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CliffsNotes AP English Literature and Composition, 3rd Edition by Allan Casson

AP language and literature exams sometimes include prompts that are from satiric and/or comedic works. Students who are not practiced in writing about satire and recognizing the devices of the satirist may be at a disadvantage over those who are comfortable with such tools. The subtlety and nuances of satire can sometimes go unnoticed; some students may find it hard to know how to analyze the rhetorical strategies that satirists use. Although, of course, satirists can employ all of the devices of rhetoric, quite often they make use of the following:

Caricature — A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject's distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect. Sometimes caricature can be so exaggerated that it becomes a grotesque imitation or misrepresentation. Synonymous words include burlesque, parody, travesty, lampoon .

Hyperbole — A figure of speech using deliberate exaggeration or overstatement. Hyperboles sometimes have a comic effect; however, a serious effect is also possible. Hyperbole often produces irony at the same time.

Understatement — The ironic minimizing of fact, understatement presents something as less significant than it is. The effect can frequently be humorous and emphatic. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole.

Irony — The contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really meant; the difference between what appears to be and what actually is true. Irony is used for many reasons, but frequently, it's used to create poignancy or humor.

Wit — In modern usage, wit is intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights. A witty statement is humorous, while suggesting the speaker's verbal power in creating ingenious and perceptive remarks. Wit usually uses terse language that makes a pointed statement.

Sarcasm — From the Greek meaning, "to tear flesh," sarcasm involves bitter, caustic language that is meant to hurt of ridicule someone or something. It may use irony as a device, but not all ironic statements are sarcastic. When well done, sarcasm can be witty and insightful; when poorly done, it's simply cruel.

Allusion — A direct or indirect reference to something that is presumably commonly know, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art. Allusions can be historical, literary, religious, or mythical. A work may simultaneously use multiple layers of allusion.

Juxtaposition — Placing dissimilar items, descriptions, or ideas close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.

Frequently, satire is characterized as one of two types: Horatian satire is gentle, urbane, smiling; it aims to correct with broadly sympathetic laughter. Based on the Roman lyrical poet Horace, its purpose may be "to hold up a mirror" so readers can see themselves and their world honestly. The vices and follies satirized are not destructive; however, they reflect the foolishness of people, the superficiality and meaninglessness of their lives, and the barrenness of their values. Juvenalian satire is biting, bitter, and angry; it points out the corruption of human beings and institutions with contempt, using saeva indignation , a savage outrage based on the style of the Roman poet Juvenal. Sometimes perceived as enraged, Juvenalian satire sees the vices and follies in the world as intolerable. Juvenalian satirists use large doses of sarcasm and irony. If you do receive a piece of satire to discuss in your essay topics, be aware of the rhetorical devices of the satirist and use them to your advantage.

Which of the following is the correct solution to | x + 3| > 6?

X > 3 and x < –9, x > 3 or x < –9, 9 < x < –3.

How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay (With Example)

December 14, 2023

ap lang argument essay example

We’d like to let you in on a little secret: no one, including us, enjoys writing timed essays. But a little practice goes a long way. If you want to head into your AP English Exam with a cool head, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into ahead of time. We can’t promise the AP Lang Argument Essay will ever feel like an island vacation, but we do have tons of hand tips and tricks (plus a sample essay!) below to help you do your best. This article will cover: 1) What is the AP Lang Argumentative Essay? 2) AP Lang Argument Rubric 3) AP Lang Argument Sample Prompt 4) AP Lang Argument Essay Example 5) AP Lang Argument Essay Example: Answer Breakdown.

What is the AP Lang Argument Essay?

The AP Lang Argument Essay is one of three essays included in the written portion of the AP English Exam. The full AP English Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long, with the first 60 minutes dedicated to multiple-choice questions. Once you complete the multiple-choice section, you move on to three equally weighted essays that ask you to synthesize, analyze, and interpret texts and develop well-reasoned arguments. The three essays include:

Synthesis essay: You’ll review various pieces of evidence and then write an essay that synthesizes (aka combines and interprets) the evidence and presents a clear argument. Read our write-up on How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis Essay here.

Argumentative essay: You’ll take a stance on a specific topic and argue your case.

