Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Question 3: Argument Essay Preparation

Choose a Q3 free-response question to respond to. (You'll find the free-response questions here.)

Plan and write your response in 40 minutes.

Plan* your response: Create a clear and (if possible) nuanced position. Then, search your memory for appropriate, specific, and (if possible) engaging supporting evidence** from your studies, your experiences, and/or your observations.

Write*** your response. Introduction. You might want to begin with a conceptual opening that deals with your understanding of the concepts in the question. Or, you might want to begin with a narrative opening that dramatizes your position on the question. Then, you'll transition into a statement of your position. Body paragraphs. Develop your position by explaining how relevant, specific, and engaging evidence supports the position. (An unsupported claim is an opinion but is not an argument.) Organize the support so that the examples and explanations build on each other toward a logical and compelling conclusion. Conclusion: Conclude not by merely restating the introductory thesis but by summarizing your position and argument in a way that is convincing and compelling. (One way to make the conclusion compelling is by stating how your position is significant or why it matters.)

Additional Q3 Notes

* Note on planning:
Jot down a plan! Don’t start writing until: 
·         you have taken time to understand the prompt (especially key words in the prompt)
·         you have something to say in response to the prompt (a bold, insightful position/claim/thesis/assertion) 
·        you know how you’re going to develop your position with specific support from your learning, reading, experience, and/or observations
**Note on evidence: 
The College Board prefers a combination of what they call "proximal" evidence--evidence closely related to the experiences, observations, and knowledge of the average high school student--and what they call "distal" evidence--evidence beyond the average high school knowledge base. For example, in responses to the 2013 ownership prompt, essays scored higher when they dealt with ownership issues related to Communism and Capitalism than when they only dealt with owning clothes, cars, and cellphones.
*** General note on composing arguments on the AP English Language and Composition Exam
Try to write to the third page.
Errors: strike out neatly with one lime line.
Write with a black (or dark blue) pen.
Remember the heart of the argument essay (usually Question 3) is stating your position and using persuasive, well-organized reasoning and evidence to support and develop that position.
Understand the holistic scoring rubric:
o       Q3 Did the student understand the issue presented in the prompt and develop a well-organized, well-supported, nuanced argument on the issue using relevant and detailed support?  

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