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How to write a good FRQ

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squelchy451's picture
Joined: Jan 2008
How to write a good FRQ

ON every single FRQ I write for my AP euro teacher, I always get the same remark--weak thesis and bad conclusion

HOW do I write a good thesis statement and conclusion?

humanist5900's picture
Joined: Mar 2008

my english teacher says that a thesis statment is your educated opinion plus the focus. and inthe conclusion you restate your thesis statement. make sure that your thesis statment takes both sides of the conflict is there is one in your frq

yay's picture
Joined: May 2008

Writing thesis statements in History is WAY different than in English. Your thesis should answer the question completely, provide partition, and give an original interpretation. Basically, this means that it shouldn't just restate the question - you actually have to include your main arguments. 3 is the best number of arguments to make. It's okay for your thesis to be more than one sentence, just make sure it is at the very end of your 1st paragraph.
Here's a handout I got from my teacher:

Historical essays often ask you to agree or disagree with an interpretation of history, or will require you to develop your own interpretation and support it with evidence.

Before you begin to write:
1. Carefully read the question to make sure you understand what it is asking you to do.
• Pay careful attention to the TASK WORDS in the question (e.g., analyze, describe, compare and contrast, evaluate).
• Look closely at the CHRONOLOGY (time periods) of the question. Many students write great essays that, unfortunately, don’t answer the question that was asked! You must discuss those time periods, locations, and topics that are in the question, and only those!
• Also check if there is more than one part to the question (e.g., “compare and contrast,” “social, political, and economic reasons”). To do well on the essay, you must address all parts of the question evenly.

2. Take a few minutes to review what you already know about the question, and develop a thesis statement.

3. Write a brief outline of your essay before you begin to write.

The Introduction:
The introduction is where you make your first impression on the reader. Therefore, it is important that you have a strong introduction that defines your thesis and your argument.

1. Your essay should be clearly organized around a thesis statement. The thesis statement:
• should clearly respond to the question, without directly repeating it
• should represent your own original interpretation or analysis of the information
• should make a clear ARGUMENT
• does not need to be the first sentence of your introduction and, in fact, provides better essay organization if it is the last sentence in your introduction.

2. Define important terms, (e.g. humanism, secular, absolutism) to demonstrate that you understand the question and the essay topics. Provide a concise statement (no more than one sentence) that places the essay topic in its historical context.

3. Clearly identify the supporting arguments that you will use in your essay. Again, make sure you are responding to all parts of the question.

4. After reading your introduction, your reader should know exactly what your argument is (your thesis), and how you are going to prove it (your supporting arguments/evidence) - sometimes called a "preview."

The Thesis Statement:
Your thesis statement should contain the following elements:
• It answers the question being asked.
• It provides a “partition” of specific arguments that are going to be made in the body of the essay.
• It provides analysis in each of the areas of the partition.

The following are examples of thesis statements that answer the question: “Analyze the influence of humanism on the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance. Use at least THREE specific works to support your analysis.

Thesis Types:

• Inaccurate Thesis: The Italian Renaissance saw many changes in the role of the artist, the techniques of the artist, and the subject matter of the art. (Rating: poor)
o Although this thesis statement is a true statement and provides both partition and analysis, it did not answer the question that was being asked and sets up a paper that can receive no credit.

• Simple Thesis: Humanism influenced the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance. (Rating: poor)
o Thesis is far too simplistic and contains no partition or analysis. It is really just a restatement of the question.

• Complex-simple thesis: In many respects, the artistic movement during the Italian Renaissance was a reflection of the humanist movement among intellectuals of the time period. (Rating: fair)
o The analytical aspect of the thesis is promising. However, no partition is established. The thesis does not establish how art was changed by humanism.

• Simple-split thesis: The humanist movement impacted the subject matter and themes of art of the time period. (Rating: fair)
o Thesis provides a partition (subject matter and themes) but lacks and explanation or general analysis in each of the areas of the partition.

• Complex-split thesis: The effect of humanism on the visual arts is seen in Renaissance art’s emphasis on the study of the human form, incorporation of more secular themes, and return to the principals of Greco-Roman culture. (Rating: solid)
o Directly addresses the question.
o Provides partition.
o Provides analysis.

For more information, especially about the summary, I would go here:

Good luck!

DarkTang's picture
Joined: May 2008

ur thesis should be explicit and very detailed, showing the reader/grader what your essay will be about. my teacher thinks that the conclusion is a joke. on our tests she tells us not to write it, but if u didnt make a good thesis u can restate it better in the conclusion

michajello's picture
Joined: May 2008

Your thesis is basically you opening paragraph in History. Use BART

B- Background
A- answer the question
RT- Reasons Three

start by saying you know what time and what event is being talked about, then answer the question, then give 3 reasons why you answered the way you did. use the reasons for topics for your body paragraphs and use 9 pieces of data(specific events or items) and split them into three categories to get your reasons. come up with the data FIRST then develop your reasons and categorize the data into them but NEVER say your data in the Intro. should help...

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