The AP European History Free Response Question

Report
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The FRQ is an essay that must be written in 35 minutes
You must write two on the College Board Exam
 On the College Board Exam you will have two groups
of three essay prompts.
 You must choose one essay from each group of three.
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The two FRQs constitute 27.5% of your score on the
College Board Exam.
 13.75% each
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The essay is scored out of nine.
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Ordinarily a 6 out of 9 would be awful, but in Euro a 6 on an
essay puts you right on pace for a 5 on the exam.
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Strong Essays earn a 8-9
THESIS: Clear, well-developed, answers the prompt and guides
the essay throughout
 UNDERSTANDING: Demonstrates thorough understanding of
complexity of topic
 EVIDENCE: Supports thesis with frequent, specific, and
relevant
evidence/examples/proof
 ANALYSIS: Effectively analyzes, interprets, makes inferences
of
evidence/examples/proof
 ERRORS: May contain insignificant and infrequent errors that
do not hinder arguments OR no errors entirely
 ORGANIZATION: Essay is well-organized (contains
introduction, topic sentences, unity of paragraphs, conclusion)
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Good Essays earn a 5-7
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THESIS: Has a thesis (perhaps superficial/simplistic) which
addresses prompt
UNDERSTANDING: Demonstrates general understanding of
the topic
EVIDENCE: Supports thesis with evidence/examples/proof,
sometimes general or narrative in description
ANALYSIS: Analyzes, interprets, makes inferences of
evidence/examples/proof, often general or narrative
ERRORS: May contain minor errors that do not interfere with
comprehension
ORGANIZATION: Essay contains most elements of
organization
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Poor Essays earn a 2-4
THESIS: Limited, confused, or poorly developed
thesis which may simply restate the prompt or is
weakly organized
 UNDERSTANDING: Demonstrates simplistic
understanding of the topic
 EVIDENCE: Contains limited
evidence/examples/proof which is usually general
or narrative in description
 ANALYSIS: Contains limited or simple analysis,
interpretation, inferences of
evidence/examples/proof
 ERRORS: May contain major historical errors
 ORGANIZATION: Essay contains limited elements
of organization
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Awful Essays earn a 0-1
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THESIS: No thesis or a thesis that does not address the topic
UNDERSTANDING: Demonstrates little or no understanding
of the topic
EVIDENCE: Contains inappropriate/inaccurate or no
evidence/examples/proof
ANALYSIS: Contains no analysis of evidence/examples/proof,
or is inappropriate/inaccurate
ERRORS: May contain numerous errors; both major and minor
ORGANIZATION: Essay contains no organization nor
structure
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The essay consists of an introduction paragraph, body
paragraphs, and preferably a concluding paragraph.
The intro establishes your viewpoint and outlines what
your body paragraphs will be about in a thesis
statement.
The body paragraphs back up your viewpoint and
thesis.
The conclusion wraps up the essay, and answers the
question “so what?”
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Read the question multiple times until you
understand what you need to do.
Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the
period, referring to specific works and artists
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For our 1st FRQ we will develop a thesis for this prompt and work
our way through the sections of the essay
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The second step in writing an essay is to see what
action the essay prompt is telling you to do.
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Analyze: Break a subject down into parts, assess the
connections between facts, answer how and why
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Failure to pay attention to these directives will result in a lower
score.
"Analyze the major social and technological changes that took
place in European warfare between 1789 and 1871.“
Assess/Evaluate: Determine the validity of a statement,
analyze positives and negatives, form an opinion
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“`Luther was both a revolutionary and a conservative.' Evaluate
this statement with respect to Luther's responses to the political
and social questions of his day.“
“Assess the extent to which the Protestant Reformation
promoted new expectations about social roles in the sixteenth
century. Refer to at least two social groups in your response.”
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Compare: Analyze two or more things in order to show
similarities and differences
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Contrast: Examine two or more things in order to show
differences
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“Compare and contrast the attitudes of Martin Luther and John Calvin
toward political authority and social order.”
“Contrast European diplomacy in the periods 1890 to 1914 and 1918 to
1939, respectively. Include in analysis goals, practices, and results.”
Structure of compare/contrast essays
It is important to have your body paragraphs centered on topics
 You do not want to separate the two things being compared and write
separate paragraphs for each.
 In the above example your three paragraph topics are already laid out
in the prompt: goals, practices, and results
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In order to properly answer the essay question you must break the
prompt down and see all of its layers.
Sometimes these things seem obvious, but when students are rushed
to write an essay they will often forget about part of the question and
lose points.
