Miss Beck There are three important writing assignment categories in AP World History. All of the categories are tested on the AP World History exam. This guide is meant to help you understand what is expected for each category and how to write for each type of assignment. Before you understand how to write the required essays, you should know how to write an appropriate thesis for AP World History. While the thesis writing you learned may be appropriate in other academic classes, it must be enhanced for AP World History. All scoring guides on the AP World History exam (the same ones used to grade your work in class) emphasize the thesis statement. The rubric states you must have an acceptable thesis. The challenge lies in knowing what is acceptable.
A thesis should be a specific argument that answers the question at hand.
Example Test Question Prompt: Compare and contrast the Roman Empire during 206 BCE-220 CE with the Spanish Empire of the sixteenth century.
Your thesis should include one comparison and one contrast while referencing both empires and time frames. A generic thesis would be:
“There were many similarities and differences between the Roman Empire during 206 BCE-200 CE and the Spanish Empire of the sixteenth century.”
For AP World History you need to do more than what is stated above. It is too general and simply repeats the prompt. In other words, you need to create a better thesis. An AP World History thesis would read:
“There were many similarities and differences between the Roman Empire during 206 BCE-220 CE and the Spanish Empire of the sixteenth century. One was land-based while the other was sea-based yet they both grew rich from conquest of territory outside their boundaries.”
All you must do is present an argument in your thesis. A short thesis is always better than a long one. A thesis that is too long may cause you to lose points. Additionally, do not split up your thesis. Make sure it is all in one place.
Developing better thesis writing is simply by practice. You will be offered multiple opportunities to develop you thesis writing skills. Please utilize them!
DOCUMENT-BASED QUESTIONS (DBQ’s):
The purpose of DBQ’s is to test your ability to work with and understand historical documents. This essay is about the documents! Make sure to keep focus on that concept. Each DBQ should have the following:
A relevant thesis with evidence from the documents
Thesis must be based on the documents, not just the question
Use of all the documents
College Board says you must “Support the thesis with appropriate evidence from all documents.” Do not simply mention the document.
Analysis of documents by grouping them in as many appropriate ways as possible; not a simple summary of the documents individually
Ability to group shows that you have read and understand the document.
Type of source
Type of author
Those that are of the same religion, political party, social groups, or other groups
Accounts for all the sources of the documents and includes analysis of the authors’ points of view
Why he/she would think this
Where the document comes from in time and geography
What the document comes from (religious text, speech, letter, diary, newspaper)
Truthfulness of the document
Explanation for need of one additional document
Yes, an additional document! Your DBQ is not just about the documents you see on the paper, but also one you can recall from reading. There will be plenty to prepare you ahead of time. It is simply a matter of remembering what they consist of and including them.
DBQ Scoring Rubric
Is the thesis acceptable?
Does the student address all of the documents and demonstrate understanding of all or all but one?
Has the student supported the thesis with appropriate evidence from all but one of the documents?
(Has the student supported the thesis with…