First Impressions and Impressive Words

The reason why students take the AP Literature and Composition Exam is to show their mastery of this subject by receiving a high score. As my SAT tutor tells me, these standardized tests are sports and the goal is to rack up as many points as possible. The Princeton Review’s Cracking the AP English Literature and Composition Exam 2013 explains the various ways that make it easy for the reader to give an essay a high score. First, the book explains that “neatly written essays earn higher scores on holistically graded tests” so it is important to practice writing neatly and quickly (100). Another piece of advice is to make sure to indent. Both neat hand writing and an essay that appears organized will improve the reader’s first impression of an essay. Now as the reader begins to actually read the essay, it is vital that the first paragraph is free of mistakes. This first impression of the student’s writing will guide the reader’s attitude throughout the essay. Finally, a student should use “snappy verbs and tasty nouns” while also showing off his literacy vocabulary (101).  These tactics are fairly simple to incorporate into an essay, and they do not require hours of studying to master them.


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