Open-Response Strategies

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Open-Response Strategies

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1. Open-Response Strategies Explaining Answers in Detail

2. When answering open-response items, it is important to Give specific examples from the passage AND Explain how those examples support your answer

3. Consider questions which ask you to identify the persuasive techniques an author uses. First, you have to name the technique. “The author makes good use of statistics.” Then, you need to give an example. “For example, 50% of Americans with tattoos would like to have them removed.”

4. But you can’t stop there! To receive the highest marks on open-response questions OR AP/college essay exams, you must explain further—you must show how the example supports your answer or justifies your opinion.

5. So let’s finish out our previous example…. The author makes good use of statistics. For example, 50% of Americans with tattoos would like to have them removed. Obviously, personal tastes often change over time, and this statistic reminds young people that while a tattoo may seem cool to them now, their attitude could change later. This has been true for many people as this statistic shows.

6. Can you see why this response is better? It goes a step further. It doesn’t just list and identify examples. It explains the writer’s technique and shows a deeper understanding of the writer’s argumentation skills.

7. Now you try. How would you explain the effectiveness of the following techniques with examples? Expert opinion is used when Joe Kaplan, president of the Professional Tattoo Artist Guild, points out that allowing kids to have tattoos at 16 will keep them from doing it themselves or going to amateurs. This is an excellent point. Kids will get tattoos anyway. It would be much better to let them do so in a safe, controlled environment so they won’t get diseases, some of them very serious like hepatitis B & C.

8. Here’s another one. How would you explain this technique and example. The author gives a good example when he discusses how a kitty on a young girl’s belly could become a saber tooth tiger 10 years later when she is pregnant. This detail reminds us that while tattoos are permanent, our body shapes are not. What looks cool now may be distorted later, so we need to take the time to think our decisions through carefully.

9. So, when answering open-response questions, remember to aim higher… Explain answers in detail so that you show the evaluator the depth of your understanding.

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