AP Research is designed to allow you to dive into an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. You will further develop the skills you acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methods; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information as they address a research question. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000-5,000 words and a presentation with an oral defense during which you will answer questions about your academic paper.

In the AP Research course, you will:

  • Employ research and inquiry methodology to develop, manage, and conduct an in-depth study or investigation of an area of student’s own interest, culminating in a 4,000-5,000 word paper.
  • Present (using appropriate media), and defend the research design, approach, and findings.
  • Document and reflect upon the research process and communication with mentor using a research log.


While the topic of each research study will vary, the course requires you to plan and conduct a study or investigation, including:

  • Investigating relevant topics, composing insightful problem statements, or developing compelling research questions (considering scope) to extend thinking
  • Demonstrating perseverance through setting goals, managing time, and working independently on a long-term project
  • Identifying, applying, and implementing appropriate methods for research and data collection
  • Accessing information using effective strategies
  • Evaluating the relevance and credibility of information from sources and data
  • Reading a bibliography for the purpose of understanding that it is a source for other research and for determining context, credibility, and scope
  • Attributing knowledge and ideas accurately and ethically, using an appropriate citation style
  • Evaluating strengths and weaknesses of others’ inquiries and studies


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