The AP Lang Syllabus Surveys is comprised of essays which are based on the textbook, “AP English Usage.” The three primary essays all but one have been identical, consisting of a topic sentence, a paragraph with a body and a conclusion. The AP English Usage essay examples are easy to follow, but if you’re unfamiliar with the topic you may find yourself running around trying to think of an answer to a particular question before the end of the essay. As such, I’ve decided to lay down the guidelines for how to write a synthesis essay, as well as offering an example of an ap-lang synthesis essay.
The first guideline is that you should only use one prompt per essay. There are three prompts in each essay section, and only one is used for AP English Usage, so if you choose to use more than one prompt per essay it will cause trouble with the reasoning portion of the test. Additionally, make sure that your answers match the prompt. If you disagree with a prompt, explain your opinion to the testing officer without using the AP English Usage prompt. Otherwise, you’ll have very little to write about and will probably have to restart the whole thing.
The next guideline is to use the proper sources. Every prompt comes with a source citation page, which is where you must provide your own sources. However, the use of your own sources is not a requirement, and many times students skip this part of the exam prompt. This causes many questions to be raised regarding your knowledge of the topic and could lead to you being given a failing mark. As such, it’s important to name the sources correctly, and to cite each source correctly.
The third rule is to employ a synthesizer. A synthesizer is a type of computer software program that takes an essay and combines all of the important aspects of the topic into one cohesive essay. Some examples of good AP Lang Synthesis essay software are Quicken Basic or Smartypants Essay Editor, Microsoft Works (2021), and Apple iWork Pages (products of Apple). Before you begin writing, be sure to choose the software that will enable you to format the essay properly. For example, a high school student should be able to format a four quadrant essay effectively using an AP essay software that uses the Advanced Formatting Language (AFL) that is included with most word processors.
The fourth rule for writing an AP Lang Synthesis essay is to make sure you read through your essay several times before writing. Reading over your essay multiple times will allow you to become familiar with the structure of the essay as well as the style in which it is written. You’ll also be able to determine if there are any grammatical errors, as well as ensuring that there are no typos. The last thing you want to do before writing your essay is to write it only to find a few typos or other mistakes. If you find these mistakes, chances are the rest of the essay will read poorly as well.
The fifth rule for writing an AP Lang Synthesis essay is to start your writing for your prompt with a statement that introduces your main thesis statement. Your prompt should be in such a way that draws the reader’s attention in the first place. In addition, the introduction should include a discussion of how the piece fits into the larger framework of your work. However, don’t worry too much about inserting your own opinion about the matter; instead, simply use the prompt to suggest the eminent domain upon which your work relies.
The final rule for writing an AP Lang Synthesis essay is to use proper paraphrases where appropriate. In other words, don’t include paraphrases in your discussion of the thesis or main ideas. However, if you must include these types of paraphrases in your essay, make sure they are presented as part of your primary sources rather than being used only as a device to raise the overall level of complexity of your discussion.
Finally, when it comes to the actual structure of your essay, it is recommended that you adhere strictly to the outline provided by AP Language. You should begin your essay with a topic sentence and then proceed to three more paragraphs containing further information on the topic. However, do not forget to end each paragraph with a trigger sentence that ties your entire essay together. For example, the prompt might be “The author discusses three key ideas in his essay, all based on observations about language and oral presentations at a recent conference.” You can also add a conclusion to this particular paragraph to formally conclude your essay.