How to DBQ!

How To Write a D-B-Q
Some Rules and Regulations
1. Be sure to answer the question that is being asked!
2. Cite, Cite, Cite! If you use a document, cite it! Also as you cite, be
consistent and use the same style throughout the course of your essay.
3. Include outside information- this is very important for a DBQ, your using
the documents to thread knowledge you already have, so be sure to
include some outside facts or things you’ve learned in class into your
4. Make sure your outside information is relevant to the topic!
Use your thesis and as a jumping off point to
merge together documents and outside info.
5. When you refer to a document , explain it! How does this support your
argument? Who is it written by? Why is it significant?
6. Remember: DBQ does not mean to just explain the documents your
viewing! You need to use those documents to prove your argument.
When looking at a document think about….
What is the authors P.O.V. (Point of View)
Where is the origin of the document?
Is the document valid or hearsay?
If age or gender were changed do you think the person would be
saying the same thing?
If we know the document is saying something that today we find
morally/legally wrong, then why is it going on?
Report to LMCyou have the
whole period
and I’ll hand out
your note cards
D-B-Q Checklist
Before you read that documents read the question. Make sure that you understand what the
question is asking you to answer.
Write down outside information that you know before you start reading the documents. This can
include facts that you think will support your essay and the point you are trying to make.
Remember during the
actual essay to keep your
eye on the clock! DBQs
are a form of assessment
that measure how well a
can analyze
and construct
an essay in a controlled
amount of time!
Examine the documents (since you are just learning how to write a DBQ I have given you the
packets in advance- on an actual exam you don’t have that time!) Recognize what category they
fall into: Picture, Painting, Letter, Order, Diary, Speech, etc.
As you read through the documents challenge yourself narrow down the main idea to just one
sentence. Jot down the idea so that it is easy to reference.
Now think about what your thesis statement will be. There are many different types of DBQ
question formats. You can be asked to answer a specific question, interpret a series of events, or
assess the validity of a statement. Decide what the argument for your essay will be and construct a
thesis statement.
The rest of your essay is dedicated to proving your thesis statement! Use the documents provided
to pull out specific information that supports your argument, but don’t forget to use outside
knowledge as well. On the A.P. exam, if you don’t use outside information the highest score that
you can receive is a 2!
Your opening paragraph should include the thesis! Also it should serve as a
road map for the rest of your paper. Some papers read like this…
Paragraph 1- Opening sentence…Thesis… because of Point 1, 2, and 3.
Paragraph 2- why point one proves your thesis
Paragraph 3- why point two proves your thesis
Paragraph 4- why point three proves your thesis
Paragraph 5- Closing paragraph- no new info show be added in the last paragraph!

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