Tag Archives: argument essay FRQ

AP Gov Argument Essay Prompt: Should the government play an active role in the censorship of social media?

Should the government play an active role in the censorship of social media? 

Once tensions subside enough to have a reasoned discussion, there’s an opportunity to take on the issue of media censorship. Individual companies like Twitter are taking immediate action to censor speech. Those companies are not obligated to protect 1st Amendment freedoms in the same way government must when it passes laws. Undoubtedly, there will be growing calls for the government to take a more active, regulatory role instead of relying on these private companies to do it on a case-by-case basis.

Check out this argument essay prompt:

Following the models I’ve seen from the College Board, I tried to write this prompt in a way that doesn’t lean one way or the other but simply puts the issue out there. Feel free to edit as you wish given the unique sensibilities of your students. I think this prompt could be a really good way for the kids to explore important government terms and concepts in the context of the three founding documents featured in the prompt (Federalist #10, #51 and the Constitution):

The First Amendment (Constitution)

The danger of factions (Federalist #10)

Representative democracy versus direct democracy (Federalist #10)

Checks and balances (Federalist #51)

Congressional oversight (Constitution)

If you’re looking for more AP argument essay samples, there are more than a dozen HERE

Other posts you may like:

“Your silence will not protect you.” Audre Lorde

“The Supreme Art of War is to Subdue the Enemy without Fighting.” Sun Tzu

Pre-writing activity for AP gov Argument Essay FRQ: Executive Orders

Here’s an idea for how to combine a good classroom conversation with the writing of an argumentative essay FRQ on executive orders.

(The conversation method and example shown here come from Teach Different.)


  1. Tell students to submit answers to this Google form 2-3 days before the conversation. On the form students analyze a quote from John Adams: Power can never be trusted without a check. They write the claim Adams is making and then explore the counterclaim to the quote by referencing their personal experiences and how these experiences affirm or contradict what Adams is saying. They then answer an essential question which provokes them to take a stand: Should we trust people with power? This activity fills their heads with ideas to talk about.
  2. Review the Google spreadsheet of student responses.
  3. Have the conversation (any format works- online, hybrid, face-to-face). Students can talk about any part they want (claim, counterclaim or EQ). Your role is to guide and push the conversation along. I like to highlight interesting remarks right on the spreadsheet so I can bring them up if the conversation stalls. It could last anywhere from 15 minutes to an entire period. Totally flexible.

4. Hand out the argumentative essay FRQ on Executive Orders

By having this conversation before the writing activity, you are getting the students to think about power as it relates to their own personal experiences and you are giving them valuable skill practice making claims and counterclaims. This positions them for success when they write about power in the context of executive orders and checks and balances.

Do you use any other pre-writing activities with this FRQ?

Other posts you may like:

Sample prompts for the argument essay FRQ

AP Government Test Prep in the Age of Coronavirus

Sample Prompts for the Argument Essay FRQ- AP government

Below are 17 samples, each of which includes:

  • A sample essential question which introduces the argument essay prompt on some area of government.
  • A draft prompt including three founding documents that could help shape the students’ arguments.
If you are looking for ways to get your students talking online, here is a really cool conversation strategy I’ve used as a set up for these FRQs.


AP Government Argument Essay Samples

NEW! Media Censorship: Should the government play an active role in the censorship of social media?  Prompt

Congressional roles:  Does the delegate or trustee model of Congressional representation best serve the needs of the people as the Framers intended?  Prompt

Federalism in the Age of Coronavirus: Should the federal government or the states be most responsible for responding to the Coronavirus outbreak?  Prompt

Political Parties:  Do political parties hinder or promote democracy?  Prompt

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

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

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

Citizen participation: Does citizen participation really matter?  Prompt

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

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

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


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

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


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

Electoral College:  Should the electoral college be abolished?  Prompt


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

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

Other posts you might like…

Pre-writing activity for AP gov Argument Essay FRQ: Executive Orders

Make meaningful conversations a ROUTINE during remote learning

“Right makes Might…”  Abraham Lincoln

“Your silence will not protect you.”  Audre Lorde