Ace the AP English Literature Exam: Essay Hooks

hello welcome back to my channel my name is Carly Stevens I’m the author of the young adult fantasy novel Furion Rising and this is English nerd so last year when I posted my AP how to ace the AP exam videos about multiple-choice and the poetry and prose essays and the open question essay you guys asked me a lot of questions about how to write an effective hook and so that’s what this video is all about I wanted to give you five different ways methods to begin your essay effectively these are not the five only ways to begin your essay anything that really gets you started if you’re stuck is good enough but here are five ways that I found to write some sanaa C openings so these are geared toward an open question essay but they can be applied to any of the three types of essays on the AP literature exam so I’ve written everything down in this journal because apparently I’m super old-school and don’t have something electronic in front of me the prompt that I’m going to be working with is this just to kind of Center us on one idea and then create a few prompts from that the prompt is going to be this in some novels and plays certain parallel or recurring events proved to be significant in an essay describe the major similarities and differences in a sequence of parallel or recurring events in a novel or play and discuss the significance of such events do not merely summarize the plot okay so most of these prompts are really vague or really boring I mean this one literally says tell us about the similarities and differences everything in the known universe has similarities and differences it’s your job to make this interesting and specific so tip number one as far as beginning your essay you can begin with the thesis statement so essentially the argument that you’re going to make a lot of people are not able to gather their thoughts fast enough to start off with their first sentence as their thesis statement but if you are one of the lucky few or you have this great brain wave as you’re sitting the AP exam your thesis statement opening might sound something like this I’m going to use Macbeth as an example thunder and lightning uh sure in the witches and Shakespeare’s Macbeth through increasingly sinister scenes the witches guide Macbeth to destruction and the audience to an understanding that every person regardless of environment controls his own choices so that is what I came up with this morning that is a possible thesis statement that outlines your entire argument that you’ll be making through the essay now let’s say that you are not lucky enough to be able to figure out exactly what your thesis statement is right off the bat but instead you kind of have to find it and you’ll put that statement at the end instead what’s another way that you can start off that is really effective tip number two is to use a striking image in this case I’m going to use the Great Gatsby the eyes of dr. TJ eckleburg tower blue and piercing over George Wilson’s repair shop through yellow spectacles the monster size watch the characters from f scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as they fall prey to their sins so you’ll notice in both of these I’ve included not only the author in the work which is something you should do right up front it doesn’t have to be the first sentence but you should do it pretty early on but I’ve also thrown in these details so in the first one I talked about thunder and lightning assuring in the first appearance of the witches that’s literally the first stage direction man in Macbeth that’s something specific I talked about the yellow spectacles on TJ eckleburg it’s just that detail of saying that they’re yellow shows that I have read the book that I know what I’m talking about and that I didn’t just sparknotes something that is known to be a prominent symbol in the story so at anytime you can put in those little adjectives or those little things those little bits that you remember the better just general rule of thumb for all of these so you can do a striking image just paint a picture and then from there you can start developing your idea okay number three is to start off talking about the main message no matter what the prompt is for the APSA even if it’s not overtly stated what the AP graders are looking for is the main message and how different elements of the story or poem contribute to that overall message or meaning of the work so in the case of the prompt that I gave you there was no mention of the overall meaning but it did use words like significance and things like that so just assume that no matter what sort of essay you’re writing the main message is key so a way that you might want to begin with the main message I’m gonna use to kill a mockingbird for this one is this this one’s not my snazziest but forgive me it was sort of early this morning all right tequila Mockingbird by Harper Lee taught me to walk around in someone’s shoes before judging them as Atticus does with Tom Robinson so just not to recap everything I’ve talked about so far but you’ll notice that all of these cut to the chase there is no throat-clearing generality there is just talking about something that is specific and relevant to the book so walking around in somebody’s shoes before judging them that is a paraphrase of a really important quotation from tequila Mockingbird number four number four is kind of fun and you don’t want to get so caught up in this that you spend a