How to Write an Argumentative AP Lang Essay

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Over 500,000 students in the United States took the AP English Language and Composition test in 2022, with 62% scoring better than 3.0. The AP English Language examination assesses your ability to evaluate writing, conduct a rhetorical analysis, integrate information, and compose an argumentative essay. In this article, we’ll talk about how to tackle the argument essay part of the exam and offer you ideas and tricks for writing a great piece.

What Is the AP Lang Argumentative Task?

Let’s start with understanding the format of the AP English Language test:

  • Part 1 includes 45 questions with multiple choices that must be finished in one hour. This section accounts for 45% of your total score. Students will be asked to evaluate a piece of literature and pose questions about its substance or what could be changed within the passage.
  • Part 2 suggests 3 free response questions in the final 95 minutes. This part accounts for 55% of your overall grade. The synthesis essay, rhetorical analysis, and argumentative essay are examples of paper assignments.
  • Synthesis essay: Read 6-7 texts and develop a case based on at least three of them while working on a synthesis essay assignment.
  • Rhetorical analysis: Describe how a piece of writing elicits meaning and significance in a rhetorical analysis task.
  • Argumentative essay: Choose a position in a debate and construct a chronological argument based on facts. For this work, you should create a logical case in favor or opposition to the provided argument essay question and provide concrete examples/proofs to back up your conclusion. The topic can be absolutely anything, from F.C Boston to WWII. A five-paragraph structure is ideal for this sort of writing. Argument essays are graded on a scale of one to nine marks. 

Tips & Tricks for Composing the AP Language Argumentative Essay

Even though the AP Lang essays may appear intimidating at first, it will be much simpler to provide a valid idea once you grasp how the writing piece should be organized. Here are some pointers to help you compose your argumentative essay.

1. Before you begin writing, organize your thesis statement

Do not dive straight into your argumentative essay! Plot out what you’ll say ahead of time. Make a summary of your points and write down what facts or proof you will use to support each one. You can decide the best sequence for your points in your outline, particularly if they build on each other or are chronological. A well-developed essay composition (with a thesis statement and a few body paragraphs) is essential.

2. Choose one side of the debate while acknowledging the other

When writing an argument essay, it’s best if you select one side of the argument and stay with it throughout. Your proof should all be in favor of that one party. However, when you present the debate in your thesis statement, make sure to note whether the opposing points have merit. This can make the essay more complex and demonstrate that you considered both viewpoints before deciding on the best one. Recognizing another perspective but then refuting it can often strengthen your composition.

3. Provide proof to back up your assertions

AP readers will be searching for examples and proof to back up your point of view. This does not imply that you must remember a slew of random information prior to the AP English Language test. This simply means that you should be able to provide specific instances to back up your claim. For example, if your argumentative essay subject is whether the impact of the media in society has been harmful, and you contend that it has, you could discuss the issue of “fake posts” during the 2016 election. The AP examiners are not looking for flawless examples; rather, they want you to provide enough proof so that your assertion can be readily understood and supported with examples.

4. Make a cogent thesis statement

The thesis statement will set the tone for your entire essay. So, it must be concentrated, precise, and set the reader up to comprehend your body paragraphs. Be sure your thesis statement is the concluding line of your introduction. List the important arguments you will make in the essay in the same sequence that you will write them in this sentence. Each new argument in your thesis statement should begin with a new line in your essay.

4. Use a proper language

A powerful persuasive paper is self-assured in its substance. This is why the language you use is so important to the total impact of the entire essay. Experts advise using passionate language to demonstrate that you are not attempting to present a viewpoint in your essay, but rather making a legitimate case.

Be direct and say the proof you’ve collected is the facts that it is. Avoid modifiers that imply a judgment on your behalf. You should not mention that your argument is founded on how you feel, think, or believe because they should not be. You should be confident in what you’re stating if you want to make a better case.

However, you should exercise extreme caution in looking to be an authority on the subject when you are not. This can have an impact on the general structure and tone of your argument essay. On the contrary to making your paper more compelling, it may make your arguments sound untrustworthy, which will have the opposite impact of what you want.

It’s also worth noting that when writing an argumentative essay, you should use the present form. The concepts you show in this type of writing are relevant to the present day, so it is critical that you present them as such. If you’re discussing historical events, you can still write in the past tense.

Dealing With Argumentative Essay Prompts

It is critical to understand the various types of AP English Language essays if you want to get the highest possible mark on the test. Exam questions will not inform you what type of essay they expect in the responses, so you must use your text-analysis skills to figure out which type you should write.

You can begin by attentively reading the question at least twice. Reading and comprehending the question is critical to performing well on the AP Lang examination. To properly answer the FRQs, you must be completely certain of what they are saying and requesting you to do.

However, there are known AP Lang terms used in the instructions that should help you. Test participants will notice the terms ‘claim’ or ‘argue’ on the topic for which they are to compose an argumentative essay. In their responses, they can choose to back, refute, or qualify the points in the question.

Make sure to study and finish sample exams to help you decide which sort of essay to use. You can also check the prior year’s exam examination questions. They will always include a good sample of an argumentative essay subject to help you determine where you should respond in an argument style.

AP Lang Argument Essay Outline

Here is a sample of the outline for the AP English Language argument essay to help you decide what to include. Keep in mind that based on how much time you have, you may choose to include more information. For a timed essay, however, it is often best to keep your argumentative essay plan basic so that you have more time to write. The aim in this instance is to create a simple outline to ensure you have some guidance as you begin writing.

Thesis: Difficulty is beneficial because it leads to advancement

Main Idea 1: Women’s Liberation

Example 1: Emmeline Pankhurst and Susan B. Anthony

Argument: For them, the fight was worthwhile. Their struggles eventually led to advancement, as women in the United States obtained suffrage in 1920, showing the value of strife in the fight for equality.

Main Idea 2: Sports

Example 2: Billie Jean King and the US Women’s National Soccer Team

Argument: These instances show the importance of standing up for one’s views, even if it means facing public scrutiny.

How Will AP Scores Influence My College Chances?

While AP English Language Scores can help raise your weighted GPA or give you the choice of earning college credit, they do not have a significant impact on your admissions prospects. However, schools can still see your self-reported scores, so you may not want to automatically submit scores lower than a 3 to colleges. However, admissions officials are far more concerned with your grade in an AP subject than your test result.

Summing Up

At the first glance, writing a strong argumentative essay may appear to be a difficult job. However, we believe that with the assistance of this guide, you will be able to manage it!

Yet, if it still seems like composing an argument essay is bothersome, you may consult with a UK/US paper writing service. There are so many options on the Internet, ranging from dissertation help in the UK to free argument essay templates. So, meeting your assignment requirements shouldn’t be an issue!