1.01: whap

[40/100 days of productivity]

finishing up my AP World assignment before i have to get back to school… also late on the andrew mcmahon in the wilderness but i’m really likin his stuff right now :)

It’s that time of year again!

Sorry for my absence on this blog lately! Life has just been kicking my butt. However, since the fall semester has just ended, I am now uploading all of my notes for anyone who needs them! Most of these notes are terms and other info that is necessary no matter where you take these classes.

US History I (HIST2111): Terms

US History I (HIST2111): Notes (There are A LOT of these notes as my professor lectured a bunch. Useful for those in APUSH as well as college US History.)

Algebra II: Notes/Terms/Examples

Physics: Notes/Terms (The first few pages are note sheets I created as an easy reference when studying for exams. Personally, I think they’re pretty helpful.)

I’m also reuploading my AP World History notes from last year, as I don’t think many of you saw them the first time I uploaded.

I have some notes from ENGL1101 too, but they are digital notes from Blackboard so I don’t feel comfortable sharing them openly online without permission from my professor. However, I would be happy to share them with anyone who messaged me!

I really hope my notes can help someone! Feel free to message me with any questions about my notes/my study style/literally anything, and also let me know if there are any issues in viewing these documents! 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!

How to write an AP World DBQ

Each AP History class has slightly different DBQ rules. The average score for the DBQ is a 2 out of 9 which is bad for how easy the essay is. In my opinion, it’s the easiest essay. You have to know how to write it but you don’t need to know any actual history. Last year I didn’t even know the topic and I ended up doing well enough. Make it your strength. One good essay is key. This essay is a pain to write but it’s easy when you know what you’re doing. 

During the reading time

  • Read the question and rewrite exactly what it’s asking. This sounds stupid but it really helps. It’s super easy to answer the wrong question. Make sure your essay talks about the question. 
  • Take small notes about each document as you go, use easy words like positive, negative, social, political, economic, ect. You won’t know the groupings until you finish all the documents so it’s nice to have a few quick options. 
  • After you read them for the first time, you probably have a better idea of your groups. Make sure you have three groupings. Make sure the groups answer the question. Go back and take note of what group each document is in. 
  • Circle the author or the thing next to the author saying who they are. You’re going to need to notice this. 
  • Underline a quote or a line. Just use that for your paper. Don’t try to reread the whole thing every single time. 
  • Write your thesis. Write it. Seriously. It makes for an easier start. 
  • Typically I like to have my groupings on the front of the paper, just a header with the numbers. It makes it quicker. 

Writing it

  • Start by writing the document numbers on the front page of the documents. Cross each number out as you use that document. It’s the easiest way to keep track. You need to use all the documents or all but one. Make sure you don’t lose points on this. 
  • Write a strong thesis. The thesis is worth one point. Make sure it’s good. You don’t even need an intro paragraph. Just write the thesis and move on. Three part thesis works best. It gives you structure.
  • Try to use every document. If there is one you don’t understand, ignore it. Otherwise, at least make an attempt. Use the word perhaps! Perhaps isn’t absolute so it can’t really be wrong. 
  • You only need to identify bias for three sources but try to identify bias for all of them. It can be as simple as “they worked for the government thus they support it as they want power and a job.” 
  • Don’t use the word document. Use the author’s name or the document’s title. Example: “Document two says that the French revolution was a total failure” is not a good sentence. Instead say something like “DeGaulle believed that France was dishonored in World War II(Doc 4).”
  • Do put (Doc 1) at the end of the sentence where you reference the document. Just do it. The graders want to see it. It’s also easy to look back and check that you used all the documents
  • I have always been told to not quote the documents. Paraphrase them. Use at most ten words. Analyze the words don’t just use them. 
  • You have to include a sentence or two about a document that should be there and tell why. If the topic is imperialism or Europe generally taking over the world, just say the voice of a native because they are the other side of the story. BS this part. Pick a voice that should be heard on the topic. It’s just going to be BS. Make it simple. But make sure you have this! It’s one point, it’s important. Do it first thing or do it last thing. DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT. Basically, it’s a point of view thing. What other point of view should you have to completely understand the issue?
  • You’re going to get bored and lazy. You don’t need a conclusion or an intro. For an intro, just a thesis works. For a conclusion, just scribble more BS down or just restate your thesis. 

