• Home   /  
  • Archive by category "1"

Generic Ap Us History Essay Rubrics


Excellent comprehensive overview from College Board of 2018 exam

United States History: Course and Exam Description

Changes for 2017 - 2018 

• We reduced the number of exam questions by removing one short-answer question. Students will have 10 more minutes to answer the document-based question (DBQ) and long essay question.

• We now specify which periods will be the focus of the free-response questions.

• We streamlined the practices and skills that are assessed on the exams.

• New long essay and DBQ rubrics—featuring simplified language that clarifies the tasks students need to accomplish in these timed essays.

  1. We streamlined the AP history disciplinary practices and reasoning skills (previously known as historical thinking skills).
    • Periodization and synthesis are no longer listed as course skills.
    • The practices and skills are now defined in clearer, simpler language and reflect a range of student proficiency levels.
    See the AP history disciplinary practices and reasoning skills.

We updated Section II of the AP history exams (document-based question and long essay question) and the generic rubrics.
  • The synthesis point has been removed from both rubrics.
  • Students will have 10 more minutes to answer the DBQ and long essay question.
  • A single rubric will now be used for the long essay question.
  • The rubrics describe more clearly what students will need to do to earn each point.


AP U.S. History Reading Strategies for Document Analysis (SOAPS +S and APPARTS)

An important part of the AP U.S. History examination is the document-based question, or DBQ. This question will present you with approximately documents (everything from journal entries, speeches, court cases, and artwork) that you will have to accurately interpret to write a suitable essay. Two techniques may help you with your analysis; they are the SOAPS and APPARTS methods. 

SOAPS + S Procedure:

1. S=Subject. What is the document talking about?

2. O=Occasion. What was happening at the time the document was written? What was going on in the author’s life?

3. A=Audience. Who is being addressed? How does the audience affect the purpose of the author?

4. P=Purpose. What type of action or reaction does the author want the audience to have?

5. S=Speaker. Who is doing the speaking or writing?

6. +S=Significance. What is important about this document?

APPARTS Procedure

1. A=Author. Who created this source? What do you know about the author? What is the author’s point of view?

2. P=Place and time. Where and when was the source produced? How might this affect the meaning of the source?

3. P=Prior knowledge. What do you know about this topic that would increase your understanding of this primary source? For example, do you recognize and recall the meaning of any symbols?

4. A=Audience. For whom was this source created and how might this affect the reliability of the source?

5. R=Reason. Why was this source produced, and how might this affect the reliability of the source?

6. T=The Main Idea. What point is the source trying to convey?

7. S=Significance. Why is the source important? Ask yourself, “So what?” in relation to the question asked.

Exam Components

The College Board has released revised LEQ rubric guidelines for the AP History courses that will take effect immediately for the 2017-2018 academic year. I have revised my rubric to meet the new guidelines and am providing other resources to help teachers implement the new format.


Teachers who subscribe to my Eight Month Writing Clinic can share the instructional videos with their students. In this clinic, I will model how to earn every point on the DBQ and LEQ.

I've taken the guidelines from the new AP US History course description and created a user-friendly APUSH LEQ Rubric for teachers to use while assessing their students' LEQs.

Click the icon to DOWNLOAD in PDF format!

APUSH Review Videos

In addition to producing rubrics and other instructional materials for APUSH students and teachers, I also post review lectures on my YouTube channel.  Check out my AP US History Review playlist.

One thought on “Generic Ap Us History Essay Rubrics

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *