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Multiple Choice Walkthrough, Part 2

  • Where to Find the Questions
    • This lesson will cover the fourth and fifth passages in the College Board’s 2008 multiple-choice section (it’s available in the Course Description on the College Board website). (The link is here: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap-english-course-description.pdf)
    • The questions begin on page 30 of the PDF (it says page 24 in the lower right corner, but it’s really page 30).
    • The first passage was covered in the Multiple Choice Practice lesson, and passages 2 and 3 were covered in the first Walkthrough lesson.
  • Reading the Passages
    • Read for the big picture!
      • Try to get the main ideas
      • Look for the overall structure
      • Pay attention to the author’s goal, tone, and point of view.
  • Passage 4
    • There are ten questions associated with this passage.
      • Question 34: big picture
      • Questions 35-38: details
      • Question 39: big picture
      • Questions 40-41: details
      • Question 42: big picture
      • Question 43: details
  • Big-Picture Questions
    • Question 34: How might you describe the passage?
      • Eliminate Choice A; this passage is part of a novel, not a monologue.
      • Eliminate Choice B; this passage doesn’t have a melodramatic tone, or much of a plot.
      • C has merit; the passage lingers in describing a vanished place.
      • Eliminate D; this passage is not objective.
      • Eliminate E; there’s no evidence that this passage is an allegory.
      • Answer: C
    • Question 39: What is the speaker’s attitude toward the gamblers from Chicago?
      • Choice A is promising; the speaker does seem in awe of the gamblers’ fancy clothes and abundance of money.
      • Choices B through D are all negative words, and the speaker doesn’t seem to have a negative attitude. Eliminate these.
      • Eliminate E; the speaker seems to have definite feelings about the gamblers, so he’s not indifferent.
      • Answer: A
    • Question 42: What is the author’s tone at the end of the passage?
      • Eliminate A; the author doesn’t seem sorry for having done something wrong.
      • Eliminate B; the end of the passage is not particularly humorous.
      • Eliminate C; the author isn’t feigning, or faking, anything.
      • D is promising; the passage is very nostalgic.
      • Eliminate E; the author is in no way cautious.
      • Answer: D
  • Detail Questions
    • Question 35: How is the situation ironic?
      • Eliminate Choice A. The author’s attitude toward the springs is not all that strong.
      • Eliminate B; there is no evidence of real health benefits.
      • C is promising; de Soto is a historical figure.
      • Eliminate D and E; the passage never discusses the springs’ exact location or the roots of the belief in their magical properties.
      • Answer: C
    • Question 36: How does the author illustrate the meaning of the word “schizoid”?
      • You’re looking for a strong contrast.
      • Choice A is promising; it describes two strongly contrasting elements.
      • Eliminate B and C; they describe pairs of similar things.
      • Eliminate D; it describes a contrast, but in time, not in space.
      • Choice E is off-topic, since it describes two faraway places rather than the “schizoid” town.
      • Answer: A
    • Question 37: What does the speaker emphasize about the bathhouses and hotel?
      • Eliminate Choice A; the buildings are in the middle of the town, not “isolated”.
      • Eliminate B; there’s no mystery about them.
      • Eliminate C; there’s no suggestion of corruption about these buildings as a group (though individual ones may seem seedy).
      • D is promising; these buildings are certainly opulent.
      • Eliminate E; the passage emphasizes the impermanence of these structures.
      • Answer: D
    • Question 38: What sort of viewer is describing this scene?
      • Eliminate Choices A and C; this narrator doesn’t have the adult voice to be either objective or cynical.
      • Eliminate D; this narrator is not defending the scene (which is what an apologist does).
      • Eliminate E; this viewer is clearly local, not a visitor.
      • B has real possibilities; certainly “fascinated” could describe this viewer.
      • Answer: B
    • Question 40: What purpose does this phrase serve?
      • Eliminate A; we have no evidence this phrase is a local nickname (and it wouldn’t work as one).
      • Choice B is promising; certainly the writer views “Middletown” as homogenous and unworthy of detailed description.
      • Eliminate C and D; this is a well-defined town, but it’s not a cultural center.
      • Eliminate E; like D, it describes a role that the town doesn’t actually seem to play.
      • Answer: B
    • Question 41: How does the author use the phrase “Serve-U-Sef”?
      • Eliminate A; it’s not a witty sign.
      • Eliminate B; the author is too affectionate to describe anything as “churlish”.
      • C has possibilities; if the sign is part of a fake version of Southern-ness, this would be a good description.
      • Eliminate D; there’s no second meaning here.
      • Eliminate E; the sign is generic and therefore not “inimitable”.
      • Answer: C
    • Question 43: Which line is an exaggeration?
      • Look for the impossible!
      • Eliminate A; it’s straight description.
      • Eliminate B; it’s historical fact.
      • C and D might be exaggerated, but they could just as easily be accurate.
      • E sounds highly improbable and therefore makes a likely answer; does any smallish town really have 90 hamburger stands?
      • Answer: E
  • Passage 5
    • There are twelve questions associated with this passage.
      • Question 44: big picture
      • Questions 45-53: details
      • Questions 54-55: big picture
  • Big-Picture Questions
    • Question 44: What is the subject of the passage?
