Tips to SLAY your AP History Essays
When I was in class, my teacher gave us a couple of lists of tips. Here are the ones that I found useful:
1. Take a position and STICK TO IT.
Remember that you need to argue a point in your essay. Nothing is neutral, EVER. It’s fine to note what the opposite argument to the point you’re making might be. However, only do this is you are confident that the way you combat this argument will strengthen your stance.
2. Make your references as specific as possible, but make sure they’re factual.
Facts strengthen essays. It shows you know what you’re talking about! However, if you’re not sure about a piece of information in terms of accuracy, leave it out. Don’t harm your credibility.
3. Answer the ENTRIE question in your thesis.
The best way I did this was to underline each part of the question, number each part, then cross that number off once I had successfully addressed in my thesis. Then, of course, you just need to facts and analysis to back it up.
4. Use past tense and third person consistently.
History has happened, it’s done. Keeping a clear tense will make your essay cleaner. Same situation with using ONLY third person. For as much as your opinion matters in a DBQ, no using “I” to talk about your opinion, nor using “you” to appeal to your reader. You need to do that through third person only.
5. For DBQ’s, use the rule of “Three groups of three”
You are required to show your argument from three different points of PERSIA. Let’s say, worst case scenario, you fail to analyze one of your documents correctly. If you only have two documents in a group, and one is wrong, you’re left with one correct document, and one is not a group. You have then lost major points on your essay. However, if you have three documents in a group, and one is wrong, you still are safe with a group of two!
6. Know how to answer the prompt.
I present to you the great page of instruction definitions! Refer to this when you’re not sure how to answer what your prompt is asking of you
**Note “SPRITE” is just another version of PERSIA