AP Essay Introduction


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Victory may seem impossible...

Question 1 One Essay is called the “synthesis” essay.  This question asks students to use sources in support of an argument.
(Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.)

Directions: The following prompt is based on the accompanying six sources.
This question requires you to synthesize a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. When you synthesize sources, you refer to them to develop your position and cite them accurately. Your argument should be
central; the sources should support your argument. Avoid merely summarizing the sources.  Remember to attribute both direct and indirect references.


Much attention has been given lately to the ubiquitous presence of information technologies. Our daily lives seem to be saturated with television, computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and MP3 players, to name
just a few of the most common technologies.  Many people extol the ability of such technologies to provide easy access to information and facilitate research and learning. At the same time, however, some critics worry that the widespread use of information technologies forces our lives to move too quickly. We encounter images and information from the Internet and other sources faster than we can process or evaluate them, and even though electronic communcation has been enhanced, both the quality and quantity of face-to-face interaction is changing.

Read the following sources (including the introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, evaluate the most important factors that a school should consider
before using particular technologies in curriculum and instruction.
You may refer to the sources by their titles (Source A, Source B, etc.) or by the descriptions in parentheses.

Source A (Rotstein)
Source B (Delaney)
Source C (Dyson)
Source D (Johnson)
Source E (Gelernter)
Source F (cartoon)

Click Link Below to see Sources:


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You have taken on quite a challenge...

Question 2  Essay will require you to analyze a passage for style, also referred to as “rhetorical strategies,” “methods,” or “use of language”.
(Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.)

Benjamin Banneker, the son of former slaves, was a farmer, astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, and author. In 1791 he wrote to Thomas Jefferson, framer of the Declaration of Independence and secretary of state to President
George Washington. Read the following excerpt from the letter and write an essay that analyzes how Banneker uses rhetorical strategies to argue against slavery.

Sir, suffer1 me to recall to your mind that time in
which the arms and tyranny of the British Crown were
exerted with every powerful effort in order to reduce
you to a State of Servitude, look back I entreat you on
the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; 5
reflect on that time in which every human aid
appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and
fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict
and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful
sense of your miraculous and providential 10
preservation; you cannot but acknowledge that the
present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you
have mercifully received and that it is the pecular
blessing of Heaven.
This sir, was a time in which you clearly saw into 15
the injustice of a state of slavery and in which you had
just apprehensions of the horrors of its condition, it
was now, sir, that your abhorrence thereof was so
excited, that you publickly held forth this true and
valuable doctrine, which is worthy to be recorded and 20
remembered in all succeeding ages. “We hold these
truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with
certain unalienable rights, that among these are life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 25
Here, sir, was a time in which your tender feelings
for yourselves had engaged you thus to declare, you
were then impressed with proper ideas of the great
1 allow
valuation of liberty and the free possession of those
blessings to which you were entitled by nature; but, 30
sir, how pitiable is it to reflect that although you were
so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of
mankind and of his equal and impartial distribution of
those rights and privileges which he had conferred
upon them, that you should at the same time 35
counteract his mercies in detaining by fraud and
violence so numerous a part of my brethren under
groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you
should at the same time be found guilty of that most
criminal act which you professedly detested in others 40
with respect to yourselves.
Sir, I suppose that your knowledge of the situation
of my brethren is too extensive to need a recital here;
neither shall I presume to prescribe methods by
which they may be relieved, otherwise than by 45
recommending to you and all others to wean
yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you
have imbibed with respect to them and as Job2
proposed to his friends, “put your souls in their souls
stead,” thus shall your hearts be enlarged with 50
kindness and benevolence towards them, and thus
shall you need neither the direction of myself or
others, in what manner to proceed herein.
2 In the Bible, Job is a righteous man who endures much suffering.

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But if you PREPARE and come out swinging...

Question 3  Essay will require you to analyze the effectiveness of an argument.
(Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.)

In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists is not merely to entertain but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Because society
allows humorists to say things that other people cannot or will not say, de Botton sees humorists as serving a vital function in society.


Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies de Botton’s claim about the vital role of humorists. Use specific, appropriate evidence to develop your position.

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You will succeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!