In AP English Language, the free-response section is notoriously difficult to complete. More often than not, students run out of time to finish writing the last argument essay.
⏰ The clock is ticking. Learn all you need to know about AP Lang with weekly live streams when you join Fiveable+ 👉 here.
Dividing Up Your Time
The free-response section is structured into a 15 minute reading period with the remaining two hours reserved for writing the three essays. While the reading period is technically designated for analyzing the synthesis sources, you should be aiming to have a skeleton outline for all three essays. 📚📖
First, spend the opening 6 minutes of the 15 minute reading period on the synthesis essay. Make sure you are annotating the most important information on each source or making notes on the perspective the source is taking.
I encourage you to create some sort of chart to organize the six sources, such as a T-Chart if the prompt is asking you to take a position. Afterwards, write a brief thesis that establishes your position. 📝
Next, go to the rhetorical analysis essay and spend 6 minutes reading and annotating literary devices or rhetorical choices. Then, write a thesis that states how the author's rhetorical choices help them convey their message or make their argument more persuasive. Don’t forget to cite specific rhetorical devices in your thesis statement. 🔍
Finally, spend the last 3 minutes drafting a thesis for your argument essay stating a position on the question. Come up with two or three body paragraphs that give reasons as to why your position is true. Remember to cite examples that are directly relevant to your thesis. I recommend that you brainstorm around two examples (nonfiction literary, historical, or current events) to support each body paragraph. 💡
As the two-hour writing section begins, try to spend 35 minutes writing each essay, then spending about five minutes re-reading and editing. I encourage you to write your recommended start time for each essay. Make sure you either watch the clock very closely or bring a watch that doesn't have an alarm and doesn't make noise.⌚
With these tips, the free-response section will be a piece of cake! 🍰