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Writing - Boot Camp 1 Prompts
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Writing - Boot Camp 1 Prompts

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Writing - Boot Camp 1 Prompts Writing - Boot Camp 1 Prompts Presentation Transcript

  • MHS AP U. S. History
    1
    Lesson 1
    Understanding the Essay Prompt
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    2
    All AP essays are written in response to an essay “prompt.”Understanding what this prompt asks you to do is the first important skill you need to acquire.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    3
    Here are two examples
    Sample DBQ prompt:
    How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved.
    Sample free response prompt:
    Compare and contrast United States foreign policy after the First World War and after the Second World War. Consider the periods 1919-1928 and 1945-1950.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    4
    Tip #1
    The first thing you need to do is to read the WHOLE prompt, every word of it. This is especially true if the prompt is in two sentences like this one. . .
    How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved.
    The first mistake that many students make is in reading and answering only part of the prompt.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    5
    Tip #2
    Having read the whole prompt, circle or underline the VERBS. These words will give you your task.
    How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved.
    The important verb, and thus your task, is in the second sentence: ANALYZE.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    6
    Tip #3
    After finding the verbs, look carefully and mark any CONJUNCTIONS and circle or underline them. For instance
    Compare and contrast United States foreign policy after the First World War and after the Second World War. Consider the periods 1919-1928 and 1945-1950.
    You must compare AND contrast these periods to successfully complete the task. Doing only one or the other will lower your score.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    7
    Tip #4
    Go back and look carefully at the VERB in the prompt.
    This word will tell you what you are expected to do.
    The following is a list of commonly used verbs and explanations for the tasks they indicate. These are verbs the College Board has used recently.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    8
    Commonly used verbs and verb phrases
    Analyze
    Explain how AND why something occurred. Any question that uses “how” and/or “why” is an analysis question even if the word “analyze” is not in the prompt.
    Assess the validity
    How true is the statement. The statement doesn’t have to be all true; it can be true in one instance or circumstance and false in another.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    9
    Commonly used Verbs (continued)
    Evaluate
    Which factor was most important. You usually need to rank several events or factors and specify which is most and which is least significant.
    To what extent
    This prompt frequently requires you to specify a cause and effect relationship and then state which causes were more important.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    10
    Commonly used Verbs (continued)
    Compare AND contrast
    To do this correctly you need to discuss BOTH similarities AND differences between two events or periods. It is important to both in a balanced way without shortchanging either.
    Discuss or Consider
    These are frequently used in free response prompts. They should be written as analysis essays.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    11
    Tip #5
    Define any terms in the prompt that you need to explain.
    For instance, a recent essay prompt asked students to assess the validity of this statement: “Reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals.”
    Jot down some “democratic ideals” and be prepared to explain how they are democratic. Failing to do this will lower your score.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    12
    Tip #6
    Clearly understand the time period in the prompt.
    If the prompt asks you to discuss reform between 1865 and 1900, you must include information for the WHOLE time period.
    You can help yourself do this by listing information from the last 10 years of the time period in the prompt FIRST, then working backward with your details.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    13
    Tip #7
    After you are clear as to your task (analyze, evaluate, etc.) sketch out a quick, informal outline of how you are going to proceed. This is very important to guaranteeing that you cover the whole prompt.
    For instance, if you were writing the following prompt. . .
    Compare and contrast United States foreign policy after the First World War and after the Second World War. Consider the periods 1919-1928 and 1945-1950.
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    14
    You might jot down a simple “outline” like the one at the right.
    You would list things that were similar in BOTH periods,
    Then list the differences in BOTH periods.
    Your essay would then have either four body paragraphs as indicated by the circles
    1945-1950
    1919-1928
    similarities
    differences
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    15
    Or you might have two longer and more involved paragraphs as indicated by the two ovals.
    In either case, you would have organized your thinking so that you cover all of the material you need to cover to address the prompt completely.
    1945-1950
    1919-1928
    similarities
    differences
  • MHS AP U. S. History
    16
    Lesson 1 Summary
    Read the WHOLE prompt!
    Mark the VERBS and the CONJUNCTIONS in the prompt.
    Think about that verb. What, exactly, are you being asked to do. Consider the whole prompt.
    ORGANIZE your thinking BEFORE you begin writing.