Course Audit

AP Research

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Welcome, new AP Research teachers! Complete your Course Audit submission by Oct. 1.

AP Course Audit

Find resources below to help you complete the AP Course Audit. For more information on the authorization process, please see About AP Course Audit.

Designing Your AP Research Course

AP Research can only be taught as part of the larger AP Capstone™ program. This course may only be offered to students at schools where teachers have completed the required professional development. Visit the AP Capstone page to learn more about how to participate in this program.

Use the resources below to design your AP Research syllabus.

AP Research Course and Exam Description

The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the course and exam.

AP Research Course and Exam Description

Curricular and Resource Requirements

Your course must fulfill these requirements, and your syllabus should make it clear how the requirements will be addressed.

AP Research curricular requirements:

  • Students develop and apply discrete skills identified in the learning objectives of the enduring understandings within the following 5 big ideas: Question and Explore; Understand and Analyze; Evaluate Multiple Perspectives; Synthesize Ideas; and Team, Transform, and Transmit.
  • Students develop an understanding of ethical research practices and the AP Capstone™ Policy on Plagiarism and Falsification or Fabrication of Information.
  • In the classroom and independently (while possibly consulting expert advisors), students learn and employ research and inquiry methods to develop, manage, and conduct an in-depth investigation of an area of personal interest, culminating in an academic paper of 4,000–5,000 words that includes the following elements:
    • Introduction
    • Method, Process, or Approach
    • Results, Product, or Findings
    • Discussion, Analysis, and/or Evaluation
    • Conclusion and Future Directions
    • Bibliography
  • Using a process and reflection portfolio (PREP), students document their inquiry processes, communication with their teachers and any expert advisors, and reflections on their thought processes. Students have regular work-in-progress interviews with their teachers to review their progress and to receive feedback on their scholarly work.
  • Students develop and deliver a presentation (using an appropriate medium) and an oral defense to a panel on their research processes, methods, and findings.

AP Research resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student and teacher has access to appropriate instructional resources and technology (i.e., library and research databases, the internet, college-level texts, presentation software).
  • The school ensures that each participating student is provided computer and internet access for completion of course requirements.

Example Textbook List

The list below shows examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Research. The lists below are not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by College Board. Not using a book from this list does not mean that a course will not receive authorization. Syllabi submitted as part of the AP Course Audit process will be evaluated holistically, with textbooks considered along with supplementary resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit. More textbooks than those listed below may be appropriate for the AP Research course. However, schools should make every effort to acquire textbooks no older than ten years old for use in this course. In addition, disciplinary style guidelines change frequently and teachers are advised to consult the most recent style guide for a particular discipline (e.g., Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.). While every effort is made to keep this list current, it can take a few months for newly published titles and revised editions to be reviewed.

Example Textbooks Aligned to the Curriculum Framework

Booth, W. C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Other Example Textbooks

  • Christensen, L. B., R. Burke Johnson, and Lisa A. Turner. Research Methods, Design, and Analysis. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Creswell, J. W. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Dawson, C. Introduction to Research Methods: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project. Oxford, UK: How To Books.
  • Flick, U. Introducing Research Methodology: A Beginner’s Guide to Doing a Research Project. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Howard, Rebecca M., and Amy Rupiper Taggart. Research Matters. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  • Knowles, J. Gary, and Ardra L. Cole. Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Leedy, Paul D., and Jeanne E. Ormrod. Practical Research: Planning and Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
  • Neuman, W. L. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Palmquist, Mike. The Bedford Researcher. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
  • Picardi, Carrie A., Kevin D. Masick. Research Methods: Designing and Conducting Research with a Real-World Focus. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Sample Syllabi

These four annotated sample AP Research syllabi show how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP Research: Sample Syllabus 1

Example of an AP Research syllabus that would pass the AP Course Audit.

AP Research: Sample Syllabus 2

Example of an AP Research syllabus that would pass the AP Course Audit.

AP Research: Sample Syllabus 3

Example of an AP Research syllabus that would pass the AP Course Audit.

AP Research: Sample Syllabus 4

Example of an AP Research syllabus that would pass the AP Course Audit.

Guide to Developing Your Syllabus

Download this document for more help creating your syllabus.

Syllabus Development Guide: AP Research

Includes the guidelines reviewers use to evaluate syllabi along with three samples of evidence for each requirement. This guide also specifies the level of detail required in the syllabus to receive course authorization.