AP English Language

Develop Strategies for Success


Introduction to the Synthesis Essay

Rating the Essays

Student A

This is a high-range essay for the following reasons:

• Opening forcefully catches the reader’s attention and immediately identifies the subject

• Brings the reader into the conversation with the rhetorical question

• Presents a brief overview of both sides of the debate

• Integrates sources smoothly into the text of the essay

• Uses proper citations

• Utilizes transitions

• Exhibits control of language, for example: parallel structure, punctuation, parenthetical statements, and diction

• Recognizes the opposite position—“Some might say …”

• Employs irony to comment on textual material

• Incorporates not only sources, but also provides pertinent comments to develop the argument

• Presents a succinct and straightforward final point

• Presents a true voice

Student B

This is a mid-range essay for the following reasons:

• Clearly takes a position on the issue

• Uses appropriate evidence

• Clearly incorporates sources into the text

• Cites the opposition (paragraph 4)

• Presents a personal opinion (paragraph 4)

• Develops a clear organizational pattern

• Uses good transitions

• Develops a final paragraph that makes a clear statement

• Uses a matter-of-fact voice

• Accomplishes the task demanded by the prompt