The student does not summarize the entire source, but instead pulls two statistics from it and use them to support their argument.
The AP synthesis FRQ graders will appreciate that same type of thinking.
Essays that score a 9 do all of that and demonstrate sophistication in their argument. Then, while writing the essay, interact with the sources. Use them to support your arguments and question them.
So how do you write an essay that does all of that in just 40 minutes? The AP English test gives you fifteen minutes to read over the documents. Read over the documents carefully, don’t skim them.
65% of students say the honor system is discussed in class and on the syllabus and 40% of students have violated the honor code and not been caught. Instead of adding to the information from the source, the student just rewrote the information from the source.
The student does not include information that the reader cannot get from reading the document.
Reading the documents carefully helps you pull out the most important information. The thesis should be thoughtful and present an argument.
One of the best ways to come up with a thesis for the synthesis FRQ, which asks students to formulate an argument, is to come up with several possible positions that you Don’t waffle on your opinion.
Just reading the thesis tells you that this student’s essay will a) prove that honor codes do not prevent cheating, b) discuss the idea that honor codes promote repeat-after-me ethics over actual understanding and c) draw on examples of cheating in school and out of school (which will be drawn from the documents).
This is not a good thesis because it is not at all clear whether the student is going to argue that their school should maintain their honor code or revise their honor code. What parts of their own sources would they bring up?