AP World history‎ > ‎

- APWH Syllabus




Mr. Chad McGuire

x 6532


Rm.  D206


Stearns, Peter, et al..,  World Civilizations The Global Experience.   New York:              

             Pearson-Logman, AP ed., 5th ed., 2007.

Bulliet, Richard, et al., eds. The Earth and Its Peoples.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin

            Company, 2001.

Andrea, Alfred and Overfield, James.  The Human Record.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin;

            5th Ed, 2004. 

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, et al.  Readings in World history.  Orlando: 

            Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., 1990.

Mortimer Chambers, et al. The Western Experience.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf;

            2nd Ed, 1974.


(CollegBoard AP World history course description, May 2006)

AP World History is a survey course that begins with the Foundations of World history and finishes with current world affairs.  The course is designed with the intent of preparing students for college; to give students the essential skills that are required to study history at a higher level.  The content of AP World history is that of an introductory college level course.  The goal of AP World History is for the students to develop a greater understanding of the world by looking at the processes and interactions of human societies.  We will examine global changes, look at causes and consequences, and we will compare and contrast major societies.  The course will look at the history of the world from the perspective of people who lived in Asia, Africa, The Americas, and Europe. 

Ultimately, the course is focused around the Advanced Placement Exam that is given in the second week in May.  Each Meadowdale student is expected to take the exam.  The cost is approximately $90.00, and will be collected around mid-March.  (Financial aid may be available for those students who need help.  See your counselor for details).

Students who successfully complete the AP exam may be eligible to receive college credit or the waiving of individual courses at a variety of colleges and universities. 

In addition to the focus on content, AP World history students will leave the AP class with academic skills.  Students will be able to enhance their critical, analytical and thinking skills, they will be able to gather, organize, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize historical material.  We will examine and work with documents and other primary source documents.  Although the ultimate goal is to pass the AP exam, important lessons and skills will be learned by the students that ultimately, will prepare them for learning at a higher level. 

AP World history is divided chronologically into six periods:

Foundations:  c. 8000 B.C.E. to 600  B.C.E.                   5% (suggested course content)

600 B.C.E.-600 C.E.                                                     15%

600 C.E.-1450                                                              20%

1450-1750                                                                    20%

1750-1900                                                                    20%

1900-present                                                                 20%

This course will have five overarching themes that will serve as unifying threads; the themes, as outlined in the AP World History Course Descriptions are:

  1.  Interaction between humans and the environment.
  2. Development and interaction of cultures.
  3. State building, expansion and conflict.
  4. Creation, expansion and interaction of Economic systems.
  5. Development and transformation of social structures.

KEY CONCEPTS will be used to organize the course and facilitate the chronological and thematic approach to teaching AP World history.  The Key Concepts will help to provide the students with structure and will help them make connections across different time periods.

AP World history is a rigorous course that emphasizes not only content, but also the development of academic skills.  This course will focus on academic skills such as:

  • Analysis of primary source documents—bias, context, point of view
  • Essay writing— DBQ, Compare and Contrast, Change Over Time
  • Using evidence to construct and support coherent arguments
  • Compare and contrast major societies
  • Seeing global patterns over time
  • Note taking/Outlining
  • Multiple Choice skills
  • Understanding cause and effect
  • Research, evaluation of sources


