AP English Notes

Essay Tips: 5 Ways to Improve Your Essay Scores


  • Connect the purpose (thesis) of your essay to the "big picture." This technique can be especially useful in the conclusion of your essay. Don't just restate your thesis!
  • Be original. Answer the prompt with creativity! Everyone else is likely answering the prompt with the same approach. Take a risk, and be original! Most AP scorers will reward you for not putting them to sleep with a boring yet "safe" essay.
  • Vary your sentence structure. Use short sentences. Mix those in with longer sentences to add variety and sophistication to your writing.
  • Be specific. Which literary devices did the author use? Why did he use these particular literary devices? The more specific you are, the more credibility you'll get from the AP scorer.
  • Avoid passive voice. Active voice is more direct and powerful than passive voice.
    • Good: The author used alliteration to emphasize his point.
    • Bad: Alliteration was used by the author to emphasize his point.

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How to cite this note (with MLA)

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Essay Tips: 5 Ways to Improve Your Essay Scores" StudyNotes.org. StudyNotes, Inc., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2014. <//www.apstudynotes.org/english/sample-essays/improve-essay-scores/>.
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