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Post Info TOPIC: Writing about purpose in AP Lang/Comp Class (also generally applies to English tests)


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Posts: 1
Date: Dec 26, 2019
Writing about purpose in AP Lang/Comp Class (also generally applies to English tests)

I don't like the format of testing in English classes, which is mostly multiple choice. For example, let's say I read a book and get tested on it. I understand if there are multiple-choice questions asking the who, what, when, and where of an event in the book since those are relatively objective and simply test whether or not I read the book. However, I dislike the lack of flexibility there is with MC questions when it asks about "why," which can be a character's motive, the author's purpose, or something similar. Everyone has their interpretation of how others speak and just because some group of people analyzed this text and came to a conclusion about so and so's purpose doesn't mean that any other idea is invalid.

This is especially harmful in AP Lang, where students have to write a thesis that talks about the context of the text they are analyzing, but also the author's purpose. In other classes, especially history, when you write an essay, you can argue any point no matter what it is as long as it is supported by evidence. It essentially allows interpretation of history. However, with AP Lang essays, College Board or the teacher or some other higher-up has already concluded what the author's intended purpose is. Thus, even if students were to write a good essay with well thought out/relevant evidence and analysis, the whole essay is essentially worthless because none of the students "understood" the purpose.

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