Guest Posts, Inspiration, Learner's Corner

How to Write an AP English Essay

AP courses are a great way to earn credit toward college, and AP English has the bonus of serving...

Avatar Written by Guest Author · 3 min read >
Adding the finishing touches to my essay

AP courses are a great way to earn credit toward college, and AP English has the bonus of serving as a substitute for many introductory freshman writing courses. That means that doing well in AP English can often exempt you from one of the most dreaded and most boring of first-year studies. But what can you do to make sure that your AP English essays are the best they can be? That’s where we come into play. In this article we’ll discuss the best way to write an AP English essay and then talk about legitimate professional options that are available to you if the results still don’t quite make the grade.

The first thing that you need to know when you work on an AP English essay is the standard five-paragraph essay format. This is the expected style that most instructors look for and that the AP exam graders will want to see when you take your AP English exam. Papers written in this format may not be the most exciting, but they get the job done.

The Five-Paragraph Format

The five-paragraph format follows a very rigid standard style. The first paragraph is your introduction. It begins with a hook to draw the reader in, followed by an overview of the problem, and then a thesis statement that explains what the essay will demonstrate or prove. Typically, this involves a three-part thesis, with the three parts highlighting the main ideas that will appear in each of the next three paragraphs. The thesis statement is the most important sentence in your paper and should give the reader all the information they need to predict the rest of your essay’s content.
● The thesis statement should not exceed two sentences. It is better if you write a thesis statement in one sentence, as you are writing an essay, and it is a miniature format already. You can write it in 6-10 sentences and later cut it to leave only the most important idea.
● The thesis statement should not be vague. There is no need to make your thesis statement “mystical.” Sometimes students think that they need to “hook” readers with it, to use it as a cliff-hanger for the entire essay. You can use the first sentence of your paper for it, but not a thesis statement.
● The thesis statement should be confirmed in conclusions. Once you are done writing your paper, please, check whether you have a clear connection between a thesis statement and conclusions. It is exactly what your professor will check even before reading your entire paper.

The second, third, and fourth paragraphs are the body paragraphs. They provide the evidence and support to prove the thesis is true. Each paragraph follows the same format. First is a transition word or phrase linking the paragraph to what came before, such as “similarly,” “however,” “by contrast,” etc. This is usually part of the topic sentence, which lays out the main idea of the paragraph. Following this comes a series of supporting details, which are your evidence. The paragraph concludes with a closing sentence that restates the main idea and leads into the next paragraph. This format repeats for each of the three body paragraphs.

After the body paragraphs comes the conclusion. Typically, the conclusion will reiterate the major pieces of evidence and restate the thesis before ending with a closing thought that either sums up the paper as a whole or provides potential avenues for future research.

That, in a nutshell, is the basic five- paragraph essay format. It’s the standard tool for most essays and the simplest and fastest way to write an essay in response to an AP exam question.

Variations on the Theme

However, the five-paragraph format isn’t necessarily the right choice for every essay. Outside of the AP exam, you will be asked to write essays on a variety of topics and sometimes they require more than just a five-paragraph format. For more complex essays, you may need a more complex format, particularly if you are required to write a longer paper. Obviously, five paragraphs won’t work for a long paper. That said, as you work on your paper, you may find that the five-paragraph format can be expanded for longer essays by turning each body paragraph into a section of the paper with several paragraphs for each section. That way, you are still following the same format but coming out with a longer paper. There are many more tricks you can use for that, but we don’t plan to bore you, as this one will definitely be enough for the first try.

You can also add artistry to your paper by making the introduction more engaging. You could do so by using a strong hook to interest the reader and draw them in. A powerful hook might include an interesting quote, a compelling fact, or a fascinating anecdote.

What to Do Next

If you find that your essays aren’t making the grade, you have options. You might find that an essay writing service companies can help you to develop your paper. Many students fear that online writing help isn’t legitimate, but there is good news: As long as you use a custom-written academic essay the way that it was intended, it’s perfectly legitimate to hire an essay writing company to produce a paper for you. Companies that provide essay writing services offer fast solutions at a cheap, affordable price. The papers produced are completely original and designed to help you to understand the best way to approach your own paper in order to achieve your AP English goals. By mastering the five-paragraph format and using custom-writing services to supplement your work when you run into challenges or find that you aren’t able to complete an assignment on time, you’ll soon find yourself in a stronger position to develop a powerful AP English essay and maximize your grades.

Please be advised that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author or his/her sources and do not necessarily reflect those of English Forward. This includes, but is not limited to, third-party content contained on or accessible through the English Forward websites and web pages or sites displayed as search results or contained within a directory of links on the English Forward network.