Sugar Valley Rural Charter School
Mrs. Schrack

AP United States History

AP United States History provides students with the opportunity to receive college credit while still in High School (upon successful completion of the AP U.S. History Exam). Through this class, students can gain an advantage. That advantage, however, comes with responsibility. This course will maintain a college atmosphere; from lecture style to writing format, students will be expected to perform at a collegiate level. The twin pillars of any history call remain reading and writing. These skills will serve you beyond your school years and will be the crux of our efforts this academic calendar.

The Text :

Tindall, George Brown. “America” Sixth Edition. Norton and Company,
New York. 2005.

The Class :

All text readings should be completed before class. Each student should bring a minimum of two questions to class for discussion upon the completion of the text reading. Classes will be taught in two different forms:

A. Lecture / Discussion – the teacher will present a formal lecture on the topic at hand. The lecture will present a definitive point of view. The lecture will also contain content material to enhance the text. Students MUST take notes.

B. Seminar – All students will participate in the seminars. The seminar is an interactive format where students “debate” the issue of the week based on all accumulated information: text, lecture and interpretive readings. The seminar’s main focus is to develop a student’s critical thinking.

Pennsylvania Academic Standards Addressed:

Historical Analysis and Skills Development
8.1.12.A – Evaluate chronological thinking
8.1.12.B – Synthesize and evaluate historical sources
8.1.12.C – Evaluate historical interpretation of events
8.1.12.D – Synthesize historical research

United States History
8.3.12.A – Identify and evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to US History
8.3.12.B – Identify and evaluate primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in US History
8.3.12.C – Evaluate how continuity and change has influenced US History
8.3.12.D – Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in US History

Tests :

All tests will be either short answer or essay form. You will also have periodic essays due on the chapters covered. Proper MLA citation is required for everything you produce in this class.

Question – Answer Sessions :

Either before or after the text reading quiz, a student initiated question-answer session will be provided in which you can clarify the major ideas and terms that were presented in the text reading.

Major Projects :

Each student will be asked to complete:

· Research Paper (MLA Style) plus and Oral Presentation on your paper.
· Position Papers (Essay Format), multiple ones throughout the year.

Workload :

The workload in this course is challenging and time consuming at times, but the rewards are worthwhile. Wise planning of time is essential for success. It is recommended that you try to set aside at least 60 minutes of work time for this course each day. DO NOT PROCASTINATE !!!

Grading :

Your grade will be based on a point scale. Each assignment, quiz or test will have an individual score. Your final point accumulation will be divided by the total points possible. You will also receive a notebook grade and a class participation grade.

All of your essays and written work will be graded using the following AP Writing Rubric:


The writers of these well-constructed essays completely answer the question using evidence and explaining the relevance of the evidence. With a convincing thesis, the write demonstrates a clear understanding of the task and the piece. Although not without flaws, these essays reflect the writer’s ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing to provide a keen analysis of the literary text.


Developing a sound thesis, these writers answer all parts of the question. These essays may not be entirely responsive to the underlying meanings, but they provide specific examples and meaningful evidence. The analysis is less persuasive and somewhat less sophisticated than 8 & 9 essays. They seem less insightful, or discussion is more limited. Nonetheless, they confirm the writer’s ability to read literary texts with comprehension and to write with organization and control.

These essays construct a reasonable thesis. They discuss the work without serious errors but the analysis is often superficial. The writer may be vague and demonstrate insufficient development. Typically, these essays reveal simplistic thinking. May include misinterpretations of particular references or illustrations which distract from the overall effect. The writer also exhibits some lack of control over the elements of composition.


These essays attempt to discuss the part of the question. The discussion, however, is undeveloped or inaccurate. These writers may misread the passage in an essential way or rely on paraphrase. Illustrations and examples tend to be misconstrued, inexact, or omitted altogether. The writing may be sufficient to convey ideas, but typically characterized by weak diction, syntax, grammar, or organization. Essays scored a 3 are even less able, may not refer to technique at all, and will exhibit even more misinterpretation, inadequate development, or serious omissions.


These essays fail to respond adequately to the question. They may demonstrate confused thinking and/or weaknesses in grammar or other basic elements of composition. Mechanical errors may be distracting. They are often unacceptably brief. Although the writer may have made some attempt to answer the question, the views presented have little clarity or coherence, and significant problems with reading comprehension are evident. Essays that are scored 1 are especially inexact or mechanically unsound, and do less to address the topic.


This score is reserved for essays that make no more than a reference to the task, those that are off-topic, and for a blank sheet.

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