How Do I Make Connections in AP World History?

Are you struggling to make connections in AP World History? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Many students find it challenging to connect the dots and see the bigger picture when studying history. However, making connections is crucial for understanding the context of historical events and their significance. In this article, we’ll explore some strategies that can help you make connections in AP World History.

1. Identify Themes

One effective way of making connections is by identifying themes that are recurring throughout history. For example, the theme of power and authority is present in many historical events, from the rise and fall of empires to revolutions and wars. By understanding how this theme plays out in different contexts, you can start to see patterns and connections that will help you make sense of history.


  • The rise of empires such as Rome or China was often linked to a centralization of power and authority.
  • The American Revolution was driven by a desire for self-rule and a rejection of British authority.
  • The Cold War was characterized by a struggle for global power between two superpowers.

2. Use Chronology

Another way to make connections is by using chronology as a tool for analysis. By understanding the order in which events occurred, you can start to see how one event led to another, or how different events were related.

  • The Industrial Revolution led to urbanization and changes in social structures.
  • The rise of nationalism in Europe was fueled by conflicts over territory and resources.
  • The World Wars were caused by a complex web of alliances, territorial disputes, and economic rivalries.

3. Compare and Contrast

Comparing and contrasting different historical events or processes can also help you make connections. By identifying similarities and differences, you can start to see how different events were related or how they had similar causes or effects.

  • The French and American Revolutions were both driven by a desire for liberty and equality.
  • The colonization of the Americas and Africa had similar economic motivations, but different outcomes.
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of apartheid in South Africa were both influenced by popular movements for political change.

4. Use Visual Aids

Finally, using visual aids such as maps, timelines, or diagrams can help you make connections more easily. These tools can help you see patterns and relationships that might not be apparent from written text alone.

  • A map of colonial territories in Africa can show how European powers divided up the continent for their own economic gain.
  • A timeline of Chinese dynasties can show how political power shifted over time.
  • A diagram of the global trade network can show how economic systems were interconnected across different regions.


Making connections in AP World History is essential for understanding historical events and their significance. By using strategies such as identifying themes, using chronology, comparing and contrasting, and using visual aids, you can start to see patterns and relationships that will help you make sense of history. So don’t be afraid to look for connections – they might just reveal some fascinating insights about the world we live in!