The Importance Of A DBQ

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Conquering The DBQ A Guide to writing Document Based Question Essays For AP World History Students By: Brandon Basinger What is a DBQ? The DBQ, or Document Based Questions, is one of three essays that students must write on the AP World History Exam. Statistically it is shown to be one of the most difficult parts of the exam for most students. In this exam students are given a prompt that asks a question or presents an idea for the student to analyze using several documents that will be supplied with the prompt. These documents can include items of historical value such as maps, diagrams, letters, excerpts from books, manuscripts, first person accounts and so on. The student must analyze these documents to determine how they…show more content…
These are an attempt to remind you of each critical item you should be sure to include in your essay. A good idea would be to go back and check these things off as you read them in your essay to be sure you included each of these parts, if you have additional time after finishing your essay. Breakdown of Directions: 1. Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with evidence from documents – a. To address this make sure that your thesis actually answers the question being posed in the prompt. Use the documents to back your thesis up. Your thesis also needs to function as a roadmap to your essay, telling what the essay will be about. 2. Uses all of the documents – a. You must be sure to use every document in your essay. It is understandable that you may have more to write about some than others, but each document must be addressed and tied to your thesis in some manner. 3. Analyze the documents – a. This is where you talk about each document, telling what the document was about and how it pertains to the prompt and use it to support your thesis statement. You must also show that you understand the authors’ points of view, taking into account the time period it was written in, and the author’s frame of…show more content…
Analyze – This is the main verb in the prompt telling you exactly what they want you to do. Sometimes this word may be things like: compare and contrast etc. 2. Social and Economic – This is a set of descriptive adjectives used to draw focus to specific types of, in this case the noun (effects). This lets you know not to focus on all effects but on social and economic effects specifically. 3. Effects – This is the main noun presented letting you know what you are to be looking for. This is further detailed by the set of descriptive adjectives appearing directly before this. 4. Global flow of silver – This is a second noun that is very important because it tells you what is causing the (effects) you are supposed to be looking for in the documents. Step 2 – Determine Possible Groupings – Once you have identified the key words in the prompt the next step is to determine possible groupings. This doesn’t take much time and can be done quickly after reading the prompt. Remember you must create at least two distinct groupings. Use the first primary noun to determine types of groupings that are likely to work for the documents presenting. In this case the word (effects). So think about types of “effects” that the documents may be able to be grouped into. For instance: Positive and Negative Effects. Another possible set of groupings could be to use the descriptive adjectives as their own groupings: i.e. Social and Economic Effects. Write

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