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Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air Rhetorical Analysis Writing Prompts

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education
Formats Included
  • Word Document File
5 pages
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The following 5 rhetorical analysis prompts for When Breath Becomes Air are modeled after the AP Language and Composition rhetorical analysis prompts. One of the prompts is from the prologue and mirrors the Clare Boothe Luce 2017 rhetorical analysis question. Each prompt gives context and a specific passage from the book, as well as a rhetorical analysis question, asking students to analyze Kalanithi's rhetorical choices. Even if a student hasn't read the book, they can still respond to the prompts.

While the prompts are modeled after the AP Language exam, the difficulty of the questions are appropriate for any advanced high schooler (9-12).

An instructor could use the prompt(s) as bell work, a close reading activity, precis practice, and/or a writing assessment based on the abilities of his/her students.

After using all 5 prompts, prompts 1, 3, and 5 seem to be the most accessible for my AP Language and Composition students.

Happy writing!

Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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