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The Ultimate List of AP English Literature Tips

AP English Language Multiple Choice Tips

❶If possible, start at the beginning of the semester.

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Medium-High Score (6-7)
AP English Language Essay Prompts & Grading Rubric
AP English Language Course Study Tips

A thesis statement summarizes the main argument or position of your essay in one sentence. It lets readers know what the essay will attempt to show or prove. Everything in your essay should be connected to your thesis in a straightforward way. Place your thesis at the end of your first paragraph. This is an important concept that will keep coming up in courses where you have to write papers.

Once you have a compelling thesis statement, craft the rest of your introduction around it. Some effective strategies for creating an introduction include: Jot down an outline for the remainder of your essay. Outlining involves developing a basic structure for your essay, which can help you stay on track while writing drafts.

Look over your notes and invention exercises and think about how you can organize this information in an outline. Think about what information should come first, second, third, etc. Just try to get the major ideas on paper.

Collect all of your notes and materials. Before you start to write, gather together all of the notes, books, and other materials that you will need to reference in order to answer the essay prompt effectively. Support is essential for an effective English essay, so do not try to write your essay without these materials.

If you have time, read through your notes before you begin. Make sure that you have your outline handy as well. You can build on your outline by expanding on each of the points in the order that they are listed in. Include topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph. Topic sentences signal to readers what a paragraph will discuss.

Start each of your paragraphs with a topic sentence so that your instructor will be able to see that your ideas progress in a clear, direct manner. Develop your ideas as much as possible. Make sure that you include as many details as possible throughout your essay. Remember that padding filling in with meaningless text or using extra wordy sentences is not an effective strategy for writing essays because instructors can see right through it.

Fill your essays with details that make your essay useful and insightful instead. If you get stuck, some good strategies for developing your ideas include: Returning to the invention stage. This includes exercises such as freewriting, listing, or clustering. You can find a writing lab on most college campuses.

They are free to students and can help you improve your writing at any stage in the writing process. Talking to your instructor. Meet with them and discuss ways that you can improve your essay before you hand it in. Cite sources using MLA style citations.

If you use any sources at all in your essay, then you will need to cite them using the style that your instructor prefers. MLA style is the most common citation format used in English courses, so you will need to know how to use it. Provide in-text citations as well as a works cited page at the end. An MLA style works cited page starts on a new page at the end of the essay. Provide entries for each of the sources that you used. These entries should include the information necessary to allow the reader to find the source with ease.

Work towards a conclusion. The general structure of an essay usually goes from broad to specific. You could visualize this tendency as an upside-down pyramid or as a funnel. By the time you get to your conclusion, it should feel as though the information in your conclusion is inevitable.

You may find that you want to use your conclusion to: Qualify or complicate the information in your essay Suggest a need for further research Speculate on how the future will change the current situation. Give yourself plenty of time. Leaving your essay to the last minute is not a good idea.

Try to allow yourself at least a couple of days to revise your work. It is important to take a one to two day break from your essay after you have completed it. Writing is central to the AP English courses and exams. Both courses have two goals: In AP English, writing is taught as "process" — that is, thinking, planning, drafting the text, then reviewing, discussing, redrafting, editing, polishing, and finishing it. If you acquire these skills — organizing ideas, marshalling evidence, being logical in analysis, and using the text judiciously — you should have little trouble writing your essays on the AP Exam.

Practice in other kinds of writing — narrative, argument, exposition, and personal writing — all have their place alongside practice in writing on demand.

As you study and practice writing, consider the following points. Reading and writing are intertwined. When you read what published authors have written you are immersed not just in their ideas, but in the pulsing of their sentences and the aptness of their diction. The more you read, the more that the rhythm of the English language will be available to influence your writing.

Reading is not a substitute for writing, but it does help lay the foundation that makes good writing possible.

When you have penned what you think is a great sentence or a clean, logical paragraph, read it over to yourself out loud. Delight in the ideas, savor the diction, and let the phrases and clauses roll around in your mind. Claim it as part of your self. You may discover you have a voice worthy of respect. Listen to Your Teacher: This is perhaps the most important of all the free response tips.

Over the course of the semester, your teacher will provide you with ample advice for the exam. Hopefully these tips will help you tackle this massive exam with ease. Retelling what happened in the story is not an analysis. Thanks for the tip from Kim F. Think about the fact that the AP Test readers have been looking at essays on the same topics for three days.

