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2007 Ap Language Synthesis Essay Prompt

Section I

Multiple Choice — 52 to 55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score

  • Excerpts from non-fiction texts are accompanied by several multiple-choice questions

Section II

Free Response — 3 Free-Response Questions | 2 Hours, 15 Minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 55% of Exam Score

This section has three prompts:

  • Synthesis: Students read several texts about a topic and create an argument that synthesizes at least three of the sources to support their thesis.
  • Rhetorical analysis: Students read a non-fiction text and analyze how the writer's language choices contribute to his or her purpose and intended meaning for the text.
  • Argument: Students create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.

The total Section II time is 2 hours and 15 minutes. This includes a 15-minute reading period. The reading period is designed to provide students with time to develop thoughtful, well-organized responses. They may begin writing their responses before the reading period is over.

The two synthesis essay questions below are examples of the question type that has been one of the three free-response questions on the AP English Language and Composition Exam as of the May 2007 exam. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic. Students are given a 15-minute reading period to accommodate the additional reading required for the question.

Sample 1

Below is a sample synthesis essay question, sample scoring guidelines, comments from the Chief Reader about the sample student essays, seven sample student responses, and scoring commentary for each sample.

Approximately 300 AP English Language and Composition students from eight schools in New York, Maine, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, Florida, and New Mexico wrote responses to this synthesis topic. Students from these schools were given a 15-minute reading period followed by a 40-minute writing period in which to complete the sample synthesis assignment.

Sample 2

An additional sample synthesis essay question is provided here.

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