AP LANGUAGE ESSAYS

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AP LANGUAGE ESSAYS
2 HOURS AND 15 MIN.
15 MIN. OF READING TIME
2 HOURS TO WRITE – SAME AS LIT.
English Language and Composition
There are 3 essays: Synthesis, Prose Analysis, Openended Argument.
 You will have all of the essays and the research to read in this
opening 15 min. period.
 You may make notes
 You may plan for all three impromptus
 You may begin writing on the essay questions, BUT
 You may NOT open the writing booklet and begin your essay
writing until the directed to do so.
Synthesis Essay
 Researched Argumentative Essay
 Essay in which you are given 5-8 pieces of research and asked
to use them to defend your position/evaluation.
 You are given 15 extra minutes to read the material due to
this question.
 Documentation
 Essay is argumentative – but often includes evaluation.
 Must read a number of related sources
 Respond to a prompt that asks students to synthesis a set number of
sources
 Prompt will ask students for argument
Prose Impromptu
 Essay in which you must analyze the writing of a
passage:
 style, rhetorical strategies, figurative language, purpose, one
section of passage in terms of the rest, audience, techniques
 a prose passage- but may be a broader range than on Lit Test
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Letter
Speech
Essay
Satire
Short story
Part of a novel
 This is what we have practiced all year with every piece we discuss
Open-ended Argument
 Essay in which a statement, idea, philosophy, or
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position is articulated.
You are then asked to respond and assess the validity of this
idea or put forth one of your own.
You may agree and defend it, disagree and refute it, or you
may qualify under what circumstances it may be applicable
and analyze it from that perspective.
You are writing your own argument on the subject.
You may pull in anything/everything you know
Sometimes the prompt suggests to use books, movies,
television, current events, etc.
Synthesis Essay
What is synthesis?
Thesis Statements:
Topic Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
 Explanatory Synthesis- (Sometimes evaluation
synthesis)
 While many praise CMC’s potential to bridge
barriers and promote meaningful dialogue, others
caution that CMC is fraught with dangers.
 Where would this lead?
Thesis Statements:
Topic Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
 Argumentative Thesis
 CMC threatens to undermine human intimacy,
connection, and ultimately community
 Where would this lead?
 How is this one different from the first?
While many praise CMC’s potential to bridge barriers and promote
meaningful dialogue, others caution that CMC is fraught with
dangers.
Thesis Statements:
Topic Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
 How is the one from before
 CMC threatens to undermine human intimacy, connection, and
ultimately community
 …different from this next one?
 Although many praise the potential of CMC to bridge barriers and
promote meaningful dialogue, in practice CMC threatens to
undermine human intimacy, connection, and ultimately
community.
 Where would this one lead?
(Brassil)
Set up of the Question
1st page is the prompt
 Directions
 The following prompt is based on the accompanying ___ sources.
 This question requires you to synthesize a variety of sources into a coherent,
well-written essay. Synthesis refers to combining the sources and your
position to form a cohesive, supported argument/analysis and accurately
citing sources. Your argument/analysis should be central; the sources should
support this argument. Avoid merely summarizing sources.
 Remember to attribute both direct and indirect citations.
 Introduction
 A paragraph introducing the topic, perhaps presenting two sides from which
you may choose or summarizing the issue with the topic.
 Assignment
 Directions to read and then what you are to specifically write. It will include
the number of sources you must use.
 You will also see a list of your sources with directions on how to cite.
Sample Prompt
 Directions:
 The following prompt is based on the accompanying
seven sources.
 This question requires you to integrate a variety of
sources into a coherent, well-written essay. Refer to
the sources to support your position; avoid mere
paraphrase or summary. Your argument should be
central; the sources should support this argument.
 Remember to attribute both direct and indirect
citations.
Sample Prompt cont’d
 Introduction
Memoir remains a popular genre and form of nonfiction.
Some memoirists, however, have been accused of
misrepresenting certain events of their lives to suit their
goals, be they aesthetic or commercial. To what extent,
if at all, should a memoirist, in Russell Baker’s words,
be able to “invent the truth”? How absolute a label is
“nonfiction”? What constitutes the standard for “truth” in
a text that is presented to its potential audience as a
memoir?
Sample Prompt cont’d
 Assignment
 Read the following sources (including any
introductory information) carefully. Then, in an
essay that synthesizes at least three of the
sources for support, take a position that defends,
challenges, or qualifies the claim that a
memoirist’s commitment to the truth is of absolute
importance in memoir writing.
 What kind of a thesis does this require?
 What might a potential thesis be for this essay?
The Sources
 Refer to the sources by their titles (Source A, Source B, etc.) or by
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the descriptions in the parentheses.
Source A (Zinsser)
Source B (Frey)
Source C (Roberts)
Source D (Amends)
Source E (Kertes)
Source F (Hampl)
Source G (Gutkind)
Be consistent – either use (Source F) or (Hampl); don’t mix.
(Brassil)
Process
 Read the prompt page carefully;
 Determine focus of essay.
 Consider the issue. – what is it?
How do you see it?
 Dissect the question.
 Skim research material
 Determine
focus/content/background of each
 Possible use of each
 What you have.
 Consider a focus of your essay.
 Read carefully the research
material
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Notes, annotations, brainstorm
Decide which sources to use and
what to use from them.
 Outline/Prewrite for essay.
 Finalize the sources you will
use,
 Try to use multiple sources for
each point
 Vary use - quote, paraphrase,
or summarize.
 Begin writing.
 After the first 15 minutes.
 40 min. to complete your essay.
 Documentation is easy but
essential.
 Leave time to proof over essay.
 Make sure you have answered
the prompt.
 Verify you have correctly used
the minimum of sources and
documented properly and
clearly.
Get Ready for Synthesis
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Understanding the prompt
Determining the task
Time Management
Avoiding regurgitation
Balancing sources
Don’t ramble or go on tangents
 Bonus for Monday: Write one sentence about Oedipus, a
book you read over break, or about preparing for college
decisions that uses as many as possible words from either
Vocab Unit 7, 8, or 9.
 Must be one sentence, use words correctly, may alter form of
word, and class will hear and assess usage of vocabular – all will
be rewarded.
Resources
 AP Reading: College Board Training. Louisville, KY. 2009-
2012.
 Brassil, John. “Developing a Synthesis Question.” 2007-2008
Professional Development Materials: Special Focus.
College Board. 2012. PDF.

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