Using ClioVis to Study for the APUSH Exam

You can use ClioVis as a tool to study for the AP US History Exam. Making a timeline can help you plan out essays by visualizing your argument and connecting evidence.

Assignment

Using your textbook or an AP study guide, plan an answer to any practice essay question by creating a timeline.

  1. Create eras and events to contextualize your argument within its historical context.
  2. Make events to serve as evidence for your argument. You might make more events than you need at first in order to identify which events will best support your claim.
  3. Draw connections between your events to display your reasoning (the organization of your argument) and analysis (your use of the evidence to support your claim).
  4. Write your essay’s thesis after you complete the timeline.

For help creating your timeline, watch our short tutorial videos.

Example

I created the ClioVis timeline embedded above to answer the following essay question:

Compare and contrast the attitudes of Americans directly following World War I and World War II.

If you’d like to see the sample APUSH timeline with more ClioVis functionality than you see in the embedded timeline, you can create a ClioVis account, then use the following project code to gain access by entering it where it says “join a project”: 8bb438a9-2b82-4ecf-8ceb-695cfb335026

Remember, you will only be able to view this timeline. But, you can easily create your own. Just watch the tutorials to learn how!

To properly compare and contrast the attitudes of Americans in these periods, I need to remember what they are. Then, I need to compare them to determine what is similar and what is different. These are the steps I took:

  1. I created eras to define the periods I would be looking at. I made eras for WWI, the post-WWI period, WWII, and the post-WWII period.
  2. I looked at the chapters about WWI and WWII in my APUSH textbook then skimmed the section headers for important terms and ideas. I created events for everything that related to my question.
  3. I thought about how events impacted one another and drew connections between them. For example, I drew connections from “Truman’s Presidency,” “Eightieth Congress,” “Civil Rights,” and “Strikes” to the event “Political Division” because those events all contributed to the partisan political climate in America following WWII. In my essay, I would explain how each of those events caused political division.
  4. I looked at the two sections of my timeline to determine similarities and differences. I decided to categorize my events by the topics “social,” “political,” and “economic.” That way it would be easier to make like-to-like comparisons.
  5. I selected 1 similarity and 2 differences, then wrote my thesis:
    • Directly following World War I in 1918 and World War II in 1945, American attitudes were similar in that demographic shifts created racial tension. However, they differed in their economic prosperity and their levels of international involvement during the following period of peace.
    • There are many similarities and differences between the two periods, so you could answer our question in many different ways as long as you have support for your argument.

If you’d like to see the sample APUSH timeline with more ClioVis functionality than you see in the embedded timeline, you can create a ClioVis account, then use the following project code to gain access by entering it where it says “join a project”: 8bb438a9-2b82-4ecf-8ceb-695cfb335026

Remember, you will only be able to view this timeline. But, you can easily create your own. Just watch the tutorials to learn how!