The AP Test’s Analytical Essay. What Every Bright Kid Should Know. The Analytical Essay. This essay asks you examine how an author uses language to make a point or achieve a purpose . You will read a passage and respond to a prompt that asks you to analyze the passage in some way. .
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What Every Bright Kid
Analysis prompts always ask students to do two things. The first requirement is to “convey the author’s purpose,” although it is important to realize that this exact phrase is not always used. Occasionally a prompt will even give a subtle hint of what purpose the students should look for and analyze.
The second task is to explain how the author achieves his or her purpose. Students will spend the bulk of their essay explaining the how, but without a clear understanding of the what (author’s purpose), the analysis will frequently amount to little more than a listing of rhetorical strategies and devices and will, therefore, not be successful. —Kevin McDonald, AP guru