"Writing the DBQ: Document-Based Question"
Slide 1 Writing the DBQ: Document-Based Question Slide 2 What is the Document-Based Question? A document-based question requires students to defend an assertion by using an analysis of historical documents and outside knowledge (previous knowledge) of a specific time period and topic. Slide 3 Solving a Mystery Writing a DBQ is similar to solving a mystery or a crime You need to use your previous knowledge along with the evidence (the documents) to help solve the mystery – the question that is being asked. As is true with a mystery or crime, some evidence is better than other evidence! Slide 4 Best Practices One of the best ways to prepare for the DBQ on the AP Exam is to have students practice using APPARTS on various primary sources throughout the year! Slide 5 Six Steps to Answering a Document-Based Question 1. Read the question, and 4. Make an assertion – make sure you formulate a thesis, understand all parts of ensuring that it directly the question. answers the questions. 5. Use the “Yes/But” 2. “Cluster” outside Strategy to form the information (use a web) defense of tour assertion to establish and to test your outside/previous assertion. knowledge. 6. Write the essay. (Note: on 3. Read the documents, the AP exam students and analyze each have 60 minutes to work on the DBQ. Spend 15-20 document with minutes on the first five APPARTS as you read. steps. Spend 40-45 minutes writing the essay. Slide 6 Step Five: Yes/But Here is where you will up your score by recognizing the other side of the assertion you made – and then destroying it in your writing. “Although slavery was morally and socially wrong, the thirteen colonies could not have been economically successful without the institution of slavery. You recognize that slavery is wrong, you do not hide this fact, but will convince the reader that the economic situation made it a “necessary evil.” Slide 7 Basic Facts DBQ essays with no outside information or analysis will receive a score no higher than a four. Students need to stay within the time period of the question Students who effectively use Yes/But statements drive their scores up. Avoid quoting long passages – focus on analysis, not regurgitation. Slide 8 Basic Facts, cont. Analyze and make inferences, do not simply repeat what the document says Always refer to the document parenthetical by the title of the document, NOT by its letter! Students should use the introductory paragraph to define terms, provide historical background, define the time period, and state points of validation. Keep introductory information to a minimum. Slide 9 Basic Facts, cont. Students should use specific names, terms and events Always make sure that you keep returning to the main topic/your thesis – do not wander! Lastly, use as many documents as you can, but you do not need to use every single one. Aim to use all but one or two. Slide 10 Ready, Set, Go!! Now you have the basic formula for writing a successful DBQ. We will work on this skill together all year long -- HOW EXCITING!!!