Rhetorical essay: You’ll read a provided passage, then analyze the author’s rhetorical choices and develop an argument that explains why the author made those rhetorical choices. Read our write-up on How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Essay here.

AP Lang Argument Essay Rubric

The AP Lang Argument Essay is graded on 3 rubric categories : Thesis, Evidence and Commentary, and Sophistication . How can you make sure you cover all three bases in your essay? We’ll break down each rubric category with dos and don’ts below:

  • Thesis (0-1 point)

When it comes to grading your thesis, AP Exam graders are checking off a box: you either have a clear thesis or you don’t. So, what crucial components of a thesis will get you your check mark?

  • Make sure your thesis argues something . To satisfy your graders, your thesis needs to take a clear stance on the issue at hand.
  • Include your thesis statement in your intro paragraph. The AP Lang Argumentative essay is just that: an essay that makes an argument, so make sure you present your argument right away at the end of your first paragraph.
  • A good test to see if you have a thesis that makes an argument for your AP Lang Argumentative Essay: In your head, add the phrase “I agree/disagree that…” to the beginning of your thesis. If what follows doesn’t logically flow after that phrase (aka if what follows isn’t an agreement or disagreement), it’s likely you’re not making an argument.
  • In your thesis, outline the evidence you’ll cover in your body paragraphs.

AP Lang Argument Essay Rubric (Continued)

  • Avoid a thesis that merely restates the prompt.
  • Avoid a thesis that summarizes the text but does not make an argument.
  • Avoid a thesis that weighs the pros and cons of an issue. Your job in your thesis is to pick a side and stick with it.
  • Evidence and Commentary (0-4 points)

This rubric category is graded on a scale of 0-4 where 4 is the highest grade. Unlike the rhetorical and synthesis essays, the evidence you need to write your AP Lang Argument Essay is not provided to you. Rather, you’ll need to generate your own evidence and comment upon it.

What counts as evidence?

Typically, the AP Lang Argument Essay prompt asks you to reflect on a broad cultural, moral, or social issue that is open to debate. For evidence, you won’t be asked to memorize and cite statistics or facts. Rather, you’ll want to bring in real-world examples of:

  • Historical events
  • Current-day events from the news
  • Personal anecdotes

For this essay, your graders know that you’re not able to do research to find the perfect evidence. What’s most important is that you find evidence that logically supports your argument.

What is commentary?

In this essay, it’s important to do more than just provide examples relevant evidence. After each piece of evidence you include, you’ll need to explain why it’s significant and how it connects to your main argument. The analysis you include after your evidence is commentary .

  • Take a minute to brainstorm evidence that logically supports your argument. If you have to go out of your way to find the connection, it’s better to think of different evidence.
  • Include multiple pieces of evidence. There is no magic number, but do make sure you incorporate more than a couple pieces of evidence that support your argument.
  • Make sure you include more than one example of evidence, too. Let’s say you’re working on an essay that argues that people are always stronger together than apart. You’ve already included an example from history: during the civil rights era, protestors staged group sit-ins as a powerful form of peaceful protest. That’s just one example, and it’s hard to make a credible argument with just one piece of evidence. To fix that issue, think of additional examples from history, current events, or personal experience that are not related to the civil rights era.
  • After you include each piece of evidence, explain why it’s significant and how it connects to your main argument.
  • Don’t summarize or speak generally about the topic. Everything you write must be backed up with specific and relevant evidence and examples.
  • Don’t let quotes speak for themselves. After every piece of evidence you include, make sure to explain and connect the evidence to your overarching argument.

AP Lang Argument Essay (Continued)

  • Sophistication (0-1 point)

According to the College Board , one point can be awarded to AP Lang Argument essays that achieve a high level of sophistication. You can accomplish that in four ways:

  • Crafting a nuanced argument by consistently identifying and exploring complexities or tensions.
  • Articulating the implications or limitations of an argument by situating it within a broader context.
  • Making effective rhetorical choices that consistently strengthen the force and impact of the student’s argument.
  • Employing a style that is consistently vivid and persuasive.

