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This is the "The Writing Lab" page of the "Mesa High School AP Literature and Composition" guide.
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Mesa High School AP Literature and Composition  

Mr. Garcia's AP Literature and Composition resource page.
Last Updated: Feb 4, 2016 URL: http://libguides.mpsaz.net/mhsap Print Guide RSS Updates

The Writing Lab Print Page

Training Wheels

Here you will find some "Training Wheels" for the first few papers until you get a hang of designing your own structure. Use these example outlines if you wish. Feel free to NOT use them and create your own structure if you feel comfortable!


Writing Lab

Welcome to the Writing Lab page. Hopefully, you find this page to be a helpful resource as you are writing your agrumentative essays in this class. Since most of the time you will be writing expository or basic argumentative (literary analysis) papers, most of the sources here will support these modes of writing.

The Basics:

When you are writing an expository or argumentative LITERARY ANALYSIS paper, you have the burden of proving that YOUR POINT OF VIEW is valid by closely analyzing detailed evidence in support of your MAIN CLAIM and SUB CLAIMS. Like any argumentative paper you have ever written, you must have a specific, detailed THESIS STATEMENT that reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is DEBATABLE.  

Source: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/618/01/


Argumentative Structure

Your basic structure for an argumentative essay consists usually of one MAIN CLAIM which is supported by several other SUB-CLAIMS. 

Your basic essay structure will be:

I. Brief introduction and state main claim via a FOCUS STATEMENT.

II. Body paragraph(s) discussing first sub-claim and how it supports main claim. 

III. Body paragraph(s) discussing second sub-claim and how it supports main claim.

IV. Body paragraph(s) discussion third sub-claim and how it supports main claim.

V. Conclusion that ties all sub-claims back to main claim and discusses any new insights and global relevance.

Your basic body paragraph structure will be:

A. TOPIC SENTENCE - Must state the point (SUB-CLAIM) you will make and be arguable.

Therefore, it should contain a how or why idea. This is often expressed by the

word, "because", which creates a cause/effect statement.

B. EXPANSION/EXPLANATION - This will clarify/define/explain the topic sentence.


D. HOW/WHY ANALYSIS - This is a discussion of how and/or why the words,

actions, or thoughts of any characters or the narrator support the point stated in the

topic sentence and expansion. Consider one or all of the following questions in

your explanation:


What is revealed?

Why is it significant?

How does this support the point?

E. LEAD-IN/ CONTEXT plus QUOTATION or EXAMPLE #2 (follow same guidelines for exmaple #1)

F. HOW/WHY ANALYSIS #2 (follow same guidelines for exmaple #1)

G. CLOSING SENTENCE - This will echo the topic sentence and reaffirm main idea of paragraph.

Click for full Essay Outline.


AP Test Tips from an AP Grader


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