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Bedford/St. Martin's
The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric / Edition 2

The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric / Edition 2

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The Language of Composition is the first textbook built from the ground up to help students succeed in the AP English Language course. Written by a team of experts with experience in both high school and college, this text focuses on teaching students the skills they need to read, write, and think at the college level. With practical advice and an extensive selection of readings —  including essays, poetry, fiction, and visual texts — The Language of Composition helps students develop the key skills they must master to pass the course, to succeed on the AP Exam, and to prepare for a successful college career. Revised based on feedback from teachers across the country, the second edition promises to be an even better resource for the AP Language classroom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312676506
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date: 08/06/2012
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 1216
Sales rank: 123,007
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

A unique team of authors who are AP English Language specialists. Renée H. Shea is a university professor who has directed freshman English programs; Lawrence Scanlon and Robin Dissin Aufses are English department chairs at high schools where they also teach AP English. Both Renée Shea and Lawrence Scanlon have been involved with the AP program for many years as faculty consultants and workshop leaders for both the Language and Literature courses.

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Rhetoric

The Rhetorical Situation

Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

Rhetorical Analysis of Visual Texts

Determining Effective and Ineffective Rhetoric

Glossary of Rhetorical Terms


2. Close Reading

Analyzing Style

Talking with the Text

Writing a Close Analysis Essay

Close Reading a Visual Text

Glossary of Style Elements


*3. Analyzing Arguments

Staking a Claim

Presenting Evidence

Analyzing Visual Arguments

Shaping Arguments

Glossary of Argument Terms and Logical



4. Synthesizing Sources

Using Sources to Inform an Argument

Using Sources to Appeal to an Audience

     Conversation: Mandatory Community Service

Writing a Synthesis Essay

     Conversation: The Dumbest Generation?


5. Education

Do our schools serve the goals of a true education?

Central Essay

     Francine Prose, I Know Why the Caged Bird

Cannot Read

Classic Essay

Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Education

Other Voices

     James Baldwin, A Talk to Teachers

     Kyoko Mori, School

     Sherman Alexie, Superman and Me

    *David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

     Margaret Talbot, Best in Class

    *David Foster Wallace, On Life and Work


     Sandra Cisneros, Eleven


     Norman Rockwell, The Spirit of Education


     Roz Chast, What I Learned

Conversation: The American High School

     Horace Mann, from The Report of the Mass. Board of Education

     Todd Gitlin, The Liberal Arts in an Age of Info-Glut 

     Leon Botstein, Let Teen-Agers Try Adulthood

     Edward Koren, Two Scoreboards (cartoon)

    *Diane Ravitch, Stop the Madness

    *Erik Hanushek, U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective (tables)

    *David Barboza, Shanghai Schools' Approach Pushes Students to Top of Tests

Student Writing

     Argument: Using Personal Experience as Evidence

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style


Suggestions for Writing


6. Community

Central Essay

     Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail (with public statement)

Classic Essay

     Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived, and What I Lived for

Other Voices

    *Ellen Goodman, The Family That Stretches (Together)

     Anna Quindlen, Commencement Speech

     Lori Arviso Alvord, Walking the Path between Worlds

    *Robert D. Putnam, Health and Happiness

    *Dinaw Mengestu, Home at Last

    *Scott Brown, Facebook Friendonomics

    *Malcolm Gladwell, Small Change


     Aurora Levins Morales, Child of the Americas

*Paired Visuals

     Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want

     Roz Chast, The Last Thanksgiving


     Nissan, The Black Experience Is Everywhere

Conversation: The Individual's Responsibility to the Community

    *Andrew Carnegie, from The Gospel of Wealth

     Bertrand Russell, The Happy Life

     Garrett Hardin, Lifeboat Ethics

     Peter Singer, The Singer Solution to World Poverty

    *Zapiro, World Economic Forum (cartoon)

    *Christian Science Monitor, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and the Billionaire Challenge