In sum, this means you can earn an additional point for going above and beyond in depth, complexity of thought, or by writing an especially persuasive, clear, and well-structured essay. In order to earn this point, you’ll first need to do a good job with the fundamentals: your thesis, evidence, and commentary. Then, to earn your sophistication point, follow these tips:

  • Outline your essay before you begin to ensure it flows in a clear and cohesive way.
  • Include well-rounded evidence. Don’t rely entirely on personal anecdotes, for example. Incorporate examples from current events or history, as well.
  • Thoroughly explain how each piece of evidence connects to your thesis in order to fully develop your argument.
  • Explore broader implications. If what you’re arguing is true, what does that mean to us today? Who is impacted by this issue? What real-world issues are relevant to this core issue?
  • Briefly explore the other side of the issue. Are the instances where your argument might not be true? Acknowledge the other side, then return to proving your original argument.
  • Steer clear of generalizations (avoid words like “always” and “everyone”).
  • Don’t choose an argument you can’t back up with relevant examples.
  • Avoid complex sentences and fancy vocabulary words unless you use them often. Long, clunky sentences with imprecisely used words are hard to follow.

AP Lang Argument Sample Prompt

The sample prompt below is published online by the College Board and is a real example from the 2021 AP English Exam. The prompt provides background context, essay instructions, and the text you need to analyze.

Suggested time—40 minutes.

Many people spend long hours trying to achieve perfection in their personal or professional lives. Similarly, people often demand perfection from others, creating expectations that may be challenging to live up to. In contrast, some people think perfection is not attainable or desirable.

Write an essay that argues your position on the value of striving for perfection.

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible position.
  • Provide evidence to support your line of reasoning.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

AP Lang Argument Essay Example

As the old phrase says, “Practice makes perfect.” But is perfection something that is actually attainable? Sometimes, pushing for perfection helps us achieve great things, but most often, perfectionism puts too much pressure on us and prevents us from knowing when we have done the best we can. Striving for perfection can only lead us to shortchange ourselves. Instead, we should value learning, growth, and creativity and not worry whether we are first or fifth best.

Students often feel the need to be perfect in their classes, and this can cause students to struggle or stop making an effort in class. In elementary and middle school, for example, I was very nervous about public speaking. When I had to give a speech, my voice would shake, and I would turn very red. My teachers always told me “relax!” and I got Bs on Cs on my speeches. As a result, I put more pressure on myself to do well, spending extra time making my speeches perfect and rehearsing late at night at home. But this pressure only made me more nervous, and I started getting stomach aches before speaking in public.

Once I got to high school, however, I started doing YouTube make-up tutorials with a friend. We made videos just for fun, and laughed when we made mistakes or said something silly. Only then, when I wasn’t striving to be perfect, did I get more comfortable with public speaking.

AP Lang Argumentative Essay Example (Continued)

In the world of art and business and science, perfectionism can also limit what we are able to achieve. Artists, for example, have to take risks and leave room for creativity. If artists strive for perfection, then they won’t be willing to fail at new experiments and their work will be less innovative and interesting. In business and science, many products, like penicillin for example, were discovered by accident. If the scientist who discovered penicillin mold growing on his petri dishes had gotten angry at his mistake and thrown the dishes away, he would never have discovered a medicine that is vital to us today.

Some fields do need to value perfection. We wouldn’t like it, for example, if our surgeon wasn’t striving for perfection during our operation. However, for most of us, perfectionism can limit our potential for learning and growth. Instead of trying to be perfect, we should strive to learn, innovate, and do our personal best.

AP Lang Argument Essay Example: Answer Breakdown

The sample AP Lang Argumentative Essay above has some strengths and some weaknesses. Overall, we would give this essay a 3 or a 4. Let’s break down what’s working and what could be improved:

  • The essay offers a thesis that makes a clear argument that is relevant to the prompt: “Striving for perfection can only lead us to shortchange ourselves. Instead, we should value learning, growth, and creativity and not worry whether we are first or fifth best.”
  • The first body paragraph provides evidence that supports the essay’s thesis. This student’s personal anecdote offers an example of a time when perfectionism led them to shortchange themselves.
  • The second body paragraph provides additional evidence that supports the essay’s thesis. The example describing the discovery of penicillin offers another example of a situation in which perfectionism might have limited scientific progress.
  • The writer offers commentary explaining how her examples of public speaking and penicillin illustrate that we should “value learning, growth, and creativity” over perfectionism.
  • The essay follows one line of reasoning and does not stray into tangents.
  • The essay is organized well with intro, body, and concluding paragraphs. Overall, it is easy to read and is free of grammar errors.

