ap literature essay prompts

ap literature essay prompts

Crafting a Strong AP Literature Essay

1. Understanding the Essay Prompt

The poetry essay reference will be used since that is the one required by the majority of the students. The first essay questions a student can expect to encounter are the focus of the focus and the second is the generic essay that is assumed to follow the first question having been completed. The student must meet three tasks. One, examine the point of view, narrative techniques, and diction of the poem from which the passage is taken. The passage supplied is usually twenty or more lines long. The lines are always apostrophes. For example, -. The majority of the time is a middle portion of the poem and typically is not the beginning or ending of the work. The student is to examine only the given passage.

An AP Literature essay question states a general category and then lists three separate tasks relating to the larger topic. Examine the point of view, narrative reaches, and diction in the poem or novel from which the passage supplied is taken. Evaluate the literary quality and sources of popularity of the work from which the passage is drawn. In a well-organized essay, discuss this means, analyzing how each of them relates to the contents of the passage. The first step in crafting a strong AP Literature essay is to understand the essay prompt. The prompt is a double task prompt, meaning the student must meet two criteria. You cannot just pick one question.

2. Developing a Thesis Statement

Topic: What is the role of self-awareness in gaining freedom? Specific to literature: Characters who recognize their own flaws often see their greatest growth. What is examined? The rapaciousness of characters striving for a better life. Characters. How the events (and reactions to the events) of Don Quixote and Flowers for Algernon are carefully manipulated to reveal life-altering epiphanies. What is not examined? Plot line analysis of scene vs. theme, how it is organized in a text, if it is organizable; Fabulous chains of events just because they are there; lists of events, thoughts or ideas. Specific paper/due dates: An examination of Don Quixote and Flowers for Algernon, with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as a counterpart of selfishness. To gain insight for your research or to incorporate ideas of a unique culture into your paper: – Equating the status of the self-aware in different times or locations injects issues such as freedom, self-worth, integrity, and emotional responsibility into textual analyses. Rationale: With the looming shadow of cultural standards, educational standards, standards of any kind, where do we, the thinkers, fit in? Should we ignore a text if it is too similar to someone else’s project, or should we view it as an opportunity? Should we allow mandates surrounding formal essays and student oversaturation of media-based entertainment to deter our future scholars from connecting literature to real life? A common psychology theme regards the importance of personal connections, of one individual reaching out to another. – Thus, by incorporating a myriad of sources, who all provide versatile views, I attempt to establish that the existence of great literature should not be restricted by standard response categories.

Thesis Generator

Examples: In the book Flowers for Algernon, Charly has to keep moving; he doesn’t have the option of standing still or going back to his natural state; analyzing when and how he felt most and least free can help in understanding his progression. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain shows Huck as a victim of parental babying, senseless rhetoric, abusive beatings, uncomfortable confines, and civilization; he is thrust into freedom. The authors of Don Quixote and Flowers for Algernon incorporate Biblical allusions in order to bring attention to the dehumanizing effects of overstepping one’s boundaries and hoping for something more. The authors of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Don Quixote stress the importance of social class, sanity, and learned maturity in the development of freedom. In both Flowers for Algernon and Don Quixote, the quest for a better life is what leads to a disastrous downfall; the more that is gained, the more that is lost, as is evident when the reader compares the ending of the respective books with other parts of the overarching storyline. Topic: What effects does consistent subjugation of a person have on their overall character and development? Specific to literature: Not the plot itself, but your interpretation of how characters evolve and why they behave as they do. The interaction of multiple sources may help to clarify your ideas on the subject. What is examined? How selected works of literature connect topic to literature. What is not examined? Plot line analysis. Lists of thoughts or ideas. Works of literature that do not relate a progression of freedom. Specific paper/due dates: An Experimental Look at The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Using a multitude of texts to develop a library-oriented thesis: – Viewed as a composite, a memorable discourse materializes, wherein freedom is integral to a person’s ultimate level of development; however, freedom is often corrupted, leading to worse consequences.

Developing a thesis statement: Examples

3. Supporting Your Argument with Textual Evidence

Demonstrating deductions, explaining and describing what texts say without interpreting meanings, details that classify, sort, or illustrate, and problem-solution points are evidence or reasons that experts can agree are convincing. Illustrations that support a writer’s position can be found in three text categories or genres: prose, poetry, and drama. Although they can exist within one piece of literature, prose details and dramatic scenes are mainly used to show reasoning. Moreover, dramatic elements are often used by writers who choose to use dialogue exchanges between two or more characters to show an intermediary (dialogue) debate. A writer may use one or both to show three types of discourse: logos, which uses reasoning or points of language; pathos, which uses emotional or passionate appeals to engage the people involved; and ethos, which uses ethical or moral appeals to justify a reason or line of thought.

Supporting your argument with textual evidence. “Evidence,” “proof,” and “points in support of a writer’s position” are words writers use to refer to support. A writer’s task in arguing a position is to carefully select which points to include and support. Remember, argument means to nobly present a claim of truth, and support means to freely show, prove, or uphold. Once an arguable claim is conceived, a writer makes assumptions of the types of proof needed.

4. Analyzing Literary Devices

8. Suspense: The feelings of anxiety that a writer creates in the reader about a possible outcome. Not telling him what’s going to happen next and drawing that moment out. Influential writing does not involve instant results. From the opening line, the author chooses every word wisely.

7. Foreshadowing: When an author gives clues or hints about what will happen later.

6. Irony: When something is not as it seems.

5. Point of view: The perspective from which a story is actually presented.

4. Metaphors, allusions, similes and allegories: Authors use these to demonstrate comparisons.

3. Syntax: Author’s word order.

2. Diction: An author’s choice of words. Good authors choose their words very carefully.

1. Imagery: An author’s use of vivid and descriptive language that appeals to the reader’s senses and helps the reader form a mental picture.

Writers use different elements to develop their ideas. Once you recognize the devices writers use, the easier it is to understand a story’s meaning. Here are some of the most common devices.

5. Concluding with Impact

The poem “Uphill,” by Christina Rossetti, presents a picture of a traveler climbing a long path up a hill. Here, life is presented as a weary journey; and as on any long road, a weary traveler eventually comes to that journey’s end. With its rhymes, the unrhymed quatrains, and its simple rhythm, it represents the journey. With its question and answer format it suggests the encouragement given to the traveler as he climbs. The traveler’s journey is not forced: life does not raise weary hearts but gently and sweetly calls for our arrival. The simplicity of Rossetti’s poem and the image she traces may well lull the tired heart as she draws her reader close. All events in the world eventually come to a close, just as the earth’s orbit around the sun and our rotation on our axis always give way to the end of a day and the start of another.

When you studied effective essay writing in the first chapter, you learned that the conclusion—the essay’s finale—can be particularly powerful because it closes the circle that the introduction began. It can summarize your overall thoughts or offer a resolution to the argument presented in the paper. Keep in mind that while AP free response essays can use specifically labeled paragraphs (topic, commentary, etc.), timed writing situations rarely benefit from a formulaic closing. You may not have time to follow a formula. So, if you remember just one thing about a conclusion, remember this: find a way to end that sounds final and is clear and confident, yet honors the complexity in what you are trying to say. Look in the list of AP prompts – they often call for you to end even a poem or fragment of a longer work intelligently in just a few sentences. Practice writing conclusions that provide both an air of confidence and a sense of closure — with some thoughtful aspect or truth in them.

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