Tag Archives: argument essay FRQ

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

(Here are 16 argument essay prompts for the AP gov exam and sample prompts for the Supreme Court comparison FRQ)

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