Name: ______________
Argument Essay Practice
Directions: The following is an AP style prompt meant to help you through the steps of reading,
annotating, and answering the prompt. Read the prompt, and follow the steps below. This will be
turned in today, and is very similar to a test you will have this FRIDAY.
PROMPT
American novelist and journalist Chuck Palahnuik (1962-present), in his novel, Lullaby once wrote:
“Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn't see their thoughts as
belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving
an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love.
Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they
call this free will.
At least the ancient Greeks were being honest”
Consider this quotation about free will from the Palahnuik. Then write an essay that defends,
challenges, or qualifies Palahnuik’s assertion about the role that free will plays in a contemporary
society. Support your argument with appropriate evidence from your reading, observation, or
experience.
STEPS to answering an ARGUMENT PROMPT.
Directions: Take 10 minutes to answer the following steps.
Step 1: Annotate the prompt, paying special attention to the quotation.
Step 2: Use the sentence starters to summarize Palahnuik’s argument in 3-4 sentences.
 They, ___________________, say…
 However, Palahnuik contends ….
Step 3: Choose one of the following options:
(For this step, please use your handouts on Chapter 4 and knowledge from last night’s reading).
Agree
Disagree
Qualify
I agree with Palahnuik’s
While Palahnuik claims ….., I While I dispute Palahnuik’s
assertion that…..
would like to contend that…. claim that ….., he is largely
correct in that …..
Palahnuik’s claim about
_______________ is accurate.
Palahnuik’s argument
asserts that…., however, he
has made the assumption
that…..
Palahnuik’s claim that ….. is
accurate, but I would like to
contend that….
Step 4: Create three reasons for your argument, based on the perspectives like the following:
economic
financial
psychological
literary
historical
cultural
racial
moral/ethical
religious
gender-based (sexual)
biological
scientific
governmental
hierarchical other: ___________________
Reason 1: ___________________
Reason 2: ___________________
Reason 3: ____________________
Name: ______________
Argument Essay Practice
AP English Language and Composition 9-point Rubric
9
Essays earning a score of 9 meet the criteria for 8 essays and, in addition, are especially
sophisticated in their explanation and argument or demonstrate particularly impressive control
of language.
8
Essays earning a score of 8 effectively develop a position on the effect of free will in
contemporary society. The evidence used is appropriate and convincing. The prose
demonstrates an ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing but is not
necessarily flawless.
7
Essays earning a score of 7 fit the description of 6 essays but provide a more complete argument
or demonstrate a more mature prose style.
6
Essays earning a score of 6 adequately develop a position on the effect of free will in
contemporary society. The evidence used is appropriate. The writing may contain lapses in
diction or syntax, but generally the prose is clear.
5
Essays earning a score of 5 develop a position on the effect of free will in contemporary society.
These essays may, however, provide uneven, inconsistent, or limited explanations or evidence.
The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but it usually conveys the student’s ideas.
4
Essays earning a score of 4 inadequately develop a position on the effect of free will in
contemporary society. They may misrepresent the author's position, or the evidence used may be
insufficient. The prose generally conveys the student’s ideas but may suggest immature control
of writing.
3
Essays earning a score of 3 meet the criteria of the score of 4 but demonstrate less success in
developing a position on effect of free will in contemporary society or in providing evidence to
support that position. The essays may show less control of writing.
2
Essays earning a score of 2 demonstrate little success developing a position on effect of free will
in contemporary society. These essays may misunderstand the prompt or substitute a simper
task by responding to the prompt tangentially with unrelated, inaccurate, or inappropriate
evidence. The prose often demonstrates consistent weakness in writing.
1
Essays earning a score of 1 meet the criteria for the score of 2 but are undeveloped, especially
simplistic in discussion, or weak in their control of language.
0
Indicates an on-topic response that receives no credit such as one that merely repeats the prompt
or one that is completely off topic.
Evaluator #1: _________________
Score:
Reasons:
Evaluator #2: _________________
Score:
Reasons:
Evaluator #3: _________________
Score:
Reasons:
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AP English Language and Composition 9