Doing the LEQ Part I: The parts of a Long Essay Question On the APUSH Exam in May There will be a choice of TWO Long Essay Questions for you to answer Both prompts will be similar and will address the same Historical Thinking Skill & have the same basic prompt You will be given 35 minutes to complete your essay It is recommended that you take 5 minutes to prepare/outline your essay It is recommended that you take about 30 minutes to write your essay
The LEQ portion of the exam counts as 15% of your overall exam score What is a LEQ? LEQ stands for Long Essay Question This is the normal, everyday type of essay exam question that youre used to; youre given a question and you have to use whats in your brain to answer it. The only difference is that youll be scored on four elements: A. Thesis (1 point) B. Argument development: Using the Targeted Historical Thinking Skill (2 points) C. Argument development: Using Evidence (2 points) D. Synthesis (1 point)
A. The Thesis paragraph While not required on the rubric, a good thesis paragraph will put the topic at hand into context- you should explain the broader historical events, developments, or processes immediately relevant to the question. While not required on the rubric, we will be practicing this in class as it is required on the DBQ-type essay, and doing this on both styles of essays will ease your transition back and forth in writing the two types of essays. At the minimum, your context development should consist of at least several (three to four) sentences. A. Writing a Thesis Statement (0-1 point)
To earn one point you must state a thesis that makes a historically defensible claim & responds to all parts of the question. It must consist of one or more sentences located in one place. A thesis statement includes your opinion about the topicthere can be disagreement about your opinion A good thesis statement will answer the question, state your argument, and cover all topics that will be addressed in your body paragraphs The thesis paragraph should include some introductory information (put your topic in historical context) either before or after your stated thesis statement A thesis statement uses reason, not emotions, rhetoric or wordiness to be proven valid. It may be short, concise and to the pointone or two sentences is sufficient The thesis statement for a single paragraph is known as a topic
sentence. B. Body Paragraphs Body paragraphs should each be about one broad aspect of your thesisthis should be a larger topic or theme, NEVER a single event Paragraphs should have topic sentences that refer to and directly mirror a topic or theme mentioned in your thesis Transitions such as in the same way, also, in addition, should be used to connect main topics in a paragraph. This helps the flow between examples Lots of historical facts should be used in each paragraph
B. Body Paragraphs: Argument Development: Using the Targeted Historical Thinking Skills (0-2 points) Comparison 1 point: Describes similarities AND differences among historical individuals, events, developments, or processes 2 points: Explains the reasons for similarities AND differences among historical individuals, events, developments, or processes OR, DEPENDING ON THE PROMPT- Evaluate the relative significance historical individuals, events, developments, or processes. Example: Compare and contrast the patterns of immigration in the period 1880 to 1928 to the patterns of immigration in the period 1965 to 2000 B. Body Paragraphs: Argument Development: Using the
Targeted Historical Thinking Skills (0-2 points) Causation 1 point: Describes causes and/or (depending on prompt) effects of a historical development 2 points: Explains the reasons for the causes AND/OR effects of a historical event, development, or process. Scoring Note: If the prompt requires discussion of both causes and effects, responses must address both causes and effects in order to earn both points. Example: Explain the reasons why a new conservatism rise to prominence in the United States between 1960 and 1989. B. Body Paragraphs: Argument Development: Using the Targeted Historical Thinking Skills (0-2
points) Continuity and Change over Time 1 point: Describes historical continuity AND change over time 2 points: Explains the reasons for historical continuity AND change over time Examples: Evaluate the extent to which trans-Atlantic interactions from 1600 to 1763 contributed to maintain continuity as well as fostering change in labor systems in the British North American colonies Evaluate the extent to which increasing integration of the United States into the world economy contributed to maintain continuity as well as fostering change in the United States society from 1945 to the present. Some historians have argued that the New Deal was ultimately conservative in nature. Support, modify, or refute this interpretation, providing specific evidence to justify your answer.