lot of time developing this opening but if you just spend a couple of sentences it can be a really effective and fun way to begin your essay and that is the movie trailer turn Ameen I’m gonna use Lord of the Flies as an example for this one every book every good book should have several major turning points and those turning points are going to be important in your open question essay no matter what the prompt is you’ll need to know some of those major shifts in the narratives so in Lord of the Flies of course a couple of those major stuffs probably come to mind the first one that came to my mind as I was thinking about it was the well okay just spoilers you have not read Lord of the Flies please click away because I’m about to spoil something really huge but I assume that a lot of you have read this book because you’re an AP literature and you’ve gone through all of your high school curriculum which very often includes this the turning point that came to my mind was the death of Simon it’s the first murder that the boys commit and it’s really shocking and dreadful so with this idea of a movie trailer turn it’s kind of like that striking image you’re setting the scene of that turning point and elaborating from there using that as your launching off point to talk about whatever the prompt actually is so my opening that I created for that was this death is usually hideous not attended by starlight creatures and transformed into a work of art done then I would go on to talk about Lord of the Flies and the importance of the death of Simon and how it’s the first of several parallel scenes where the boys try to hunt the Beast and it gets increasingly increasingly worse so you can be you can be kind of dramatic what you don’t want to do is say something like since the beginning of time love there’s been a theme that’s boring mine is more specific even though I’m talking about these big ideas the idea of death being portrayed as hideous or as beautiful I mentioned the Starlite creatures transformed into a work of art the description of Simon’s corpse is just that that we have these moon how did that as the photo they put in moonlight bodies of the creatures that come around and as the waves come up and bring the sand over his body it’s described as Simon becoming almost like a marble statue so anyway you can use that movie trailer voice but don’t go so far out in the stratosphere that you are neglecting to say something specific that pertains to book last and not least number five number five is really if you are stuck and you’re not quite sure what to do this is a an almost foolproof way to get somebody’s attention it’s a bit of a cheap trick but it can be really effective if the rest of your essay starts making really great points and that is just choosing one word just starting with a fragment one word normally I’m against fragments but if you do it artistically there can be a place for it so I’m going to use heart of darkness as the book for this example the one word is this broken in Conrad’s heart of darkness everything is broken Marlow needs ribbons for the ships a shed burns cliffs are blasted apart Kurtz’s broken mind is the heart of darkness so we have a lot of drama there but we also start things off with a specific bang a specific hook so hopefully those were helpful for you obviously there are many other ways to begin an essay effectively but since I got so many questions about this before I wanted to create a video just for you guys and if you know of any other tricks to start an AP literature essay effectively put those in the comments below I’m sure that the entire community would benefit from hearing about those if you liked this video like it and make sure to subscribe for more content like this alright I’ll see you on Monday good luck on the AP exam bye

How to do the MY PLACE ESSAY Pre-Writing Exercise

ok so here we got here we are guys we’re in the we’ve logged into canvas and we’re looking at today’s agenda in the announcements section and i’m recording this screencast so that everybody knows how to get to work on this without feeling like they just have a ton of stuff to read but if you ever get lost you can always go back to read those instructions so here what we’re going to do is go get we’ve already done the do now we’re coming down here the agenda we’re going to click on the my place assignment that’s going to open up this tab right here so in my place i’m going to put this video right after these steps when i’m done with it but here are all the steps i’m just going to walk i’m going to let you watch me go through all of these steps save time we’re going to skip reading step number one the story about place and imagery by jennifer new but later when you’re writing you might want to come back and read this we’re going to skip down to step 3 where we open google drive and find the my place essays folder it’s going to look a little different on my screen but when i go to Google Drive I’ve got my drive and shared with me now if you’ve given me your email address shared with me should have a folder that’s named my price essays if I were you I’d cook the star button right next to the my place essays but then i’d also drag my place to my drive like this i’m going to cancel that so if you don’t see that i probably don’t have your email address correct because you probably didn’t enter it correctly on that particular document you might want to email it to me right now so i can fix that so if i don’t have your email