Ap Spanish Persuasive Essay Practice

AP Spanish Language Writing FRQ

This study guide, based on the old AP Spanish exam from 2016 and feedback from the CollegeBoard, will provide a walk through of both writing FRQ questions, and offer examples and strategies to assist you get a high score. It will do this by excavating the 2016 FRQ test to offer thorough guidance on what test scorers look for in top scores. Examples of the AP Spanish Language FRQ writing section test prompts and prior test takers tests will make known what to take advantage of or sidestep when writing your own answers come test day.

2016 FREE RESPONSE QUESTION #1:

Questions #1, also known as the Presentational Writing component of the AP Spanish Language FRQ writing section, asked that test takers probe a document – an email, text message, or invitation perhaps – and respond with a written reply.

The Prompt

This Spanish FRQ task required students to write a response to an e-mail message in 15 minutes. The email message was looking for contribution money to help shelter animals in an animal refuge center. Scorers were looking to see if the test taker understood the received email and if they responded in the formal register. The retort also had to address questions and requests mentioned in the communication, as well as inquire further into any given subject raised in the initial email. Students were also required to formulate a proper greeting and a closing salutation.

The 5s – A Strong Response

The test scorer of this essay believed that the writer’s email response was of high quality. It was not only easy to read, but it met all of the requisite information (retorts to questions, a call for further details) while providing elaborate details.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The above response provides evidence of a rich interpersonal exchange that carries a formal greeting and tone throughout the piece: Como ustedpodrainferior, and si no esmuchamolestia, are a few examples. The student evidently recognized and responded appropriately to the tasks required in the prompt.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The test scorer commented on the student’s diverse use of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions: por gusto; humilde; and molestia are a few notable examples in the excerpt above. The essay writer also has a good command of grammar, syntax, and usage, with minimal errors. Take, for instance, their use of subjunctive: maltrate y abandone; future tense: haré; present perfect: me hanencantado; and using the conditional as a polite verb form: Deberíamos, also present in the same excerpt.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The student also uses indirect object pronouns correctly, as seen in the above example with: regresarle.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Pronouns are also regularly formal throughout, as seen exemplified in: Le and usted above.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Also commendable is the use of compound sentences like: Toda mi vida … como el perro.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Though the student does make the occasional error, it does not impede their ability to communicate effectively; porque and porqué and mistakes such as ya que ellosnecesitar were common, but not detrimental.

Finally, as demonstrated well here, remember to elaborate your responses in the main body of your essay. This will give you the chance to earn your highest points on the FRQ section of the test!

The 4s and 3s – A Fair Response

In this retort, the test taker demonstrated a clear understanding of the content read and the task at hand.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

All required information is present (replies to requested information and more details, for example). The first excerpt shows both the greeting, and the second excerpt demonstrates how the student chose to answer some of the posed questions.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The above quote shows the student requesting further information from the original sender of the email.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Though mostly filled with simple sentences: Uds.hacen mucho porlos animals, the student’s effort to construct complex sentences like: Yo me gusta … divertido, was looked at favorably by the test scorer. The above response shows not only an example of this, but also reveals the writer’s control of adjective agreement: esunorganizacionmuybueno; the preposition por: hacen mucho porlos animals; and some good examples of present tense: Tengo and Puedo.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Though infrequent, original vocabulary can be found in examples like: amable y divertido and Puedover el perroen la persona?

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Nevertheless, test scorers noted that vocabulary and idiomatic language were often recycled or repeated, as seen here: Gracias por el mensajeelectronico!

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

In many places, errors impede comprehensibility of the overall email response, like in the above example: Yo meencantan; y Ud. refugio; and Cuándorecibio las fotografías de mi animal?

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Equally confusing at times, grammatical errors impede readability. In the above example, the response includes a personal pronoun error: Yo me encantan; incorrect conjugations verbs: Y decidió; and a type verb mistake: Yo me gusta.

Try your best to show off your language skills or to acquire more! Read lots literature. Crack open a novel or read some poetry for at least an hour per day. Do not read just to understand the words you already know; take time to look up and put to use those you do not know as well too.

