Argument (AP Exam)

Scoring
This essay's score should reflect the essay's quality as a whole. Remember that students only had 40 minutes to read and write; the essay, therefore, is not a finished product and should not be judged by standards appropriate for an out-of-class assignment. Evaluate the essay as a draft, making certain to reward students for what they do well.

All essays, even those scored 8 or 9, may contain occasional lapses in analysis, prose style, or mechanical. Such features should enter into your holistic evaluation of an essay's overall quality. In no case should you give a score higher than a 2 to an essay with errors in grammar and mechanics that persistently interfere with your understanding of meaning.

9- Essays earning a score of 9 meet the criteria for the score of 8, and, in addition, are especially sophisticated in their argument, thorough in their development, or particularly impressive in their control of language.

8- Effective
Essays earning a score of 8 effectively argue a position. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and convincing, and the argument is especially coherent and well developed. The prose demonstrates a consistent ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing but is not necessarily flawless.

7- Essays earning a score of 7 meet the criteria for the score of 6 but provide a more complete explanation, more thorough development, or a more mature prose style.

6- Adequate
Essays earning a score of 6 adequately argue a position. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and sufficient, and the argument is coherent and adequately developed. The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but it usually contains the student's ideas.

5- Essays earning a score of 5 argue a position. The evidence or explanations used may be uneven, inconsistent, or limited. The writing may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but it usually conveys the student's ideas.

4- Inadequate
Essays earning a score of 4 inadequately argue a position. The evidence or explanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient, or unconvincing. The argument may have lapses in coherence or be inadequately developed. The prose generally conveys the student's ideas but may be inconsistent in controlling the elements of effective writing.

3- Essays earning a score of 3 meet the criteria for a score of 4 but demonstrate less success in arguing a position. The essays may show less maturity in their control of writing.

2- Little Success

Essays earning a score of 2 demonstrate little success in arguing a position. The students may misunderstand the prompt or substitute a simpler task by responding to the prompt tangentially with unrelated, inaccurate, or inappropriate explanation. The prose often demonstrates consistent weaknesses in writing, such as grammatical problems, a lack of development or organization, or a lack of coherence and control.

1- Essays earning a score of 1 meet the criteria for the score of 2 but are undeveloped, especially simplistic in their explanation and argument, weak in their control of language, or especially lacking in coherence and development.

0- Indicates an off-topic response, one that merely repeats the prompt, an entirely crossed-out response, a drawing or a response in a language other than English.

Indicates an entirely blank response

*for the purpose of scoring, argument means asserting a claim justified by evidence and/or reasoning.

Developing Argument

To prove or disprove any claim use the strategies below.

Deductive Reasoning

  • If the premises are assumed to be true and the conclusion is certainly true as a result, conclusion is valid.
  • If premises are actually true and conclusion is valid, conclusion is sound.

To prove qualified claims, use the strategies below.

Inductive Reasoning

  • If premises are assumed to be true and conclusion is probably true, as a result, conclusion is strong.
  • If premises are actually true, and conclusion is strong, then conclusion is cogent, which infers that is likely true due to trends/statistics.

To prove heavily qualified claims, use the strategy below.

Abductive Reasoning

Abductive reasoning is an inference to the best explanation —> form of induction.

  • propose/ confirm existence of a phenomenon, propose possible causes, the determine probable cause.
  • always formally fallacious- affirms consequent (See fallacies for more information)

Example: A (antecedent), B (consequent)
If A, then B happens.
Saying that B happened is not sufficient proof of A

To Disprove Claims

Reductio ad absurdum

"Reducing to the absurd"
Show absurd consequences of unsound claims
If the same set of premises reaches contradictory conclusions, the argument is unsound
If both the conclusion and negation can result from the same premises, the argument is unsound

Argument From Analogies

Point is not to equivocate, but to illustrate crucial similarities
Singer's drowning child (morally right to save the child)
Thought experiment:
Extended analogy that includes some element of experimentation
Invent a scenario, explore all possible outcomes
Lucretius' spear (if you throw a spear into a boundary where something "ends," what happens?)

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