AP Lit. Essay Prompts & Suggested Elements to Discuss

Analyze the literary elements/devices in the passage. How does the author employ them to
reveal the meaning of the text?
Dialogue, setting, tone, point of view, figurative
language, conflict, motif, symbolism, imagery, selection of detail,
Analyze the figurative language in the passage. How does the author employ them to reveal
the meaning of the text?
Metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification
Analyze the satirical elements in the passage. How does the author employ them to reveal the
message of the text?
Verbal irony, dramatic irony, situational irony, sarcasm,
hyperbole, imagery, tone. Do not forget to connect any use of SATIRE to the overall message or theme.
Analyze narrative techniques and other resources of language used for characterization.
Suggested Elements to Discuss: Dialogue, tone, point of view, plot structure/terms,
imagery, metaphor, simile,
How does a narrator reveal or express character or theme?
Dialogue, tone, imagery, point of view, detail, characterization, conflict, motif
How does the author reveal a character’s predicament?
Imagery, figurative language, diction (word choice), point of view, characterization
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Explain the effect of the passage on the reader.
What is the tone of the passage? What is the emotion of the diction? The theme? The imagery/detail?
Compare/contrast two passages concerning diction and details chosen.
Imagery, word choice, selection of detail, concrete vs.
abstract diction. Do not forget to connect use of language to overall message, theme, or
tone.
How does the passage provide characterization of one character compared to/over another?
Dialogue, tone, point of view, plot structure/terms,
imagery, metaphor, simile, etc. Is there a foil involved?
What is the attitude (tone) of the speaker toward a particular subject? Analyze style and tone
and how they are used to explore the author’s attitude toward his or her subject.
Diction, syntax, imagery, metaphor, simile, symbolism, motif, analogy, choice of detail
How does the language of the poem reflect the speaker’s point of view?
Any use of language: imagery, syntax, diction, poetic
devices
How does the poet reveal a character or setting through style?
diction, syntax, structure, tone, point of view, sound
devices (assonance, consonance, alliteration), imagery, allusion, metaphor
Discuss the differences and similarities between two poems.
Consider diction, syntax, theme, and any literary or
poetic devices
Discuss how poetic elements such as language, structure, imagery, and point of view convey
meaning in a poem.
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Given two poems, choose which you believe is better and discuss why
Consider diction, theme, structure and any literary or
poetic devices.
Discuss the changing attitude or tone throughout a poem
Detail, diction, syntax, imagery, structure, poetic
devices
Discuss a specific metaphor or simile in a poem
Do not forget to connect the content and/or tone of the metaphor or simile to the
overall meaning or theme of the poem. What is its purpose?
Discuss the theme of a poem, particularly how it is revealed through…
detail, tone, imagery,
symbolism
Discuss how the form, structure, or shape of a poem affects its meaning
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