The Language of Composition: Reading – Writing – Rhetoric: A Book Review

“The Language of Composition: Reading – Writing – Rhetoric” was created by a team of experts in the AP English Language and with experiences in both high school and college – Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin Aufses. This was a book that was written to help students and teachers succeed in the new AP English course.

However, this is not your average boring textbook – the kind that makes it easier for kids to drop their attention and focus on something else. The book enables the students to learn practical skills to write and read at a college level without the boring monotone lessons and tips.

The Learning Part

The first part includes the rhetorical strategies and are a little technical. Still, it was written with clarity and in a way that it’s easier for students to understand. After using the textbook, many teachers claimed that their students have become more comfortable with identifying the rhetorical devices that come out in the AP Language and Composition exam.

Apart from that, it also gets interesting with the selection of reading materials offered. There are classic essays from the 18th and 19th century as well as more contemporary pieces of the 20th and 21st century.

And there aren’t just essays; there is also poetry, visual texts, and fiction to interest the students. There are ten themes in all including Sports and Fitness, Education, Community, Science and Technology, and Popular Culture, among others.

The Language of Composition For Students and For Career People

The Language of Composition is the type of textbook anyone can understand as long as they are interested in improving their writing and reading skills. For someone who is already out of school and now chasing a career in writing, the book can be beneficial when it comes to finding your voice as a writer.

Reading has also become enjoyable after I’ve read this book as it helped me challenge my views on various reading materials. Each piece in the textbook is followed by multiple questions that are made to prompt discussion. What’s impressive about these questions is that you are challenged to change the way you perceive characters, quotes, events – the piece as a whole.

The “Language of Composition Reading” provides an engaging and well-organized thought. The pieces, especially the essays, were very well-written and was able to represent a diversity of voices.

The Language of Composition For Educators

“The Language of Composition” also has a teacher’s manual version. These often have the answers to the guides and provides educators with more possible questions on how to approach a specific reading material.

The manual also goes along well with the additions in the new edition of the textbook, making their way of teaching more up-to-date.

Throughout the book, writers from the pieces in each chapter will share their own experience in writing and the challenges of being a writer. As a teacher, you can use this to help guide your students who are struggling.

Opinions and Open-Mindedness in Your Writing

One of the best things I’ve learned from the book is how to create the best opinion-based essay or write-up. Paraphrasing from the book, it says that you shouldn’t just form a quick opinion based on what you already know.

The best write-ups are the ones that are more informed. To do that, you have to read what others say. From there, you can develop your own opinion and create a response from what you gathered in a way that considers these multiple possibilities and perspectives.

From doing this, it’s possible to become more open-minded when it comes to certain issues. Reading other people’s work creates a larger understanding of how others see the topic or issue at hand. With an open mind, you’ll be able to gather the most unusual and yet relevant opinions that can mold a better essay than you planned initially.

Guide to AP Language and Composition Exam

The primary use of “The Language of Composition” is to guide high schoolers who are going to take the AP Language and Composition Exam.

More often than not, well-known universities around the world credit those who have taken and passed this exam. In a nutshell, it allows them to see that you are ready to take on college-level subjects and load.

The truth is that AP classes are not mandatory. However, it has become a way for many high school students to get into their dream universities. In fact, it is better to get a B in an AP class than an A in a regular course.

With all the AP classes that are available, it’s easier to learn what you love. AP Language, for example, is perfect for those who love to write and read and wish to further improve their skills in both areas.

As with the textbook, students have a wider range of reading materials. They are also given writing assignments that are connected to what they have read. These will challenge them to lean more into the critical analysis of the materials.

The main benefit of these writing assignments is to help you learn how to write more clearly using what you understood from the materials you have read and how you interpret them.

With that in mind, it can be difficult to get a grade like like that, mainly because it’s more fast-paced than regular courses. The transition can be a little rough; so without a useful guide that makes you learn faster than average, you’d fall behind.

The official exam takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes. It consists of two major sections that include reading passages and a free response part. You also need to write an essay based on what you read.

The textbook can test you on these sections and in varying categories. You can practice your time with every chapter. It can even be a good self-study guide.

Useful Tips from The Language of Composition

The first section of the book is about the rhetoric devices you can use for reading and writing. It is the “tutorial” where you can learn the basics and the most advanced tips for reading comprehension and writing essays.

One thing you can learn from the book is how to value the opinions of others. It is from them that you can mostly get inspiration on how to create an argument, expository, narrative, or persuasive essay.

You also have to challenge the norm. Think for yourself, make a point, and stand up for it.

Also, know when it’s time to take things literally. You also need to dive into the figurative sense of your reading material. Lastly, learn how to interpret it your way. That is when you can exercise thinking outside the box in a way that you can relate your thoughts to the original content.

Analyzing visual text shouldn’t also be extremely hard as well. The way to do it is to look at individual elements, mainly the text and how they are placed. Do not forget the tone as well as the image itself.

From there, we can look at the bigger picture and then assess how it makes us feel and how it’s supposed to. Then we can ask ourselves whether the approach was successful or lacking.

Following the rhetorical triangle (the interaction between the speaker, the audience, and the subject), it is essential to choose a subject first. For a topic, you have to select an angle where you’ll focus your writing.

From there, you need to evaluate what you already know about it, what others did and said regarding it. You will also need proof that will effectively develop its position.

Lastly, continue reading a variety of books, essays, and even speeches. You should also keep writing. Don’t be afraid to let others read it. It helps you know whether you have attained your intended message across to your audience.

In Conclusion

In the book, you’ll know that Aristotle once said that writers create their own persona – the character that the writer or speaker creates when writing or speaking. Throughout the book, you’ll be able to build your own persona and make it easier to conform it to any given topic.

The book, in its entirety, helps you become a versatile writer and an excellent reader no matter what the theme is because it builds a strong foundation of reading and writing.

It is definitely worth the money if you’ve bought it in either digital or physical form. Reading it is also easy, regardless of it being a textbook. Of course, you have to take your time for each chapter/lesson to guarantee you’re not just skimming.

Generally, “The Language of Composition: Reading – Writing – Rhetoric” provides an excellent foundation for a high school student who wishes to become successful in the field of arts and sciences. The clarity of how the authors were able to explain rhetorics and effectively use excerpts from various genres and mediums allowed for a greater understanding of the entire course.

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