Writing Book

AP English Book

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AP Lang. Writing Excerpt.docx

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Judge, 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Below is a brief commentary for the entry in the 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Reading this book made me wish I’d had the chance to take AP Lang. in high school! The author presents excellent advice on how to write a well-reasoned essay and how judges score AP essays. While the advice is clearly intended to help students get better scores, it also is sound advice on how to write well.

The advice builds in a logical progression (for the most part—some minor tweaks within sections might help) from analysis to synthesis to persuasion. The author carefully dissects what makes an essay work, providing example after example of intentionally varying quality along the way. For example, bad-better-best examples for figurative language; introductions, body grafs, and conclusions first on their own, then as complete essays; essays scored by the author and essays for the readers to assess themselves before comparing their scores with the author’s.

The author’s advice echoed this reader’s experience in judging essays (outside the AP world). For example, do not be neutral (p. 104); you are not arguing fact or truth but a reasoned opinion (p. 158); pick ONE opinion (p. 161); and avoid “empty openings” (p. 166). The “beatitudes” at the beginning made my heart sing.