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Ch 15: AP English - Essay Basics: Conventions in Essay Writing

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on conventions in essay writing 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

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. Each lesson is short, allowing you to focus on the different aspects of essay writing and showing you how to use each effectively in preparation for the test. After completing this chapter, you should be prepared to do the following:

  • Focus your essay and engaging your audience
  • Develop style, tone, and point-of-view in your writing
  • Write using idioms or phrasal verbs
  • Differentiate between active and passive voice
  • Structure your writing for clarity using logical and clear sentences
  • Develop a great written argument
  • Set the tone through word choice and language
  • Evaluate sources, evidence and reasoning
  • Utilize varied sentence structure and avoid mixed structure sentences

15 Lessons in Chapter 15: AP English - Essay Basics: Conventions in Essay Writing
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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 with Idioms or Phrasal Verbs

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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 Paragraphs in an Essay

10. 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

11. 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 a Great Argument

12. 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.

How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

13. 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.

How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

14. 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

15. 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.

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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