Three Tips for AP Social Studies Writing

Start here for AP Government-Specific Essays.

Familiarize yourself with the rubric and befriend the revision process

To know how you will be graded, familiarize yourself with the AP rubrics. Spend as much time with them as possible.

Secondly, here, the best writing comes from revision. Task risks in writing and revise, revise, revise. Take time to understand where you’ve made mistakes so you can correct them.

Learn the language

These are not English essays, and understanding the difference between the verbs is often enormous.

  • Identify: name or define and be quick about it.
  • Describe: paint a picture with details and examples.
  • Explain: how and why with reasons and examples. This should have the word “because” in it.

Be clear and concise.

Leave the fluff. As an AP grader, we looked for opportunities to give points. Be clear in how you answer the questions. Show what you know and leave the unnecessary words and phrases out.


Remember that good writing takes time, and AP writing is specific to the class. It gets more manageable if you take the time to learn, practice, and get feedback/revise!

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