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AP Thesis Writing

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Gene Porcelli

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of AP Thesis Writing

An excellent Thesis Formula:

X. However, A, B, and C. Therefore, Y

“X" represents the strongest point against your argument OR explanation of the complexity of topic.

“A, B, and C" represent the three strongest points for your argument.

“Y" represents the position you will be taking – in other words, your stand on the prompt.

How To Write An AP Intro Paragraph/Thesis


Within Virginia, Nathanial Bacon was considered a hero by some and a traitor by others. Evaluate the causes of Bacon’s Rebellion and its effect on the sociopolitical system of Virginia in the 1670s.

Now Your Turn:

While, ultimately controlling the Native American threat, the colonies in Puritan New England developed successfully as a result of a diverse economy, due in large part to the establishment of a powerful theocracy.

Sample Thesis 2

Although Puritan New England failed to provide the religious freedom sought by many, the colonists were successful in developing a prosperous society by creating a diverse economy which allowed them ultimately to end conflicts with Native Americans.

Sample Thesis 1

Evaluate the roles of religion and economics in the early history of the New England colonies. Include an analysis of how these factors affected the colonists’ relationship with Native Americans.

Sample Essay Question:

“LY” words:
Economically, Politically, Socially, Geographically, etc.
Several contributing factors
If….., then ……
During the __________ Century, or During the __00’s,
Throughout the decade,

Word prompts to use in your paragraphs

As a result
Due to
To a small, large, moderate degree
Somewhat/ somewhat accurate
In/under these circumstances
Beneficial/hurtful, positives/negatives

Word prompts to use in your paragraphs

Word Prompts to use for your thesis:

Directly answers the question
Takes a position (interpretation)
Introduces subtopics

Some teachers prefer essays in which students state their thesis in the first sentence, whereas others prefer that they funnel down to a thesis at the end of an introductory paragraph. As long as the thesis statement does the above three things, the placement doesn’t matter.

Create a well-developed thesis statement that does three things:

Thesis Paragraph Must:
1) Be clear = easy to understand and follow
2) Show evidence of analysis – do not simply retell the information
3) Make sense to the reader
4) Be grammatically correct
5) Contain sophisticated vocabulary

2. Brainstorm on paper everything that comes to mind regarding the topic at hand.
What do you know about the topic? Put this down on paper to get your brain in gear for writing the essay.

3. Organize your thesis.
Develop three main points and put your brainstormed information in an outline format for your three body paragraphs.

4. Write your introductory paragraph.
Your introduction is essentially your thesis… nothing more. No flowery set up, no meaningless elaboration. Just your THESIS!

1. Read the question or prompt carefully:
The basic purpose is to answer the question directly. Read the question three times and be able to paraphrase the question and know the essential task demanded by it. Answering the question will be the central focus of your essay.

Break the question down with dates, points asked for, make sure you are aware of the entire question

Be mindful of the verb – what exactly are you supposed to do? Be sure that you understand the required task.

Look for ways to answer the question in a sophisticated manner; not with a simple yes or no, or right or wrong – it is more comfortable to stick with black and white; as historians we must learn to dwell in the gray

Look for multiple points of view.

How to Tackle the Essay Prompts

Despite religious tensions caused by a powerful theocracy, the colonists of Puritan New England were able to develop a successful society with a diverse economy that enabled them to control the Native American threat.

Sample Thesis 3

9 = 100
8 = 94
7= 90
6 = 86
5 = 80
4 = 76
3 = 70
2 = 64
1 = 60

AP Essay Rubric Calculations

Score: 1
•Does not follow the command
•Weak vocabulary

Score: 2
•Somewhat clear
•Some attempt at analysis
•A bit confusing
•Average vocabulary

Score: 3
•Evidence of analysis
•Logical and makes sense
•Contains sophisticated vocabulary

Thesis Paragraph Rubric Directions: Read and evaluate your partner’s thesis paragraph and assign it one of the rubric numbers below with a brief explanation why you assigned that number.
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