130-minute free-response section



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130-minute free-response section

  • 130-minute free-response section
  • Part A: DBQ (60 Mins)
    • 15-minute reading period
    • a. analyzing the documents and planning their answer to the document-based essay question (DBQ) in Part A.
    • 2. 45 minutes writing DBQ
  • 2.Part B & C: Free Response

Age of Exploration to Present

  • Age of Exploration to Present
  • Letters, paintings, graphics, maps, primary resources
  • Use Documents as additional form of evidence
  • Demonstrate you can handle different opinion/evidence
  • DBQ: have two or three parts to the question

Spelling and punctuation errors won’t affect your performance rating unless person CANNOT understand what you wrote

  • Spelling and punctuation errors won’t affect your performance rating unless person CANNOT understand what you wrote
  • Thesis Statement that addresses the question
  • Arguments need to lead to a viable conclusion
  • DBQ: use at least 75% of documents in essay
  • Outside information (extra details to support)
  • ANALYZE (DO NOT DESCRIBE THE TOPIC)
  • End of essay restate the thesis like if your are approving what your write

Write like if you are lawyer presenting a case before a jury

  • Write like if you are lawyer presenting a case before a jury
  • Present a set of arguments that support your position (thesis statement)
    • From Documents & outside resources
  • Convince a jury that your position is correct
  • JURY= your reader

Break down the question into different parts

  • Break down the question into different parts
  • Jot down ideas to cover
  • List outside facts
  • Look through the documents and see how to use them

8-Step Strategy:

  • 8-Step Strategy:
  • 1.         Read the question three times. Do not move on until you fully understand it.
  • 2.         Identify the task by circling the main words. (For example: assess the validity, compare and contrast, evaluate relative importance, analyze the             significance, etc.)
  • 3.         Ask yourself “what do I have to prove?” (e.g. Foreign policy is more important than domestic policy).
  • 4. Pay special attention to economic, political, social issues that need to be included.
  • 5.         Make a list (outline) of outside information (as if you were writing a standard essay)
  • 6.         Examine the documents, underlining any key words or phrases that you may use later in the essay. Reread the question again after reading the first three documents.
  • 7.         Construct a thesis that is well-developed and clear. If the thesis is a mystery to the writer, it will be a mystery to the reader!
  • 8.         Write your essay.

At the beginning of your essay

  • At the beginning of your essay
  • Tell the reader the position you will attempt to prove
  • Intro Paragraph + Thesis= direction of your essay
  • ANALYZE: “how” and “why”

Scratch outs, messy, difficulty to read can hurt your evaluation

  • Scratch outs, messy, difficulty to read can hurt your evaluation
  • Do keep essay prganize
  • No abbreviations or symbols, colored pens, highlighters
  • Do underline/break down your question
  • DON’T add info that is irrelevant
  • Do define when necessary (common sense)
  • NO personal opinion (NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK)
  • Do close w/ a good conclusion that restates your thesis
  • When you cite a document, do not call it by its letter (Document A, Document B…).

DON’T site documents in the intro

  • DON’T site documents in the intro
  • DON’T use a document you don’t understand
  • Use as many documents 75%
  • DON’T use documents in order in your essay
  • DON’T quote or copy caption of graphics
  • Don’t explain documents -- that is not your task.! AP readers have a list and a summary for each document. Use documents to reinforce your main points and outside information.
  • Don’t rewrite large portions of documents. Try to limit quotations to 1 sentence or less.
  • Reference author’s you are citing (e.g. …“In the letter by Abraham Lincoln”)
  • Cite every document used, e.g., (Doc. A), (Doc. F)

Avoid factual mistakes.

Ex: “The complaints of the Rhode Island legislators (Doc. A)…” or “F.D.R.’s speech given two months before his bid for reelection (Doc. E)…”

  • Ex: “The complaints of the Rhode Island legislators (Doc. A)…” or “F.D.R.’s speech given two months before his bid for reelection (Doc. E)…”

Analyze: determine their component parts; examine their nature and relationship

  • Analyze: determine their component parts; examine their nature and relationship
  • Assess/evaluate: judge the value or character of something; appraise; evaluate the positive and negative points; give an opinion regarding the value of; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of
  • Compare: examine for the purpose of noting similarities and differences
  • Contrast: examine in order to show dissimilarities or points of difference
  • Describe: give an account of; tell about; give a word picture of
  • Discuss: talk over; write about; consider or examine by argument or from various points of view; debate; present the different sides of
  • Explain: make clear or plain; make clear the causes or reasons for; make known in detail; tell the meaning of


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