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Approaching AP Writing. General Tips. Avoid pronouns Avoid other vague terms Simply say what you mean…how would you explain it in person? Mean what you say!. Practice.

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Approaching ap writing

Approaching AP Writing

General tips
General Tips

  • Avoid pronouns

  • Avoid other vague terms

  • Simply say what you mean…how would you explain it in person?

  • Mean what you say!


  • An astounding thing aided the spread of the Renaissance. In about 1455, he printed the first complete edition of the Bible using this. This brought immense changes.

  • How could you improve this paragraph using the tips you just learned?

Interpret the question
Interpret the Question

  • Circle key words

  • Define key terms

  • Identify the scope of the question (time frame, theme, etc.)

  • Establish limits to what you will discuss

    • Extra info doesn’t = extra points

  • Rephrase the prompt so that it asks a very specific question


  • How would you turn the prompt on your handout into a question?

  • Analyze the factors that influenced the Senate in ratifying the Treaty of Paris in 1899 and assess their relative significance.

Get organized
Get Organized

  • The Paragraph:

    • Topic Sentence: restate key argument from your thesis with a focus on one specific category

    • Rank your evidence

    • Present it from strongest to weakest

    • End with a clincher: a sentence that restates what you have proven in the paragraph

Get organized1
Get Organized

  • The Paper:

    • Rank paragraphs from strongest to weakest

    • Clinch the paper by restating your thesis at the end.

    • Make sure your clincher and thesis match and answer the question.

    • Revise your thesis if necessary.


  • Read these statements and decide in what order they should go in a paragraph, following these rules.Thus, the framers gave the House of Representatives the power to propose new taxes because of its direct election by the people. The framers gave the House of Representatives the power to propose new taxes because its members are directly elected by the people. Originally, the House was the only branch of government directly elected, so the framers saw it as being closer to and more representative of the people. This means that the members of the House are directly voted on by the people. Because the framers’ belief in the idea of “no taxation without representation,” they selected this most representative body of government to create new taxes that the people would have to pay.

Explaining explain
Explaining Explain

  • Explain is a “how to” for cause and effect

  • You must show how a cause led to an effect

    • Describe the cause

    • What happened as a result of the cause?

    • How did the effect occur as a result of this?

    • End with a…..

Pb j writing the ap way
PB & J & Writing the AP Way!

  • Write a paragraph, using the explain formula, in response to this prompt.

  • Explain how peanut butter, jelly and bread come together to create a pb&j sandwich.

My pb j

  • Since the beginning of time, man has sought the food he needs to power him through his days. One of the best foods around is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is made by combining bread with creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly. You can use either strawberry or grape, but grape is more traditional. People often like to cut their pb&j sandwiches in half, making triangles. Anyway you make it, the sandwich should have peanut butter, jelly and bread.

Assessing assess
Assessing Assess

  • Similar to explain, but you are given the cause and two possible effects

  • Pick ONE effect to write about

  • Show how the cause led to the effect you picked

  • Follow the explain process