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Ch 14: AP English - Essay Basics: Conventions in Essay Writing

About This Chapter

Watch conventions in essay writing video lessons and learn sentence structure, diction rules, appeals, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP English course.

AP English - Essay Basics: Conventions in Essay Writing - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Learning to write a great essay is a skill you'll need both for exams and in classes. In this chapter, we'll go over all the basics, including essay structure, sentence form, grammar rules, and style tricks. You'll learn about the traditional format of an essay, how to engage your audience, and how to make your writing better. Our instructors use examples to help you understand the grammatical concepts of each lesson. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Write clear, concise, stylistic sentences
  • Understand how to begin an essay with an appropriate appeal
  • Structure your essay for clarity and impact
  • Avoid common grammatical mistakes
  • Evaluate essays for reasoning

VideoObjective
How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay PromptLearn to respond directly to the prompt and keep yourself on track throughout the essay.
Writing for Your AudienceUnderstand the reader's perspective, position, and knowledge in order to focus your essay toward your audience.
How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an AppealExplore logical, ethical, and emotional appeals and when to use them.
How to Write With Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone, and Point-of-ViewLearn about word choice and various ways to improve your diction.
How to Write Well: What Makes Writing Good?Understand content, form, style, and voice and how these contribute to good writing.
How to Write with Idioms or Phrasal VerbsExplore idioms, or common expressions, and how you can use them in your writing.
Active and Passive VoiceLearn about the difference between active and passive voice and why active voice is thought of as superior.
Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear SentencesUnderstand what makes a sentence clear and how to edit for clarity.
Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' SentencesExplore the concept of mixed sentence structure and how to avoid these types of errors.
How to Write Logical Sentences and Avoid Faulty ComparisonsLearn to spot and avoid illogical comparisons and misused superlatives.
How to Structure Sentences in an EssayUnderstand simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences and the best times to use each.
How to Structure Paragraphs in an EssayExplore how to capture attention and maximize impact by forming solid paragraphs.
Varied Sentence StructureLearn about using a variety of sentence structures in your essay writing.
How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence StructureUnderstand why sentence structure matters and what you can do to improve yours.
How to Write a Great ArgumentExplore six steps for crafting an effective argument in an essay.
Using Rhetorical Skills to Write Better EssaysLearn about rhetorical skills and how they can be used to strengthen an essay.
How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your EssayUnderstand the effect that word choice has on the overall feeling of your writing.
Logos, Ethos, and Pathos: Three Ways to Appeal to an Audience in EssaysExplore the types of appeals by looking at an example that uses all three.
How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate EvidenceLearn how to find an appropriate source and use the information contained within it.
Evaluating Reasoning in an Essay or ArticleUnderstand validity and the steps to evaluating reason.

20 Lessons in Chapter 14: AP English - Essay Basics: Conventions in Essay Writing
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.

Writing for Your Audience

2. 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.

How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

3. How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

There are three types of appeals that you can use in your persuasive writing to make your arguments more effective. In this video, you'll learn about logical, ethical, and emotional appeals as well as how to use them.

How to Write With Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone & Point-of-View

4. How to Write With Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone & Point-of-View

Developing a good writing style starts with developing good diction. You can't craft an essay or story the way you want without being able to choose the right words first. Here's how.

How to Write Well: What Makes Writing Good?

5. 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 with Idioms or Phrasal Verbs

6. How to Write with Idioms or Phrasal Verbs

In this lesson, you will learn how to identify idioms and phrasal verbs. Once you can recognize these parts of speech, you will be able to use them yourself in your writing.

Active and Passive Voice

7. Active and Passive Voice

You may have heard your teachers toss around the terms 'passive voice' and 'active voice'. But if you've never really understood what it means to write actively or passively, stick with us -- and learn how to turn to awkward passive sentences into bright, active ones.

Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear Sentences

8. 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.

Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' Sentences

9. Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' Sentences

A mixed structure sentence is a common error that occurs when a writer starts a sentence with one structure but switches to a different structure in the middle of the sentence. This video will teach you how to spot and avoid this type of error.

How to Write Logical Sentences and Avoid Faulty Comparisons

10. 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.

How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

11. How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but we are just unsure of the best way to write it. In this video, we will cover ways to structure sentences in an essay.

How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

12. How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

When structuring a paragraph, you shouldn't just go throwing together a few sentences. The sentences that make up a paragraph should all flow together and represent the same topic to make up a strong paragraph. This video explains how to put together your sentences and paragraphs to maximize their impact.

Varied Sentence Structure in Writing

13. Varied Sentence Structure in Writing

Learn the meaning of sentence structure and the importance of varying sentence structure in writing in this lesson. Four strategies to help you vary your sentence structure will also be described.

How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

14. 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.

How to Write a Great Argument

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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.

Logos, Ethos and Pathos: 3 Ways to Appeal to an Audience in Essays

18. Logos, Ethos and Pathos: 3 Ways to Appeal to an Audience in Essays

Appeal is an important aspect to writing, especially when your goal is to inform and/or persuade the reader in some area. In this lesson, we will examine the three main types of appeal: logos, ethos and pathos

How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

19. How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

When writing an essay, you will often be asked to utilize appropriate sources for evidence, including facts and definitions. In this video, we will talk about the ways we can utilize and evaluate sources and evidence.

Evaluating Reasoning in an Essay or Article

20. Evaluating Reasoning in an Essay or Article

Being able to effectively evaluate reasoning can be helpful to you as you develop your own deductive and inductive reasoning skills and put those skills to work in persuasive essays. This lesson sheds some light on how to evaluate reasoning.

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