Ap world History



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Library Research Project:

Compare and Contrast Two Early Civilizations

AP World History

This project fulfills a number of AP Skills, themes, and content. Specifically on pg. 7 of the College Board packet I gave you, the following Habits of Mind (skills) apply: “seeing global patterns over time and space while also acquiring the ability to connect local developments to global ones and to move through levels of generalizations from the global to the particular” and “developing the ability to compare within and among societies, including comparing societies’ reactions to global processes.”

You will notice several of the themes listed are applied in your research.

**Finally, the AP exam requires that you have general knowledge about each of the early civilizations but specific knowledge on two of them. It doesn’t matter which two.


Group assignments: you have the following options for research:

  • Mesopotamia compared/contrasted with Egypt

  • Mesopotamia compared/contrasted with India

  • Mesopotamia compared/contrasted with China

  • Mesopotamia compared/contrasted with Mesoamerica (Olmecs and/or Mayans, NOT Aztecs and Incas)

  • Egypt compared/contrasted with India

  • Egypt compared/contrasted with China

  • Egypt compared/contrasted with Mesoamerica (Olmecs and/or Mayans, NOT Aztecs and Incas)

  • India compared/contrasted with China

  • India compared/contrasted with Mesoamerica Olmecs and/or Mayans, NOT Aztecs and Incas)

  • China compared/contrasted with Mesoamerica Olmecs and/or Mayans, NOT Aztecs and Incas)


This project consists of several parts:

-research in the media center/Social Studies lab on Thurs. and Fri., and some additional time to work in class on Monday to pull this together

-work on this at home, in lieu of usual homework reading/studying

-Create a visual display (stand-up Science fair billboards are good, posterboard, I will provide butcher block paper if none of your group members brings anything else.) showing the areas of comparison and contrast of the two areas you were assigned. There should be some applicable pictures, maps, etc. on your visual. It must show COMPARISONS as well as CONTRASTS!!!

-Participate in a “Foundations Fair”. You will be required to have half your team present/explain your information as others in the class view your display. (We’ll switch to the other half of the team part way through the period.)

-Judge displays on “Best Appearance/Most Organized”, “Most Detailed”, “Best at Meeting Research Objectives”, etc.

-eventually you will write a comparison/contrast essay as well, which is one of the three main essays you will be required to write on the AP exam.
DIVIDE and CONQUER: There are 3-4 members in your group. Assign jobs and categories to research to accomplish the objectives in the time allowed.
Research Objectives: Compare/contrast the two civilizations on 10 (min.) of the 16 areas listed below:


  • Geography

  • Trade

  • War - (#1 on pg. 5 of College Board packet on Patterns and Alliances impacts of interaction)

  • Agriculture - (#3 on technology)

  • Weaponry

  • Population Growth and decline

  • Disease - (#3 on demography)

  • Migrations

  • Social Structure (classes/castes) - (#4 )

  • Gender Structure

  • the Arts - (#5 cultural and intellectual developments)

  • Literature

  • Government structure - (#6, including attitudes toward government)

  • Family organization

  • Religious beliefs

A BIBLIOGRAPHY must be included on the back of your visual display. Alphabetize by author’s last name. Do NOT separate books from magazines, etc. I only did this to help you with the form.


if from the data base:

“Act of Settlement (1701)”. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO Schools Subscription Web Sites. 18 Aug. 2002 http://www.worldhistory.abc-clio.com


if from an online magazine:

Lankford, Kimberly. “The right insurance at the right price.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. July 98, pg. 78. EBSCOhost. Available http://gw1.epnet.com/fulltext.asp (5 Sept. 03).


if from a magazine:

Lee, Jessica. “Clinto Plans ‘to Build on’ Budget.” U.S. News and World Report. 10 Jan. 1998: 2-14.


if from a book:

Palmer, R. Roswell and Joel Cotton. A History of the Modern World. New York: Duncan Books, 1990.




if from the World Wide Web:
Tarnack, Andrew and Kleppinger, Gene. “Citing the sites.” Beyond the MLA handbook: documenting electronic sources on the Internet. 1996. http://www.unbsj.ca/davis/citation.htmlciting_sites (2 December 98).
author last name, first. “Title of the document.” Title of the complete work. Date of publication or last revision. http address (URL) (day, month, year of visit to this site).


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