AP Essay Help
Basic Structure Information

Structures for successful essays


-         AG- needs to introduce the topic, the author, or some aspect of the prompt.  It should be reflective of your voice or writing style.

-         SOAPSTone- needs to introduce the title, author, and all aspects of the soapstone not addressed in the thesis.

-         Thesis- connects the task in the prompt, utilizes the key words from the prompt as well as the specific aspects from the selection that will prove the thesis

Body Paragraphs: (you may have 2, 3, or 4 of these)

-         Topic sentence pulls the pertinent part of the thesis into this paragraph and serves as the specific focus for this one paragraph.

-         SFI- directly quoted from the text- the evidence that shows the element addressed in the topic sentence.  Keep SFI succinct and clearly relevant to the point you are trying to make.  Use ellipsis... as needed.

-         IC- most important for higher scoring papers.  You must have 3 or 4 sentences here... explain the context of the text, the relevance of the text to the purpose, and the strategy's relevance to the purpose

-         Concluding sentence or transition- a summary of what was addressed in the paragraph.  DO NOT INTRODUCE THE NEXT TOPIC.

Points to remember here:

1.     SFI and IC are done in chunks...you need two chunks per body paragraph.

2.     The organization of the body paragraph is up to you.  You must have it all, but you determine the order and the structure.  ADD VARIETY!

3.     Don't assume any connection you are making is evident.  You have to draw the lines of conclusions/commentary for the reader.  It is YOUR interpretation, not the grader's.  Convince the grader your interpretation in valid.