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Compelling AP Argumentative Essay Examples For Your Next Essay Assignment

Argumentative essays are a staple of high school and college English classes. Often, teachers will assign an essay with the prompt.

But what exactly is an argumentative essay? In its simplest form, an argumentative essay is a paper that argues a single point. 

An AP argumentative essay asks you to take a position on an issue or an idea and defend it using evidence from texts or other sources. In other words, you will be making an argument about something and supporting your argument with evidence.

This can seem like a lot to take in at once, but luckily, we have some examples to help get you started. Use these as a starting point for your essay planning. So let’s jump into it!

What is the AP Essay?

The AP exam is a test that evaluates a student’s knowledge and skills in a particular subject area. To pass, students must score a 3 or higher on the essay portion of the exam.

AP essay is not easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult. But it is possible to ace the AP essay if you’ve prepared well. 

There are two types of AP essays synthesis essays and rhetorical analysis essays. Let’s take a closer look at the types of AP argumentative essays.

The Synthesis Essay

It is also known as the “argument” essay. The synthesis essay will ask you to take a position on a given issue and support your argument with evidence. This essay concerns your ability to think critically and analytically about a complex issue. 

  • When writing the synthesis essay, you’ll need to be sure to:
  • Read and analyze the prompt carefully. What are you being asked to do?
  • Develop a central thesis that takes a position on the issue. What is your main argument?
  • Find and incorporate evidence from at least three different sources into your essay. 
  • Remember to cite your sources!
  • Write clearly and concisely, using language that is appropriate for your audience. 
  • Be sure to address counterarguments or alternative viewpoints in your essay. What objections might someone have to your argument? How will you address them?
  • Conclude your essay by reaffirming your thesis and showing how your argument has been supported by the evidence.

The Rhetorical Analysis Essay 

The rhetorical analysis essay will ask you to analyze how an author uses rhetoric. Rhetoric means the language used to persuade or convince in a given text. 

You’ll need to focus on how the author uses one or more of the following rhetorical devices: 

  • Logos (reason/logic)
  • Pathos (emotion)
  • Ethos (credibility/ethics)

When writing the rhetorical analysis essay, you’ll need to be sure to: 

  • Read and analyze the prompt carefully. What are you being asked to do? 
  • Identify which rhetorical devices the author is using in the text. Are they trying to appeal to logic, emotion, or credibility? Or all three? 
  • Find evidence in the text supporting your analysis of the rhetorical devices used. Be sure to cite specific passages from the text! 
  • Write clearly and concisely, using language that is appropriate for your audience. 
  • Conclude your essay. Discuss how effectively you think the author’s rhetoric has convinced their audience.

5 AP Argumentative Essay Examples

By looking at well-written examples, you can better understand what makes a strong argumentative essay. You also get to learn how to structure your essay so that it’s compelling and convincing. 

With that in mind, here are 5 AP argumentative essay examples to get you started.

Example #1: The Death Penalty Is Unjust 

“The death penalty is an unjust and ineffective punishment that should be abolished.”

This example takes a clear stance on the death penalty. It provides several reasons why it should be abolished. The evidence used to support the claims is also well-chosen and relevant. 

Overall, this is a strong essay that makes a persuasive case against the death penalty.

Example #2: There Should Be Stricter Gun Control Laws 

“In light of recent mass shootings, it’s time for stricter gun control laws in the United States.”

This example focuses on the issue of gun control. Also, emphasize making a case for stricter gun control laws in the United States. It includes statistics and factual evidence to support its claims. This makes it a strong and compelling example of an argumentative essay.

Example #3: Animal Testing Is Unethical 

“Animal testing is unethical and should be banned because it causes unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.” 

This example takes a clear stance against animal testing. It provides clear reasons why it should be banned. 

The language used in the statement is emotive and effective. This makes the statement a powerful example of an argumentative essay. 

Example #4: School Uniforms Are A Good Idea 

“School uniforms are a good idea because they promote equality, reduce bullying, and make schools safer.”

This example argues that school uniforms promote equality, reduce bullying, and make schools safer. It includes statistics to support its claims. 

The use of persuasive language throughout proves effective in conveying the message. This makes it a strong example of an argumentative essay. 

Example #5: Social Media Is Harmful To teens 

“Social media harms teenagers because it increases their risk of anxiety, depression, and cyberbullying.” 

In this instance, we have a convincing argument that rests on factual proof. The statement can be backed up by statistics and research-based evidence.

AP Argumentative Essay PDF Examples

In order to provide you with a better understanding of the AP argumentative essay, here are some pdf samples.

How to Write an AP Argument Essay?

To do well on the essay portion of the exam, you need to be able to write a convincing essay. This blog post will give you tips on how to write an effective AP argument essay.

Read the Prompt Carefully

Make sure that you understand what the prompt is asking you to do. Highlight keywords and phrases that will help you formulate your argument. 

For example, suppose the prompt asks you to “evaluate.” This is a clue that your essay should include a critical analysis of the issue. 

Develop a Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should state your position on the issue. It should explain why you hold that position. 

Remember that your thesis statement should be arguable. That is, it should be something that someone could reasonably disagree with. 

Find Evidence To Support Your Thesis Statement

You will need to find credible evidence supporting your position on the issue. This evidence can come from statistics, expert opinions, or real-world examples. 

Be sure to cite your sources, so your reader knows where you found your information.

Organize Your Essay In a Clear and Logical Manner

Your essay should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In your introduction, clearly state your thesis statement. Provide any necessary background information about the issue at hand. 

Your body paragraphs should each focus on one main idea and provide evidence to support that idea. Finally, conclude your essay by restating your thesis statement. 

The Relationship Between AP Scores and College Admissions

As a general rule, the higher your AP score, the better. A 5 is the highest possible score on an AP exam. It indicates that you’re excellent for college-level work in that subject. 

A 4 indicates that you’re well-qualified, and a 3 shows that you’re qualified. Lastly, a 2 or 1 means that you should consider taking a lower-level class in that subject once you get to college. 

Some colleges will give you credit for a 4 or 5 on an AP exam. It means you can skip introductory classes and jump right into more advanced coursework. This can save you time and money. So it’s definitely something to keep in mind when choosing which AP classes to take.

Let’s wrap up!

Above are just five of the many possible examples of AP argumentative essays. Always take your time to brainstorm potential topics for your essay. 

Remember to choose something that you’re passionate about so that you can write an effective argument!

We know that writing an effective argumentative essay for the AP exam can be grueling. However, by following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can rest assured knowing that you have everything you need to write a successful essay!

Frequently Asked Question

Do You Need a Counterargument In An Argumentative Essay AP Lang?

Yes! You always need a counterargument while writing an AP lang argumentative essay. Even if it’s just to show that you understand your opponent’s point of view. Make sure to always include a strong counterargument in your essays!

How Many Pieces Of Evidence Are In AP Argumentative Essay?

There are three main categories of evidence in an AP Argumentative Essay: statistics, expert testimony, and personal experience. For each category, you’ll want to provide one or more pieces of evidence to support your argument.

Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda
Chief Author and Editor

Hello, everyone! I am Cathy A. and I am the Chief Author and Editor at I overlook all the guides and blogs being written on the website about argumentative essay writing.

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