 Take the time to underline key phrases and determine what needs to
be included into your essay.
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“Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of
the period, referring to specific works and artists.”
This question asks you to discuss (the same as analyze)
Time period: Renaissance, anything straying from this time period will
not be scored
 Location: Italy
 The writer must identify “Renaissance ideas” and must show how
these ideas influenced “Italian art” using specific art pieces and artists
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“Compare and contrast political liberalism with
political conservatism in the first half of the nineteenth
century in Europe”
What is the directive?
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What is the location?
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All of Europe
When?
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Compare and contrast
The first half of the nineteenth century
What must you do?
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Find similarities and differences between political liberalism and
political conservatism
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After reading and re-reading the question, identifying
the directive, and analyzing all the layers of the
question, you must brainstorm.
Think of everything that is related to the topic given.
 Try to decide what information is relevant to the
question.
 Try to think of three subtopics.
 Put the relevant information into the subtopics.
Keep your brainstorm organized by creating a T-chart.
To categorize information think of PERSIA
Political
Economic
Religious
Social
Intellectual
Artistic
 Sometimes (but not always) these can be used as subtopics.
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Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists
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The reading and re-reading of the question,
analysis of the directive, finding the layers of
the question, and brainstorm should take the
first five minutes of your essay writing time.
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5/35 total minutes
Writing the essay should take the remaining
thirty minutes
Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists
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The introduction paragraph establishes your viewpoint
and contains a well-developed thesis.
The first sentence establishes what your essay will be
about.
 Do not hint at a thesis statement in this sentence,
 DO NOT restate the question.
A good first sentence:
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The Italian Renaissance created new ideas that most
visibly manifested themselves in the arts.
Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists
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The thesis statement follows the first sentence
It is one or two sentences long.
It fully answers the question and establishes your subtopics (body paragraph
topics).
 WITHOUT A STRONG THESIS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EARN A GOOD SCORE
 Answer the essay prompt that is given to you. Do not bend the prompt to be
what you want it to be.
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The thesis must fully answer the question
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Because there are generally three body paragraphs the thesis should include
three topics.
The thesis should answer how and why.
The thesis is general, DO NOT INCLUDE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES
An example of a strong thesis:
Renaissance humanism led to the creation of art that reflected the art of
antiquity, and the Renaissance emphasis on the individual led to the rise of art
that more accurately portrayed individuals. Furthermore, the Renaissance
secular spirit which emphasized life on Earth as opposed to the afterlife led to a
greater attempt by artists to realistically portray the world.
“Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian
art of the period, referring to specific works and artists.”
Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period.
These ideas were shown in the art of the day, such as the art of
daVinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
Why is this a bad example?
The first sentence simply restates the question.
The thesis does not identify Renaissance ideas.
The subtopics named are specific artists, which the question asks to be
included somewhere in the essay. However, no correlation is made between
the effect of Renaissance ideas on these artists pieces.
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“Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the
Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and
artists.”
Good example:
The Italian Renaissance created new ideas which
manifested themselves in the arts. Renaissance
humanism led to the creation of art that inspired by
antiquity, and the Renaissance interest in the power of
the individual led to a new emphasis of portrait
painting. Furthermore, the secular spirit of the
Renaissance, which emphasized life on Earth as
opposed to the afterlife led to a greater attempt by
artists to realistically portray their world.
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The body paragraphs include all of the
information that proves your thesis.
Each body paragraph relates to one of the
subtopics.
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By proving each subtopic, you will prove the thesis.
The first body paragraph relates to the first subtopic,
the second body paragraph to the second subtopic
and so on and so forth. Keep things in order.
Body paragraphs consist of a topic sentence,
sentences with evidence and analysis, and a
concluding sentence.
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Do NOT use the first person (I, me)
Do NOT use the words “in my opinion” or “I
believe”
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Instead, simply state your points and prove them
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Topic sentences (for each body paragraph) are an
introduction for each subtopic statement.
 Do not simply rewrite the subtopic. Reword it
instead.
It is one idea and one sentence. Do not make it
sentence too complicated.
Must completely support the thesis.
Subtopic from intro: Renaissance humanism led to the creation of art that
reflected the art of antiquity
Topic Sentence: Renaissance humanists admired the culture of ancient Greece
and Rome, therefore Renaissance artists revived the artistic styles of antiquity.
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The body paragraph will include evidence and analysis.
First introduce the information and define it.
 Next analyze it to show that it supports the thesis.
 Sometimes info and analysis can happen in the same sentence.
