Mister Essay

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1. The point of the AP US Document Based Question is to answer a question about American history in essay form, incorporating as many of the given primary sources as possible. Graders expect that most of your answer will come from your own knowledge. The documents are there to provide evidence and examples, not to be your main information source. It may help to think of the APUSH DBQ as a Document Supported Question rather than a Document Based Question. 2. APUSH DBQs (and regular essay questions, as well) are graded on a scale of 0-9, with 9 being the best score possible. A score of 0 means you did not even attempt to answer the question. 3. Consider the following to be cardinal rules in answering the AP US DBQ: * Use a majority of documents. * Have an explicit thesis sentence that directly answers the question and is not just a rewording of it. * Answer all parts of the question. * Organize the essay and use your documents in a coherent manner. * Minimize grammar and spelling errors wherever possible. 4. During the national exam, you will be given a 15-minute "reading" period for both the DBQ and the two regular essay questions combined. You are not allowed to start writing in the answer booklet until those 15 minutes are over. Make use of this time by marking up the documents with notes, creating an outline plan for your essay, and developing a thesis sentence. 5. The number one mistake made by students taking the national exam is failing to answer all parts of the question asked. To make sure you don't become a statistic, the first thing you should do during the reading period is underline the action verbs in the question. Most AP US DBQ questions have at least two tasks you must complete. For example, the DBQ may ask that you describe the women's rights movement of Civil War era and assess the

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