ap® english literature and composition 2006 scoring guidelines


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AP® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2006 SCORING GUIDELINES
Question 2 (Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan)
The score reflects the quality of the essay as a whole—its content, its style, its mechanics. Students are rewarded for what they do well. The score for an exceptionally well-written essay may be raised by 1 point above the otherwise appropriate score. In no case may a poorly written essay be scored higher than a 3.
9–8 These essays offer a persuasive analysis of how the playwright reveals the values of the characters and the nature of their society. The students make a strong case for their interpretation of character and situation, developing the relationship between language and values. The students consider literary and dramatic elements such as characterization, diction, and tone, engaging the text through apt and specific references. Although these essays may not be error-free, their perceptive analysis is apparent in writing that is clear, precise, and effectively organized. Generally, essays scored a 9 reveal more sophisticated analysis and more effective control of language than do essays scored an 8.
7–6 These essays offer a reasonable analysis of how the playwright reveals the values of the characters and the nature of their society. The students provide a sustained, competent reading of the passage, with attention to literary and dramatic elements such as characterization, diction, and tone. Although these essays may not be error-free and may be less perceptive or less convincing than 9–8 essays, the students present their ideas with clarity and control and refer to the text for support. Generally, essays scored a 7 present better-developed analysis and more consistent command of the elements of effective composition than do essays scored a 6.
5 These essays respond to the assigned task with a plausible reading of the passage but tend to be superficial or undeveloped in their treatment of how the playwright reveals the values of the characters and the nature of their society. While exhibiting some analysis of the passage, implicit or explicit, the discussion of how literary elements contribute to the author’s purpose may be slight, and support from the passage may be thin or tend toward paraphrase. While these students demonstrate adequate control of language, their essays may be marred by surface errors. Generally, essays scored a 5 lack the more effective organization and the more sustained development characteristic of 7–6 papers.
4–3 These essays offer a less than thorough understanding of the task or a less than adequate treatment of how the playwright reveals the values of the characters and the nature of their society. Often relying on summary or paraphrase, the students may fail to articulate a convincing basis for understanding the relationship between language and the values of the characters and the nature of their society. They may misread the passage or may present an unfocused or repetitive reading characterized by an absence of textual support or an accumulation of errors. Generally, essays scored a 4 exhibit better control over the elements of composition than those scored a 3.
2–1 These essays compound the weaknesses of the papers in the 4–3 range. They may persistently misread the passage or be unacceptably brief. They may contain pervasive errors that interfere with understanding. Although an attempt has been made to respond to the prompt, the students’ ideas are presented with little clarity, organization, or support from the passage. Essays scored a 1 are especially inept or incoherent.
0 These essays make no more than a reference to the task.
— These essays are either left blank or are completely off topic.
© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).
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© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

AP® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION 2006 SCORING COMMENTARY
Question 2
Overview
Students were asked to read carefully an excerpt from Lady Windermere’s Fan, a play by Oscar Wilde, produced in 1892. Then, in a well-organized essay they were to analyze how the playwright reveals the values of the characters and the nature of their society. Although the prompt deviated from recent practice in that it came from a play, nevertheless the materials were present for students to delineate character, interpret situation, apply analytical skills to representative nineteenth-century literary language, and link their close-reading skills to a discovery of theme.
Sample: 2A Score: 8
This essay’s strong analytical diction marks it as a sophisticated, perceptive analysis. The student asserts that all three characters “hold a different set of values,” understanding, however, that the two women’s values “are closer to each other’s” than to Lord Darlington’s. Lady Windermere is correctly viewed as “resolutely leading an upright life,” while Lord Darlington is seen to be “more of a playful intellect than a ‘wicked’ man (as the Duchess calls him)” when he “signifies his acceptance of her terms by telling her she is ‘beginning to reform [him].’” These deft and persuasive comments show us an insightful, confident student at work. The essay maintains an advanced level throughout, with the student providing many apt examples—such as the playing cards as a metaphor for marriage—and understanding that the verbal playfulness and gossip contribute to a picture of “how trivial . . . high English society really can be.” There are a few small lapses (“disconformist,” “illuminates the audience to a society”) but nothing that would keep this essay from making a strong case for the student’s interpretation of character and situation.
Sample: 2B Score: 5
While correctly seeing in the passage a contrast between Lord Darlington’s “comical approache [sic]” and the women’s observance of “poise and propriety,” this student misses many nuances in the situation that the more solid essays in the upper half of the scoring range tend to see. Overstated or vague claims—such as the Duchess and Lady Windermere appearing “to be rude, obnoxious individuals,” and Lord Darlington serving as someone “who adds wit and wonder to the play”—keep the essay from demonstrating the control of language and sustained development characterizing essays scored 7 or 6. The passage is more than a verbal standoff; the student would be better served by making fewer assertions and developing and supporting these claims more carefully.
Sample: 2C Score: 3
This student never really understands the nature of the task, writing little more than a page before transitioning to a shallow, unfocused discussion of “today’s society.” The response begins with a contrast between the Duchess of Berwick and Lord Darlington. She is seen as valuing “her status in society”; he is seen as having “lost the value of life” when he claims that “‘life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.’” Unfortunately, this student misses Lord Darlington’s love of satire in speaking and supplies no evidence to support the claim about the Duchess. When the student then takes off on a tangent and asserts that “The world is not a safe place. It never was or will be, unless the people who inhabit it choose to make it,” we have left the world of literary analysis and entered the realm of polemics. Overall, then, the student fails to articulate a convincing basis for understanding the relationship between language and the values of the characters in the passage from Lady Windermere’s Fan.
© 2006 The College Board. All rights reserved. Visit apcentral.collegeboard.com (for AP professionals) and www.collegeboard.com/apstudents (for students and parents).

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ap® english literature and composition 2006 scoring guidelines