What could be improved:

  • Although the second body paragraph provides one good specific example about the discovery of penicillin, the other examples it offers about art and business are only discussed generally and aren’t backed up with evidence. This paragraph would be stronger if it provided more examples. Or, if this writer couldn’t think of examples, they could have left out mentions of art and business altogether and included alternate evidence instead.
  • This writer would more thoroughly support their argument if they were able to offer one more example of evidence. They could provide another personal anecdote, an example from history, or an example from current events.
  • The writer briefly mentions the other side of the argument in their concluding paragraph: “Some fields do need to value perfection. We wouldn’t like it, for example, if our surgeon wasn’t striving for perfection during our operation.” Since it’s so brief a mention of the other side, it undermines the writer’s overall argument. This writer should either dedicate more time to reflecting on why even surgeons should “value learning, growth, and creativity” over perfectionism, or they should leave these sentences out.

AP Lang Argument Essay Example—More Resources

Looking for more tips to help you master your AP Lang Argumentative Essay? Brush up on 20 Rhetorical Devices High School Students Should Know and read our Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension .

If you’re ready to start studying for another part of the AP English Exam, find more expert tips in our How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis and How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Essay blog posts.

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Christina Wood

Christina Wood holds a BA in Literature & Writing from UC San Diego, an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in English at the University of Georgia, where she teaches creative writing and first-year composition courses. Christina has published fiction and nonfiction in numerous publications, including The Paris Review , McSweeney’s , Granta , Virginia Quarterly Review , The Sewanee Review , Mississippi Review , and Puerto del Sol , among others. Her story “The Astronaut” won the 2018 Shirley Jackson Award for short fiction and received a “Distinguished Stories” mention in the 2019 Best American Short Stories anthology.

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How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay + Examples

What’s covered:, what is the ap language argument essay, tips for writing the ap language argument essay, ap english language argument essay examples, how will ap scores impact my college chances.

In 2023, over 550,148 students across the U.S. took the AP English Language and Composition Exam, and 65.2% scored higher than a 3. The AP English Language Exam tests your ability to analyze a piece of writing, synthesize information, write a rhetorical essay, and create a cohesive argument. In this post, we’ll be discussing the best way to approach the argumentative essay section of the test, and we’ll give you tips and tricks so you can write a great essay.

The AP English Language Exam as of 2023 is structured as follows:

Section 1: 45 multiple choice questions to be completed in an hour. This portion counts for 45% of your score. This section requires students to analyze a piece of literature. The questions ask about its content and/or what could be edited within the passage.

Section 2: Three free response questions to be completed in the remaining two hours and 15 minutes. This section counts for 55% of your score. These essay questions include the synthesis essay, the rhetorical essay, and the argumentative essay.

  • Synthesis essay: Read 6-7 sources and create an argument using at least three of the sources.
  • Rhetorical analysis essay: Describe how a piece of writing evokes meaning and symbolism.
  • Argumentative essay: Pick a side of a debate and create an argument based on evidence. In this essay, you should develop a logical argument in support of or against the given statement and provide ample evidence that supports your conclusion. Typically, a five paragraph format is great for this type of writing. This essay is scored holistically from 1 to 9 points.

Do you want more information on the structure of the full exam? Take a look at our in-depth overview of the AP Language and Composition Exam .

Although the AP Language Argument may seem daunting at first, once you understand how the essay should be structured, it will be a lot easier to create cohesive arguments.

Below are some tips to help you as you write the essay.

1. Organize your essay before writing

Instead of jumping right into your essay, plan out what you will say beforehand. It’s easiest to make a list of your arguments and write out what facts or evidence you will use to support each argument. In your outline, you can determine the best order for your arguments, especially if they build on each other or are chronological. Having a well-organized essay is crucial for success.