Students will receive unit reading guides for each unit and time period in AP history.  The study guides are designed with three distinct parts.  First of all, the study guide will break down the readings from our textbook.  The second part includes questions that will help students gather, sort, and process their readings; these questions will help students understand key content. The final part of the study guides will focus on identification of terms to know, this assessment generally includes fact-based questions.  Students will keep a three ring binder that will have sections for each AP periodization and they will have section for the three types of essays on the AP test.  In addition, the students will keep a study journal.  In their study journal they will have a journal section and a homework journal section.  In the journal section, the students will write and think in a variety of ways.  I will give them a comparative or change over time writing prompt and they will practice writing thesis statements.  On a daily basis, students will analyze documents that will help them in preparing for the DBQ essay on the exam; analysis of political cartoons, pictures, charts, and maps will also help to enhance students critical thinking ability and to help them prepare for the test.  It is important for students in AP history to think like an historian; we will consistently identify bias and point of view in the sources that we read. In the homework section of their journal, they will take notes on textbook readings (outline form or Cornell notes), and in-class lectures.  The students will be put into study groups that will meet during class, and they may meet during tutorial or after school. The study groups will play a variety of roles:  They will be used to not only review for unit tests, but also for the AP test; they will be used for support purposes, if a student misses a day of school or does not understand something, then they have help; and the study groups will be used for group activities, simulations, and mock trials or debates.  In the study groups, students will peer edit thesis statements and essays.  Several times throughout the year, the students will have the opportunity to read different articles on the same topic to see and analyze historical ideas and concepts from multiple viewpoints. Students will learn the skill of presenting arguments from different perspectives through debates and mock trials.  Throughout the years, students will develop the habit of mind of evaluating change and continuity over time.   Students will be able to make global connections not only in a given timeline, but also across the different times designated by the College Board.  Similarly, the students will have multiple opportunities to compare major societies



AP World history students should expect between four to seven hours per week in this class.  Assignments will include reading from the textbook, supplementary readings, research papers, essays, quizzes, group projects, and exams.  The students should keep their homework and handouts in a three-ring binder and a spiral notebook for organizational purposes.  Students are expected to participate in classroom discussions and debates.

Late Work:

Assignments that are turned in late will go down a grade for each day that it is late.  Assignments turned in after four days after the due date cannot receive a grade higher than fifty-percent of the assignments point value.  If you are absent, then it is your responsibility to get the assignments or notes that you missed; this must be done during tutorial or after school.  Missed exams will be made up in tutorial or after school.


Assignments and exams are graded on a point basis.  NO EXTRA CREDIT opportunities will be given in this class.

Tests:  Tests and quizzes cover information from their textbook readings and classroom lectures.  Usually, the tests and quizzes will be in multiple choice form with one or two essay questions.  The multiple choice questions are taken primarily form the test bank provided from the textbook. 

Essays:  In the beginning of the year, the students will complete a writing workshop that reviews the basics of how to write quality essays.  At first, the students will be allowed to take their essays home, and they will have the opportunity for peer editing.  As we get closer to the AP test, students will mainly write in-class essays. 

Students who achieve a “4” , OR “5” On the National AP exam will earn an “A” for 2nd semester, assuming all of their required course work has be satisfactorily turned in and all major assignments and tests are completed.

Grading Scale:

93-100%           = A                              73-77                = C

90-92                = A-                             70-72                = C-

88-89                = B+                             68-69                = D+

83-87                = B                               60-67                = D

80-82                = B-                              Less Than 60    = F

78-79                = C+

Philosophy/MHS policy on attendance:

Students are expected to be in school and in class daily.  Punctual attendance is the first requirement for success both here and upon graduation.  A larger part of learning takes place during class discussions and participation.  Many instructional methods are used that require student participation and if students are absent, they miss out on that learning and experience that enhance their intellectual growth.

Unexcused Absences:

Students with unexcused absences do not have to be given the opportunities to make up work, nor  be given extensions on assignment due dates.  Consequences will therefore be directly reflected in the assignment/grade on missed or late assignments.  Teachers may make accommodations, as they believe best for a student in a particular case, based on the learning goals for that course and student. 

Excused Absences:

The teacher will offer the student additional time (one day for each day a student is absent) to complete the work and or alternative work to meet the learning goals.  This does not excuse students from doing work.  Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to follow up with the teacher after an excused absence.  Absences must be excused within 48 hours.

Tardy Policy: 

  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tardy = warning
  • 4th tardy = tutorial and call home
  • 5th  tardy = School Referral

Cell phones must be turned off during class, absolutely no text messaging.  Other devices can only be used in class with my permission.


Student Name               ____________________________



Student Signature          ____________________________



Parent/Guardian ____________________________