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AP Literature Introduction to the AP Exam Essays

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1 AP Literature Introduction to the AP Exam Essays
K. Matteson Rocks the House.

2 2011 Exam What is the purpose of the first essay? 2nd? 3rd?
Which essay would you guess is the easiest of the 3? What do all 3 essays have in common?

3 The Introductory Paragraph
What must EVERY introductory paragraph include? A thesis The author’s name Title of the work Attention grabber (brief)

4 Essay #3 Choose a complex and important character in a novel or a play of recognized literary merit who might on the basis of the character’s actions alone be considered evil or immoral. In a well-organized essay, explain both how and why the full presentation of the character in the work makes us react more sympathetically than we otherwise might.

5 Single Sentence Intro? In Albert Camus' The Stranger, Raymond is a complex character who, on the basis of his actions alone, might be considered evil or immoral.

6 NO!!! Commentary: Note that this intro just repeats a part of the prompt. It does not indicate the reason for the choice, and this choice of character is weak because the rest of this particular AP prompt indicated that the author managed to develop reader sympathy for the character. In TS, little sympathy for Raymond Sintes develops. The student should probably have chosen Meursault. Although this essay might pick up as it goes along, nothing of significance has been stated yet. This type of beginning could lead to a lower half essay (3,4).

7 What about this one? And why does it reflect middle school style?
In Albert Camus' The Stranger, a majority of the members of his society might see the character of Meursault as evil. Through his callousness toward his mother's death, his indifference toward Marie's love, and his wish for the hatred of the crowd, Meursault appears in an evil light because these actions go against society's values.

8 Meh… Commentary: This intro is a step up because it makes a better character choice and shows more knowledge of writing in that it contains the typical three-pronged topic sentence leading to a structured five paragraph theme. This type of intro tends to lead to an essay getting a 5 or 6 (mid-range).

9 A Ha! In The Stranger, Albert Camus portrays the protagonist Meursault as a complex character who serves as spokesman for the author's philosophy of Existentialism. On the basis of his actions alone, Meursault appears to be either immoral or evil: he fails to show emotion at his mother's funeral, and he kills an Arab on the beach. However, by showing Meursault's apathy toward life as a motive for his actions, and by going on to show how his character transforms to someone who appreciates and misses his old life, Camus evokes sympathy for Meursault.

10 But why not a 9? The student has already completed the double-pronged AP task in the first paragraph. He is at leisure now to develop his points in the time and space remaining. This type of thorough opener usually leads to a high score (7,8). It has the plenitude of detail that reveals intelligence at work. Also there are signs of competence in literary and general vocabulary ("protagonist" and "apathy") as well as excellent use of punctuation

11 One more sample. Turn to Essay #2, the prose analysis prompt. Read the prompt and passage. What details would you focus on? What is the narrative perspective? What would be your overall conclusion?

12 Your Turn

13 It’s your turn!

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