The 2s and 1s – A Weak Response

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

This email response (presented in its entirety above) does not maintain an accurate exchange between the sender and the test taker. For starters, it is too short and lacks development. They fail to answer the questions posed in the original email and did not request further details. The response indicates that the test taker has limited Spanish vocabulary use or grammatical register, syntax, or usage. Finally, the test scorer deducted points because the response does not follow an email format (there is no greeting or salutation, for example).

On an end note, Read the assignment carefully so as to know what you ultimately have to do (write a greeting, answer questions, request clarification or additional information, and write a closing statement). Be sure to follow the directions so that you answer what is being asked of you. If, for example, an email prompt asks that you “include a greeting and a closing,” be sure to include this in your reply.

Tips from the Test Scorers

Test scorers collectively agreed that the majority of students understood the prompts and the tasks they were asked to do. Those who did have difficulty did so because they believed they were being offered a volunteer position at an animal shelter rather than being asked for a monetary donation. It is important to know your Spanish vocabulary for the exam. If you get stuck on a particular verb or expression, try to infer meaning from the surrounding text.

Many who took the exam also did not elaborate their responses but relied on straightforward, direct replies. Remember that it is okay and even encouraged, to use examples from your real daily lives. Using personal details may help you more easily ask for further information when needed.

It’s also important to consistently use the requested register or format desired. This is where paying attention to the directions come in. Underline each of the tasks required of you and from time to time, check back that you are still on track.

Doing a few practice drills will better acquaint you with the sorts of essay questions asked on the test. If your AP Spanish teacher has the time, ask them to go over any mistakes you may have made while working out your answers.

FREE RESPONSE QUESTION #2:

Question #2, the Persuasive Essay component of the AP Spanish Language FRQ writing section, requires students to examine multiple sources such as articles, tables, graphs, or audio artifacts, and use them to formulate an argument, based on their beliefs on a particular theme.

The Prompt

For this Spanish FRQ prompt, test takers were given three sources of information – two printed and one listening source that included diverse viewpoints and statistical data regarding a Spanish language contest, and if “the increasing popularity of electronic books is beneficial?” They had six minutes to read the essay topic and the two printed sources, and then they listened to the audio source. Following that, students had 40 minutes to write their essay.

Test scorers were looking to see that students understood each of the provided sources, and that they could then express their point of view, defend it, and support it using the source material in well-organized paragraphs. Additionally, it was important that students not only referred to the sources, but that they cited them appropriately.

The 5s – A Strong Response

This essay presents a clearly written and well-stated thesis statement that addressed each of the questions asked.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The test scorer believes the main body paragraphs of the essay support the thesis well, and end with a logical conclusion, drawn from the sources, as also seen above.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

In the above excerpt, you can see that the same student is able to express their viewpoint, while demonstrating a trustworthy treatment of the source perspective.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The student also does a fine job of incorporating content from all three sources, comparing data between them, while going on to develop their own perspective. In the above excerpt, Además…ideas and Apesar de que…lugaresen el mundo are good examples of this. The test scorer commends the writer’s use of graphic information in the essay, as demonstrated in the above example.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The grammatical use here is solid, and the writer used the subjunctive tense effectively, for example: que usemos; and impersonal verbs, for example: Como se menciona.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

The above extract shows robust use of vocabulary and idiomatic language: a pesar de queNo cabeduda; and elusocreciente.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Here complex sentences also contribute to an overall impactful essay, seen here in: A pesar de muchos … con la tecnología.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

This essay is fully comprehensible, with insignificant errors: son simplementemásfácil; y ideas; tuvíamos are just a few examples taken from the above excerpt.

The 4s and 3s – A Fair Response

This student’s essay addresses the topic and tasks fairly.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

For starters, the test taker indicates their understanding of the source material, and adequately addresses each of them in the essay. The test scorer noted, however, that the majority of data referenced in one particular source had several inaccuracies, as seen in the above passage.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

That being said, though the writer does express their viewpoint, to some degree, most of the essay comes across as a summary of the sources, as seen in the above passage.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Here is evidence that the overall remarks made in the essay are understandable, but it takes some effort to get a clear meaning when presented with errors like: fuenten; obseración; libroselectronicosescomplicado de usar.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Equally problematic are the significant amounts of grammar and spelling mistakes. Examples of these errors are found in the preterite: hablo; a transfer from English: Ella dijo que libroselectrónicos; future tense: vaver andvatomar; andsubjunctive: actualze las cosas.

