Writing a Long Essay Question (LEQ) for the AP exam can be daunting, but with the right approach, you can craft a compelling and historically defensible argument. Understanding how to write an LEQ APUSH is key to success. The LEQ requires a thorough grasp of the prompt, a strong thesis, and well-structured paragraphs that include specific evidence and analysis.

Understanding the Prompt and Crafting a Thesis

The first step in how to write an LEQ APUSH is to carefully read and understand the prompt. Identify the time period, historical thinking skill, and categories it pertains to. Craft a strong thesis statement that makes a clear argument and establishes your line of reasoning. This thesis will guide the structure and focus of your essay.

Contextualization and Evidence

A successful LEQ starts with two to three sentences that provide contextualization. This sets your argument within a broader historical framework. Following this, your body paragraphs should each focus on specific categories supporting your thesis. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence, followed by precise historical evidence and analysis of how it supports your argument. Aim to use at least four pieces of evidence throughout your essay.

Analysis and Reasoning

It is crucial to demonstrate your historical thinking skills in your LEQ. Analysis and reasoning show how you interpret the evidence and its relevance to your thesis. Address different perspectives and complexities within the historical context to strengthen your argument. The complexity point is challenging to achieve but demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the topic.

Structuring and Scoring

Your essay does not need to follow a strict five-paragraph format. Instead, it should have enough paragraphs to make your argument effectively. The College Board’s rubric grades on several criteria: thesis, contextualization, evidence, analysis, and complexity. Focus on meeting these criteria to maximize your score.

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