Writing apah essays
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Writing APAH Essays. FRQ & DBQ. Respect the Prompt. What is the time period? What am I asked to discuss/do with the question? What is appropriate content for the question ?

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Respect the prompt
Respect the Prompt

What is the time period?

What am I asked to discuss/do with the question?

What is appropriate content for the question?

Here you might pose the prompt as questions to be answered – often there are two elements to consider in an APAH essay. It’s most important that you understand what you’re being asked to evaluate or analyze. A helpful statement might be “ The question to be argued is…”

This will help you deal with all aspects of the question.

You may consider a possible thesis or more than one.

Preparation for writing
Preparation for Writing

List eight –ten pieces of information right off hand that you know about the time period or issue to be analyzed or evaluated. This can include people, events, terms and ideas, impact, etc. EX. IF the topic is reform in the 1830s-1860s ---Finney, Second Great Awakening, Camp Meeting, Reform Movements, results of economic changes from market economy.

Consider how these might support or challenge your thesis. You might consider two possible thesis statements to expand your thinking and depth of analysis as well as support that you might use.

Writing apah essays

  • Now read each document – considering (writing)

    • Who wrote the document – the significance of the individual

    • Purpose of the document – why written – Point of View –tone – context

    • Inferences – what other ideas - qualitative, specifics – quantitative support does the document “cue” you to remember. Could be information about issues of the period.

      Place a + or – next to documents – this might help you strength your thesis, pose an alternate thesis or a counterargument to your thesis.

      Use the documents to support your argument – do not write just from the documents like in a Euro DBQ

Introductory paragraph frq dbq
Introductory Paragraph – FRQ/DBQ

  • Most significant paragraph – you establish your knowledge, your thesis, and the direction for your essay here.

  • Make a graphic organizer before you begin the essay

  • In this paragraph:

    • Establish the context – one or two sentences to show background/time period – issues.

    • Thesis statement – take a clear position- include a BECAUSE statement – it will keep you analytical and from merely describing. One or two sentences. This targets your essay. Be sure that you deal with ALL aspects of the question.

    • Organizing Ideas – these are the strategy and outline by which you will attack the essay and demonstrate support for your thesis.(make the argument) Give a clear sense of direction or quality – this should almost be an abstract of your essay. Two – four sentence

    • Acknowledge counter arguments if you can.

    • Try for 6-8 sentences total in this paragraph. Often “grade” is earned here.

Example of organizing ideas
Example of Organizing Ideas

Give a sense of direction of quality to each OI. EX. Politically, the essential innovation of the Revolutionary generation was to based government on the consent of the governed and to set a universal standard of human rights when the idea that “all men are created equal” was introduced. It made the ideas of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness the purpose of government and also to apply to all people. MUCH better than stating that the “Revolutionary generation created political change.” Try for 6-8 sentences.

Body paragraphs
Body paragraphs

Follow the outline that you set up in the OI.

Each paragraph should contain at least 3-5 specific references – (people, terms, events, issues) in support of the argument – you don’t need to explain – just use appropriately – remember historians are reading – they know the material. The use of support is essential – you must use qualitative reasoning and quantitative support. These are generally eight – ten or twelve sentences also. Show your knowledge and depth of “historicalmindedness.”

DBQ – use “effectively” in support of your arguments. You can probably include a couple in each paragraph. NEVER quote except quite briefly. Give a parenthetical citation –EX. (D) or (Doc. D)

Body paragraphs1
Body Paragraphs

For a DBQ - Key “stuff” is intentionally left out – so you have some outside info to add – thus pay attention to what IS NOT given in documents.

Contradictory documents help you to evaluate your thesis and consider qualifying it.

EX. Document incorporation:

Charles Finney changes traditional Calvinist belief by his emphasis on free will and use of emotion (B), but this raised concerns from some like Beecher that he’s gone to far.

Finney made salvation accessible to ALL – the ultimate in democratic ideas – that ONE was responsible and capable of change (B).

Concluding paragraph
Concluding Paragraph

This paragraph summarizes the thesis – state in a new way.

Can remind of key support used in the essay to demonstrate the strength or validity of your thesis.

Can point to later developments or historical significance/impact.

Don’t make a new argument, offer a new thesis, or state that the essay “sucks” and you weren’t prepared.

OK – not too bad to write – but you MUST come “armed” with historical knowledge – that come from reading, discussion, preparation for possible essay topics.