The two synthesis essay questions below are examples of the question type that has been one of the three free-response questions on the AP English Language and Composition Exam as of the May 2007 exam. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic. Students are given a 15-minute reading period to accommodate the additional reading required for the question.
Below is a sample synthesis essay question, sample scoring guidelines, comments from the Chief Reader about the sample student essays, seven sample student responses, and scoring commentary for each sample.
Approximately 300 AP English Language and Composition students from eight schools in New York, Maine, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, Florida, and New Mexico wrote responses to this synthesis topic. Students from these schools were given a 15-minute reading period followed by a 40-minute writing period in which to complete the sample synthesis assignment.
An additional sample synthesis essay question is provided here.
Writing the Synthesis Essay
How to Write a Synthesis Essay
Step-by-step guide, nicely chunked and with pictures for visual learners.
Introduction to Synthesis
Definition, types of synthesis, standards, process, and techniques for development.
Synthesis Essay Example, Sample, Outline, Format
This page includes writing tips and sample topics.
The Synthesis Essay Explained
Characteristics of a synthesis essay, steps in the process of writing one, outline, and rubric.
Synthesis Essay Materials
Sample synthesis essay question, sample scoring guidelines, and seven model student responses. This page from AP Central also includes comments from the Chief Reader about the sample student essays and scoring commentary about each sample.
Synthesis Thesis Statement
Purpose and models. 1 page; Adobe Reader required.
Definition, types of synthesis, suggestions for organization, checklist for a draft.