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									DBQ Feedback
Unit 2 Essay 2008-09

The Prompt: Based on the following documents, analyze the responses to the spread of Buddhism in China.

The first thing you need to do is review the DBQ rubric sheet, your essay & my comments.
           Did you answer the prompt …or did you merely interpret documents?
           If you tried to do POV, did you get it or not? Look closely at what you wrote for POV.

General Comments:
         The word is Confucian –not Confusion, Confucious, nor even Confucionis. You need to write the right
           word so at the AP reading they don‘t laugh at you !
         These are pretty decent DBQ‘s, especially for the first one of the year –Congratulations!
         Yet, this was also a pretty SHORT DBQ (only 6 docs –that‘s the least EVER given to work with).

Rubric Breakdown
1. Thesis: Yea!! So much better this time & they are getting better with each essay! However, this is a skill which
everyone must master. Her are some examples to guide you:

These were examples of acceptable theses statements:
       Buddhism was able to thrive in China during the period of political instability as people were seeking
       salvation during a time of constant war, eventually displacing Confucianism. But as imperial rule began to
       reclaim China, the ascetic demands and practices of Buddhism acted against what was needed in order fo rhte
       empire to function, resulting in the fade of Buddhism‘s appeal in China.

         Buddhism was introduced in 100 CE, but did not take a foothold in China until later. Buddhism was
         generally well received by the Chinese people because it offered hope for salvation. It was firmly established
         amidst much chaos, but as China established order, it lost some of its popularity.

But these were NOT:
        Buddhism spread during this time mainly because it offered a salvation from the instability of the time
        period, and by the time an imperial structure was set up it had already established itself as part of Chinese
        [This only has 1 response & the prompt required ―responseS.‖ Stating that Buddhism was established within
        Chinese society isn‘t a response TO Buddhism but rather an effect –instead state what were the responses
        was Buddhism was ―established within.‖]
        The spread of Buddhism is looked upon as the “evil that should be eradicated” from the point of view of a
        Tang emperor and viewed as a religion with leaders that deserve great respect by Zang Mi, a Buddhist
        [You shouldn‘t be referencing specific docs (by name or by number) within a thesis –if you find yourself
        doing that, it means you‘re not thinking comprehensively about the question nor are you thinking
        analytically. This sentence explains what two individual people thought of Buddhism, but it doesn‘t state
        what were the overall responses –there‘s a difference.]
  Also, to emphasize the point of the last sample thesis, don’t make references to the docs & don’t include
     quotes from the docs within your thesis. A DBQ thesis should stylistically look no different than a thesis for a
     C/C or CCOT essay.

2. All Docs: Again, most essays earned this point :)
     If a doc was misunderstood, it was typically Doc 3. If that was you, then look at that doc again & see how it
        is pro-Buddhism.

3. Evidence: This was okay. Most people who didn‘t earn this point fell short because (1) they didn‘t use all (or all
but one) of the docs or (2) they didn‘t actually USE the docs.
      To elaborate on the latter point, that means you have to show, in this case, HOW that doc reveals a response
         to Buddhism. You cannot just quote from the doc & assume the response was self-evident (even though it
         said ―this evil should be eradicated‖(doc 6) –you need to take this rather obvious statement & look at the how
         &/or why of this statement to show a response to Buddhism‘s spread).
        Further, just referring to them as being negative or positive does not earn ―supports thesis‖ points—your are
         supposed to analyze the responses to Buddhism by using the docs—if you quote from the doc, keep it brief. It
         is good to explain how your document supports your thesis by using phrases like ―this shows that . . . .‖
        You needed to analyze the response to Buddhism, not analyze the docs—the focus is on your analysis—and
         you use the docs to support it—the focus is not on the docs. See the difference? Use evidence from the docs
         to answer the prompt –not merely dissect docs.
        About quoting, you should be doing a MINIMAL amount of this. Quoting does show use –the analysis does.

3. POV: This was the most difficult point to earn. You needed 3 accurate POVS.
     Make sure you understand & correctly use the term ‗point of view.‘ For example, this is a MISUSE of the
       term POV: “Docs 3 and 5 both show a positive POV to the spread of Buddhism.” What this student means
       is ‗attitude‘ or just ‗view‘ …but that‘s not the same as explaining the point of view of the source.
     Another point about an inadequate understanding of just the term POV is writing that “This document
       doesn’t have a POV.” ALL sources have some kind of point of view.
     You can‘t ‗group‘ POV (as in, ―both Doc 3 & 5 are from the pov of …‖). Even if you accurately write a
       POV statement here, it only counts for 1 occasion and not for analyzing the POV of 2 docs.
     POV must make a link between the person, time, tone, etc. & how that may have influenced conclusions that
       can be drawn from the document –if you just describe the person, tone, etc. then you haven‘t made the link.
     A good POV: Doc 6, written by the Tang Emperor Wu chastises Buddhism as poisoning Chinese culture and
       strangling the societies‘ economy. As he was the emperor though, he may have been tempted to blame his
       societies‘ faults on a new religion rather than himself.
     But no POV: Refereeing to Document 5, the document‘s credibility is lowered when it is taken into
       consideration that it was written by a Buddhist monk (so what??)
     So close but no POV: I feel this document could be influenced because the scholar was Confucian and also
       he was at the Tang imperial court. The Tang dynasty thrived because of the support that it gave to and got
       from Confucianism. [This student is really smart & accurately understood the docs but didn‘t correctly link
       the ideas expressed in these sentences to show POV.]
     Okay POV: Zong Mi was a Buddhist scholar so it is only natural that he would support Buddhism. He would
       not criticize Confucius or Laozi because other scholars held them in esteem and if Zong Mi wrote against
       them, he would be ostracized from his fellow scholars.
     Finally, make sure you aren‘t analyzing the doc, but are showing how WHO this author is influenced the doc.

