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Ch 29: How to Write a Good Essay on Your AP Exam

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on how to write a good essay and learn sentence structure, grammar tips, brainstorming techniques, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP World History course.

How to Write a Good Essay on Your AP Exam - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

After answering the multiple choice questions, writing the essay portion of your exam may seem impossible, but if you have some tools at your disposal, you may be up to the task. In this chapter, our instructors focus on the mechanics of writing, from faulty comparisons to active voice. You'll learn what makes writing good and, more importantly, how to improve your own writing. You'll get tips on writing in a timed environment and how to choose a strong thesis quickly. This chapter is designed to teach you:

  • How to use proper grammar in your writing
  • How to craft a strong argument in an essay
  • Things to think about for your exam essay
  • Ways to write clear, strong sentences

VideoObjective
How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay PromptLearn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment and how to maintain focus throughout.
How to Write Well: What Makes Writing Good?Examine the different things that make writing an effective tool of communication.
How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence StructureExplore the flow created by varied sentence structure and how to use this knowledge.
Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear SentencesUnderstand how to order information, use active voice, avoid multiple negatives, and other ways to achieve sentence clarity.
How to Write Logical Sentences and Avoid Faulty ComparisonsLook at some faulty comparisons and learn how to avoid them in your own writing.
Techniques for Brainstorming Great IdeasGet some strategies for coming up with good ideas quickly and picking the best one.
How to Write a Great ArgumentLearn how to determine if an argument is sufficiently fleshed out and if you need to add or subtract for greater effect.
Using Rhetorical Skills to Write Better EssaysExamine some rhetorical devices and concepts and see how they can help you become a better writer.
How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your EssayExplore how every word can contribute to the overall feel of your essay and how to control this tone.
Writing for Your AudienceUnderstand the importance of taking into consideration the people who will be reading your essay.
Active and Passive VoiceLook at the differences between active and passive voice and learn how to avoid passive voice in your essays.
Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at WritingReview some strategies for practicing writing on your own in order to improve your skills.

12 Lessons in Chapter 29: How to Write a Good Essay on Your AP Exam
How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

1. How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

In this video, learn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment. Then find out how to spot where you may have strayed from the paper's point and how to get back on track.

How to Write Well: What Makes Writing Good?

2. How to Write Well: What Makes Writing Good?

From great ideas to great execution, learn what makes writing 'good' and how to transform your writing from 'okay' to accomplished through the use of specific examples, great ideas, and organization.

How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

3. How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

Often times in writing, we know what we want to say, but it doesn't seem to come out right. In this video we will learn the steps needed to improve your writing with better sentence structure.

Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear Sentences

4. Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear Sentences

Just because you know a good sentence when you read one doesn't mean that you think it's easy to put one together - forget about writing an essay's worth. Learn how to write clear sentences and turn rough ones into gems.

How to Write Logical Sentences and Avoid Faulty Comparisons

5. How to Write Logical Sentences and Avoid Faulty Comparisons

Your sentences may not always make as much sense as you think they do, especially if you're comparing two or more things. It's easy to let comparisons become illogical, incomplete, or ambiguous. Learn how to avoid making faulty comparisons on your way to writing a great essay.

Techniques for Brainstorming Great Ideas

6. Techniques for Brainstorming Great Ideas

Great essays are made up of great ideas. Finding those great ideas is the first critical step on the road to writing a terrific essay. Learn some popular and effective brainstorming techniques that will work whether you have an hour or two weeks to write your paper.

How to Write a Great Argument

7. How to Write a Great Argument

Many times our writing must not just be informative but it must also be persuasive. One of the best ways to be very persuasive is to use a great argument. Learn six steps you can follow to write a great argument.

Using Rhetorical Skills to Write Better Essays

8. Using Rhetorical Skills to Write Better Essays

In this video, you will explore the basics of identifying your purpose and audience and learn how to use effective rhetorical skills in your persuasive writing.

How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

9. How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

In this video, we will discuss how word choice sets the tone for your essay. This includes letting the reader know if you are angry, happy or even attempting to refrain from bias. These tools bring your 'voice' into your writing.

Writing for Your Audience

10. Writing for Your Audience

By understanding some fundamental characteristics about your audience, you can write more effectively and be in better control of how well your writing is received by that audience. This video explains the basic points that you should consider in order to provide more informative and more persuasive essays for your readers.

Active and Passive Voice

11. Active and Passive Voice

No one likes a passive person, so why should you write in the passive voice? You may have heard your teachers toss around the terms 'passive voice' and 'active voice' You may have even been told not write in the former. But if you've never really understood what it means to write actively or passively, stick with us -- and learn how to turn to cludgy passive sentences into bright, active ones.

Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

12. Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

It can be tough to practice your essay-writing skills on your own without a teacher's feedback. With some time and practice (and by using this game plan), you'll be on your way to practicing, evaluating and improving your writing.

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