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Sample AP English Synthesis Essay Prompt



A recent Supreme Court decision has provoked much debate about private property rights. In this decision, the court ruled that the city of New London was within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution when it condemned private property for use in a redevelopment plan. This ruling is an example of the classic debate between individual rights vs. the greater good.


Carefully read the following sources, including any introductory information. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that supports, opposes, or qualifi es the claim that the government taking property from one private owner to give to another for the creation of further economic development constitutes a permissible “public use” under the Fifth Amendment.

Refer to the sources as Source A, Source B, and so forth. Notes in parentheses are for your convenience.

  • Source A (U.S. Constitution)

  • Source B (60 Minutes)

  • Source C (Kelo decision)

  • Source D (Koterba, political cartoon)

  • Source E (Broder)

  • Source F (Britt, political cartoon)

  • Source G (CNN and American Survey)

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