      • Eliminate Choice A; the author doesn’t consider ornamentation “senseless”.
      • Eliminate Choice B; this passage doesn’t trace much of the development of machinery.
      • Eliminate C; it describes a “revolt” that doesn’t really happen.
      • D has possibilities; the passage does seem largely concerned with changing aesthetics.
      • E has merit, too, but it’s a less specific version of D.
      • Answer: D
    • Question 54: How does the passage develop?
      • Eliminate Choice A; the two ideas don’t really conflict, and they don’t come to a resolution—one replaces the other.
      • Eliminate B; there’s no mention of contemporary society.
      • C has possibilities; the passage is strongly chronological and sticks to one topic.
      • Eliminate D; the passage doesn’t move from the U.S. to the European point of view.
      • Eliminate E; the passage is not really concerned with technological advances.
      • Answer: C
    • Question 55: What do the footnotes (as a whole) suggest?
      • Eliminate A; the author isn’t citing very technical sources.
      • B has potential; each footnote somehow cites Kasson.
      • Eliminate C; we don’t know whether anyone wrote about this before Kasson (except for the historical sources Kasson cites).
      • Eliminate D; it’s off-topic.
      • Eliminate E; with only one major source, there is no opportunity for comparison.
      • Answer: B
  • Detail Questions
    • Question 45: How might this sentence be made more parallel?
      • Reread the previous sentences to absorb their structure.
      • Choice A is promising; the previous sentences use “its” twice.
      • Eliminate B; there is no parallel for “and thus”.
      • Eliminate C, D, and E; they would make the sentence less parallel by adding elements.
      • Answer: A
    • Question 46: To what does the word “characteristics” refer?
      • You’re looking for the nearest antecedent.
      • Eliminate A and B; machinery other than steam engines would not have these parts.
      • C is promising; it describes the ornamentation that the author claims was common.
      • Eliminate D and E; these choices are kinds of machines, not characteristics of them.
      • Answer: C
    • Question 47: What is the tone of these lines?
      • Eliminate Choices A and B; these are strongly emotional choices, and the passage does not have a strongly emotional tone, except when it’s quoting.
      • Choice C is promising for exactly that reason.
      • Eliminate D and E; they’re also too emotional.
      • Answer: C
    • Question 48: What does the footnote indicate?
      • If you know how to read footnotes and citations (and you should have at least a little experience at this by now), you should be able to see that the author is citing Kasson, who is himself citing an 1876 article in Engineering magazine.
      • Eliminate A; Kasson’s probably not that old.
      • Eliminate B; it’s off-topic.
      • Eliminate C and E; Engineering is a magazine, not an article.
      • D is similar to what you know about the citation.
      • Answer: D
    • Question 49: What is the sources’ attitude toward highly decorative machinery?
      • Eliminate A; they don’t sound amused.
      • Choice B is promising; both writers complain about the ornamentation’s impracticality
      • Eliminate C; these are American machines.
      • Eliminate D; there’s nothing in ornamentation that suggests the complexity of machines.
      • Eliminate E; there’s no mention of probable cost of production.
      • Answer: B
    • Question 50: What does this line imply about human beings?
      • A is promising; the article is about embellishment.
      • Eliminate B and C; there’s no suggestion of either particular curiosity or particular indifference.
      • Eliminate D; while 19th-century people might have feared machines, the attitude seems to have changed in the 20th century.
      • Eliminate E; there’s no mention of asymmetry.
      • Answer: A
    • Question 51: What purpose does the phrase “industrial design” serve?
      • Eliminate A; no one mocks the phrase.
      • Eliminate B; it’s off-topic.
      • Eliminate C; there’s no mention of support one way or the other.
      • Eliminate D; it’s the opposite of what happened.
      • Answer: E
    • Question 52: What purpose does this footnote serve?
      • If you know how to read a footnote, you’ll know this is the one source that isn’t connected to Kasson.
      • Eliminate A and B; there’s nothing in the footnote to support a number of designers or an earlier citation.
      • Eliminate C; there’s no reference to a museum.
      • Eliminate D; it’s off-topic.
      • E is consistent with what you know about footnotes.
      • Answer: E
    • Question 53: What is the structure of these lines?
      • Skim over the lines. You’ll see a general statement followed by a list of specific, supporting details.
      • Eliminate A; there’s no exaggeration.
      • Eliminate B; the passage moves from the general to the specific, not the other way around.
      • Eliminate C; all the examples are historical.
      • Eliminate D; what follows the generalization are specifics, not more generalizations.
      • E is consistent with the structure of the passage.
      • Answer: E

Multiple Choice Walkthrough, Part 2

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:09
  • Where to Find the Questions 0:25
  • Reading the Passages 1:07
  • Passage 4 1:31
  • Big Picture Questions 1:58
    • Question 34
    • Question 39
    • Question 42
  • Detail Questions 4:13
    • Question 35
    • Question 36
    • Question 37
    • Question 38
    • Question 40
    • Question 41
    • Question 43
  • Passage 5 9:52
  • Big Picture Questions 10:09
    • Question 44
    • Question 54
    • Question 55
  • Detail Questions 12:39
    • Question 45
    • Question 46
    • Question 47
    • Question 48
    • Question 49
    • Question 50
    • Question 51
    • Question 52
    • Question 53