5. Grouping: This was okay & most students followed the suggested/possible grouping ideas listed on the rubric.
     Make sure you don‘t ‗laundry list‘ group. For example, ―Many Chinese had negative ideas towards
       Buddhism (Doc 4 & 6) while others had positive responses (Doc 2 & 3).‖ Instead, you need to explicitly
       (really write it out & show how) and develop grouping ideas as we discussed in class. Look at the sample
       essay by Ms. Fisher to see how she really emphasized grouping throughout the body paragraphs.
     Grouping Paragraphs are BAD! So, avoid doing some sort of mini-grouping paragraph in the intro or right
       after the intro which shows the docs according to how your grouping. [e.g. ―Documents 2,3, and 5 all have
       positive thoughts about Buddhism while documents 4 and 6 have negative ideas.] –this approach doesn‘t
       count as actually grouping b/c it‘s not developed –so avoid this time waster. Instead, the grouping should be
       apparent through paragraph topic sentences & the structure/content of those paragraphs.
     Most essays only had 2 groups. …and you got lucky that the bar was set so low. Two groups is the lowest
       ever; the last few DBQs have required at least 3 groups to earn the point. So, consider organizing your essay
       so that you have 3 groupings next time.
     Also, emphasize grouping throughout the body of the paragraph, not just in an initial sentence. Use words
       introductory dependent phrases/clauses like ―similar to doc X,…‖ to do so.

6. Additional Document: Chances are if you remembered to do this (or had time), then you got this point; over half
the students who attempted this criterion, earned the point. Not only did you have to submit a valid idea, but you also
have to explain WHY this additional doc is needed.

Here is an example of an attempt that did not earn AD points: A document of the point of view from a Chinese
commoner would help.
And here is an example that got a ―good AD‖ comment: It would be better if an additional document could be added
from the point of view of a non-scholar and a common, not super wealthy person. This would help because the
question asks for Buddhist affect (sic) on all of China yet the vast majority of China is not seen. All the docs given
have either been scholars or important influential people and thus we have no record o f the affect on the common
people in China.

Some possible ideas, in addition to the ones mentioned on the rubric sheet are:
    Document showing Confucian beliefs to go with Doc 1 to see WHY Buddhism seemed so strange to Chinese
    Documents from contrasting regions of China to see if responses differed according to geographic regions.
    Document from the late 9th c. to see if there was continual spread of Buddhism or if it stopped following the
       Tang Emperor‘s edict in Doc 6.

Advice for Next Time:
 Read the sample essay, specifically looking at how it fulfills each rubric point!
 Find a friend who did rather well (at least a 6) –see how that essay met specific rubric points.
 Write real body paragraph topic sentences. Don‘t begin a paragraph with ―In docs x, y, z the Chinese seemed
   very accepting towards Buddhism.‖ Instead write, ―As Buddhism first reached China, Chinese elites were
   initially accepting toward the new faith.‖ Then write how you know that from the docs.
 Make sure you are actually grouping. You can‘t just go through the docs & analyze them. You have to show
   how the docs are connected. Words like ―similarly, also, like, etc are useful to show why you have put several
   docs in the same group. Also, use paragraphing to help you emphasize your groups: start a new paragraph for
   each group if that works within your essay setup and use topic sentences to show what the group is and how it
   relates to the thesis. If you find your self going through Doc 1, Doc 2, Doc 3 etc you are probably not grouping.
 One document does not a group make . . . if you find you are writing a paragraph and only discussing one doc,
   you probably need to find a group
 Don’t forget a Doc. This is the shortest DBQ ever made by the CB; next time you‘ll have more docs to keep
   track of. Consider making a little checklist on the DBQ packet to cross off as you use each doc.
 Make sure you picking up on the true intent of the doc. Several students misinterpreted Doc 2 by declaring it to
   be anti-Buddhist and Doc 3 is not a negative response to Buddhism, at most it can be used to show that there must
   have been negative responses, or the scholar would not feel the need to respond as he did.
 Look at the acorn & really learn the dbq rubric. What are the big ideas in the acorn which might make a DBQ?
   Do you know exactly what‘s required of you on the DBQ rubric?

Grading Scale:

9/8:     A        6:   B+           4: C+             2: D+
7:       A-       5:   B-           3: C-             1/0: D

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