Other helpful tips(with some help from my friends)

  • Don’t cry even though you will want to
  • Make inferences. Doesn’t have to be right, just sound right. 
  • The essay is long and dull. Just treat it as a marathon(because honestly with the three essays, it is). Keep a steady pace. You have time but not too much time. 
  • Honestly, take your time. Your other essays can write. You probably don’t know much about the other prompts. Make sure you have all the points for the DBQ before moving on to the harder essays. 
  • Believe in yourself. Believe you can do it. Trust yourself to do it right and do it well
  • Make sure your handwriting is rather legible. 
  • You have to write in black pen. Be comfortable with writing in pen. 
  • Am I missing anything?
How to Write the Free Response Essays

Someone asked me to make a post about the other AP World essays. I haven’t practiced these essays since last year(DBQs are in every AP history class and a version in English Language so I’ve never stopped doing them). But I’ll try my best to be helpful. I was going to split this into two posts but the essays are very similar.


  • I never really liked to prewrite. I always prefered to just jump right in. You shouldn’t do that with these essays. 
  • When you get the question, circle what they are asking. What do they want to know? Last year, a lot lost points because they wrote about the economy of Japan and not about the government’s role in the economy. Make sure you know exactly what they are asking.
  • You’re given choices(not many, not like AP Euro). Often, the choices will all look horrible. Start listing everything you know about them in terms of the question. 
  • The ones with the longest lists(one fact versus zero counts as long) are your choices. 
  • Basically, just know what the question is asking and pick what you know best even if you don’t know anything well
  • Translate the time periods from 19th century into 1800s. Don’t accidently write about the wrong century. 1800s is easier to think about. It’s easier to remember. 

Writing the essay

  • Your thesis- Skip an intro. Just write a thesis. Make it a good, strong thesis. It’s worth one point. One point is extremely important. Even if you don’t know anything and can hardly write an essay, write a thesis that looks good. I prefer a thesis with three parts. It gives structure. Make it detailed! Don’t just write “Rome changed politically, socially, and economically between the years 200 B.C. and the year 0” Write something like “Between the years whatever, Rome went from being a republic to an empire yet power remained in the upper class while socially, there was still a large class divide and life, for the most part, did not change for the poor and the slaves, and the economy was something specific”. Grammatically, I’ve always found Ap World thesises to be rough. I never cared. Specific feels wrong but it’s right. Oh god, I could make a whole post about writing a thesis. Sorry.

Change and continuity

  • The easiest way to do this is to have two paragraphs- change and then continuity. I don’t have much to say here. Just make sure to answer the question. If it asks how politics affected the cultured, talk about how the change in politics affected the culture. Don’t talk about the economy unless the economy changed due to politics and created a middle class or whatever. That’s the biggest thing. Just answer the question.
  • If the question asks about change and continuity of two things like beliefs and religious practices, you can use those two groups as your paragraphs instead. It just depends on the question. When in doubt, do the first way I said. 
  • Talk about change as much as you talk about continuity. Graders want to see a balanced essay. If you can’t, that’s okay, make sure you talk about all you know. But it’s worth thinking about. 

Compare and Contrast

  • Two different structures are common. The first is compare them in a paragraph and then contrast them in another. This is pretty easy and works well. It’s not complicated. 
  • The other way which I was taught in 7th grade is a bit harder but I’ve found that I use it all the time. Talk about one culture/place in the first paragraph. Make it just about explaining Japan or wherever. Talk about the state run economy in Japan. The next paragraph, talk about the state run economy in China, referencing Japan, stating if China is similar in that respect to Japan or if it totally differs from Japan. This works best if you know a lot about both places. It’s harder to hide the fact that you know nothing though. It also allows you more of a conversation especially if the similarities and differences go hand in hand. 
  • I prefer the second way. It’s a conversation, allowing you to fully develop your thoughts on the specific topic in one place before moving on. It’s smoother and creates a conversation. You just have to make sure you’re not forgetting about comparing and contrasting in the second paragraph. 
  • Try to make it balanced. Talk about both places as equally as possible. Try to put as many similarities as you put in differences. It’s not easy but don’t make your essay completely lopsided. 

General Tips

  • You’re going to get tired, it’s okay, just keep writing. Once you’re done, you’re done. 
  • Don’t freeze up when you read words like Ottoman Empire. I realize they are scary. But you know something. Think about it. Think about what you know about that time period. 1789- Well, France started her revolution and the United States adopted it’s constitution. So what does that mean? The US recently won the Revolutionary War so England still had colonies. Imperialism. England has empires everywhere. Europe has empires most everywhere. What does that say about India? It’s probably under European rule. Just think like that. You probably know United States history. Use that to help you think about the world. Year 0- Jesus was born. Jesus was killed by an emperor. So if the time period is after 0, Rome is an empire and Christianity is rising. Use what you know. Infer. 
  • If you only know two facts, write the essay. State it in a billion different ways. Make inferences. Take a guess or two or five. Just try. My Euro teacher(who also teaches World) says we should aim for 7 specific facts per essay. That’s all you need.
  • I’ve fallen into the habit of writing a lot. You don’t have to. My friend writes a fraction of what I do and scores high. Quality, not quantity. 
  • You don’t have to know everything or even much. Just give it a shot.
  • It’s going to be scary. You’re going to be fine. You’ll be perfectly fine. Even a 3 on the essay is well above the national average. 

