ap07_englit_operational_q3

ap07_englit_operational_q3 - AP® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND...

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Unformatted text preview: AP® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2007 SCORING GUIDELINES Question 3 (The Effect of Past Events on the Actions, Attitudes, or Values of a Character) The score reflects the quality of the essay as a whole—its content, its style, its mechanics. Students are rewarded for what they do well. The score for an exceptionally well-written essay may be raised by 1 point above the otherwise appropriate score. In no case may a poorly written essay be scored higher than a 3. 9–8 These essays offer a well-focused and persuasive analysis of how a character’s relationship to the past affects the character’s actions, attitudes, or values. Using apt and specific textual support, these essays fully explore that relationship and demonstrate what it contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. Although not without flaws, these essays make a strong case for their interpretation and discuss the literary work with significant insight and understanding. Generally, essays scored a 9 reveal more sophisticated analysis and more effective control of language than do essays scored an 8. 7–6 These essays offer a reasonable analysis of how a character’s relationship to the past affects the character’s actions, attitudes, or values. The essays explore that relationship and demonstrate what it contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. These works have insight and understanding, but the analysis is less thorough, less perceptive, and/or less specific in supporting detail than that of the 9–8 essays. Generally, essays scored a 7 present better-developed analysis and more consistent command of the elements of effective composition than those scored a 6. 5 These essays respond to the assigned task with a plausible reading, but they tend to be superficial or underdeveloped in analysis. They often rely upon plot summary that contains some analysis, implicit or explicit. Although the students attempt to discuss the effect of the past on the actions, attitudes, or values of a character and what that relationship contributes to the work as a whole, they may demonstrate a rather simplistic understanding of the work. Typically, these essays reveal unsophisticated thinking and/or immature writing. The students demonstrate adequate control of language, but their essays lack effective organization and may be marred by surface errors. 4–3 These lower-half essays offer a less than thorough understanding of the task or a less than adequate treatment of it. They reflect an incomplete or oversimplified understanding of the work, or they may fail to establish the nature of the effect of the past on a character’s actions, attitudes, or values. They may not address or develop a response to how that relationship contributes to the work as a whole, or they may rely on plot summary alone. Their assertions may be unsupported or even irrelevant. Often wordy, elliptical, or repetitious, these essays may lack control over the elements of college-level composition. Essays scored a 3 may contain significant misreadings and demonstrate inept writing. 2–1 Although these essays make some attempt to respond to the prompt, they compound the weaknesses of the papers in the 4–3 range. Often, they are unacceptably brief or are incoherent in presenting their ideas. They may be poorly written on several counts and contain distracting errors in grammar and mechanics. The remarks are presented with little clarity, organization, or supporting evidence. Particularly inept, vacuous, and/or incoherent essays must be scored a 1. 0 — These essays make no more than a reference to the task. These essays either are left blank or are completely off topic. © 2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ©2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). AP® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2007 SCORING COMMENTARY Question 3 Overview The prompt for question 3, the “open” question, began by noting that in many works of literature, past events can affect, positively or negatively, the present actions, attitudes, or values of a character. Students were then asked to choose a novel or play in which a character must contend with some aspect of the past, either personal or societal, and then to write an essay in which they showed how the character’s relationship to the past contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. The aim of the question was to assess students’ abilities to move beyond the common problem of paraphrasing or summarizing plot by emphasizing the causal relationship between a character’s actions, attitudes, or values and an event in the past that affects the character either positively or negatively. Sample: 3A Score: 7 This essay provides a sustained, insightful focus on how Jane Eyre’s fear of entrapment—as it emerges from her youthful experience of being locked in the red room by Aunt Reed—guides the rest of her life. Strong, but relatively brief arguments advance the thesis: Jane flees Rochester initially because marriage would mean “enslavement as a mistress,” while marriage to St. John would lead to her “imprisonment” in India both physically and emotionally. Only when she comes close to accepting St. John’s proposal and hears Rochester’s plea for help does Jane return to Thornfield and establish a “relationship of equality with him.” When this occurs, she is no longer trapped by the past because she is legally and financially free to marry Rochester, and Rochester is no longer physically dominant over her. Now “[t]hey can support each others’ emotional needs.” While the events detailed in the middle of the essay are sketchy, the final two paragraphs connect these events to the student’s thesis and make the essay a well-focused, reasonable discussion of how the past affects Jane’s actions and an effective demonstration of how this contributes to the meaning of Jane Eyre. Sample: 3B Score: 5 A plausible but superficial reading of The Great Gatsby, this essay argues the simplistic theme that “money can’t buy hapiness [sic].” Relying heavily on plot summary, the student provides only very general details in an attempt to discuss the effects of Gatsby’s past on his efforts to win Daisy’s love. (The essay does not, in fact, develop this analysis but rather focuses on the effect of Gatsby’s “obsession” with Daisy, which, the student argues, eventually causes his death.) The writing is pedestrian, quite repetitive, and marred by surface errors. Sample: 3C Score: 3 This essay on A Streetcar Named Desire provides an oversimplified understanding of the characters’ motivations and the meaning of the work as a whole. The student does not mention characters’ names or provide other specific textual support for the claim that the meaning of the play “reflects the universal philosophy of ‘no regrets.’” The essay’s claims about “the main character” (Blanche DuBois) are contradictory and fail to adequately establish the nature of the effect of the past—on the one hand, the © 2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). AP® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2007 SCORING COMMENTARY Question 3 (continued) student argues that Blanche has deliberately escaped her past to become a “transformed person,” and on the other hand, that “her grasping onto it [the past] did not help.” The writing lacks control and is full of awkward clichés and malapropisms, such as the statement that the “main character … engage[s] in witty, biting repetoire [sic]” (rather than “repartee”). © 2007 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents). ...
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