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How To Do an AHAP

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How To Do an AHAP. B. Q. D. The APUSH REDESIGN. A “Dazzling” D.B.Q. Is Like a Tasty Hamburger. The Introductory Paragraph. The “Top Bun” of your essay! 4-6 sentences. Thesis Statement. Pretend you are an attorney delivering opening arguments… DO NOT—simply restate the question

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How To Doan AHAP






The Introductory Paragraph

The “Top Bun” of your essay!

4-6 sentences

thesis statement
Thesis Statement
  • Pretend you are an attorney delivering opening arguments…
  • DO NOT—simply restate the question
  • Make a strong thesis like this
    • Provide a little background
      • After the defeat of the Spanish Armada…
    • Make sure that you mention the individuals by name and how they relate w/o stating they are similar but different—DO NOT USE first names—are you on a first name basis with John Smith?
    • Never ask a question—as the writer of this document, you have all the answers

The Introductory Paragraph

  • Establish TIME & PLACE.
  • Create a clear, THESIS STATEMENT.
  • Allude to the SUB-TOPICS or categories you will discuss to support your thesis statement
  • Focus on the question at hand—do NOT begin with a “flowery” sentence!
  • Remember….organization is key!!

No “laundry list!”

sample thesis statement
Sample Thesis Statement

During the time of salutary neglect, the thirteen colonies flourished economically and politically since Great Britain was involved in a series of wars. However, when Great Britain returned attention to the colonies, it was found that not only were the colonies governing themselves, but they refused to be governed by Great Britain. The time period in which Great Britain was involved in a series of wars, therefore propelled the colonies to become more independent, so by the eve of the Revolution, colonists had a strong sense of identity and unity. Their sense of identity was formed by their different origins and their increased separation from Great Britain. Furthermore, due to self-governance, their government representation became united to the benefit of the colonies. Geographically, the colonies were bound to be separated from Great Britain since it was harder to represent the colonists in Parliament, and it was even harder for Parliament and the King to understand their thoughts and lifestyles. Due to these differences identity and unity emerged.

Red = Background info-est time and place

Blue = Thesis statement-this is what you are proving throughout your paper

Purple = Major points that support your thesis statement—not a laundry list


The “”Meat”” Paragraphs

The “tasty” part of your essay!

8-12 sentences+ per paragraph


The “”Meat”” Paragraphs

  • Identify your sub-topic or category in the first sentence. (FOLLOW THE ORGANIZATION IN YOUR THESIS)
  • Include analysis of the documents that are relevant to support the ideas in each paragraph.
  • Use ALL of the documents given.
  • Address at least 1 of the following for each document
    • Intended audience
    • Purpose
    • Historical context
  • Bring in supportive outside information. This is critical!! * o.i.’s = “outside information”
  • Connect historical phenomena relevant to the argument to broader historical events
  • Your paper should flow…transition from topic to topic as well as from paragraph to paragraph
  • Do not end a paragraph and then abruptly began another one
    • Transition words/phrases:
      • Adams on the other hand represented a new form of government…
      • As Adams vacated the Presidency, Jefferson and his Jeffersonian-Republican party emerged.

The Concluding Paragraph

The “Bottom Bun” of your essay!

It holds it all together!

3-4 sentences


The Concluding” Paragraph

  • Start with a “concluding phrase.”
  • You MUST include synthesis of the argument in your conclusion
    • Extend or modify your thesis statement
    • Recognize contradictory information as another approach to the problem
    • Connect to other historical periods, geographical area, contexts or circumstances

End of some trend/movement/idea, etc.

Beginning of some trend/movement/idea

End of one & beginning of another.

Do NOT end on the note that this is the reason we are where we are today!

avoiding weak words
Avoiding weak words
  • Use strong higher order thinking language (elevate your vocab)
  • Do NOT use pronouns (I, you, we, they etc)
  • Do NOT use phrases (in my opinion)
  • Do NOT use clichés or broad unsubstantiated statements (George Washington was the BEST president EVER!!!)
  • DO NOT use words such as “talks about” “this is about” “says” “good” “bad” “a lot” “tells of” “things” “forever” “never” “the paper discusses” “got” “get” etc…
instead use this language
Instead…use this language…
  • USE…words such as
    • “The author contends”
    • “Brinkley asserts”
    • “Washington espouses in his Farewell Address”
    • “The author’s perspective illustrates the point”….
other writing styles to avoid
Other writing styles to avoid
  • George Washington was the BEST President EVER
  • No one could ever be a better President
  • The country would not be like it is today if not for the most courageous efforts….blah blahblah…
  • You could definitely say….just state it…

Questions to Ask Yourself About the Documents

  • Attribution  Who is this person?
  • Why might they be significant?
  • What is the point of view (POV) of the author?
  • How reliable and accurate is the source? (bias)
  • What is the tone or intent (purpose) of the document or author?
  • What other information does this document call to mind? Use all available clues.

Remember, docs. can be used in a variety of ways!


How to Reference a Document in Your Essay

The 19c historian, Frederick Jackson Turner, felt that …………………. (Doc.2)

NEVER begin with: In Document 3, …

NEVERcite multiple documents at once (1, 4 & 7)

NEVERuse long quotes or reference directly from the documents “the chart in Document 5…”


Ummmmm, Burger!

I Mean, A Perfect DBQ!