Advanced Placement (AP) Program » 2020 Summer Work for AP Research

2020 Summer Work for AP Research


  • To help you explore and select your area of focus and topic of inquiry for a long-term research project.
  • To prepare to develop a research question in early September.


  • You will have read and written about 10 texts, 5 for each possible topic within your area of focus, and answered some reflection questions to help you choose which topic of inquiry you will pursue as you begin to narrow the scope of your research.


  • LO 1.1C: Identifying a topic of inquiry.
    • EK 1.1C1: Topics of inquiry may come from personal interest, passion for a discipline/field, desire to better understand a topic, or desire to address an issue in the world.
    • EK 1.1C3: Inquiry allows for the discovery of connections that can increase curiosity or understanding and lead to further questions.
  • LO 1.2A: Retrieving, organizing, and using prior knowledge about a topic.
    • EK 1.2A3: Inquiry confirms or challenges one’s existing understandings, assumptions, beliefs, and/or knowledge.
  • LO 1.3A: Accessing and managing information using effective strategies.
    • EK 1.3A1: Information used to address a problem may come from various secondary sources (e.g., articles, other studies, analyses, reports) and/or primary sources (e.g., original texts and works, material culture, or personally collected data such as from experiments, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, observations, personal narratives).

Rubric (each section of the assignment will be scored separately):

  • 100: Thoroughly addresses all aspects of the section; uses correct word choice, grammar, and structure throughout. 
  • 93: Thoroughly addresses all aspects of the section; uses correct word choice, grammar, and structure with few mistakes that do not confuse the reader.
  • 87: Addresses all aspects of the section but could be more developed; uses correct word choice, grammar, and structure with some mistakes, but the text largely makes sense.
  • 76: Only gives simple answers to questions or is missing some parts of the section; word choice, grammar, and structure mistakes make some parts of the reading confusing.
  • 65: Answers are generalized and could apply to many texts or topics or are too short; writing is disorganized and difficult to understand.
  • 50: The response exists and addresses one part of the section; the writing is too confusing to be meaningful.


Each section of this assignment will be submitted in its own Google Classroom assignment. Make sure you’re paying attention to the directions in each specific post about what to upload and where.

Section 1 (LO 1.1C)

  • Select your primary area of inquiry. Within this area, select two issues or topics you are interested in exploring and developing into a research project. Then, respond to the following using an academic style of writing, paying attention to the word requirements:
    • Why are you interested in this particular area of focus? What intrigues you or inspires you when you think about developing some expertise in this particular field? (250 words - Due June 8 at the start of class)
    • Issue/Topic 1 - What interests you about this? What are you curious about? What might be some reasons for and against pursuing this topic of inquiry? (250 words - Due June 10 by the end of the day)
    • Issue/Topic 2 - What interests you about this? What are you curious about? What might be some reasons for and against pursuing this topic of inquiry? (250 words - Due June 15 at the start of class)

Section 2 (LO 1.2A and LO 1.3A) -Topic 1 general sources due July 9 & peer reviewed sources due July 23 / Topic 2 general sources due Aug. 13 & peer reviewed sources due Aug. 27

  • For each topic of inquiry, locate and read/watch/listen to five sources. Three of these do not need to be peer-reviewed, but they do need to be serious texts. These can include newspaper and magazine articles from reputable sources, documentaries and films, interviews, books, and non-traditional texts like artworks or music. The other two texts should be from peer-reviewed sources. After reading each text, do the following:
    • Create a bibliographic citation for the source (APA format, please).
    • Summarize the key ideas, arguments, and/or findings in the source (100 words).
    • Explain why the source’s ideas, arguments, or findings are credible, relevant, and/or valid (50 words).
    • Analyze how the ideas might be useful to research (100 words). This can include:
      • Questions raised by the reading which are worth future exploration
      • Ideas/information which are foundational to understanding a topic or theory
      • Data which confirms or contradicts a hypothesis or another set of findings

Section 3 (LO 1.1C x3) - Due Sept. 3

  • Return to your  possible topics of inquiry. For each topic, write 200 words addressing the following:
    • What new questions or ideas have emerged as a result of reading your set of five sources about this topic?
    • Consider the pros and cons of studying this topic over the next eight months including feasibility and interest. What are your thoughts at this point?

Section 4 (LO 1.1C x1) - Due Sept. 10

  • And finally, answer this one question in 250 words:
    • What topic or focus are you going to select for your research project? Why?