2. Pick one side of the argument, but acknowledge the other side

When you write the essay, it’s best if you pick one side of the debate and stick with it for the entire essay. All your evidence should be in support of that one side. However, in your introductory paragraph, as you introduce the debate, be sure to mention any merit the arguments of the other side has. This can make the essay a bit more nuanced and show that you did consider both sides before determining which one was better. Often, acknowledging another viewpoint then refuting it can make your essay stronger.

3. Provide evidence to support your claims

The AP readers will be looking for examples and evidence to support your argument. This doesn’t mean that you need to memorize a bunch of random facts before the exam. This just means that you should be able to provide concrete examples in support of your argument.

For example, if the essay topic is about whether the role of the media in society has been detrimental or not, and you argue that it has been, you may talk about the phenomenon of “fake news” during the 2016 presidential election.

AP readers are not looking for perfect examples, but they are looking to see if you can provide enough evidence to back your claim and make it easily understood.

4. Create a strong thesis statement

The thesis statement will set up your entire essay, so it’s important that it is focused and specific, and that it allows for the reader to understand your body paragraphs. Make sure your thesis statement is the very last sentence of your introductory paragraph. In this sentence, list out the key points you will be making in the essay in the same order that you will be writing them. Each new point you mention in your thesis should start a paragraph in your essay.

Below is a prompt and sample student essay from the May 2019 exam . We’ll look at what the student did well in their writing and where they could improve.

Prompt: “The term “overrated” is often used to diminish concepts, places, roles, etc. that the speaker believes do not deserve the prestige they commonly enjoy; for example, many writers have argued that success is overrated, a character in a novel by Anthony Burgess famously describes Rome as a “vastly overrated city,” and Queen Rania of Jordan herself has asserted that “[b]eing queen is overrated.”

Select a concept, place, role, etc. to which you believe that the term “overrated” should be applied. Then, write a well-developed essay in which you explain your judgment. Use appropriate evidence from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument.

Sample Student Essay #1:

[1] Competition is “overrated.” The notion of motivation between peers has evolved into a source of unnecessary stress and even lack of morals. Whether it be in an academic environment or in the industry, this new idea of competition is harmful to those competing and those around them.

[2] Back in elementary school, competition was rather friendly. It could have been who could do the most pushups or who could get the most imaginary points in a classroom for a prize. If you couldn’t do the most pushups or win that smelly sticker, you would go home and improve yourself – there would be no strong feelings towards anyone, you would just focus on making yourself a better version of yourself. Then as high school rolled around, suddenly applying for college doesn’t seem so far away –GPA seems to be that one stat that defines you – extracurriculars seem to shape you – test scores seem to categorize you. Sleepless nights, studying for the next day’s exam, seem to become more and more frequent. Floating duck syndrome seems to surround you (FDS is where a competitive student pretends to not work hard but is furiously studying beneath the surface just like how a duck furiously kicks to stay afloat). All of your competitors appear to hope you fail – but in the end what do you and your competitor’s gain? Getting one extra point on the test? Does that self-satisfaction compensate for the tremendous amounts of acquired stress? This new type of “competition” is overrated – it serves nothing except a never-ending source of anxiety and seeks to weaken friendships and solidarity as a whole in the school setting.

[3] A similar idea of “competition” can be applied to business. On the most fundamental level, competition serves to be a beneficial regulator of prices and business models for both the business themselves and consumers. However, as businesses grew increasingly greedy and desperate, companies resorted to immoral tactics that only hurt their reputations and consumers as a whole. Whether it be McDonald’s coupons that force you to buy more food or tech companies like Apple intentionally slowing down your iPhone after 3 years to force you to upgrade to the newest device, consumers suffer and in turn speak down upon these companies. Similar to the evolved form of competition in school, this overrated form causes pain for all parties and has since diverged from the encouraging nature that the principle of competition was “founded” on.

The AP score for this essay was a 4/6, meaning that it captured the main purpose of the essay but there were still substantial parts missing. In this essay, the writer did a good job organizing the sections and making sure that their writing was in order according to the thesis statement. The essay first discusses how competition is harmful in elementary school and then discusses this topic in the context of business. This follows the chronological order of somebody’s life and flows nicely.