address i can’t share this folder with you okay so i’m going to move on now that you know that you need to make sure that if you don’t see my place send me your email address so i will make sure to share with you okay so i’m in google drive and i’m in the my place folder now the next step is to click the Create button and write each of the five senses down okay that’s enough I’m going to come back over here I’m going to click the red create button I’m going to create a document I’m going to create and share and this way it’s automatically shared with the teacher and your fellow students first thing we do whenever we create a document is rename it we will always rename it with our own name and the name of the assignment there did you hear what I had to say for blended day ok just watch on watch on Eric screen Eric and my place boom now when other people go looking for my essay they only have to see that it’s my name and that which assignment it is so I’m going to be a good boy and type my name the class the code which is 1304 this class is I’d make this video the teacher it’s just so happens to be myself and the day the beautiful Valentine’s Day 2013 now name of the assignment my place SI so later i’m going to come back with a creative title i’m going to put it right there but for right now I’m just going to style it so that it looks like a title big bold and centered I’ll replace this later when I hit return it goes back to normal text i’m ready to start writing so i’m going to write the five seconds since its taste sight smell touch sound okay now just so that i know that these are headers as i organized my writing i’m going to make these heading number three there i’m going to delete these later once I reorganizing it my writing done but I’m going to think about the tastes for my special place now for a my place SE I need something else up here just to guide my thinking I’ll delete it later but my focus is a particular place the creek where at my grandparents when I was a boy okay and when I think about taste I’m going to use a bullet list here just if I like to stay really organized I remember let’s see it at the creek or tastes damn well hopefully not too many because it was just a tiny little muddy creek but I do remember the mineral taste of the water I remember the nutty bar that I you stole off the top of the fridge and so forth I’m going to open a new tab here and skip hopefully if I could pick the right one down to 1 i’ve already completed so that’s the wrong example let’s pick this one this one works that’s the wrong example let me just go real bad real fast back oh I’m going to find this right document my place yep I’m going to find mine there it is that’s what I’m looking for you’ve dug your imagery activity should start to look a bit a little bit like this document this is there anyone loads anytime soon okay so I’ve got touch I’ve got taste I’ve got smell sight sound let me point out what I’ve done to make all these colors happen so these are in a little bit different order so in touch i’ve got the feel of the tall grass I’ve got the cool water slick moss pinch of a crawdad cloth so forth and so on what I want to do after I filled out each of the five senses with different things that I recognize about my special place the creek at my grandparents house is to come through and look for themes ok so the tall grass I’m going to highlight with the highlight tool green and I’m going to look for other things that talk about like the plants or the grass around the bank well the slick moss is growing in the water but that’s the plant it’s green so I’ll make that green too and the sharp tang of a stalk of grass I tasted that when I cheat on a piece of grass and then the pungent aroma of rotting leaves and the water under the bridge yeah I remember that smell it’s not grasp but grass is so grasses and leaves are similar so I’ll make that green too and then I talked about how I see the moss flowing in the current underwater so there’s our my green things from all my senses I didn’t have a sound of anything about the plants but maybe your story does I repeated this idea with another theme so next idea was cool water flowing over my bare feet since waters blue I decided it’d be fun to make it blue too then I went looking for other things like that and even with in touch i felt like i had the idea of these rocks in the water itself so i’m basically describing the properties of the creek itself and taste i had the minerals in the creek water so like how the water tasted had to do with the really microscopic minerals buried inside you know floating inside the water and then way down here and sound i could hear the sound of the water that flowed over the rocks so here are all the things that have to do with water now i’m going to skip ahead i took all the green things and i copied and pasted them together this is what I ended up with the feel of the tall grass near the bank the slick moss growing up growing on a rock in the creek the sharp tang of a stock of grass as I chew it to a pull the pungent aroma of rotting leaves and the water under the bridge the waving moss flowing in the current underwater and it sounds really poetic but all I did was focus on each of my senses and after I got done with five for each one I kind of cheated here I did three but I need five four touch I went through and I sorted them out like i color-coded them so i could organize them more easily and after i organized them it sounds like a poem but i