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Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists
Humanism  Art reflecting
antiquity
Emph on individ.  portray
great indiv. in art
Secular spirit  realistic port.
of the world
• Humanism – increased study
of ancient Greek and Roman
civilization, rejection of Middle
Age thought
•Power of humanity/individ.
•Massacio – dev. Of
perspective, Tribute Money
• Brunelleschi and Donatello
visit Rome, inspired
•Rise of Portraiture – Mona
Lisa, Ginevra de Benci
•Patrons of art put into art
•Busts,characters
•Brunelleschi’s dome
•Michelangelo – David
•Donatello – David
•Raphael – School of Athens
•DaVinci – Vitruvian Man,
cadavers
•Chiaroscuro, sfumato
•Botticelli – mythology,
Primavera, Birth of Venus
Use abbreviations to shorten the time taken on the brainstorm, this example does
not use enough abbreviations because I wanted the viewer to understand my
notes.
Renaissance humanists admired the culture of ancient Greece and Rome,
therefore Renaissance artists revived the artistic styles of antiquity. Renaissance
intellectuals began to study the works from antiquity as opposed to the works to
Middle Age philosophers. This emphasis on the works of ancient Greeks and
Romans became known as humanism. Many Renaissance artists studied the art of
ancient civilization and rejected the artistic styles of the Middle Ages. Brunelleschi
and Donatello, two artists of the early Italian Renaissance, travelled to the remains
of ancient Rome and Greece in order to study the art of these ancient civilizations.
After returning to Florence, Brunelleschi designed the famous Dome for the
Florence Cathedral. The Dome’s circular structure and massive size was inspired
by the rounded Roman architecture that Brunelleschi had studied. After being
inspired by the sculptures of antiquity Donatello went on to create his most famous
work, “David”. Donatello’s “David” was the first life-size, freestanding nude
sculpture since antiquity. “David” also showed the figure in a contrapposto
stance-the weight concentrated on one leg-which had been used by Classical
artists. Due to the humanist spirit of the Renaissance, Italian artists, such as
Botticelli, took new interest in Greek and Roman mythology. Botticelli’s “Birth of
Venus” portrays the moment that the goddess Venus is born. Zephyrs blow her to
the shore as she rides on a shell. Venus covers herself in a manner that is
reminiscent of ancient sculptures of her. His use of nudes and figures from ancient
mythology show the strong influence humanism had on his art. The works of
Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Botticelli illustrate the connection between humanism
and the arts during the Italian Renaissance.
Renaissance thinkers began to appreciate the individual and all of man’s potential,
thus human beings became the center of attention in most Italian Renaissance art. This
new emphasis on individuality was epitomized by the rise of portraiture during the
Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci gained fame for his ability to accurately depict a
person’s character in his work. His “Mona Lisa” is a portrait of a woman with an
enigmatic smile and eyes that seem to maintain eye contact with the viewer. The “Mona
Lisa” successfully captures the mystery and character of the woman being painted. In
“The Last Supper” da Vinci illustrates the moment that Jesus revealed to his Apostles
that he would be betrayed by one of his followers. The fresco depicts each Apostle’s
actions at this moment in order to show all of their distinct personalities. Raphaelanother artist of the High Renaissance-gained fame from his frescoes done in the Vatican
including “The School of Athens”. This fresco depicts a fictitious gathering of ancient
and contemporary philosophers and artists. Each philosopher’s character is accurately
depicted. Michelangelo, who was known for his melancholy, is shown sulking in the
foreground. Well-respected citizens were also portrayed in Renaissance art showing that
artists sought to honor the great figures of their time. Patrons of art, including the
Medici’s, would often appear as minor figures in works of art. Likewise, monumental
sculptures were built in honor of those with political power. Michelangelo-the third
major artist of the High Renaissance-became known for his portrayal of human power.
His colossal statue, “David”, and his “Creation of Adam” affirm the beauty and strength
of the human body. Thus, the works of the three High Renaissance artists-Leonardo,
Raphael, and Michelangelo-epitomized the Renaissance idea of individuality by
portraying emotion and human strength.
Renaissance intellectuals valued life on Earth and did not put off all of their
happiness for the afterlife. Because of this secularism artists attempted to more
accurately portray the world. New artistic technical advances allowed for a more
realistic portrayal of the world. The use of perspective gave paintings an illusion
of depth by using vanishing points and reducing the size of objects in the distance.
