After answering Question 2 from our APUSH Short Answer Questions, scroll down to read a sample response. Our APUSH SAQ example will show you exactly what a great answer looks like. We have also included a detailed explanation of the scoring.
2. Read the excerpt provided and then respond to parts a, b, and c.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
— Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863.
a. Identify and explain the significance of the event during which this speech was given.
b. According to the excerpt, what fundamental principle was the nation founded upon?
c. Provide one additional example from the Civil War era that further illustrates the national struggle with the principle identified in the excerpt.
Sample Perfect Answer:
How This Answer Earns a Perfect Score:
The provided answer adeptly addresses all three parts of the prompt in alignment with APUSH scoring standards:
- Contextualization and Use of Evidence: The student accurately identifies the Gettysburg Address and provides a comprehensive context of its significance in relation to the Civil War and national ideals.
- Analysis of Primary Source: The student’s interpretation of the nation’s foundational principle of Liberty and equality, as emphasized by Lincoln, showcases their ability to analyze and draw insights from primary sources.
- Historical Examples: By introducing the Emancipation Proclamation as an additional example, the student effectively supplements the information from the excerpt with outside knowledge, demonstrating their ability to connect specific historical examples to broader themes.
- Argument Development: The answer is structured clearly, with each part directly addressing the respective question. The student’s arguments are concise, accurate, and well-supported, showcasing their ability to construct a coherent response based on historical evidence.
In summary, the answer demonstrates a clear understanding of the topic, effectively utilizes historical evidence, and aligns with key APUSH scoring standards, making it worthy of a perfect score.
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