don’t want it to sound like a poem that’s where editing is going to come in however it’s much more clear to me now that i’ve done some prewriting that how i could organize this into a paragraph so that’s the next step and that is how you get started on this imagery exercise taking you all the way through step 4 now it’s up to you to take all of your take all your coding and maybe you want to use ones at two is not greens and blues but take all the things labeled 1 and use them to draft a paragraph about theme same thing with all your twos threes and so forth you may notice some details need to be left out and that’s okay in fact it’s good if you do leave some behind because you’re sacrificing the better ideas for the best ideas now take a look at your separate paragraphs and how they fit together after you’ve done some editing talk with a partner about the about your place and let them read your paragraphs you can do this in google docs really easily what order should they go in do you need intro how about a conclusion what about a transition or abridging or bridging language to get from one paragraph to the next and that should get you down to step 7 you guys the whole point of this is for us to develop imagery and tone and to recognize that we are in charge of our authors choice when and what to include and what to leave out we’re going to leave these sorts of comments for each other when we peer at it later that does it for this tutorial

How to write the perfect piece of descriptive writing

hello everyone and welcome to the English teacher’s guide to how to write the perfect piece of descriptive writing which is useful for your eye GCC’s the new GCSEs or is generally anyone that wants to rap is descriptive writing extremely well so the scripts of writing in terms of perfect mark criteria if you’re going to achieve the perfect piece of work this is what you need to do always remember to plan your ideas that’s really important i’m going to show you how to do that in a moment need to make sure your piece matches the purpose so you might be asked to write for a particular genre horror thriller action that sort of thing and to make sure your work encompasses that make sure your piece looks like the piece of writing you should do sir example if we’re talking about any kind of language paper there’s a letter and it’s like a letter etc etc use of rice different sentence types for effect obviously as well make sure you’re using a variety of different sentence starters utilize a variety of complex punctuation again make sure you use net to create intended effect so for instance the use of exclamation mark a very simple sense kinshaya anger can show frustration ? San Jose idea of uncertainty there’s more to it than that but you get the idea consider your formality make sure using different lengths of paragraphs are particularly descriptive writing or narrative writing which is creative writing that one sentence paragraph always works really well so say for example looking to produce a piece where something’s alone you might have a single sentence paragraph which says something like there was no one to help me spill oil complex words correctly but don’t forget to get the basics right first and it’s always better to spell the complex words wrong than to simply use simple vocabulary and get that right wart on you get lower marks doing it that way make sure the whole text structure defective again will show you how to that in a moment create the pieces interesting now if it significant amount piece for your exam there’s hundreds and hundreds of pieces that exam has the mark you need to make your peace stand out and finally instrumental exams are all about just showing off really this is your chance to show what you can do so if you’re given a football and all you do is trap the ball does matter how good you actually are if that’s the first time something you play football they’re not going to think you’re amazing if you do all your tricks skills people going to figure credible that’s exactly what you need to be thinking about in terms of your exam mindset as well I think it’s also important this point to distinguish between descriptive writing and narrative writing on creative writing descriptive writing which going to look at the moment is describing scene and things going on in the scene you almost want to imagine it to be a moving image but in a certain amount of time right and the narrative piece is basically a story beginning middle and end but had I planned how do i create the piece of descriptive writing so one if it’s an exam you always read a question carefully making sure to unlearn the key parts then what you need to do is identify so you’ll have an image normally or you want to create an image in your own mind you’ve some people might even sketchier quit gym it quick image on a piece of paper they will identify five six maybe seven aspects woman’s you wish to describe this should be able to be a mixture of a larger aspects the image the whole scene for instance or a whole person then you also want to zoom in so what you might do is you might zoom in on the hands on a character’s arm the individual blades of grass in the field and then for each aspect now down some vocab you could use in order to describe that image but consider what kind of atmosphere you will create so if you wanted to create a negative feel your vocabulary should obviously support that image then place the elements in the order you want to write them about