The arguments in this essay are problematic, as they do not provide enough examples of how exactly competition is overrated. The essay discusses the context in which competition is overrated but does not go far enough in explaining how this connects to the prompt.

In the first example, school stress is used to explain how competition manifests. This is a good starting point, but it does not talk about why competition is overrated; it simply mentions that competition can be unhealthy. The last sentence of that paragraph is the main point of the argument and should be expanded to discuss how the anxiety of school is overrated later on in life. 

In the second example, the writer discusses how competition can lead to harmful business practices, but again, this doesn’t reflect the reason this would be overrated. Is competition really overrated because Apple and McDonald’s force you to buy new products? This example could’ve been taken one step farther. Instead of explaining why business structures—such as monopolies—harm competition, the author should discuss how those particular structures are overrated.

Additionally, the examples the writer used lack detail. A stronger essay would’ve provided more in-depth examples. This essay seemed to mention examples only in passing without using them to defend the argument.

It should also be noted that the structure of the essay is incomplete. The introduction only has a thesis statement and no additional context. Also, there is no conclusion paragraph that sums up the essay. These missing components result in a 4/6.

Now let’s go through the prompt for a sample essay from the May 2022 exam . The prompt is as follows:

Colin Powell, a four-star general and former United States Secretary of State, wrote in his 1995 autobiography: “[W]e do not have the luxury of collecting information indefinitely. At some point, before we can have every possible fact in hand, we have to decide. The key is not to make quick decisions, but to make timely decisions.”

Write an essay that argues your position on the extent to which Powell’s claim about making decisions is valid. 

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible position. 
  • Provide evidence to support your line of reasoning. 
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning. 
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

Sample Student Essay #2:

Colin Powell, who was a four star general and a former United States Secretary of State. He wrote an autobiography and had made a claim about making decisions. In my personal opinion, Powell’s claim is true to full extent and shows an extremely valuable piece of advice that we do not consider when we make decisions.

Powell stated, “before we can have every possible fact in hand we have to decide…. but to make it a timely decision” (1995). With this statement Powell is telling the audience of his autobiography that it does not necessarily matter how many facts you have, and how many things you know. Being able to have access to everything possible takes a great amount of time and we don’t always have all of the time in the world. A decision has to be made with what you know, waiting for something else to come in while trying to make a decision whether that other fact is good or bad you already have a good amount of things that you know. Everyone’s time is valuable, including yours. At the end of the day the decision will have to be made and that is why it should be made in a “timely” manner.

This response was graded for a score of 2/6. Let’s break down the score to smaller points that signify where the student fell short.

The thesis in this essay is clearly outlined at the end of the first paragraph. The student states their agreement with Powell’s claim and frames the rest of their essay around this stance. The success in scoring here lies in the clear communication of the thesis and the direction the argument will take. It’s important to make the thesis statement concise, specific, and arguable, which the student has successfully done.

While the student did attempt to provide evidence to support their thesis, it’s clear that their explanation lacks specific detail and substance. They referenced Powell’s statement, but did not delve into how this statement has proven true in specific instances, and did not provide examples that could bring the argument to life.

Commentary is an essential part of this section’s score. It means explaining the significance of the evidence and connecting it back to the thesis. Unfortunately, the student’s commentary here is too vague and does not effectively elaborate on how the evidence supports their argument.

To improve, the student could use more concrete examples to demonstrate their point and discuss how each piece of evidence supports their thesis. For instance, they could discuss specific moments in Powell’s career where making a timely decision was more valuable than waiting for all possible facts. This would help illustrate the argument in a more engaging, understandable way.

A high score in the “sophistication” category of the grading rubric is given for demonstrating a complex understanding of the rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context, etc.), making effective rhetorical choices, or establishing a line of reasoning. Here, the student’s response lacks complexity and sophistication. They’ve simply agreed with Powell’s claim and made a few general statements without providing a deeper analysis or effectively considering the rhetorical situation.

To increase sophistication, the student could explore possible counterarguments or complexities within Powell’s claim. They could discuss potential drawbacks of making decisions without all possible facts, or examine situations where timely decisions might not yield the best results. By acknowledging and refuting these potential counterarguments, they could add more depth to their analysis and showcase their understanding of the complexities involved in decision-making.

