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How to Write a DBQ Essay: Know Your Enemy

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❶The essay is handwritten and is usually around two pages.

How to Write a Good DBQ Essay

Preparing for the DBQ essay
DBQ Sample Essay
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None of these links include analysis so you can look at the question separately from the scoring guidelines. Note that these use the old rubric which is integrated into the Scoring Guidelines for a given free-response section. General comments about the quality of the essay, outside information, and document analysis still apply, but the score is on a nine-point scale instead of the new seven-point scale, and some of the particulars will be different.

Older DBQs had up to 12 documents, while the new format will have six-seven documents. I'll also give more advice on how to use all of these samples in your prep later on. This means that there are only three sets of official samples graded with the current seven-point rubric. The rest of the existing available samples were graded in the old, nine-point format instead of the seven-point format implemented in There was also an explicit emphasis on correctly interpreting the documents that is not found in the new rubric.

You can get samples in the old format all the way back to from the College Board. Consider how you might integrate this castle into the DBQ that is your life. This means that there are only two past exams available that used the current DBQ format.

Don't worry, the old format isn't as old as this guy right here. So, now that you have all of these examples, what should you do with them? I'll go over some tips as to how you can use example DBQs in your own studying, including when to start using them and how many you should plan to review. Then, when you compare the scores you gave to the scores and scoring notes for the samples, you'll have a good idea of what parts of the rubric you don't really understand.

Keep giving points for the thesis and then finding out the sample didn't get those points? You'll know that you need to work on your thesis skills. Not giving points for historical context and then finding out the AP Grader gave full credit? You need to work on recognizing what constitutes historical context according to the AP.

Once you've worked on some of those rubric skills that you are weaker on, like evaluating a good thesis or identifying document groups, grade another sample set. This way you can see how your ability to grade the essays like an AP grader improves over time!

Obviously, grading sample exams is a much more difficult proposition when you are looking at examples in an old format e. For practice grading with old samples, you might want to pull out two copies of the new rubric, recruit a trusted study buddy or academic advisor or even two study buddies!

Then, you can discuss any major differences in the grades you awarded. The answer to this question depends on your study plans! If it's six months before the exam and you plan on transforming yourself into a hard diamond of DBQ excellence, you might complete some practice grading on a sample set every few weeks to a month to check in on your progress towards thinking like an AP grader.

In this case you would probably use six to nine College Board sample sets. If, on the other hand, the exam is in a month and you are just trying to get in some skill-polishing, you might do a sample set every week to ten days. It makes sense to check in on your skills more often when you have less time to study, because you want to be extra-sure that you are focusing your time on the skills that need the most work. So for a short time frame, expect to use somewhere in the range of three to four range College Board sample sets.

Either way, you should be integrating your sample essay grading with skills practice, and doing some practice DBQ writing of your own. Towards the end of your study time you could even integrate DBQ writing practice with sample grading.

Read and complete a timed prompt, then grade the sample set for that prompt, including yours! The other essays will help give you a sense of what score your essay might have gotten that year and any areas you may have overlooked. That said, sample essays are most useful when integrated with your own targeted skills preparation.

Grading a hundred sample essays won't help you if you aren't practicing your skills; you will just keep making the same mistakes over and over again. There you have it, folks. With this list of DBQ examples and tips on how to use them, you are all prepared to integrate samples into your study strategy! Still not sure what a DBQ is? Check out my explanation of the DBQ. Want tips on how to really dig in and study? I have a complete how-to guide on preparing and writing the DBQ.

Look into this article on the best notes to use for studying from one of our experts. We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score.

Download it for free now:. Ellen has extensive education mentorship experience and is deeply committed to helping students succeed in all areas of life. With the compound questions often asked by the DBQ, two sentences might be needed to complete the idea. To score well, the thesis needs to include specific information that responds to the question. Many students think they have written a thesis when, in actuality, they have not; their opening paragraphs are just too general and unspecific.

Your thesis can be in the first or last paragraph of your essay, but it cannot be split between the two. Many times, your original thesis is too simple to gain the point. A good idea is to write a concluding paragraph that might extend your original thesis. Think of a way to restate your thesis, adding information from your analysis of the documents. The thesis is that part of your essay that 1 specifically addresses the terms of the question and 2 sets up the structure for the rest of your essay.

The following statement is not an acceptable thesis; it is far too vague. It says very little about how the essay is structured. There were many ways in which the Ottoman government viewed ethnic and religious groups. The next statement paraphrases the historical background and does not address the question. It would not receive credit for being a thesis. The Ottoman government brought reforms in the Constitution of The empire had a number of different groups of people living in it, including Christians and Muslims who did not practice the official form of Islam.

By a new government was created by the Young Turks and the sultan was soon out of his job. This next sentence gets the question backward: Though the point-of-view issue is very important, this statement would not receive POV credit.

People of different nationalities reacted differently to the Ottoman government depending on their religion. The following paragraph says a great deal about history, but it does not address the substance of the question. It would not receive credit because of its irrelevancy. Throughout history, people around the world have struggled with the issue of political power and freedom. From the harbor of Boston during the first stages of the American Revolution to the plantations of Haiti during the struggle to end slavery, people have battled for power.

Even in places like China with the Boxer Rebellion, people were responding against the issue of Westernization. Imperialism made the demand for change even more important, as European powers circled the globe and stretched their influences to the far reaches of the known world. In the Ottoman Empire too, people demanded change. Now we turn to thesis statements that do work.

Every DBQ Example Essay You Could Ever Need, by Exam

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D. Thesis and roadmap of what the essay will be about II. BODY PARAGRAPH #1 (Reason one) A. Sub Thesis: 1. The first reason that you provided in your original Thesis B. Evidence 1. What information from either documents or sources is there to support your sub thesis 2.

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On a DBQ, however, you do not have much time. The reader is most interested in seeing a strong thesis as soon as possible. Your thesis can be more than just one sentence. With the compound questions often asked by the DBQ, two sentences might be needed to complete the idea.

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Use these sample AP U.S. History essays to get ideas for your own AP essays. These essays are examples of good AP-level writing. These essays are examples of good AP-level writing. 1. You may be the greatest document analyst and thesis-writer in the world, but if you don’t know how to put it all together in a DBQ essay outline, you won’t be able to write a .

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Any DBQ essay example that they provide will include a real DBQ prompt. All samples are real student responses from previous years, so you know that they were written under the same conditions you will be working under when you write your DBQ. DBQ (document-based question) essay is a type of paper that is commonly used in the AP world, and European and US history exams. As it can be seen from the name, a DBQ essay is based on several documents that relate to a certain topic or period of time.