Life of Pi

AP Essay Introduction Practice for Life of Pi
Criteria for Success for an AP English Lit. Essay Introduction
Your introductory statement . . .
a. should give full name of author and the title of the selected work.
b. MUST ANSWER ALL PARTS OF THE PROMPT. Otherwise your essay will score a 4/9 or lower.
c. should be written in literary present tense
d. should be written in the active voice
Try using the What-How-Why structure when writing your introduction.
What—will offer a surface-level comment about the work (at least title and author)
How—will answer the analytical questions in the prompt
Why—will lead to a theme represented in the work, one that is related to the “How” you have already described
Prompt (2010):
Palestinian American literary theorist and cultural critic Edward Said has written that “Exile is
strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a
human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be
surmounted.” Yet Said has also said that exile can become “a potent, even enriching” experience.
Select a novel, play, or epic in which a character experiences such a rift and becomes cut off from
“home,” whether that home is the character’s birthplace, family, homeland, or other special place. Then
write an essay in which you analyze how the character’s experience with exile is both alienating and
enriching, and how this experience illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. You may choose a
work from the list below or one of comparable literary merit. Do not merely summarize the plot.
--Edward Said has asserted that exile is both an “unhealable rift” and an “enriching experience.” While these two
statements seem to contradict each other, Said is correct in his assumption that the two often go together. In the novel
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe illustrates this heart-wrenching experience through the novel’s protagonist, Okonkwo.
Through his exile, Okonkwo confronts firsthand the meaning of cowardice and the importance of cultural understanding.
(Essay score = 8/9)
--In Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, a shipwreck in the middle of the Pacific leaves Pi Patel isolated from civilization. Ironically, Pi
finds himself facing physical and emotional devastation, while simultaneously experiencing a renewed sense of spiritual
meaning. Ultimately Pi’s struggle for survival and his subsequent religious awakening suggest that even the most
challenging of situations can prove enriching.
Open Question Prompt Practice
Prompt: 2005, Form B: One of the strongest human drives seems to be a desire for power. Write an essay in which you discuss how
a character in a novel or a drama struggles to free himself or herself from the power of others or seeks to gain power over others. Be
sure to demonstrate in your essay how the author uses this power struggle to enhance the meaning of the work.
Write your introduction below:
Based on your introduction, consider the body paragraphs you would need to complete your essay. Now write topic sentences
for those body paragraphs. These should be clear argumentative claim statements that can be supported with evidence from
the text. Below the claims, list the textual references you would make to support that particular claim.
Topic Sentence #1:
Topic Sentence #2:
Topic Sentence #3:
Topic Sentence #4: