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Pierce's10th Grade Honors and 10th Grade IB Prep

AP Writing Examples

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Writing is going to be very important this year.  While FCAT scores are very important to both you and the school, your ability to write in an AP style is also significant.   

One way to improve your scores on AP style essays is to show you very well written essays.  On this link I am going to show you several different essays with varying scores.

AP essays are scored from 1 to 9 with 9 being the highest. 

You will also find a generic rubric included here as well.

Read the following poem carefully.  Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the poet uses language to describe the scene and to convey mood and meaning.


Evening Hawk

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.
               His wing
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.

The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.
Look!  Look!  he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
Into shadow.

          Long now,
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics.  His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense.  The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.

Robert Penn Warren

AP RUBRIC FOR "Evening Hawk"



Question #1: Robert Penn Warren’s “Evening Hawk”


General Directions:  This scoring guide will be useful for most of the essays that you read, but in problematic cases, please consult your table leader.  The score that you assign should reflect your judgment of the quality of the essay as a whole—its content, its style, its mechanics.  Reward the writers for what they do well.  The score for an exceptionally well-written essay may be raised by one point above the otherwise appropriate score.  In no case may a poorly written essay be scored higher than a three (3).


9-8       These essays offer a persuasive analysis of the language the poet uses to describe the scene and to convey mood andm eaning.  Although the writers of these essays offer a range of interpretations and choose to emphasize different poetic techniques, these papers provide convincing readings of the poem and demonstrate consistent and effective

control over the elements of composition in language appropriate to the analysis of poetry.  Their textual references are apt and specific.  Though they may not be error-free, these essays are perceptive in their analysis and demonstrate writing that is clear and sophisticated, and in the case of a nine (9) essay, especially persuasive.


7-6       These competent essays offer a reasonable analysis of the language the poet uses to describe the scene and to convey mood and meaning.  They are less thorough or less precise in their discussion of the themes and techniques, and their analysis of the relationship between the language and the themes is less convincing.  These essays demonstrate the writer’s ability to express ideas clearly with references to the text, although they do not exhibit the same level of effective writing as the 9-8 papers.  While essays scored 7-6 are generally well written, those scored a seven (7) demonstrate more sophistication in both substance and style.


5       These essays may respond to the assigned task with a plausible reading 

         of the poem, but they may be superficial in analysis of theme and

         technique.  They often rely on paraphrase, but paraphrase that contains

         some analysis, implicit explicit.  Their analysis of the language of the

         poem may be vague, formulaic, or inadequately supported by

         references to the text.  There may be minor misinterpretations.  These

         writers demonstrate control of language, but the writing may be marred

         by surface errors.  These essays are not well conceived, organized, or

         developed as 7-6 essays.


4-3       These lower-half essays fail to offer an adequate analysis of the language of the poem.  The analysis may be partial, unconvincing, or irrelevant.  Evidence from the poem may be slight or misconstrued, or the essays may rely on paraphrase only.  The writing often demonstrates a lack of control over the conventions of composition: inadequate development of ideas, accumulation of errors, or a focus that is unclear, inconsistent, or repetitive.  Essays scored a three (3) may contain significant misreadings and/or demonstrate inept writing.


2-1       These essays compound the weaknesses of the papers in the 4-3 range.  Although some attempt has been made to respond to the prompt, the writer’s assertions are presented with little clarity, organization, or support from the poem.  They may contain serious errors in grammar and mechanics.  These essays may offer a complete misreading

         or be unacceptably brief.  Essays scored a one (1) contain little coherent

         discussion of the poem.


0       These essays give a response with no more than a reference to the task.


     These essays are either left blank or are completely off-topic.