responses, and scoring commentary for each sample. In this attempt to clarify the role of the student writer of the synthesis essay, I was emphasizing an essential similarity between the DBQ and the synthesis essay: to be successful on both tasks, students must enter a conversation with the authors of the documents. Sixth, the student needs to argue his or her position. History Exam, the synthesis question requires students to develop a thesis and support that thesis through the integration of sources. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic. Both exams assess fundamentally similar skills. Exam Overview, the AP English Language and Composition Exam includes multiple-choice and free-response questions that test essential skills covered in the course curriculum: reading comprehension of rhetorically and topically diverse texts rhetorical analysis of individual texts in isolation synthesis of information from multiple texts written. Sample Synthesis Essays begins with these directions: The following question is based on the accompanying seven sources. Which of those positions do I really want to take? Students of both AP English Language and.S.
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Students may, of course, draw upon whatever they know about the issue as well, but they must use at least three of the provided sources to earn an upper-half score. A student who writes a well-developed thesis statement and supports it through effective synthesis of the sources and documents will earn a high score. Clearly, the student must bring prior knowledge of the historical period to the DBQ essay, but both prompts require the student to integrate and synthesize the documents provided and use those documents in support of the thesis statement. On the contrary, savvy writers converse with sources and incorporate (literally: em-body) them in their argument. Although the emphasis in one is rhetorical analysis and in the other is historical understanding, we share goals of improving students ability to analyze documents and write effective essays using appropriate and persuasive evidence.
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