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It’s time for you to follow in the footsteps of the established, respected writers you have been reading all year and put everything that you’ve learned to work in the AP English Language persuasive essay.
That being said, don’t be too focused on using your own experience to justify your beliefs – this is a less mature, less powerfully logical way of arguing than what the Examiners expect.
Use personal experience, when relevant, as one facet of a wider, more nationally and globally aware argument.
The AP English Language persuasive (or argumentative) essay is one of the three long-form free-response questions that will make up 55% of your score on the AP English Language and Composition Exam.
While the multiple-choice section and the rhetorical analysis essay will test you on how well you have learned the various rhetorical techniques you have been exposed to this year, the persuasive essay and a similar task, the synthesis (also see our article “5 Tips to the AP English Language Synthesis Essay You Must Know”), will test you on how well you can put these techniques to use yourself.
To qualify a position is to attempt to truly understand all sides of the issue and see that both sides may have some valid points.
However, you still need to take a definite stand, no matter what you do, although it can be a stand such as “Idea X is ethical in certain situations and unethical in others” – however, expand on that to give the AP Examiners an exact notion of your opinion, and then use logic and beautiful writing to persuade them to see your way of thinking.
An essay that does all of that is an essay that is well constructed.
Such an essay needs a solid framework and excellent support.
The new guidance from College Board may just make that possible.
~~~~~~As I learn more about these changes, I will be updating my full-year and one-semester pacing guides.