Understanding the

					Understanding the Question
          The Prompt
Each essay question begins with a
prompt.
You need to understand what the
prompt is asking you…a vitally
important skill.
        Prompt Example:
DBQ (document based question)
– How successful was organized labor in
  improving the position of workers in the
  period from 1875-1900? Analyze the
  factors that contributed to the level of
  success achieved.
        Prompt Example:
Free Response Question (no
documents):
– Compare and contrast United States
  foreign policy after the First World War
  and after the Second World War.
  Consider the periods 1919-1928 and
  1945-1950.
      Looking at the DBQ:
Read the WHOLE prompt, every last word
of it. Many have two sentences and both
are important.
– How successful was organized labor in
  improving the position of workers in the period
  from 1875-1900? Analyze the factors that
  contributed to the level of success achieved.
A major mistake students make is in
reading and answering only part of the
prompt.
                 VERBS
Having read the entire prompt, circle or
underline the VERBS. These words will
give you your task:
– How successful was organized labor in
  improving the position of workers in the period
  from 1875-1900? Analyze the factors that
  contributed to the level of success achieved.
The important verb, and thus your task, is
in the second sentence: ANALYZE.
 Looking at the Free Response
           Question
Look carefully and mark any
CONJUNCTIONS and circle or underline
them:
– Compare and contrast United States foreign
  policy after the First World War and after the
  Second World War. Consider the periods
  1919-1928 and 1945-1950.
You MUST compare AND contrast these
periods to successfully complete the task.
Doing only one or the other will
significantly reduce your score.
Commonly used verbs and verb
         phrases
ANALYZE
– Explain how and why something
  occurred
– Any question that uses “how” and/or
  “why” is an analysis question, even if
  the word “analyze” is not in the prompt
Assess the Validity
– How true is the statement?
– The statement doesn’t have to be true
  at all
– It can be true in one circumstance and
  false in another
Evaluate
– Which factor is most important?
– You usually need to rank several events
  or factors and specify which is most and
  which is least significant
To what extent…
– This prompt frequently requires you to
  specify a cause and effect relationship
  and then state which causes were more
  important
Compare and Contrast
– Discuss BOTH similarities AND
  differences between two events or
  periods
– It is important to do both in a balanced
  way and not shortchange either
Discuss or Consider
– Frequently used in free response
  questions
– They should be written as analysis
  essays
               OUTLINING
After your task has become clear, sketch out a
quick, informal outline.
This is very important in guaranteeing you cover
the whole prompt
For example, in answering the Free Response
Prompt, a Venn Diagram would be great.
– Compare and contrast United States foreign policy after
  the First World War and after the Second World War.
  Consider the periods 1919-1928 and 1945-1950.
That would logically give you 3 body paragraphs.

				
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posted:9/25/2012
language:English
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