AP Gov Argument Essay: The U.S. Presidency

The United States Presidency has evolved and expanded since the days of the founding generation. Taking steps to prevent presidential abuses of power, the founding generation debated distributing power to multiple executives, but were ultimately swayed by arguments Hamilton put forward in Fed 70.

Compare the current state of the U.S. presidency to the founder’s intention of the single executive. Is the presidency today still aligned to the founding principles, or have contemporary presidents exceeded constitutional guardrails?

Use evidence from at least one of the following foundational documents

  • The U.S. Constitution, Article II
  • Federalist Papers No. 70

In your response you should do the following:
✓ Respond to the prompt with a defensible claim or thesis that establishes a line of reasoning. 

✓ Support your claim with at least TWO pieces of specific and relevant evidence. 

  • One piece of evidence must come from one of the preceding foundational documents. 
  • A second piece of evidence can come from any other foundational document not used as your first piece of evidence or it may be from your knowledge of course concepts. 

✓ Use reasoning to explain why your evidence supports your claim or thesis.
✓ Respond to an opposing or alternate perspective using refutation, concession, or rebuttal. 


Start with the graphic organizer to brainstorm and outline
1. Don’t worry about the claim at first, instead pull any and all relevant evidence.
2. Instead of trying to find evidence to support your claim, look at the evidence you’ve gathered and allow it to decide your claim for you. This will speed things up and help you make your claim specific.
3. As you consider your evidence and your claim, take a moment to also consider how someone with an opposing viewpoint might interpret your evidence.
4. Focus on building your argument by analyzing your evidence. Explain the significance of this evidence and how it justifies and supports your claim.
5. Switch back into opposing view mode. How would that opposing viewpoint react to or argue against your claim and justification? What would they say about your argument?
6. What’s your response to the viewpoint? Why is your claim still correct or better?