In Masaccio's “The Tribute Money” the vanishing point exists behind the head of
Jesus, giving the entire scene a more realistic look. Uccello's scenes of battle
including his paintings of the “Battle of San Romano” exhibit his obsession with
perspective as a way to accurately portray reality. Leonardo da Vinci and
Michelangelo developed chiaroscuro, the technique of contrasting light and dark,
to give objects roundness and depth. Sfumato, the technique layering of thin
glazes of paint, also allowed artists to more precisely illustrate nature. Both
chiaroscuro and sfumato are exhibited in da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”. Artists would
also dissect corpses in order to gain a better understanding of the human anatomy.
The precise anatomy of the body of Christ in Michelangelo’s “Pieta” was achieved
in part through Michelangelo’s dissection of corpses. Leonardo da Vinci’s
“Vitruvian Man” also shows the precise observation that artists devoted to the
human body. The uses of perspective, shading, and the study of human anatomy
allowed for different methods of illustrating reality.
Discuss how Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists
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For the conclusion include a setting sentence, then a sentence for
each subtopic, then a concluding sentence.
The new ideas of the Renaissance led to a flowering of a new
Renaissance artistic style in Italy. Philosophers of the Renaissance
created a renewed interest in ancient Greece and Rome known as
humanism, so Renaissance artists attempted to emulate the style
of these ancient civilizations. Renaissance Italians also believed
strongly in individuality and in human strength, therefore artists
attempted to accurately portray individuals’ personalities and
strengths. The secular spirit of the Renaissance led to an increased
emphasis on life on Earth, so artists strove to imitate nature in
their art. Thus, the changing European ideas fostered by the
Renaissance had a profound effect on the artistic styles of Italy.
Read and re-read the question, look at the directive, break down the layers then read
the thesis and decide if it fully answers the question.
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Analyze the aims, methods, and degree of success of the Catholic
Reformation (Counter-Reformation) in the sixteenth century.
The Counter-Reformation in Europe was implemented to halt the Protestant Reformation
and build back the power of the Catholic Church through education, clergy reforms, and
missionary practice. The Counter-Reformation was successful in saving the integrity of
the Roman Catholic Church, but it did not end Protestantism. Protestants had exploited
the faults of the Roman Catholic Church, and that was the first thing the counterreformation dealt with.
Good thesis, okay thesis, or bad thesis?
Good thesis: This thesis was part of an essay that earned a nine. According to the college
board this is a “clear and analytical thesis that establishes aims (respond to the Protestant
Reformation) methods (clarify doctrine, reform abuses) and outcomes (failure to stop
Protestantism or unite Europe)”
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Analyze the aims, methods, and degree of success of the Catholic
Reformation (Counter-Reformation) in the sixteenth century.
In response to the growing Protestant Reformation the Catholic Church used methods
such as religious orders to greatly salvage and further the image of the Church.
Good thesis, okay thesis, bad thesis?
Bad thesis: This essay went on to receive a two. “The thesis is weak”. Aims stated=to
greatly salvage and further the image of the church. This is an incoherent statement.
Methods=the church used methods such as religious orders. Degree of success=not
mentioned.
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Evaluate the changes and continuities in women’s public roles
during the Renaissance.
During the Renaissance the role of women in society changed from a domestic one to a
somewhat influential one. Many of the changes came about due to the change of society
at that time. Women became avid supporters of the arts, they also became educated
under the humanist movement and some even became influential on a grand scale such
as Catherine de Medici.
Good thesis, okay thesis, or bad thesis?
Okay thesis: This essay went on to receive a five. The thesis focuses on the changes
public roles of women. However, it misses half the question because it does not evaluate
continuities in women’s public roles.
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Analyze how Galileo, Descartes, and Newton altered traditional
interpretations of nature and challenged traditional sources of
knowledge.
The Scientific Revolution brought about new ways of viewing the natural world. Three
men who challenged traditional interpretations of nature and knowledge were Galileo,
Descartes, and Newton. These three men did so through observations and innovations.
Good thesis, okay thesis, bad thesis?
Bad thesis: This essay went on to get a three. The thesis is awful. The author simply
repeats the question and does not add his own thoughts except for his vague comment
on “observations and innovations”
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Using examples from at least two different states, analyze the key
features of the “new monarchies” and the factors responsible for
their rise in the period 1450 to 1550.
Key features of the development of new monarchies from 1450-1550 included
pacification of the nobility, control of the church, increase in trade and economic
prosperity, as seen in the 15th and 16th century English and Spanish monarchies.
Good thesis, okay thesis, bad thesis?
Good thesis: this essay went on to receive a nine. The thesis fully answers the question
by identifying features of the monarchies that led to their rise (pacification of the nobility,
control of the church, increase in trade and economic prosperity) and by naming two
different states (England and Spain).

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