AP English Language

STEP 3
Develop Strategies for Success

CHAPTER 4

Section I of the Exam—The Multiple-Choice Questions

Introduction to Chapters 5, 6, and 7

The essay part of the AP Language and Composition exam emphasizes three major skills:

• Analysis

• Argument

• Synthesis

The analysis prompt asks the student to analyze the author’s purpose and how he achieves it. The argument prompt requires the student to take a position on an issue and develop it with appropriate evidence. The synthesis prompt directs the student to carefully read several sources related to a specific topic and to cite at least three of these sources to support his argument or analysis.

Because of the need to carefully read the prompt related to a given subject for the synthesis essay, Section II has an additional 15 minutes.

You will be able to read all three of the essay questions during this 15-minute period.

But, you will NOT be permitted to open and write in the actual test booklet. Once the close reading time has elapsed, you will be directed to open the test booklet and begin to write your three essays.

The heading of Section II looks something like this:

Section II

Number of questions—3

Percent of total grade—55

Each question counts one-third of the total section score.

You will have a total of 2 hours to write, which you may divide any way you choose. Because each essay carries the same weight, do NOT spend an inappropriate amount of time on any one question.

Chapters 56, and 7 of this book introduce you to each of the three essay types.

BEFORE BEGINNING TO WORK WITH ANY OF THE ACTUAL ESSAY PROMPTS IN THIS BOOK, READ THE REVIEW OF THE PROCESSES AND TERMS IN THE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW SECTION. ALSO, COMPLETE SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES RELATED TO EACH OF THE SPECIFIC ESSAY TYPES.