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Course Curriculum

Introduction

This course will prepare students for the Reading, Writing and Language, and Essay sections of the SAT. It will address requirements of the redesigned SAT, which will be administered beginning in March 2016. The course will focus on skills development, test-taking strategies, and familiarization with the format, content, and questions in the English Language Arts sections of the SAT.

Course Content

  • Practice tests and essays
  • Analysis and discussion of sample tests, including essays
  • Analysis and discussion of a variety of texts on subjects represented on the SAT (humanities, history and social studies, science)
  • Instruction and practice in textual analysis, rhetoric, Standard English Conventions (sentence structure, grammar, usage, punctuation), the writing process, development and organization of essays, methods and critique of argument
  • Modes of writing: narration, exposition, analysis, argument
  • Peer editing and instructor feedback for student essays
  • Format, structure, content of the SAT; types of questions on the SAT; test-taking strategies
  • Individual attention from the instructor
  • Skills Development

    The course will focus on the two broad skill categories emphasized on the SAT English Language Arts sections: Expression of Ideas and Standard English Conventions.

    Reading comprehension skills:

  • Identify main ideas and themes
  • Determine meanings of words in context
  • Analyze how ideas are supported with evidence
  • Synthesize graphic information (graphs, charts, etc.) with text
  • Identify rhetorical strategies (diction, tone, etc.)
  • Identify methods and elements of argument
  • Writing and Language skills for the analysis of essays:

  • Support analysis with textual evidence
  • Analyze methods of argument: evidence, appeal to reason and logic, appeal to emotion, appeal to authority
  • Analyze rhetorical strategies
  • Evaluate clarity of ideas and how effectively they are supported
  • Critique arguments: identify contradictions, gaps in logic, unsupported assumptions, biased tone, etc
  • Identify and correct errors in Standard English Conventions: sentence structure, grammar, usage, punctuation
  • Writing and Language skills for the writing of essays:

  • Utilize the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing
  • Organize essays with a clear thesis and well-placed topic sentences, logical progression of ideas, smooth transitions between ideas, and effectively crafted introductions and conclusions
  • Develop ideas with evidence (facts, examples, statistics, comparisons, etc.), reasons, and logic
  • Understand and use effective rhetorical strategies
  • Use language effectively: precision, clarity, conciseness, connotation and denotation, tone
  • Follow Standard Conventions of English: sentence structure, grammar, usage, punctuation
  • Goals and Objectives

    Students will:

  • Gain familiarity with the format, structure, content, and questions on the English Language Arts sections of the SAT
  • Learn and practice test-taking strategies
  • Be able to write well-organized and well-developed expository and argumentative essays
  • Be able to analyze and critique argumentative essays
  • Be able to analyze and use effective rhetorical strategies
  • Develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills
  • Increase knowledge of Standard English Conventions (sentence structure, grammar, usage, punctuation)
  • Course Materials and Resources

  • Comprehensive SAT study guides with sample tests (print and online)
  • A variety of texts in the humanities, history and social sciences, and science for reading comprehension and analysis
  • Print and online instructional materials on Standard English Conventions
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