Are we going to be able to type out our essay in a different word processor and then copy and paste it into a text box to submit? And if so, do we still type our id and initals in the given text box?
Yes, you can type out your essay in something else and copy then paste to submit.
The given text box should only contain your response, so it doesn’t need your AP ID or initials. I recommend a word processor that auto-saves as you write like Google Doc.