AP Literature "Introduction" & "Theme"

<p>What is necessary for a good **introduction?</p>

<p>The AP Lit teacher has decided that it's necessary for all essays to have the title, author, genre, tone, and theme of the work in the introduction. We also need to have a two or three (complex/compound) sentence plot summary of the work. Without all of those "necessities," we're basically denied from getting a high(er) score in the AP grading scale. </p>

<p>Based on released high-scoring essays, I don't think all that information is necessary, or even helpful. What's actually needed for an adequate intro?</p>

<p>How does your teacher define **theme?</p>

<p>At my school, the entire English department has been very insistent in telling us that theme is the central message of a literary work, and it is not a phrase (like Sparknotes themes) or a word or two (like Sparknotes motifs).</p>

<p>I find it rather annoying trying to fit in an entire sentence about theme into an intro that's already filled with irrelevant information - stuff that has nothing to do with the analysis.</p>

<p>One more question: *What is an "insufficient length" for an essay?
*
Based on previous experience with AP Lang and APUSH, my essays were never more than one page - and I got a 4 on both of the exams. (I score relatively high on the MC section.)</p>

<p>How short is too short? Half a page? One page? Two pages? My teacher apparently expects us to fill up at least two, if not three pages...</p>

<p>To present all of that information in the introduction would certainly be superfluous. My school's AP English teacher is strongly opposed to such an approach, in which one simply lists a predetermined set of information. She is also convinced that plot summaries detract from an essay, as readers desire original ideas, not recaps of works they have already read.</p>

<p>An adequate introduction can take many forms, as you have already observed from the released examples. Our teacher asks us to catch the readers' attentions in our introduction, and present the idea from which our essay will expand.</p>

<p>A theme is the central idea of the literary work, or the subject which it explores. Thus, it could be a simple, one-sentence message, or the work could have no message but rather only a topic.</p>

<p>On length, the essays ought to be at least two to two and a half pages. A lower quantity necessitates a higher quality. If your multiple choice scores were high, essay length could be the reason you only received a four, and not a five.</p>

<p>I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I wish you all the best in your endeavours.</p>