B. Body Paragraphs: Argument Development: Using the Targeted Historical Thinking Skills (0-2 points) Periodization 1 point: Describes the ways in which the historical development specified in the prompt was different from and similar to developments that preceded and/or followed 2 points: Explains the extent to which the historical development specified in the prompt was different from AND similar to developments that preceded and/or followed Scoring Note: For both points, if the prompt requires evaluation of a turning point, then responses must discuss the developments that preceded AND followed. For both points, if the prompt requires evaluation of the characteristics of an era, then responses can discuss developments that EITHER preceded or followed. Examples: Some historians have argued that the Spanish-American War in 1898 marked a turning point in
United States foreign policy. Support, modify, or refute this contention using specific evidence. Some historians have argued that the development of the policy of containment after the Second World War marked a turning point in United States foreign policy. Support, modify, or refute this contention using specific evidence. Evaluate the extent to which the Progressive Era (1890- 1920) marked a turning point in the history of women in the United States, analyzing what changed and what stayed the same from the period immediately before the Progressive Era to the period during and immediately after it. C. Body Paragraphs: Support for Argument (0-2 points) To earn one point you must address the topic of the question with specific examples of relevant evidence To earn two points you must utilize examples of evidence to fully and effectively substantiate the stated thesis or a relevant argument. In other words, you need to explain how and why a piece of evidence proves your
thesis. Scoring Note: To fully and effectively substantiate the stated thesis or relevant argument, responses must include a broad range of evidence that, through analysis and explanation, justifies the stated thesis or relevant argument. Specific evidence must be factual (they are sometimes referred to as concrete details). Specific evidence can include: names, dates, places or other measurable information about the topic that you remember from class, your textbook, documents or other sources. Sources do not need to cited, but evidence does need to be accurate D. Conclusion: Synthesis (0- 1 point) 1 point: Extends the argument by explaining the connections between the argument and ONE of the following:
A development in a different historical period, situation, era or geographical area. OR A course theme and/or approach to history that is not the focus of the essay (such as political, economic, social, cultural, or intellectual history) Scoring Note: The synthesis point requires and explanation of the connections to different historical period, situation, era, or geographical area, and is not awarded for merely a phrase or reference. The authors of the exam intended that the conclusion paragraphs purpose was to synthesize your argument. Even though you could technically earn this point anywhere in the essay, we will practice doing synthesis in our concluding paragraph and focus on the first method of scoring the point. Doing the LEQ
Part II: Writing strategies for the Long Essay Question Step 1: Understand the Question Look at the question: read it at least three times How many parts are there to the question? What is the time frame? Where did the event take place? In other words, RTFQ! Rephrase the word in your own words
Separate out the different parts so that youll be sure to address each part Make sure that you understand any and all terms that may be confusing Define those words in order to make sure that your meaning is clear to the reader Step 2: Brainstorm Specific Factual Evidence Brainstorming will help with organization Organize your information into categories. Helpful categories in APUSH include: The big three: Political, Economic, and Social The others
Cultural, Intellectual, Military, Religious, Art, etc. Any of the seven course themes: American National Identity, Politics & Power, Work, Exchange & Technology, Culture & Society, Migration & Settlement, Geography & the Environment, America in the World Think PES, PRIMES, PERSIA, SPRITE, SPERM Step 3: Form your thesis Based on your brainstorm list, and ideas regarding the prompt, form a thesis with at least 2-3 categories which will become the topics of your body paragraphs. Be sure that all parts of the question are explicitly addressed in your thesis statement While you may use some of the same wording as the
prompt, use some of your own words (synonyms are okay) Even if you have no clue regarding the prompt, writing an adequate thesis will guarantee you at least one point Step Four: Write your Essay 1st paragraph: Provide a few sentences of relevant background information in order to put the topic into context. Then write a 1-2 sentence thesis statement that includes a few categories of analysisthe categories that each of your body paragraphs will address Body paragraphs: Topic sentences need to state which category from the thesis will be addressed as well as what judgement is being made about that category. Specific factual evidence must be explained in relation to your thesis and be
used to address the historical thinking skills from the prompt. Closing paragraphs are optional, but the essay must include synthesis and this is a good place to remember to do that.
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