This lesson is based on the belief that students cannot master an essay component such as the thesis statement in the abstract, but will best learn its nature by studying it in the context of a concrete historical problem. Therefore, the lesson's activities are based on an introductory essay and a set of primary source documents on one historical topic—the Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago in 1886. The Haymarket episode is a dramatic one that should also hold student interest well. A single DBQ on this topic and several alternate thesis statements are then used in three student activities. These illustrate what makes thesis statements effective, as well some common problems or mistakes in writing clear thesis statements. The lesson consists of the following handouts:
The exam resources below reflect the content, scope, and design specifications of the redesigned AP . History Exam, which was first administered in May 2015. The exams from 2014 and before do not reflect the redesigned exam. These resources are provided to help you become familiar with the kinds of topics and questions that have been asked on previous years’ AP Exams. To access the files below, you need to log into your College Board account. If you do not have a College Board account, you can create one by selecting ‘ Sign In ’ in the header and following the prompts to sign-up.