This particular essay prompt and rubric doesn't fit with typical essays using the APUSH format. Therefore, it is more of a "modified" DBQ essay. However, it uses many of the same ideas and is based on topics covered in my APUSH class.
Prompt: The closer the colonizing groups of North America and Native Americans came to each other geographically, socially, and economically, the further apart they grew politically.
The tasks ask the students to identify what types of historical thinking skills are being used, write a good thesis statement, use primary sources within four analysis categories, and use four social science categories, all while writing a coherent essay from the study time period.
This word document is customizable so that you can make it work with your APUSH classroom Period 2 (1607-1754) essay. You are welcome to change the prompt or not, add your own sources, instructions, etc.
For the students, the prompt and rubric act like a checklist of sorts. It helps them to make sure they get all the required components into the essay.
For you, grading is easier because it helps to narrow the requirements of the essay to small, easily compressed categories.