Sample Prompts for the Argument Essay FRQ- AP government

US_Congress_02Below are 13 samples, each of which includes:

  • A sample essential question which introduces the argument essay prompt on some area of government. (There is an online course available which teaches the process of making these kinds of questions)
  • A draft prompt including three founding documents that could help shape the students’ arguments.

I’ve posted some samples for the Supreme Court comparison FRQ here


Interest groups: Do interest groups hinder or promote democracy?  Prompt

Gridlock:  Is gridlock from divided government healthy or unhealthy for our system of government?  Prompt

Term limits:  Do congressional term limits violate or honor indexpopular sovereignty? Prompt

Citizen participation: Does citizen participation really matter?  Prompt

Primaries and caucuses: Is the presidential nominating process democratic? Prompt

Presidency:  Do executive orders give the president too much power?  Prompt

Photo IDs and federalism:  Do states have the authority to pass photo identification laws which restrict people’s ability to vote?  Prompt

Social Media:  Is social media a healthy way for citizens to participate in our political system?  Promptvoter_id

Electoral College:  Should the electoral college be abolished?  Prompt

Civil Rights:  Should the federal government have power over states in the shaping of civil rights policies?  Prompt

Representative versus direct democracy: Which is a better vehicle to serve citizen needs– a representative or direct democracy?  PromptThe_Kavanaugh_family_and_Donald_Trump

Independent judiciary:  Is an independent judiciary a threat to or a savior for democracy?  Prompt

Congressional oversight:  Is congressional oversight healthy or unhealthy for our system of government?  Prompt

Overall, I really like the changes to the AP government exam. Not only is the entire course framework organized by essential questions, one of the new FRQs– the argument essay– implies an essential question.

I’m excited to teach an online course this summer through Adams State U. titled “Teach Different with Essential Questions”.  In it teachers learn a 3-step process of making claims and counter-claims to generate essential questions.

This can be a great opportunity to craft questions aligned to essay prompts.  

Sessions begin June 3rd , July 1st


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