    *Der Spiegel, Negative Reaction to Charity Campaign

Student Writing

     Synthesis: Incorporating Sources into a Revision

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style

     Parallel Structures

Suggestions for Writing


7. Economics

Central Essay

     Barbara Ehrenreich, from Serving in Florida

Classic Essay

     Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

Other Voices

    *John Ruskin, from The Roots of Honor

     Booker T. Washington, from The Atlanta Exposition Address

    *Lars Eighner, Dumpster Diving

    *Eric Schlosser, In the Strawberry Fields

    *Stephen J. Dubner & Steven D. Levitt, What the Bagel Man Saw

    *Matthew Crawford, The Case for Working with Your Hands

    *Fareed Zakaria, How to Restore the American Dream


     Marge Piercy, To Be of Use


     Jeff Parker, The Great GAPsby Society


     Tom Tomorrow, A "Handy" Guide to the Housing Market

Conversation: Materialism in American Culture

    *Henry David Thoreau, from Economy

    *John Kenneth Galbraith, from Consumer Behavior and the Dependence Effect

    *Phyllis Rose, Shopping and Other Spiritual Adventures in America Today

    *Wendell Berry, Waste

    *Juliet Schor, from The New Politics of Consumption

    *Joan Smith, Shop Happy

    *Virginia Postrel, In Praise of Chain Stores

    *Scott DeCarlo, Forbes Price Index of Luxury Goods (table)

Student Writing

     Close Reading: Analyzing Style in a Prose Passage

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style

     Short Simple Sentences and Fragments

Suggestions for Writing


8. Gender

Central Essay

     Stephen Jay Gould, Women's Brains

Classic Essay

     Virginia Woolf, Professions for Women

Other Voices

    *Benjamin Franklin, The Speech of Polly Baker

     John and Abigail Adams, Letters

    *Judy Brady, I Want a Wife

    *Brent Staples, Just Walk on By

     Deborah Tannen, There Is No Unmarked Woman

    *Matthias Mehl, Are Women Really More Talkative Than Men?


     Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll

*Paired Visuals

     Charles LeBrun, Chancellor Seguier at the Entry of Louis XIV into Paris

     Kehinde Wiley, The Chancellor Seguier on Horseback

Conversation: Defining Masculinity

    *Leonard McCombe, Marlboro Man (photo)

     Paul Theroux, Being a Man

     Gretel Ehrlich, About Men

     Rebecca Walker, Putting down the Gun

     Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky, Why Johnny Won't Read

     David Brooks, Mind over Muscle

Student Writing: Argument

     Supporting an Assertion

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style


Suggestions for Writing


9. Sports

Central Essay

     Gay Talese, Silent Season of a Hero

*Classic Essay

     Grantland Rice, The Four Horsemen

Other Voices

     Theodore Roosevelt, The Proper Place for Sports

    *Joyce Carol Oates, The Cruelest Sport

     Kris Vervaecke, A Spectator's Notebook 

    *Jane Smiley, Barbaro, The Heart in the Winner's Circle

    *Malcolm Gladwell, Offensive Play

    *Rick Reilly, Why I Love My Job

    *Caroline Alexander, The Great Game


     John Updike, Ex-Basketball Player


     New York World, The 12th Man in Any Football Game


     Sports Illustrated, Yes! (cover)

Conversation: Paying College Athletes

    *Boris Drucker, I'm glad we won... (cartoon)

    *Frank DeFord, Pay Dirt

    *Michael Lewis, Serfs of the Turf

    *Bill Walton, My Priceless Opportunity

    *Michael Wilbon, As Colleges' Greed Grows, So Does the Hypocrisy

    *Steve Weiberg, Despite Criticism, NCAA Takes a Firm Stance on Professionalism

    *NCAA, Why Students Aren't Paid to Play

Student Writing

     Rhetorical Analysis: Comparison and Contrast

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style

     Precise, Direct, and Active Verbs

Suggestions for Writing


10. Language

Central Essay

     Amy Tan, Mother Tongue

Classic Essay

     George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

Other Voices

    *Walt Whitman, Slang in America

    *Gloria Anzaldœa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue

     Marjorie Agosin, Always Living in Spanish

    *Firoozeh Dumas, The 'F Word'

    *Charles Krauthammer, In Plain English

    *Steven Pinker, Words Don't Mean What They Mean


     Naomi Shihab Nye, For Mohammed Zeid of Gaza, Age 15 & Why I Could Not Accept Your Invitation


     U.S. Census, Language Use in the U.S.


     Jim Cummins, The Effects of Bilingualism

Conversation: Politics and the English Language

    *Institute for Propaganda Analysis, How to Detect Propaganda

    *Michiko Kakutani, The Word Police

    *Harper's, Skinning Cats, Nonviolently (table)

    *Mike Lester, NCAA Native American Mascots (cartoon)

     Geoffrey Nunberg, The —ism Schism

     Daniel Okrent, The War of Words: A Dispatch from the Front Lines (with letters to the editor)

    *Frank Luntz, from Words that Work

Student Writing

     Personal Essay: Reflecting on "Different Englishes"

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style

     Coordination in the Compound Sentence

Suggestions for Writing


11. Popular Culture

*Central Essay

     James McBride, Hip Hop Planet

Classic Essay

     Mark Twain, Corn-pone Opinions

Other Voices

     Scott McCloud, Show and Tell (graphic essay)

     David Denby, High-School Confidential

    *Robin Givhan, An Image a Little Too Carefully Coordinated

     Steven Johnson, Watching TV Makes You Smarter

    *Daniel Harris, Celebrity Bodies

    *Chuck Klosterman, My Zombie, Myself


     Hans Ostrom, Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven


     Mark Tansey, The Innocent Eye Test


     Andy Warhol, Myths

Conversation: Exporting American Pop Culture

    *Thomas Friedman, The Revolution Is U.S.

    *Heather Havrilesky, Besieged by 'Friends'

    *Dierdre Straughan, Who's Dominating Whom?

    *Kwame Anthony Appiah, from The Case for Contamination

    *Josef Joffe, The Perils of Soft Power

    *Joseph Nye, The U.S. Can Reclaim Smart Power

    *Slovakian Fan at World Cup (photos)

Student Writing

     Rhetorical Analysis: Analyzing Satire

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style


Suggestions for Writing


12. Environment

Central Essay

     Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Classic Essay

     Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Nature

Other Voices

    *Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic

    *Lewis Thomas, Natural Man

    *Bill McKibben, The Solution

     Terry Tempest Williams, The Clan of One-Breasted Women

    *Joy Williams, Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp

    *E.O. Wilson, from The Future of Life


     Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid


     Shell, Cloud the Issue or Clear the Air


     HSBC, Windmills

Conversation: Sustainable Eating

    *Peter Menzel, Hungry Planet (photo essay)

    *Michael Pollan, A Naturalist in the Supermarket

    *James McWilliams, The Locavore Myth

    *Jonathan Safran Foer, The American Table and the Global Table

    *Nicolette Hahn Niman, Carnivore's Dilemma

    *Will Allen, A Good Food Manifesto for America

    *A.J. Jacobs, Farm to Table

    *Michael Specter, from Test-Tube Burgers

Student Writing

     Visual Analysis: Analyzing a Photo Essay

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style

     Cumulative, Periodic, and Inverted Sentences

Suggestions for Writing


13. Politics

Central Essay

     Jamaica Kincaid, On Seeing England for the First Time

Classic Essay

     Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Other Voices

    *Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address

     Virginia Woolf, Thoughts on Peace During an Air Raid

     Chris Hedges, from The Destruction of Culture

    *Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    *Laura Blumenfeld, The Apology

    *Marjorie Satrapi, The Veil


     Tim O'Brien, On the Rainy River


     Stuart McMillen, Amusing Ourselves to Death

Conversation: Colonialism

    *Christopher Columbus, Letter to King Ferdinand

    *King Ferdinand, Letter to Taino Indians

    *Red Jacket, Defense of Native American Religion

     George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

     Chinua Achebe, The Empire Fights Back

    *Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence

     National Park Service, Christiansted (brochure)

     Eavan Boland, In Which the Ancient History I Learn Is Not My Own (poem)

Student Writing

     Synthesis: Using Sources to Support an Argument

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style

     Subordination in the Complex Sentence

Suggestions for Writing


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