Create a Compelling Claim for the Best AP Prompt

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 9.26.30 PMHere’s a funny cartoon to show that editorial staff in the Crowsnest has a little sense of humor. After you catch yourself from laughing out loud in study hall or at your day student homework nook, settle down and click on the link below. Download the Word Document, which lists the essay questions on the past AP Exams. Please review the whole list well and argue in 5-7 sentences (in Standard English, of course), which prompt would help you create the optimal essay for The Scarlet Letter. You can refer to your prompt simply by the year. Again, compose your 5-7 sentence argument in a Word document so that you can conduct spellcheck and grammar check easily. Then paste your 5-7 sentence argument in the comment thread below this post. In other words, you will make comments on this post just as you did for the comments on the community text. AP Free reponse.2014


About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
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14 Responses to Create a Compelling Claim for the Best AP Prompt

  1. Ally says:

    The AP free response question that will allow for the best response on The Scarlet Letter is from the year 2009. This prompt asks the test taker to focus on one symbol in a novel and analyze its functions in the story. This prompt is perfect when writing about The Scarlet Letter because there are various symbols throughout the novel that are important to the story as a whole. When reading The Scarlet Letter one must understand the intended symbolism in order to understand the author’s intentions. This essay question makes the test taker explore and understand symbolism. Some of the most important symbols may be Pearl, the scarlet letter, the prison, the forest, and many more. The task of writing an AP essay becomes simplified because of the abundance of symbols in The Scarlet Letter.

  2. A says:

    To aid me in creating the optimal essay for “The Scarlet Letter”, the essay topic from 1983 would be ideal. In “The Scarlet Letter”, the devil is a very prominent villain. The devil helps to enhance the meaning of work especially by affecting the ideals of the people in the town, driving them partly by fear of temptation to be completely intolerant. This intolerance is an important aspect of “The Scarlet Letter”. This AP free response question gives the test taker an opportunity to put reasoning toward the ultimate intolerance of the people and clergymen in the town. This topic also gives the writer a chance to go more in depth about both the time period in which the story takes place, and the time period in which it was written. The intolerance of the church, influencing citizens is an important piece of American history. The idea of describing a villain that so closely relates history with “The Scarlet Letter” can be both factual and entertaining both to read and write.

  3. KJ says:

    The AP free response question from 2012 is the optimum prompt for writing an essay on The Scarlet Letter for many reasons. The Scarlet Letter primarily takes place in two settings, which develop each main character in a different way. The forest embodies freedom and exemption from the harsh laws and norms of society. In contrast, the town of Boston, during the mid seventeenth century, provides a rigid and unforgiving place where purity, law, and religion are the most important values. These settings and the foiling between them play a vital role in the progression of the story and the development of the main characters. The material pertaining to this question is abundant enough to write about and defend while also being able to achieve the goal of producing the best AP essay possible.

  4. 16htt says:

    The AP response question that is most suitable for “The Scarlet Letter” is the topic from 1970. In an intolerant society where Hester is the very victim of male dominance and religious conflicts, this topic is rather fitting. “The Scarlet Letter” portrays the corrupt reality. Hence, we are able to distinguish how the characters are affected by the standards of this certain community and how they respond to these situations. With this, we, as the writer, can have a better understanding of the character’s intentions and perspectives as an individual in a Puritan society.

  5. Niklas says:

    The AP free response question that would help me create the optimal essay for “The Scarlet Letter” is from 1976. The prompt asks for a discussion about the conflict between an individual and the society and their moral and ethical implications. This perfectly relates to “The Scarlet Letter”, because Hester is exactly such a character. The majority of the people are against her, which gives the essay a perfect chance to talk about the different point of views. These different moral and ethical ideas can be discussed in a historical aspect, related to the time when the novel was written and the time the story plays. Question 1976 gives the writer the chance to relate two different historical time periods with “The Scarlet Letter”, in order to create an essay that compares moral and ethical point of views and really goes deep into social problems and requirements described in “The Scarlet Letter”.

  6. K.Dotes. says:

    The AP prompt from the year 2009 would aid me the best in responding to “The Scarlet Letter”. This essay topic asks the writer to show how a symbol in the story that reveals a larger theme in the story. The scarlet letter that Hester wears is a perfect example for this essay topic. The scarlet letter reveals things about different parts of the story including Pearl, Arthur, Hester as well as the society that these people are living in. The letter can stand for different thing depending on whose eyes are looking at it, making “The Scarlet Letter” the perfect novel for this response.

