AP English: “The American Scholar”

When discussing Emerson’s speech “The American Scholar” (1837), particularly in first period, I got the notion that students of today do not believe they have any control over their education and their ability to be scholars as defined by Emerson. This frightens me for many reasons. What will our society become without Man Thinking? What future lies in wait for you?

In the conclusion of the speech, Emerson asserts:

The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the   hopes of the future. He must be the university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another, which should pierce his ear, it is:   The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.  .  . this confidence in the unsearched might of man belongs, by all motive, by all prophecy, by all preparation, to the American Scholar.

TASK:  In a well-developed essay, take a position on what you believe your role is as an American Scholar. Use evidence from Emerson’s speech and your own examples to support your assertion.

This is a timed essay and must be completed this class period. Post your response on your own blog.

REASSESSMENT:  Follow these instructions closely.

First, remember that AP Lang and Comp is a course in argumentation; therefore, when I ask you to write, most often I am asking you to either compose an argument or deconstruct one. Many of you approached this post the opposite in which you should have. Read the task carefully. Now, go back and read your post. Did you answer the question? (Hint: your thesis should answer the question. Cannot find your thesis? Yeah, me either = problem.)

To improve your post and improve your score, follow these steps:

1. Revise your post. Do NOT rewrite it. Mark any and all revisions in blue, so that I can see where you attempt to improve your writing. Hint: the comments I left for you on your original post are a good starting place as you begin to revise. You might also want to read some of your peers’ post to see what they did well. Kathryn and Gina both wrote excellent arguments.

2.Once you know you have improved your argument, get TWO of the classmates on your blog roll to read your post and leave you feedback in the comments. Remember, we are a writing community, and we help one another become better writers.

3. Have at least ONE adult, a parent or teacher, read your post and leave you feedback in the comments section.

4. Send me an email to rasmussena@cfbisd.edu by Friday at 5:00 pm that a.) explains what you did to improve your argument, b) explains what you know to do better next time, c) tells me what score you believe your should receive on this new and improved post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *