AP Research

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About the Course

Build on what you learned in AP Seminar to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, you will design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Conducting independent research

  • Analyzing sources and evidence

  • Applying context and perspective

  • Writing a college-level academic paper

  • Presenting research findings to an audience

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

AP Research is an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to demonstrate critical thinking and academic research skills on a topic of the student’s choosing. To accommodate the wide range of student topics, typical college course equivalents include introductory research or general elective courses.

Recommended Prerequisites

Students must have successfully completed the AP Seminar course.

Assessment Date

Wed, Apr 30, 2025

11:59 PM ET

AP Research Performance Task Due Date

This is the deadline for you to submit your AP Research Academic Paper performance task as final in the AP Digital Portfolio.

Course Content

Big Idea 1: Question and Explore

You’ll learn about the first step of doing research: inquiry and investigation.

You’ll practice:

  • Identifying a problem or issue and developing a question about it
  • Finding and organizing the information you need to answer the question
  • Evaluating the sources of information you use
  • Looking at the problem or issue from different perspectives

Big Idea 2: Understand and Analyze

You’ll learn to read, comprehend, and explain a perspective or argument.

You’ll practice:

  • Reading critically for a purpose
  • Explaining and analyzing the line of reasoning of an argument
  • Evaluating the evidence an author uses to support their argument
  • Assessing potential resolutions, conclusions, or solutions raised by an argument

Big Idea 3: Evaluate Multiple Perspectives

You’ll learn to compare and contrast different perspectives on an issue, idea, or problem so you can understand its complexity.

You’ll practice:

  • Identifying, comparing, and interpreting different perspectives on, or arguments about, an issue
  • Evaluating objections, implications, and limitations of different perspectives or arguments

Big Idea 4: Synthesize Ideas

You’ll learn to take information you’ve gathered, analyzed, and evaluated and use it to form your own conclusions and build your own argument.

You’ll practice:

  • Formulating a well-reasoned argument
  • Using data and information from various sources to develop and support an argument
  • Linking evidence to claims
  • Offering resolutions, conclusions, or solutions based on evidence

Big Idea 5: Team, Transform, and Transmit

You’ll learn peer review practices and how to communicate your ideas to an audience.

You’ll practice:

  • Planning, producing, and presenting an argument while considering audience, context, and purpose
  • Communicating information through appropriate media
  • Using effective techniques to engage an audience

Credit and Placement

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Course Resources

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Participate in the AP Capstone Diploma Program

Learn more about the AP Capstone Diploma Program, and how you can participate. Taking AP Seminar and AP Research lets you study topics you love, learn key academic skills, and stand out to colleges.

See Where AP Can Take You

AP Research can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Career Areas 98
Majors 48