AP Lang: Does the American Dream Still Exist?


ELAGSE11-12W1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  1. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  2. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
  3. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  4. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Learning Target: I can write an argument to synthesize several sources to defend my position about whether or not the American Dream is still accessible.

Opening Session: How to write an argumentative essay, by Shmoop


Work Session: Today students will begin to write their first essay. I’m going to model MLA format, in text citations, and how to write an argument. We will start by looking at an example essay, written by the fabulous Mr. Brooks!

After we look at the parts of an argument, we are going to look at a PowerPoint that tells you exactly what you need to do for this essay, right down to the rubric on which you’ll be graded. So, now that we know what we need to do to ace this essay, you guys are going to start on the writing!

The topic is: Synthesize at least three – five sources and your own observations to defend, challenge, or qualify the statement that America still provides access to the American Dream. This question requires you to integrate a variety of sources (three to five ) into a coherent, well-written argumentative essay. Your argument should be central; the sources and your observations should support this argument.

For your prewriting today, you should write out at least 3 quotes from at least 3 different sources which you will use in your essay. Make sure your quotes support your opinion on whether or not the American Dream is still a thing.

Closing Session: Vocab!!

  1. —Affiliated
    1. —(adj., part.) associated, connected
  2. —Ascertain
    1. —(verb) to find out
  3. —Attainment
    1. —(noun) an accomplishment, the act of achieveing
  4. —Bequeath
    1. —(verb) to give or pass on as an inheritance
  5. —Cogent
    1. —(adj.) forceful, convincing; relevant, to the point
  6. —Converge
    1. —(verb) to move toward one point, approach nearer together
  7. —Disperse
    1. —(verb) to scatter, spread far and wide
  8. —Esteem
    1. —(verb) to regard highly
    2. —(noun) a highly favorable opinion or judgement
  9. —Expunge
    1. —(verb) to erase, obliterate, destroy
  10. —Finite
    1. —(adj.) having limits; lasting for a limited time
  11. —Invulnerable
    1. —(adj.) not able to be wounded or hurt; shielded against attack
  12. —Malevolent
    1. —(adj.) spiteful, showing ill will
  13. —Nonchalant
    1. —(adj.) cool and confident, unconcerned
  14. —Omniscient
    1. —(adj.) knowing everything; having unlimited awareness or understanding
  15. —Panacea
    1. —(noun) a remedy for all ills; cure-all; an answer to all problems
  16. —Scrupulous
    1. —(adj.) exact, careful, attending thoroughly to details; having high moral standards, principled
  17. —Skulk
    1. —(verb) to move about stealthily; to lie in hiding
  18. —Supercilious
    1. —(adj.) proud and contemptuous; showing scorn because of a feeling of superiority
  19. —Uncanny
    1. —(adj.) strange, mysterious, weird, beyond explanation
  20. —Venial
    1. —(adj.) easily excused; pardonable


Assessment: Formal (Essays will be graded)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolded essay questions)

Leave a Reply

© Mrs. Bristow's Literature Classes