I know all of our AP exams are coming up. Just a reminder to study a little bit each day and do not cram for the test. If you stay up late studying you will retain little and be exhausted for the exam. Go to bed early the night before and have a good breakfast before the exam. If your exam requires pen bring an erasable pen. Bring layers incase the room is cold. Bring water. Leave your phone at home because you can’t have it in the room. Dress comfortably. And remember




Here’s to us
Here’s to the kids who know the Mongols all too well
To the kids who know the difference between Brahmins, Brahman, and brahma
Here’s to the kids who discussed with their families at dinner time, the difference between courtesans and concubines
To the kids who heard over and over how the one thing they can control is the DBQ
Here’s to the kids who memorized the History of Japan video like their lives depended on it
To the kids who can tell you all the diseases, crops, and animals spread out due to the Colombian exchange
Here’s to the kids who put their heart and soul into singing the Chinese Dynasty song
The kids who can compare and contrast the silk, sand, and sea roads in a second
To the kids who can tell you if the Abbasids or Ummayads came first
The kids who know that the famed “good old days” we’re never really all that good
Here’s to the kids who have devoted the past eight and a half months of their lives to broadening their perspective and enriching their understanding of other cultures and societies
Here’s to us, the AP World kids.
Congratulations guys! We made it!

Tips for AP World History

Hi! I know for a lot of people AP World is the first AP course you take. It can be  a bit overwhelming, especially because you’re covering so much content. I got a 5 on my AP test, so I figured i’d give some tips to try and help out others!


I know that it can be a lot of content and it can be boring, but you will  get a much better understanding of the content. Towards the middle of the year I stopped reading the textbook and relied on only the lectures. I got by but didn’t do as well as I could have. However, reading the textbook can be daunting and it’s hard to decipher what is important information vs. filler info. What I did was write a small summery for each paragraph, and elaborate on anything that was bolded or was key info. Some textbooks also have an online version with outlines of each chapter. Those can help guide your notetaking.

2. Don’t memorize lots of facts

It can be tempting to try and memorize lots of facts, but don’t. AP world is based on general trends, changes, and continuities of history. It’s important to know  the general time that things happened and have a basic understanding of the timeline, but dont waste your time trying to memorize every detail. 

3. Do your homework!

In my class, we  only had about 3 homework assignments each marking period. Even though homework was  only 10% of our final grade, if you didnt do it or  turned it in late then it would bring your overall grade down a lot. Also, a lot of the homework is focused on  helping you understand how to analyze historical  documents, which is a key skill in AP history classes. 

4.  Focus on the most important areas

in my AP World class, each marking period we had about 2 test grades, 10 quiz grades, and 3 homework grades. The reason we had so many quiz grades was becuase each chapter we had to answer questions and take a quiz over it, both of which counted as quiz grades.  You may not have the same grading breakdown, but thats what we did. I was able to use this to my advantage. For example, one week we had a quiz and a big test. Since the big test would have a higher impact on my grade i decided to focus on studying for that. Granted, I didnt do as well on the quiz, but overall it was more important to my grade to focus on the  test.

5. Start studying for the AP test early

My AP test was May 14th(I think?  Not sure) and I started studying around Spring break. (March 9th) My friends thought I was crazy becuase we still had more units to learn. However, the units you just learned before the AP test will be  more fresh in your mind than, for example, the first unit you learned. So I focused my studying on the stuff we learned in the fall semester. Also, buy(or find online) the princeton review book. This helped me becuase during the spring semester I am out of town every weekend, and that was a lot easier to carry with me than my big textbook.

6. Don’t focus on only AP world!

I have a friend who took AP world with me and she spent all  her time on AP world. She did great in that class, but not so well  in her other classes. Don’t be that person!! Yes, AP world is important, but its not so important that it needs to have all  your time. If you have a big project in chemistry, its okay to work on that and save AP world for later. 

Ill probably  make another post in the spring with specific tips for studying for the ap test. If anyone has any questions dont be afraid to ask! I have lots of resources, so maybe ill make a post of resources as well.