ap literature essay example

ap literature essay example

How to Write a Persuasive AP Literature Essay

1. Introduction

Shown is the following equation: Q=hv. Interpret the equation by filling in the blank with the correct words: Frequency is proportional to the product of ____ and __. In the style of a person stopping any passerby on the sidewalk with a polite “Can I ask you a question?” I challenged students to do just that. Much to our surprise, this was one of our most popular pre-test questions – students welcomed the challenge and our hallway was buzzing with excited conversations on the topic. As shown, I need the change in vl, not v1 itself. In my calculations, I used the mass of the cart, m, to solve for f . But, the last few words state that the goal is to solve for v1, so the equation clarifies my mistake. (The students enjoyed this.) Also, I needed carefully to consider the units – I needed to convert m and vl to kg and m/s, respectively. The students paused as they watched me perform the same calculation using the correct masses and velocities.

Composing an AP Literature and Composition essay can be very difficult. It usually takes two or three hours but can take as long as five or more. The time allocated to write an essay is not the same as the time allocated to take an AP exam—once the essay is complete, then it’s difficult to know if it’s the best that it could be. Writing a great essay can be very difficult. Based on the description by The College Board, readers expect essays written for the AP exam to be between five and seven paragraphs with an introduction, three or four body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Essays for the AP English exam are scored on the basis of five general categories.

2. Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis needs to be concrete — a product of investigation, synthesis, and pinpointing the crucial aspects of whatever masterpiece you plan on picking apart. It should communicate a perspective about a literary work. Above all, it needs to demonstrate the importance that literature plays in your life. Essay readers have read stories, novels, plays, and poems by the time you turn 18. Nearly all of them deserve a moment of being noticed. A conclusion without an invaluable thesis is unbearable. A thesis about passion, life without barriers and a true notion as to how humanity can be fragile are certainly pieces moreover so clearly worth noting. You should write your paper with a sense of pride and you are the sole person responsible for constructing each fragile work in such a way that absolutely anybody from anywhere in the world can realize why you wrote that tale, novel, play, poem, or passage.

A well-written, sophisticated thesis is a game-changer. Whether you’re writing a literary analysis about a short story, novel, play, or poem in an Advanced Placement (AP) Literature and Composition course, you need to make sure that your thesis is super refined. Your reader should be able to perceive your notice that the sentence or two clearly articulate the point you have in mind. If you create a better original point, then your reader will probably want you as a writer. Doesn’t that seem like the key to a successful essay? That’s the kind of plugs each story, novel, play, poem, and passage deserve.

3. Analyzing Literary Devices

To write a paper like the one used as an example, a student will want to be a little theatrical in their approach to writing. By demonstrating their comfort with the evaluation of subject matter, they are able to expand the overall understanding of their audience, including the audience of AP graders, and they are able to spice up the paper in the process, making the lengthy examples themselves much more enjoyable to read. That is half the battle.

The devices themselves will differ based on genre and style, but common ones to expect in poetry include assonance (or lack of assonance), alliteration, repetition, onomatopoeia, etc. Literary persons working within the genre should become accustomed to the more common devices used within it. Not only are these devices important to be able to identify in a text, but dependent on the reader’s comfort with the device, its usage may expand the reader’s enjoyment of the text. Reading and analyzing literary papers like the ones published by PIP illustrate the value of this approach.

Another quick point that we have previously mentioned in our first article is the need to analyze literary devices, not merely point them out casually. Don’t simply mention that a poem has metered lines. Examine why this is. Is the meter irregular, with only a few lines in iambic pentameter, and the rest in naturally spoken language? Perhaps there are metaphors or similes that highlight the rarity of the flowing lines. Does the poet vary the line length, often throwing short lines at the reader after longer, flowing couplets? This may be a device that mimics the behavior or feeling of the subject matter. And in almost all cases, it will invariably add emphasis and focus to the images and language being described. These are the sorts of literary devices that need to be telegraphed in an essay, along with great sensitivity to the reasons for their use.

4. Incorporating Textual Evidence

Incorporating textual evidence is important. However, reading too many essays with the same formulaic patterns can get boring and so is bad writing. Break up the apathy with occasional structured but non-formulaic intro paragraphs. They improve the complexity of your thesis. Quote the right parts of the text. Follow the advice in this book. Write letters. Conflict is not subjective. It’s bigger than life. It’s why our psych lit book has only four basic conflicts, one of which isn’t even on the AP exam. Argument: Connect to origins myth. Your intro is about the fight to be heard. Find quotes that lend themselves to drama and poetry. That will keep my attention. Conclusions are difficult to write with scholarly authority if the middle of your essay removes all doubt of what your conclusion will be, and you end up writing filler. Give advantages of living without the beef. Intro’s lack of thesis has weakness. Your introduction into your topic of choice should make a connection between your thesis and the Grounds of all being. Remind me why I care. Include high concept and symbolism as a category. Your thesis needs to focus around symbols, not your mother’s cardigan.

The first paragraph of the essay you just labored over should be the first paragraph of your essay. This reader sees deep into your soul and will judge you cruelly. Introductory paragraphs are no place to carelessly toss in an anecdote or a quotation that you came across during your careful reading of literature. A paragraph should be at least six sentences long. Forget about “three-point thesis statement.” The first paragraph will take the same shape as the thesis paragraph you would have written for your SAT essay.

5. Conclusion

Thus in all literary criticism, readers qua potential critics or potential writers must read for an understanding of people, and of all people, maybe specifically of those people who are not like them. It is not a very complex point, essentially a rephrasing of Aristotle’s dictum that fiction shows “what must happen.” But enough people seem to disagree that one must stress it. Too many people now write with the worst habits of 20th-century journalism, which is an accusation that can be cast by those uninterested in Harvard’s writing. By meticulous composition of sentence and patient attention to significant detail, both of which are costly in terms of time and agonizing patience, we come to understand very well those other people who are going to test our own moral tenets by the quality of their actions or proposals.

In conclusion, let it be said that characters are the “real” people of a literary work; plot merely determines what characters do or propose to do. Since the fullest literary works portray a full complement of human activities, some of which are not usually pleasant to contemplate, sometimes plotless fictions are involving; the amount of knowing that the author has chosen to bring to us should supersede formulaic principles about structure. We are less likely to think about plot when a story has ended in a way that satisfies people. Theory cannot tell us when a given story’s ending is going to be satisfying. That final satisfactoriness is the province of evaluative judgment, and evaluative judgment carries far more weight in meaning than theme – and certainly more than noise about what might the wise be but is not.

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