The LEQ: Long Answer Question
Want to GET A FIVE?: Write better essays

LEQ #1:
1. Presentation that goes through the Rubric, Sample Thesis, & How to address the Question:


2. Presentation that steps through writing a thesis statement for Comparison: Egypt & Mesopotamia:

Information to help with the FRQs:
All FRQ Ever Asked By Time Period

Solid Thesis - answers the prompt.

Each body paragraph should contain:
  1. Topic Sentence (direct comparison)
  2. Analysis as to why the similarity/ difference existed
  3. Support with 3 pieces of evidence
  4. Connect it to a larger global context or theme
Remember, the AP College Board will write FRQ prompts that emphasize the 5 Themes:
  • Interaction Between Humans and the Environment
  • Development and Interaction of Cultures
  • State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict (Political)
  • Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems
  • Development and Transformation of Social Structures


1. READ: Read the prompt, read the prompt, & read the prompt!
Many students begin their essay after only a careless glance of the question. The difference between a response that receives a “1” and one that receives a “5” is sometimes determined by a simple thing: Did the student answer the question/prompt as it was presented?

2. PLAN: Write an outline, brief structural plan, or list of ideas to convey that would answer the prompt. An outline will help organize your thoughts & create a path for where your essay will go. Write down corresponding events, buzzwords, & facts that will serve as evidence to support your thesis.

3. THESIS: Write a solid, well-worded thesis that answers the prompt. This is the central component of your essay. Keep referring back to your thesis whenever you as you write. The body paragraphs back up and prove your thesis.

4. WRITE: Notice it is in step 4 that we finally begin writing. Without the first 3 steps, your essay has no structure, accuracy, or guidance. Be sure to write clearly & concisely. Do not get lost in your ideas. Coherent essays earn a good score.

5. NEAT: Last but, most importantly: Write legibly. If the "readers" (graders really, but they don't like calling themselves that!) are not able to understand your ideas—they will not give you credit for them!

In essence, the FRQ in history is a "Law & Order" exercise.
1st Step: Investigate the prompt (question).
Investigate a crime (murder).
The "body" is QuestLove - Drummer & bandleader of The Roots. :)
2nd: Gather & analyze evidence then ask questions about what prior knowledge you have about the prompt.
Gather & analyze evidence then ask questions of witnesses, relatives/friends, & persons of interest.

3rd: Identify the answer to the prompt & form a thesis (answer) for the prompt.

Identify the criminal who did the crime & form a motive for the crime.

4th: Organize the evidence, consider point of view, begin to plan a basic outlined approach to build a convincing solution.
Organize the evidence, interview witnesses, work with the court to prepare for trial.
5th: Write your introduction and declare your thesis statement: Answer to the question using a brief introduction to the evidence that will be presented in the essay to prove thesis.
In the courtroom, make your opening statement: Murder used weapon in location to kill and give brief motive and explanation of evidence that will prove your assertion correct.
Just like the opening statement, the thesis is a BIG part of the case. You are telling the jury what you will prove.
6th: Present the evidence by using a topic sentence and evidence to back it in each paragraph.
Present evidence and call witnesses to verify motive, location, ability to commit the crime, all showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime.
While presenting evidence, think "Does this support my thesis?"
7th: Conclude your essay by driving your thesis home in a convincing fashion.
Closing statement drives home the opening statement and jury is convinced the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Drive home your thesis. Remember to use analysis (the how & why).