The 2s and 1s – A Weak Response

Student’s Written Response

This essay does not do a sufficient job of meeting the task requirements, for example there is very limited incorporation of the source material. In other words, you could say that it does not try to persuade the reader. It is also disorganized, with no transitional elements, cohesive devices, or basic punctuation. The test scorer commented that the essay, on the whole, is barely understandable.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

It is important to note that you are interpreting the source material, not only summarizing it. Instead of using the data to build an argument, here above the student simply repeats information from them: arbolesmochado”; “loslibro … que cuidarlo.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Though trivial when compared to errors mentioned in the previous excerpt, the assortment of vocabulary presented here is limited and often repetitive. As seen in the above passage, words like: cosa, bueno, and the expression hay que cuidar are written several times to no effect.

Student’s Written Response

Commentary

Finally, represented in the above selection, errors in grammar, syntax, and usage are pervasive: lostrabajo; loslibro; and mucha persona are just a few.

Tips from the Test Scorers

According to test scorers, there seemed to be an imbalance between how often students cited particular sources, most favoring one over the other two. There seemed to be particular difficulty in accurately interpreting visual data as well. It’s important to incorporate all three, including graphs and appropriate citations, into your essay to earn top points.

There was also confusion with what exactly constitutes a persuasive essay. Some students didn’t present their point of view, others merely responded with personal anecdotes, some stated pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages, but did not choose a side and defend it. Few answered the question posed, which asked that they present their views on the increased popularity of electronic media, and instead went off on other tangents.

It is important to carefully read the question and tasks being asked, and then do the same with the reading and listening sections. From there, establish a clear viewpoint based on the question posed. While studying, look at a number of different sources (written, visual, auditory, academic, popular, etc.). Learn how to draw and interpret data from each to form an argument. Learn how to connect ideas found in material that addresses similar themes of varying viewpoints. Also, practice citing sources correctly.

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Product Description

This 68-slide PowerPoint and activities include the following:

~The goal of the persuasive essay and how to reach it
~The use of cause and effect to make one’s point
~The different kinds of arguments
~The different kinds of evidence
~Vocabulary to express cause and effect
~Expressions for stating one’s opinion
~Vocabulary for meeting objections
~Components of the introduction
~Components of the developing paragraphs
~Components of the conclusion.
~Ideas for a hook
~When and how to meet objections
~Examples of the causes and effects for a particular topic and questions
~Examples of evidence for that topic
~Step-by-step instructions for the reading and analysis of the three sources and writing of an essay in Triángulo Aprobado. (It can be adapted to use with other texts as well.)
~Possible thesis statements for that topic demonstrating how to manipulate the sources to support different thesis statements, i.e. yes, no, or both
~Instructions on how to write an outline and organize one’s essay
~Instructions and examples for how to cite sources
~Synonyms for, “dice”
~Instructions for avoiding the first and second person in formal essays
~Practice activities to avoid using the first and second person

The activities work in conjunction with the PowerPoint, “How to Write a Persuasive Essay for AP Spanish”. There are 19 pages of activities which include the following:
~Sample persuasive essay with vocabulary and indicators for thesis statement and different ways to cite sources
~Practice activity in which students interact with the essay, identify components, cause and effect, evidence, and methods of citing sources
~Answers to practice activity
~Peer edit of introductory paragraph
~peer edit of first developing paragraph
~peer edit of persuasive essay
~vocabulary for cause and effect and expressing one’s opinion
~Step-by-step instructions for the reading and analysis of the three sources and writing of an essay in Triángulo Aprobado. (It can be used with other texts as well.)
~a template for organizing a persuasive essay
~password for Powerpoint YOU WILL NEED POWERPOINT 2002 or later to open this password-protected PowerPoint.

This curriculum meets all the Learning Objectives set forth by the College Board and is based upon the three modes of communication: “Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational” and the six themes: “La belleza y la estética, La vida contemporánea, Las familias y las comunidades, Los desafíos mundiales, Las identidades personales y públicas y La ciencia y la tecnología”.

This product is included in the following money-saving bundle: AP Spanish Power Points for an Entire Year

Since the purpose of the persuasive essay is both expository and persuasive, a preliminary, foundational lesson on Expository Essay is recommended.

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How to Write a Persuasive Essay for AP Spanishy by Angie Torre is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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