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Scruggs’s AP English
**Don’t forget that rhetorical
analysis (Question 2) must
always address any tropes,
schemes, or devices in terms
of effect or intended effect on
the audience! Your thesis and
topic sentences should focus
on OUTSIDE of PAPA SQUARE
**Synthesis and Argumentative
you should have more of your
analysis and thoughts and use
LOGOS (facts) to make your
Also, don’t forget to address the
other side of the claim like with
Tips from AP Readers:
Evaluation of the argument
Evaluate the author’s argument or style
in rhetorical analysis.
present in the argument or synthesis
Discuss the solution the author is
searching for in the rhetorical analysis
and discuss the pros/cons.
Identify a “fix” for the dilemma present
in argument/synthesis. What is a
theoretical or utopian solution?
A “look to the future” can also work in
the conclusion. It asks students to
discuss the global issues at stake or the
possible ramifications of the topic.
For each prompt, I’d usually post a
series of two questions students would
need to touch on in the conclusion.
They would be from the categories
above but be prompt specific.
*The support you generate should be related on more than just the surface--don't try to use only
the contention you're using as their unification as support. They should flow logically. For
instance, avoid using the "as seen in (event), (Book), and (my own life)
*If prompt is abstract, then you may consider if literary examples are appropriate!!
*Think of the audience as skeptical, so you must prove your rationale as valid via your examples-
-not obvious cultural choices
*Consider your argument for an audience other than yourself:)
*Examples should fit the task of the prompt**
*The first thing that pops in your mind probably did in everyone else's mind, too--dig deeper
*” Students were asked to consider the quotation and write
an essay in which they defended, challenged, or qualified that assertion about the role of
in developing character. The prompt suggested some possible types of adversity—financial or
political hardship, danger, misfortune. (This did not deter some students from writing about
*Less-successful essays frequently relied on detailed narration or description for support
without discussing the causation implicit in Horace’s quotation. These essays were often
able to relate an example of adversity but weren’t able to connect this experience to the
development of character. Less-successful essays often belabored one example rather than
providing a cascade of examples, as more adept student writers often did.
* Errors: Many students relied on the formula of the five-paragraph theme, which fit poorly with
the demands of this prompt. The prompt allowed students the opportunity to truly “essay” a
topic, often in a personal way, and formulaic approaches to organization frequently
interfered with the freedom of a classical essay. True to the formulaic nature of such
writing, some students dutifully devoted one paragraph to reading, one to observation, and
one to experience.
**Mere assertion is not argument, no matter how frequently that assertion is repeated. In many
cases, students simply recalled—often at great length—a tale of adversity and then trumpeted
the triumph; the connection, the causality, the logic were often left unstated.
*Rather than providing students with formulas, teachers need to help students organize
their essays conceptually, according to the demands of the argument. This particular topic
focused essentially on causality: adversity is the cause, and the development of character is
the effect. Whether using exposition or narration, students had to analyze a causal
relationship to respond to this question successfully. Since the five-paragraph theme
focuses primarily on exemplification (with a particular fondness for three examples), it was
ill-suited to this particular task.
*reflect upon and examine the connections between their reading and the public questions
facing the various communities they inhabit.
*reflect upon and examine the connections between their reading and the
public questions facing the various communities they inhabit.
From College Board Q& A Feedback with Readers