What will you do to be original and stand out that will surprise the reader at 4: Brainstorm what everyone else will say before writing. Thanks for the tip from Amber B. Answer the question as it is actually asked. Thanks for the tip from Heather I. Answer the question in the introduction.

Thanks for the tip from Rhonda G. Focused writing on two or three aspects of the text characterization, use of devices, etc accompanied with analysis will generate a higher score than lightly touching on 5 to 7 aspects. As a reader we are happy that you can identify techniques, but what we are looking for is analysis.

Thanks for the tip from Matt U. Always answer the question: Why did they chose that metaphor? What effect does it create within the text and within the reader? Thanks for the second tip from Matt U. Pay attention to the wording of the questions and answers!

Thanks for the tip from Susan R. Students who read widely and regularly are far more prepared to write and communicate clearly with a deeper understanding than students who do not read. Reading expands knowledge, vocabulary usage and comprehension and enables students to make connections within and between content areas which real world applications. Thanks for the tip from Elizabeth B. Instead, use your time to focus on meaning.

What important insights do you have to share? Make sure you provide much more analysis than plot summary. Begin with a clear thesis and end with one strong concluding statement. Thanks for the tip from Julie H. Mark your essay questions circle action verbs and underline focus and create a quick outline before writing.

The time spent will prevent the heartache of not addressing the prompt. Each essay is worth the same amount of points, but one is set for you to shine — know three books really well so that you can rock the free-response essay. On the test — do it first while your mind is still fresh.

Thanks for the tip from Diane S. Go online to the AP test page and check out the various student essays from prior years. What makes an essay a 9? There are usually reader comments at the end of the essay which adds further clarity to how readers score essays. Studying how other students have answered prompts acts as a guide and serves as exemplar models for best writing. Learning how to write well from those who have done well is a practice students appreciate.

Thanks for the tip from Pam W. Find a good literary timeline to conceptualize what you read in terms of the art movement and historical time period. These can provide insight into the texts as well as help you remember what you have read. Thanks for the tip from Paul H. Have four novels of literary quality and one play that the student is comfortable analyzing so no question 3 can stump the student.

Thanks for the tip from Bill O. Analyze any figurative language. Thanks for the second tip from Bill O. Never be unacceptably brief: Analyze that and then keep writing! Learn and practice using the language and function of literature, poetry, and rhetoric. Plan and execute their usage in your style, syntax, and art, and use the language when critiquing in workshops and discussing classics.

Thanks for the tip from Jon A. Do not merely skim to point out literary devices. Zoom deep into the text to identify the device, explain in detail how the device is functioning and then zoom out to explain how it works to support the passage as a whole and how it connects to the universal human condition.

This means the difference between writing a college level paper and writing a high school level paper. Thanks for the tip from Jodi G. Thanks for the tip from Erin M. Deconstruct the prompt — make sure you understand exactly what it is asking you to do — then use it as a focus for your annotation of the text on Q1 and Q2 and as a launching point for your notes and thesis for Q3. Focus on two primary ideas literary devices, elements of composition, etc… for each essay in order to go deeper in analysis of each.

Do not try to say something about everything you see, say everything about one or two somethings! Take minutes to read and deconstruct the prompt, annotate the poem or passage and develop a thesis before you begin writing the essay.

That thinking and planning time will help you remain focused which will ensure that your essay is clear and cohesive. Pick two texts, one classic and one modern, get to know them backward and forward as well as the historical context around them. Thanks for the tip from Michelle Y. Address all aspects of the prompt! Thanks for the tip from Mike L at Tilton School. Turn your words into pictures and your pictures into words.

If you have an idea, anchor it to something concrete. If you have something concrete, associate it with an idea. When writing essays, always tie your thoughts to the text embed quotes!

Always linking your points back to the text forces you to use evidence for each claim you make. Thanks for the tip from Lynne B.

Get students to debate the answers to AP multiple choice questions without your help. The answer is always mixed, so give them an option: They always pick the latter. Are you a teacher or student? Do you have an awesome tip? Start your AP exam prep today.

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Poetry AP English Language and Composition help is part of the final exam to determine if you get your Advanced Placement AP English credit, freeing essay from 1 or 2 composition classes in college.

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This article outlines a huge list of AP English Language tips so you can score well on the AP exam. The Ultimate List of AP English Language Tips. These AP English Language tips can help you feel confident about scoring a 5 on the AP Language and Composition exam. Let’s get started. AP English Language Course Study Tips. If you master some of the experts AP English essay prompts, you will succeed with your task. Having some powerful AP English essay examples on hands may help to write a winning personal statement – these challenges have a lot in common.

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