How Do You Write an Leq for AP World History?

If you’re taking AP World History, one of the most important skills you’ll need to master is writing an LEQ (Long Essay Question). This is a type of essay that requires you to analyze historical events or processes and make an argument based on your analysis.

It’s a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can succeed. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to write an LEQ for AP World History.

1. Understand the Question

The first step in writing an LEQ is to understand the question.

You’ll be given a prompt that asks you to analyze a historical event or process and make an argument about it. Take the time to read the prompt carefully and make sure you understand what it’s asking you to do.


Question: Analyze the causes and effects of imperialism in Africa from 1880-1914.


In this example, you’re being asked to analyze imperialism in Africa during a specific time period. You’ll need to identify the causes of imperialism, explore its effects on Africa and its people, and make an argument about whether or not imperialism was beneficial or harmful.

2. Plan Your Essay

Once you understand the question, it’s time to plan your essay.

Start by brainstorming key ideas and arguments that relate to the prompt. Use bullet points or a mind map to organize your thoughts.


Possible key ideas:

  • Economic motivations for imperialism
  • Social Darwinism and racism as justifications for imperialism
  • The impact of imperialism on African economies and societies
  • Resistance to imperialism by African peoples
  • The legacy of imperialism in Africa today

3. Develop a Thesis

Your thesis is the main argument of your essay.

It should be a clear and concise statement that summarizes the key points you’ll be making in your essay. Your thesis should respond directly to the prompt and take a position on the issue.


Thesis: While economic motivations were a driving force behind imperialism in Africa, the negative effects on African societies far outweighed any potential benefits.

4. Write Your Essay

With your thesis and plan in place, it’s time to start writing your essay.

Begin with an introduction that provides context for your argument and clearly states your thesis. Use body paragraphs to develop your key ideas, providing evidence and analysis to support each point. Finally, write a conclusion that summarizes your main arguments and restates your thesis in a new way.


Introduction: The late 19th century saw a wave of European imperialism sweep across Africa, driven by economic motivations and justified by Social Darwinism and racism. While some have argued that imperialism brought benefits to Africa, such as increased trade and modernization, this essay will argue that the negative effects on African societies far outweighed any potential benefits.

Body Paragraph: Economic motivations were certainly a driving force behind imperialism in Africa. European powers sought new markets for their goods, raw materials for their industries, and investment opportunities for their capital. However, this economic exploitation came at great cost to African societies..

5. Edit Your Essay

Once you’ve written your essay, take some time to edit it carefully. Check for spelling and grammar errors, make sure each paragraph flows logically from one to the next, and ensure that each point you make is supported by evidence.


Writing an LEQ for AP World History can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can succeed. Start by understanding the question, planning your essay, developing a thesis, writing your essay, and editing it carefully. With these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this important skill.