summer reading prompt essay

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					Keri Cresbaugh                                                        September 16, 2007

AP English p. 6                                                       Mrs. Davis

                            Summer Reading-Choice Prompt

       An AP Language class in English Language and Composition teaches students

to use language as a device to generate meaning in the form of argument, analysis,

personal essays, and creative writing. The main purpose for this class is to allow

students to understand complex texts and write thorough and complex prose in order to

communicate successfully with adult readers. Throughout this course students will read

various rhetoric including editorials, memoirs, political writing, and personal essays. At

the end of the class, students will be able to analyze and interpret samples of good

writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and

techniques, as well as create and sustain arguments based on readings, research,

and/or personal experience.

       In deciding what summer books AP students should read, teachers must

consider Me Talk Pretty One Day by Davis Sedaris. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a

collection of short essays, entirely autobiographical. Sedaris alternates between

refreshingly hilarious humor and the pitiful observation of human experience. Me Talk

Pretty One Day is about Sedaris' deep observation of the humans closest to him as well

as himself, the character he is hardest on. Sedaris uses a simple, straight forward

writing style with a humorous undertone. The material in the book is funny, but at the

same time has pertinent meaning. Each individual essay comes together in the end,

relating to the theme of not fitting in. The essays are easy to relate to and each reader
could find similarities in each of Sedaris’ experience. The cycle of failure and success is

exemplified throughout the book. In one of the essays, Sedaris failed horribly as a

professor, yet now is a famous author writing excellent books. The idea that with failure

comes success is also portrayed throughout Sedaris’ book.

       In this book of modern language, Sedaris incorporates a lot of figurative

language, such as similes, metaphors, and exaggeration. This figurative language

relates to the author’s purpose of fitting in because it allows the reader to accept

diversity in a humorous manor where the reader can laugh at Sedaris’ mistakes as well

as their own. His blatant truth always keeps the reader laughing, whoever the audience

is. Moreover, Sedaris uses simple diction, which is to the point and amusing. In the

book Sedaris writes, “No longer considered an article of clothing, it would return to its

native land, where it would move from the closet to the bathroom cabinet, joining the

ranks of spoiled to wait for the coming famine” (272). Here, Sedaris describes his father

and how he eats hats, which brings immediate laughter to the reader. This quote

personifies Sedaris’ life and shows how he uses symbolism in his writing.

       Me Talk Pretty One Day is a great selection for AP English because it appeals to

the audience, attracts a wide variety of people, and uses a unique writing style. Sedaris’

sense of humor significantly adds to the book. It allows the student reader to appreciate

the style and possibly consider implementing it in their own writing. At the completion of

the novel, an AP student will be able to apply effective strategies and techniques in their

own writing and write for a variety of purposes. Overall, Me Talk Pretty One Day by

David Sedaris is a marvelous selection for an AP level course in English Language and


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