper into texts to master literary analysis.

(Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is a sci-fi horror classic still taught in literature classes today, although Shelley lived over 200 years ago)

  • Try and imagine yourself as the author: The world of literature features a diverse cast of minds, all with their own experiences and forms of expression. It's inevitable that you come across a passage where you have no idea where the author is coming from, where the ideas presented make no sense from your point of view. When you get to these sections, it's best to try and put yourself into the author's shoes, which is also why you should do at least a little bit of research into the author's life. That way, if you know where the author is coming from, you can better understand what they're trying to say.

General tips for AP Lit:

In general, AP Lit challenges students to build their understanding of a wide variety of literary material, and this requires you to build a skill set capable of taking in this material, often through the lenses of the time period, gathering information, and using one's own interpretation to make a claim as to the author's arguments and feelings. As a result, you may expect to become proficient at comprehending even modern-day literary works, which will benefit you overall.


Journalism is another senior-level English class, which is taught by Ms. Rodriguez. In journalism, you’re tasked with researching and writing articles, which often includes having to interview persons of interest in the process. In addition, you’re also taught the history of journalism and how the freedom of the press has changed over time.

  • Learn to get out of your comfort zone: As part of being a journalist, you'll face certain obstacles, whether mental or physical, which force you to take a more difficult route to getting an assignment done. These can include having to muster up the courage to ask a staff member to be interviewed or taking the time to edit your article after you've spent all week writing it. Over time, you'll need to come to terms with these challenges and accept them as a part of the job, but also keep in mind that you have many journalists, as well as Ms. Rodriguez, to support you.

(Deadlines are massively important in journalism, as mere minutes can decide whether a story is up to date and relevant or not)

  • Meet those deadlines: One thing that most journalists can agree on is the importance of timeliness. In a rapidly changing world, journalists need to get the freshest information, which means that getting work in on time is no joke, and journalism class is no exception. This means that while you're often given a week to complete an article, this week should be used productively, because in addition to articles being very difficult to crank out last minute, if you miss the deadline, you can rarely ever make it up.

(Journalists have always played key roles in sparking social change)

  • Know the impact you have on the community: As journalists, you're given the unique opportunity to voice your thoughts for the whole school, plus anyone else curious to read the school paper. That being said, that also gives you the duty to inform others of more overlooked topics, such as a smaller club or school program. In addition, sometimes hard news, done without giving any bias, is also required when important events require it.

General tips for Journalism:

As a general piece of advice, journalism isn't to be taken as some easy A, but rather, its assignments and learning strategies are quite unique but nonetheless important in today's society. Through learning the process of how journalists gather information and present it to the masses, we can gain a better understanding of how media works and become more responsible when consuming it.


That wraps up finals week with Study Tips with the Raj. If you're a student journalist, or in AP Lit, I hope that you do well in your classes and work hard. If you’re not currently taking either of these classes, I hope that these tips can help you gain a better understanding of how each class works. See you all next semester, where I might move towards a more social media-based way of presenting this information. 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, have a safe and happy winter break, and this is the Raj signing off.


bottom of page