Ch 16: AP English: Beginning the Writing Process

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on beginning the writing process and learn about thesis statements, essay prompts, outlines, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP English course.

AP English: Beginning the Writing Process - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Getting started on that essay assignment can be the hardest part of the process. In this chapter, our instructors will provide you with tools, tips, and tricks to help you in the initial essay stages. You'll learn how to respond to a topic, brainstorm ideas, and write a thesis statement. The lessons offer plenty of examples to help you understand the concepts. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Write an effective thesis statement
  • Outline your essay before starting to write
  • Understand essay prompts
  • Brainstorm ideas for your essays

Developing the Essay TopicLearn how to develop an essay prompt into a topic you can write about.
Tone, Audience, and Purpose in EssaysUnderstand how to create an appropriate tone for your audience and purpose in an essay.
What is Brainstorming?Explore the brainstorming process and how it can help you in your essay writing.
Techniques for Brainstorming Great IdeasLearn five techniques for brainstorming, both when you have plenty of time and are taking a timed test.
What is a Thesis Statement?Understand what a thesis is, when you need one, and what they look like.
How to Write a Thesis StatementExplore the essential components of thesis statements and how to write them well.
How to Write an OutlineLearn about outlining as an effective essay-writing tool.
Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph EssayUnderstand the traditional essay structure and why it is so effective.

8 Lessons in Chapter 16: AP English: Beginning the Writing Process
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Developing the Essay Topic

1. Developing the Essay Topic

Developing the essay topic before starting to write helps structure the reasoning of the argument. Learn more about developing essay topic strategies, essay prompts, the purpose of brainstorming, and the importance of a strong thesis.

Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

2. Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

When beginning an essay, the writer should be aware of the who, what, and why of the essay, otherwise called the audience, tone, and purpose. Learn more about these three aspects and how they come together to build a well-written essay.

What Is Brainstorming?

3. What Is Brainstorming?

Every essay should start with brainstorming to determine which ideas to use and how to organize them. Learn about what is brainstorming and why it's important for your writing process, explore the two main steps for brainstorming, and discover how the listing technique works.

Techniques for Brainstorming Great Ideas

4. Techniques for Brainstorming Great Ideas

A strong essay often begins with brainstorming ideas to use as starting points for writing it. Explore various techniques for brainstorming great ideas, including brainstorming in a group, listing ideas, or letting one's mind wander.

What is a Thesis Statement?

5. What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement sets the reader's expectations for the essay, sets up the primary argument in the essay, and answers a question. Explore common thesis misconceptions and the types of essays that do and don't require a thesis.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

6. How to Write a Thesis Statement

A well-written essay includes a strong, specific thesis statement that establishes readers' expectations by answering a question and making a well-stated, supported argument. Learn how to write a thesis statement, including how to make revisions if needed.

How to Write an Outline

7. How to Write an Outline

Whether it's a doctoral thesis or a high school essay, outlining is a crucial part of the writing process. Learn how to write an outline, why it's so important to have a plan before starting to write, and discover the three most common outlines for writers, including alphanumeric, decimal, and full sentence outlines.

Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

8. Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

The five-paragraph essay is a basic essay structure that provides writers with the necessary elements to create a successful essay. Learn how to include the thesis statement in the introduction paragraph, explore what should be in the body paragraphs, how to maintain the focus and make good transitions between paragraphs, and how to write an effective conclusion paragraph.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in AP English: Beginning the Writing Process.