How to Write a DBQ - Helena High School

How to Write a DBQ - Helena High School

HOW TO WRITE A DBQ Purpose of a DBQ The purpose of the DBQ (Document Based Question) is not to test your knowledge of the subject, but rather to evaluate your ability to practice writing

for social studeis. You will be required to work with the documents and use them to answer a question. Step 1: Read and annotate the Prompt!!!!!! Understand what youre being asked to do. Is the DBQ asking your opinion? Are

you being asked to analyze? Or compare/ contrast? To evaluate means Give your verdict as to what extent a statement or findings within a piece of research are true, or to what extent you agree with them Step 2: Outside information

Write down any outside information that comes to mind about the time period, societies, theme. Step 3: Opinion Determine your opinion or perspective on the prompt. Is there a specific answer that jumps out at

you? Step 5: Tentative thesis statement By doing this, you will more quickly be able to determine how each document will fit into your essay. Don t lock yourself in to this thesis

statement be willing to adjust as necessary Step 6: Analyze the Documents For each document: What is the context? Who is the audience? What is the purpose?

What is the main idea? What is the authors point of view? (you will need to discuss the pov for at least 2 docs) Is it a reliable source? Could there be any bias? Analyze the docs in chronological order. How does the doc fit into the prompt? Does it support or challenge your tentative thesis?

Step 7: Group/categorize the docs Place the documents into logical categories to best address the prompt. Step 8: Solidify Your Thesis Go back and make sure that you can

support your thesis with the documents you have been given. Adjust if necessary. Make it clear and concise. Step 9: Begin Writing/Historical Context Write a sentence or two of historical context about the

time period you are writing about. This should be the first sentence(s) of your introduction. Do not make this introductory sentence too long. Step 10: Thesis Statement Write your thesis statement. Follow your thesis statement with a brief sentence that addresses the topics that will be covered in each following body paragraph.

Example of thesis statement and following sentence: During the 1890s to the 1920s in the United States, some women joined the suffragettes in their fight for the right to vote, while other women, particularly those of the elite class, looked down at the suffragettes because they believed that women were meant to stay in the home. In the following paragraphs, these two differing reactions to suffragettes will be compared and contrasted. Step 11: Body Paragraphs Your body paragraphs should be placed in a logical order.

When referring to documents, use the title of the documents rather than calling them document 1 etc. Each body paragraph must have a topic sentence. A topic sentence explains what the body paragraph is going to be about. Write as many body paragraphs as makes sense for your prompt. Quote sparingly You must show how each body paragraph relates to your thesis statement!!!!

Citations Whenever you mention a document or information within a document, you must add parentheses and the number of the document at the end of the sentence. Example Women who were not suffragettes but still supported the movement wrote letters discussing their desire to help (doc 2).

Conclusion Write your conclusion. It is very important to write a conclusion that restates your thesis and summarizes what you have just proved in your essay.

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