Activity 2: Free Response Writing 

The specific type of writing used for AP Macro is called a free response. Like all good writing, free response writing demands that you directly answer the prompt, provide good supporting details, and write legibly with proper mechanics. Free Response writing is timed writing so you need to be able to quickly plan your responses, write, and give yourself a little time at the end to proofread and edit. You can practice your free response with the following prompt.

Essay Prompt

Between 2007 and 2009 the US faced a variety of economic difficulties. In the 2008 Barack Obama was elected President.  Once in office President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly referred to as the economic stimulus. This new law called for spending increases for a variety of government programs, designed  to help the struggling economy and unemployed Americans. 

  1. What economic problems did the US face between 2007 and 2009? Diagnose the US economy during that period. Be sure to use details from the sources you were given.
  2. How did Democrats and Republicans differ over the President’s stimulus plan? Use details from your sources and also refer to the general differences between Republicans and Democrats on the role of government.
  3. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the policies pursued by the President? Explain your reasons. 

Preparing to Write

  1. Begin by reading my powerpoint slideshow called Diagnosing the Economy and The ABC’s of Political Parties. Take notes on the organizers provided for each.
  2. Then read the the six sources related to the economy included in the packet. The Works Cited for each source is included on the next page.
  3. Take notes on the two CNN articles using the Careful Reading and Note Taking organizer for the two CNN articles about the Economic Stimulus.

Writing A Free Response

  1. When you write your free response essay, make sure to:
  2. Address each of the three questions in the prompt. Include your main ideas supported with accurate details and examples, using evidence from the six sources. 
  3. Correctly use the social studies vocabulary related to economics and politics as you make your argument. 
  4. Write an organized essay with correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. 

Scoring Guidelines

  1. Once you have completed your free response essay, use the scoring guidelines to grade the content of your paper.
  2. How many points did you earn out of 8 in your free response essay? What could you improve upon in your next free response?

Works Cited

1. Beinhart, Peter, “The New New Deal,” Time Magazine, Cover. November 24, 2008.

2. Benson, Lisa, “Stimulus Toss,” Political Cartoon, Wash Poet Writers Group, September, 8, 2010.

3. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “ Unemployment Rate 2006-2012,” http://www.bls.gov/, May, 18, 2013.

4. Gordon, Phil, “Phoenix mayor: The stimulus is working,” CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/25/gordon.stimulus, January 25, 2010.

5. Paul, Ron, “Economy Flounders, Despite the Stimulus,” CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/25/paul.stimulus.waste, January 25, 2010.

6. US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) , “Table 1.1.1. Gross Domestic Product 2006-2012”,  http://www.bea.gov/, April 26, 2013

© Dave Forrest 2013