AP Seminar: Research, foundational writing, collaboration, and presentation
  • course description & Overview

    AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments


    The course will be composed of 4 College Board and teacher graded components and assessments: 

    1) Intensive skill-building and practice, 

    2) AP Task 1: Group task and presentation, 

    3)  AP Task 2: Individual research-based essay and presentation, and 

    4) AP Task 3: The end-of-course exam. 


    Course Framework

    The AP Seminar course is organized around five big ideas that form the QUEST framework; students will use this framework as they explore issues and topics throughout the course. In-class activities and homework assignments will focus on developing skills and meeting the end of course objectives that are ties to each of the following elements of the QUEST framework below:


    Q - Question and Explore

    U - Understand and Analyze

    E - Evaluate Multiple Perspectives

    S - Synthesize Ideas

    T - Team, Transform, and Transmit


    College Board Assessments  

    Coursework will focus on preparing students with the necessary skills for the following assessment tasks that will together determine the overall AP score for the course (Part 3: End of Course Exam will be on Tuesday, May 7, 2024).

     Part 1: Team Project and Presentations 20% of AP Score

    Part 2: Individual Research-Based Essay and Presentation 35% of AP Score

    Part 3: End-of-Course Exam 45% of AP Score


    Course Context

    Through the QUEST framework, students will break down topics and issues by viewing them through specific lenses. Students will then use these lenses to analyze a number of debates, projects, and presentations throughout the year.


    The lenses are:

    • Environment

    • Scientific

    • Economic

    • Political and Historical

    • Artistic and Philosophical 

    • Cultural and Social

    • Futuristic

    • Ethical

    Course Outline

    The following skills-based units will be taught through the course [themes]. These are subject to change as seen fit by the instructor of the course:


    Unit 1: Introduction to Argument and Q.U.E.S.T. [Identity]

    Unit 2: Continuation of Q.U.E.S.T. Implementation [Artificial Intelligence]

    Unit 3: Performance Assessment Task 1

    Unit 4: Performance Assessment  Task 2

    Unit 5: End of Course Exam