The student could also analyze why Powell, given his background and experiences, might have come to such a conclusion, thus providing more context and showing an understanding of the rhetorical situation.

Remember, sophistication in argumentation isn’t about using fancy words or complicated sentences. It’s about showing that you understand the complexity of the issue at hand and that you’re able to make thoughtful, nuanced arguments. Sophistication shows that you can think critically about the topic and make connections that aren’t immediately obvious.

Now that you’ve looked at an example essay and some tips for the argumentative essay, you know how to better prepare for the AP English Language and Composition Exam.

While your AP scores don’t usually impact your admissions chances , colleges do care a lot about your course rigor. So, taking as many APs as you can will certainly boost your chances! AP scores can be a way for high-performing students to set themselves apart, particularly when applying to prestigious universities. Through the process of self-reporting scores , you can show your hard work and intelligence to admissions counselors.

That said, the main benefit of scoring high on AP exams comes once you land at your dream school, as high scores can allow you to “test out” of entry-level requirements, often called GE requirements or distribution requirements. This will save you time and money.

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Home » English » AP English Language & Composition » Argumentative Practice

ap lang humorist prompt

Rebekah Hendershot

Argumentative Practice

Table of contents, ap english language & composition argumentative practice.

Section 6: Argumentative Essay: Lecture 3 | 13:01 min

In the lesson, our professor Rebekah Hendershot goes through an introduction on argumentative practice. She starts with where to find the prompt, analyzing the prompt and reading the text. She then discusses what the big idea is, scoring guidelines, the sample essays and tips for the argumentative essay.

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ap lang humorist prompt

  • Lesson Overview 0:09
  • Where to Find the Prompt 0:48
  • Question #3
  • Analyzing the Prompt 1:17
  • Background Information
  • Reading the Text 2:18
  • He Explains Why it Should Not Exist
  • He Claims That Because American Society is Founded on the Principles of the Rights of Man
  • Specific Examples
  • Define Concord
  • What's the Big Idea? 4:25
  • Paine's Main Idea
  • Scoring Guidelines 4:54
  • Score of 8, 7 or 6
  • The Sample Essays 6:02
  • Sample 3a; Score of 9
  • Sophistication of Style
  • Use of Analogies
  • Command of Language
  • Sample 3b; Score of 5
  • Sample 3c; Score of 1
  • Tips for the Argumentative Essay 11:57
  • Underlying Structure
  • Blend Your Evidence With Your Opinion

AP English Language & Composition

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  1. AP English Language and Composition Past Exam Questions

    Download free-response questions from past exams along with scoring guidelines, sample responses from exam takers, and scoring distributions. If you are using assistive technology and need help accessing these PDFs in another format, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 212-713-8333 or by email at [email protected]. Note ...

  2. AP English Language & Composition Argumentative Walkthrough

    The prompt offers a little background information: the context of the quote (a book by Alain de Botton called Status Anxiety) and the main idea of the book (that the job of the humorist is "to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly," and that this makes humorists vital to society). The prompt ...

  3. AP Tests: AP Essay Writing: Satire as a Subject

    AP language and literature exams sometimes include prompts that are from satiric and/or comedic works. Students who are not practiced in writing about satire and recognizing the devices of the satirist may be at a disadvantage over those who are comfortable with such tools. ... it's used to create poignancy or humor. Wit — In modern usage ...

  4. PDF AP Language Argument Prompts (some adaptions)

    Asher AP ELAC Past AP Language ARGUMENT Prompts (some adaptations) 2012 Consider the distinct perspective expressed in the following statements: "If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible." (William Phelps )

  5. PDF AP® English Language and Composition

    Question 1. It is suggested that you spend 15 minutes reading the question, analyzing and evaluating the sources, and 40 minutes writing your response. Note: You may begin writing your response before the reading period is over. (This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

  6. How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay (With Example)

    AP Lang Argument Sample Prompt. The sample prompt below is published online by the College Board and is a real example from the 2021 AP English Exam. The prompt provides background context, essay instructions, and the text you need to analyze. AP Lang Argument Sample Prompt. Question 3. Suggested time—40 minutes.

