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Acronyms or Mnemonic Devices


G Geography P Political E Economic
S Social E Economic M Military
P Political R Religion & Beliefs P Political
R Religion & Beliefs S Social I Intellectual
I Intellectual I Intellectual R Religious Beliefs & Values
T Technological A Achievements (Intellectual, E Environmental
E Economics Technological, Artistic) S Social


S Social S Social E Economic

C Commercial/Economic P Political M Military
A Arts & Culture I Intellectual P Political
P Political R Religion & Beliefs I Intellectual
E Environmental Impact I Interaction R Religious Beliefs & Values
G Geography T Technology E Ethical
O Outside Influence E Economics B Biological
A Advanced Thought D Dependence on Environment C Culture
(Religion & Philosophy)
T Technology (Science)
S Spice M Military G Geography/environment
P Political I Intellectual R Religion & Beliefs
I Intellectual S Social A Arts
C Cultural T Technology S Social developments
E Economic E Economy P Politics
R Religion E Economics
A Art D Demography
P Politics I Intellectual developments
T Technology
AP Verbs

Effective answers to essay questions depend in part upon a clear understanding (and execution) of the meanings of
important directive words. These are the words that indicate the way in which the material is to be presented.

Following are the most commonly used verbs from AP tests.

1. Analyze: determine their component parts; examine their nature and relationship
2. Assess/Evaluate: judge the value or character of something; appraise; evaluate the positive points and the
negative ones; give an opinion regarding the value of; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of
3. Compare: examine for the purpose of noting similarities and differences
4. Contrast: examine in order to show dissimilarities or points of difference
5. Describe: give an account of; tell about; give a word picture of
6. Discuss: talk over; write about; consider or examine by argument or from various points of view; debate;
present the different sides of
7. Explain: make clear or plain; make clear the causes or reasons for; make known in detail; tell the meaning of

Essay Hints

Data Base Questions (DBQ) DBQ or Change-Over-Time(COT) COT or Compare & Contrast (C/C)

Draw a quick matrix chart with the
W Well-developed essay, with Keep a G.O.A.L. in mind. Draw a specified categories across the top
fully developed thesis quick matrix chart with the following Down the left, vertical column place
A Analyze, interpret, and use all categories across the top, and the the specified players, regions and
documents players, and/or regions and time time periods down the left, vertical
S Sort docs to form groupings, periods down the left, vertical column. In each column, list keys
apples with apples column. words or ideas to include in the
A Additional document, name two essay. A C/C question matrix for
& how you'd use them if you G. Global context in the feudalism might look like:
had 'em introduction to your essay
B Bias or POV discuss from (identify the Global issues
three documents underlying the question). Japan Europe
E Evidence, from documents to O. Occupations, or positions of the
support your thesis authors and/or major cultures King
(their economic or political
significance) Knights or
A. Audience or peripheral players Warlords
surrounding the authors and/or
cultures in the question. What Military
do they add to the dynamics
L. Local context of the of the Priests
documents/cultures in contrast
to the global ones Common