Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

“You can’t judge an apple by looking at the tree,
You can’t judge honey by looking at the bee,
You can’t judge a daughter by looking at the mother,
You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover.”

Throughout our lives we’re reminded to not judge a book by its cover. People form judgements way too quickly when they don’t have the knowledge to make an accurate assumption in the first place. They listen to the “he said, she said” and it can create a judgment that couldn’t be more wrong. In high school, most people will have their opinions about you. They’ll say things about you that they don’t know are true but they’ve formed their opinions from what other people have said. We view peoples’ perceptions of us as important and that’s why we care so much about what other people think. We’re constantly worrying ourselves with the question of “What will ______ think?” instead of focusing on what will make us happy. Teenagers have an issue with caring too much about what others think about them. They want people to have positive perceptions of them and will do what they can to maintain a good reputation. We’ve all read books and seen movies about judging a situation, person, religion, etc before getting to know it at a greater depth. Yet, people continue to make the mistake of forming judgements without getting information firsthand. It’s a flaw in everyone. We’ve all had an opinion of someone before we made the effort to build a relationship with them. Most of the time people will realize they were completely wrong and that they shouldn’t have just assumed something was true.

Since adults are hounding morals into our heads from the time we were able to talk, I find it ironic that the AP English test grader will glance at the book you chose to respond to the topic and will grade you according to your choice. Of course they should expect a book that is at the appropriate grade level but I think it’s wrong to base a grade off of a book choice. While a book may not be as AP level as the grader may like. they shouldn’t automatically assume the person will receive a poor grade. It shouldn’t be as much about the book choice as it should be about the quality of the writing. I think that as long as the person successfully answers the question in a well thought out response then the book choice shouldn’t matter as much. Yes, it should count for some part of the final grade but the majority of the grade should come from how the writer was able to relate the book to the prompt. If they are successful, then they should receive a good grade. When you think about it, doesn’t writing about a book that might be at a middle school level seem more difficult than writing about an AP level book? The concepts in the book may be more apparent, but writing a thorough response would be the difficult part. However, the graders are judging your writing before they even begin reading the essay. “Oh, you wrote about ‘Romeo and Juliet?’ So did the last 20 people. This will probably be a C.” The opinions they have prior to reading the essays are misled all because of a book title. Just because someone reads the perfect book to answer the question doesn’t mean the essay will turn out well and vice versa for choosing a non-AP book. There’s an abundance of great works out there that should be appreciated as much as the classics we are forced to read in school. It irks me to no end the fact that the grader will base your grade off of the choices you made rather than the finished product. It’s wrong and I think they should change the way they go about grading their tests.

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