now in terms that whole text structure is an excellent idea to turn the end to image you begin with and then when you’re answering use all the perfect mark skills we were talking about and hopefully once you’ve proved for it it should do exactly what we’re saying it should which should be a perfect Peter descriptive writing now my plan you can see here this would be an image and you can see what I’ve done I’ve numbered up the different essentially the order in which i’m going to use them in you can see number one is also number nine because i’m going to go back to that same image then you might I have nine but I planned nine so that obviously I’ve got everything covered you can see here clearly as you go around the image I’ve identified what I’m going to describe and then I’ve got some of our courage to go along with it and that’s exactly what you do and that’s it that’s it what I might do is I might note down things I forget to do to get perfect marks so might forget to use different sentence starters or anything like that but it’s you understanding you in your work so was it like as an answer it was a glorious day the calm waters lapped gently against the peaceful shoreline whilst pleasant seagulls bobbed in the tranquil waves as other seabirds sword on a warm air that caressed their majestic wings so a lovely positive image on land next image this Pleasant theme continued the tree shifted lightly in the breeze creating a soothing noise which was pleasant to the ear colorful flowers added to this utopian feeling by releasing gorgeous scents which filled the nostrils with the smells of delightful summer sitting within this image people set and socialized some leyland receive all gazing up at the fluffy white clouds trying to establish whether they saw a smiling face or a small puppy although it didn’t really matter I was relaxing at cafe chairs sipping delightfully from their fresh mugs the warm coffee is entered their being revitalized as Sun beatin skin off their successful journey on their bike although arrived separately the nature a day created a feeling of camaraderie which would cause them to begin discussing how lucky they were to be sitting in this place and enjoying the world around them they all agree that would rather be here than anywhere else in the world right now indeed if you took the time to lift your head from your reverie you would notice every single face has etched quite a joy etched across it so again notice this isn’t a story as such it’s just a moment in time being described away from the picturesque moment in time the sounds are passing vehicles along a brooklyn bridge actually seem to add to the blissful day as the soft rumblings of commuters mirrored the soft rumblings of the waves against the seawall now again i can very easily be turned into a negative inch but notice how it’s been written in a way to make it seem pleasant the bridges appearance rather than disturbing the view that nature created almost sooner from a beautiful link between man who called New York home and nature the original owner of the terrain this was proof that man and nature could live happily together but all good things come to an end there’s that single sentence paragraph whilst trying to ascertain whether they the cloud look like at his old pet dog and who would prove even full of warmth for the environment notice it is a fluffy white cloud had now become dark sinister twist it snows my atmosphere changing now he also noticed that the gorgeous mother polym had been replaced by the summit of death and despair he also noticed the soothing sounds of the waves have been overcome by the terrifying sounds of screaming anguish and desperate individuals at that moment all the expressions on the faces of the folks sitting outside the cafe changed from a Lacson content to control expressions of fear and confusion as I followed the trail of ash that forced the seabirds to merely evacuate their once imperial city now seemed like a sealant disaster movie they felt helpless they felt useless and also thought shamefully lucky of being on the safer side of the bridge if they are on the other side of the bridge they would have been engulfed by the harmful smoke the screaming of emergency sirens which could do little to hold back a tired of death and destruction all around with people trying to contact loved ones trying to tell them they were sorry for arguing after espoused to take from the last dessert from the freezer trying to tell their children and they had to go away for a while and some were trying to contact God and plead for forgiveness the sources destruction we should hit the city like a hammer hitting a glass window was a single passenger plane which was due to take groups of happy families to holiday destinations they had longed to see cruelly the hijacker who believed was earning himself a place in heaven by murdering innocent people at announced over the plane speakers will shortly be arriving at our destination we hope you’ve enjoyed your time on earth after hours of this continuing chaos after hundreds of bodies of fallen said deaths and after billions of tears had been shed the sounds of murder became silent what could be heard was the gentle waves lapping against the sea wall or sea gulls Bob slowly up and down in the water proof read our work and that’s it so thank you very much try out yourself and please feel free to send me some more examples of your works I’d love to see what you’re doing thanks very much good luck