10_Steps_To_Your_9_On_the_DBQ - Hinsdale Central High School

What is the
asking you to
What is the
DBQ about?
Other helpful
• Usually 2 parts to the question
• Look for the verbs
• Main body of the question
• Look for info that narrows down the
general topic
• Dates, locations are good examples
Describe and analyze changing views
toward the concept of a “civil peace”
(Burgfrieden) in Germany from 1914 to
What do they want you
to DO? (red)
What is the DBQ
ABOUT? (underlined)
Other helpful info
• Treat the background info as a
document you have to read
• Keep the question in mind as you
read the documents
• Once you’ve read a document, make
– Sum up the overall view in a few words
– Don’t just underline – you’ll remember
the significance better if you write it in
your own words
Read through the documents, making
notes as you go
• Keep the question in mind – what groupings
makes sense given what is being asked
Look over your notes
• Which groups keep coming up?
• Which groups seem to have a common theme
(views, time period, etc.)
Once you’ve chosen your groups, put
each document into one of the three
• You need three documents per group, but you
can use documents more than once
• Three groups = Three views
(1, 2, 4)
(3, 5, 6)
(7, 9, 10)
•Your thesis
should tell the
reader exactly
what your
three main
ideas are
•Thesis should
be specific: a
answer to the
• As most expected a rapid victory, civil peace was at
first a popular idea. The government and many of
the people saw it as an opportunity to promote
nationalism and end internal conflict. There were,
however, still those that were skeptical of the civil
peace from the beginning, and as the war dragged
on, opinion turned overwhelmingly against this
• What are the three main ideas?
• What are the three document groups?
• Does the thesis address BOTH parts of the
question (describe & analyze changing views)?
• What your intro should include:
– Background info
– Thesis
• Use the background info they give you,
but don’t quote it word for word
• Thesis should be at end of paragraph
• Should be short – you need to write an
intro but it not the primary focus
• Outlines are optional, but can be
very helpful
• Shouldn’t be too detailed
• List main points & docs you’ll use to
support them
• Can add more detail if you want,
but watch the time!
• Popular at
start of war
• Docs 1, 2, 4
• Skeptical from
Qualified start
• Docs 3, 5, 6
• Many switched
Anti-Civil to this view by
end of war
• Docs 7, 9, 10
• You want to have as much time as you
need to plan out your essay before
– Still try to move quickly as you plan
– Once you write your intro paragraph
& thesis, then divide up the rest of
your time by paragraph
• Try to leave 5 minutes for a conclusion –
while not necessary, can get you extra
points for showing analysis
• Goal of DBQ isn’t to write an essay
about the documents, but to write
an essay that analyzes a topic
using documents as support
– Avoid the laundry list!
– Don’t just summarize documents in
the essay – talk about what the
document means in the larger context
of the question
• Option 1: The trend away from civil
peace can be seen as soldiers
described dismay at the fact that people
were getting rich at the expense of their
families on the homefront (Doc 7).
• Option 2: A German soldier in the trenches
reported that soldiers felt betrayed when
their sacrifices were exploited by those who
got rich at the expense of their families
(Doc 7). This quote was published in the
Liberal Party Newspaper. The fact that the
Liberal Party Newspaper was active shows
civil peace was wearing off, as it was
supposed to be the end of all political
• Try to address bias for more than the
minimum 3 documents
– Aim for 5: 4+ bias statements gets you
an extra point, 5 allows for 1 error
• When addressing bias, be sure to explain
why the source is biased
– Ex: The fact that the author is the wife of
a noble means she is less affected by
high food prices and less likely to
sympathize with the lower class.
• Who wrote it?
– Look for things like social class, gender,
ethnicity, religion, profession
• Where was it published?
– Especially useful for
newspapers/magazines – usually
targeted to particular interests
• When was it written?
– Someone who writes about an event
after the fact has a different perspective
• If a document is clearly unbiased,
that counts as addressing POV,
– Statistics, maps are good examples
– Can be used with photography, but
should qualify – see Doc. 2
• Transitions help you organize your
• Make it easy for the reader to follow
your thinking and identifies when you’re
adding your own ideas
• A few examples:
– Consequently, on the other hand,
furthermore, nevertheless, however,
likewise, therefore
– Even more examples: Transition Words
idea 2
idea 1
idea 3
• Conclusion is like the intro in
reverse: start with the specifics,
then expand out to big picture
• Good place to use outside
knowledge: if you can, connect the
topic to a larger theme
– Shows you really know what you’re
talking about, makes you stand out
• Get everything ready the night
before: extra pens and pencils,
• Don’t stress, go into it with a
positive attitude
• Good luck!

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