  7. 5.11 Practice AP Language Essay Prompt.pdf

    View Essay - 5.11 Practice AP Language Essay Prompt.pdf from AP ENG LIT COMPO 3322 at Florida Virtual High School. Humorists roles in their jobs are to portray different emotions and discuss topics

  8. PDF AP English Language and Composition

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS (Form B) ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION. SECTION II Total time—2 hours Question 1. (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.) Directions: The following prompt is based on the accompanying six sources.

  9. PDF AP English Language and Composition

    Examples that earn this point: Present a defensible position that responds to the prompt. "Kingston's belief in the strength of a community of voices is completely valid.". "While a community of voices is powerful, the individual voice should not be overlooked. Kingston's claim is valid only to a certain extent.".

  10. SAT® and AP® English Language essay prompts

    Click below to view a list of official SAT® Essay prompts. Then, click the title of each prompt to view the page or download a PDF of the text. 💡Some prompts below include links to an external resource. To include this link as your essay prompt when creating a writing assignment in NoRedInk, be sure to copy and paste the website's full ...

  11. How to Write the AP Lang Argument Essay + Examples

    2. Pick one side of the argument, but acknowledge the other side. When you write the essay, it's best if you pick one side of the debate and stick with it for the entire essay. All your evidence should be in support of that one side. However, in your introductory paragraph, as you introduce the debate, be sure to mention any merit the ...

  12. AP English Language & Composition The Argumentative Prompt

    ISBN: 804125287. Publisher: Princeton Review. Year: 2014. This book features everything you need to score a perfect 5. Equip yourself to ace the AP English Language & Composition Exam with The Princeton Review's comprehensive study guide—including thorough content reviews, targeted strategies for every question type, and 2 full-length ...

  13. AP® English Prompts and Analysis Resources for Teachers

    The more AP Lang students practice writing with rhetorical prompts, the more they will refine their ability to analyze and respond effectively to complex texts. Additionally, practicing with AP Language writing prompts cultivates critical thinking, enhances persuasive writing techniques, and prepares students for the rigorous exam format.

  14. AP LANG RELEASEd prompts : r/APStudents

    Anyways, expected score: 3. For rhetorical analysis, I talked about the speaker's use of figures of speech, anaphora, and paradoxical statements and said that she was trying to hint at the audience in what direction she'll be approaching them. Expected score: 6-7.

  15. AP English Language & Composition Argumentative Practice

    This Prompt is About Humorists. 3:07. What's The Big Idea? 4:14. Main Idea. 4:29. Scoring Guidelines ... It is one of three actual free-response questions used on the 2011 AP English Language and Composition test. (The prompt is ... Equip yourself to ace the AP English Language & Composition Exam with The Princeton Review's comprehensive study ...

  16. PDF AP English Language and Composition Question 3: Argument (2019) Sample

    AP English Language and Composition Question 3: Argument (2019) Sample Student Responses 5 [5] Despite being completely different people, a person in Texas should be worth the same as a person in Vermont. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said that "all men were created equal," but the system he created is not.

  17. DOCX AP Language and Composition

    Tone/Attitude vocabulary (words that describe anger, humor/sarcasm, sadness/fear, tranquility, romance, happiness, arrogance, and others) Tonal shift. Irony. Point of view. Paradox. Analogy. Inference. Rhetorical Question. ... -One timed (40 minutes) in-class rhetorical analysis essay per week from past AP Language prompts. Each essay is a ...

  18. PDF AP English Language and Composition

    In your response you should do the following: Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible position. Provide evidence to support your line of reasoning. Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning. Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument. 2023 College Board.

  19. Argumentative Essay Rewrite: Humorist's vital role

    Katie Huang February 29, 2016 Argumentative Essay Rewrite #2 AP Lang. Throughout his book Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that humorists play a crucial role in society due to their ability "to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly." In recent years in particular, many humorists utilize their capability to induce laughter to address ...

  20. AP Lang Humorists Essay.docx

    AP Lang -- Humorists Essay Humorists reach places that common speakers can not. Their words contain purposes that surpass simple humor; they expose the flaws and are vital to society, like de Botton claims. In doing this, the humorists open the general public's eyes to complicated issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. Humorist are vital to society because their comedy aids in maintaining ...