Notes Regarding the 2005 Ap Prompt

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1. What are your thoughts on Fridman’s overall argument? Do you agree or disagree with him? Why?

I feel that Fridman makes a respectable argument and uses rhetorical strategies and comparisons much to his advantage. Yet, his argument, though well stated has become less relevant, as 2012 comes to an end. Fridman wrote this article in 1990, a completely different era—an era of post-modernism. Post-modernist thought is deeply rooted in stark binary comparisons like Fridman makes (jock/nerd, cool/uncool). However, as our society has begun to move past the strict contrasts that characterize post-modernism, the label “nerd” has begun to disintegrate. The word is no longer the crushing pejorative it once was, rather, it has become a moniker that many people bestow upon themselves, in an age where “quirky” is cool. It seems to me that our society has made progress in dissolving the dichotomy between the two extremes of athlete and geek, so Fridman’s argument is not as applicable at this stage in American culture.

2. Compare essay responses 2A (which scored an 8), 2B (which scored a 6), and 2C (which scored a 2). Consider the scoring commentary and rubric provided for you. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each essay?

Essay 2A was very well worded, clearly dictated, and provided effective analysis of Fridman’s argument. Although the essay erred on the side of repetition at times, the author proved that she not only understood the topic, but that she was able to contribute her own insight. I thought the author of 2B did a good job recognizing and stating the literary devices Fridman used with clarity. However, at many points, 2B seemed to merely summarize Fridman’s article, and did not use references and quotes as strategically as 2A did. 2C had very few redeeming qualities, and was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. It was not analytical and the author seemingly misunderstood the prompt, often straying from the purpose of the essay, which...
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