Advanced Placement: English Language & Composition

Summer Reading 2017

The summer reading project is designed to engage you with preliminary reading and practice with non-fiction and fictional text. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENTS BELOW AND TO SUBMIT THEM ON THE FIRST DAY.  All work should be done electronically, in your assigned teacher's Google Classroom Page (see the classroom code below). You will need to purchase some of the texts, but some have been provided via hyperlink on this web page.

Mrs. Venneri's Google Classroom Invite Code: 3ficaw

Mr. Weber's Google Classroom Invite Code: 9yu2uy

ASSIGNMENT FOR A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

Read chapters 1-9, p. 1-205 of the novel. For each chapter, create a potential thesis statement that tells what "big idea" Zinn is trying to communicate. Then, provide three (3) examples of specific evidence from the chapter that will support your thesis statement. Examples should be directly quoted or paraphrased evidence with citations.

ASSIGNMENT FOR Thank You for Arguing, Revised and Updated Edition

Read the selected chapters from  Thank You for Arguing, by Jay Heinrichs

  • Chapter 6, “Make Them Listen: The Lincoln Gambit”

  • Chapter 11, “Gain the High Ground: Aristotle’s Favorite Topic”

  • Chapter 14, “Spot Fallacies: The Seven Deadly Logical Sins”

  • Chapter 15, “Call a Foul: Nixon’s Trick”

  • Chapter 20, “Get Instant Cleverness: Monty Python’s Treasury of Wit”

For each of the six sections:

  • Write a summary of at least 5 key points in the section AND provide textual support (quotes, passages typed)

  • Develop at least one clarifying question for each section (what you still don’t understand from that section and/or want to learn about or discuss in class).  Make sure to reference the text specifically.

  • Clearly label your work for each chapter’s assignment


Read each listed essay.

1. Eighner, Lars: “On Dumpster Diving

2. Mairs, Nancy: “On Being a Cripple

3. McMurty, John: “Kill ‘Em! Crush ‘Em! Eat ‘Em Raw

4. Holt, John: “How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading

5. Twain, Mark: “Advice to Youth

For each essay,you must complete the following :

  • A 1-2 paragraph reaction to the essay that shares your personal reaction to the topic being discussed. Cite 2-3 provocative quotations to support your reaction.

  • Complete the SOAPSTone Questions for each article (see below) Use complete sentences and cite evidence from the text in your answer.

SOAPSTone (Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, Tone)

Who is the Speaker? (Who is the voice of the story? Don’t just state the author...who are they as a person premised upon what you’ve read).

What is the Occasion?(The time and the place of the piece; what was happening that prompted the writing.)

Who is the Audience? (The group of readers to whom this piece is directed)

What is the Purpose?(The reason for writing the text)

What is the Subject? (What topic/idea/concern is this addressing?)

What is the Tone?(The attitude of the author)


You will respond to a prompt that asks you to synthesize one of the assigned essays and Heinrich’s  Thank You for Arguing.