  7. hnewman9 says:

    The AP free response question from 2009 would be the most conducive to creating the most effective essay on “The Scarlet Letter”. The focus of the prompt is on a symbol in a novel, and, “The Scarlet Letter” is centered around the red “A” that Hester wears on her chest. This “A” is supposed to be her punishment for the sin that she committed, adultery. On the surface this would be an effective answer because the “A” relates to the work as a whole, but it also has many sub meaning that can show the work in a different view. The question also asks, “…what it reveals about the characters…”, and the “A” reveals to the reader a lot about Hawthorne’s views of that time period. One would easily be able to write an articulate essay on the meaning of the “A” and the different roles it plays throughout the novel.

  8. Catty says:

    After reading the multiple essay questions, I believe that the second prompt, from 1970, would be the best question for an essay on the Scarlet Letter. I chose the 1970 essay because it is asking for the student/test taker to explain the importance of an inanimate object and describe its importance and relevance. The Scarlet Letter is both based on, and named for an inanimate object that encompasses the entire meaning of the story. I had originally liked the first prompt, choosing a character and explaining how their society influences and creates the kind of person that they are, but then, as I read the second prompt, the choice became obvious. It would not be difficult for the student to come up with at least 2 or 3 times that the ‘A’ played an important role in setting the tone of the story, and connect these occurrences to one another. If anyone had an issue with this process, then they clearly didn’t read the book.

  9. 16msd says:

    “1987. Some novels and plays seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes or in traditions. Choose such a novel or play and note briefly the particular attitudes or traditions that the author apparently wishes to modify. Then analyze the techniques the author uses to influence the reader’s or audience’s views. Avoid plot summary.”
    This topic is one of the major themes in the Scarlet Letter. Hawthorn does not depict Hesters isolation in a way where the reader would agree its fair. It is a story written with the intent to make the reader feel bad for Hesters situation, for the reader to empathize with her and back in the time when Adultery was still a taboo topic personally reexamine the idea and the punsihment of it. This could be an interesting essay that would allow us to examine author intent and the time period it was published in.

  10. os123 says:

    I believe that the most appropriate AP essay question for The Scarlett Letter would be the one from 1983. The villain in the story is Chillingsworth, and his pivotal role as the adversary to Hester provides a lot of meaning to the text. His villainy is a major plot point as it represents a form of slavery, and Hawthorne’s opinions of his ancestor’s ways. It also allows the reader to form his or her own opinion as to whether Chillingsworth’s villainy is well-deserved, or despicable. On the whole, the main thread of villainy woven throughout the book is an important topic to touch upon when discussing The Scarlett Letter.

  11. H says:

    The AP prompt from 2009 would help most in in creating a response to“The Scarlet Letter”. The topic says to show how a symbol in the story reveals a larger theme in the story. I chose this one because “The Scarlet Letter” has numerous symbols allowing for and immense and in-depth essay to be written. Hester and the letter embroidered on her breast embodies the suppression of women during these times, as we’ll as the the letter embodying the power of the church over everyones lives. The woods are also a great symbol uses throughout a great number of literary classics. And as it has been said so many times by readers, “what happens in the woods stays in the woods”. The woods can be interpreted as a symbol for a sanctuary, since laws and rules of the regular world are separated once one enters the woods. But the woods can be interpreted in so many different ways. That is up to the reader. Symbols are all around the novel making this a great AP question and topic.

  12. jg says:

    The prompt of 2014 suggests that what we value can be determined only by what we sacrifice. To this I could not agree more, thus this prompt will help me create the most optimal essay. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester sacrifices so much for Dimmesdale and Pearl, depicting tremendous amount of love and representing the “good” of the story. By looking at Hester’s sacrifice in a profound way, ones could understand not only her character, but also her motives and actions which would provide a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole.

  13. Madrakula says:

    The AP Free Response prompt of 2008 would be the best option for writing an essay response to “The Scarlet Letter” because Pearl (the minor character) symbolizes and accentuates Hester’s (the main character’s) feelings of guilt and shame. Throughout the story, Pearl also symbolizes what her mother’s scarlet letter represents. The things that the scarlet letter portrays in this work are crucial to the development of the characters and the story and that is why this would be a great AP style essay question to further elaborate on.

  14. Bailey says:

    My two favorite prompts was the one from the year of 1995 and 2015. But between the two, I like the 2015 prompt better. This prompt discusses the effect of cruelty on an individual when a society decides that this person is deserving of it. In “The Scarlett Letter” there is an obvious alienation of Hester and Pearl but she eventually learns from it. There is an obvious change in Hester’s lifestyle and she is now accepted by the town. This is all because of the cruelty the town has put her through. The AP essay would not only be a challenge for the writer, but an interesting read for the teacher.

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