How to write a dbq essay
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How to Write a DBQ Essay. The WHAP Way!. 1) Analyze the Question. Circle the subject Underline the verb Bracket the boundaries or limits. 2) Read Attributions & DOCS. ATTRIBUTION-phrase, info that identifies and describes the author/origin of a DOC AND gives insight to understanding of POV

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How to Write a DBQ Essay

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How to Write a DBQ Essay

The WHAP Way!

1) Analyze the Question

  • Circle the subject

  • Underline the verb

  • Bracket the boundaries or limits

2) Read Attributions & DOCS

  • ATTRIBUTION-phrase, info that identifies and describes the author/origin of a DOC

    • AND gives insight to understanding of POV

  • In the source line, circle anything “suspicious” that you think might have influenced the author/doc

  • As you read the DOCS, look for a pattern

    • Look for ways you can put DOCS in logical groups

  • SLOSAP analysis of each DOC

3) Pre Write

  • Decide what your categories will be and write them in the blank white space in the “green book”

    • PoliticalEconomic Social

    • 1,42,63,5

  • Group DOCS by category

    • Remember a single DOC can fall in more than one group

    • Remember, a group can consist of only 1 DOC

  • Write a practice THESIS

3.a) Thesis

  • Has the categories named

  • Takes a stand

  • Answers the Question

    • All parts of the question

  • Time Period (not required) makes the THESIS stronger!

4) INTRO paragraph

  • THESIS statement/sentence/s

  • Time Period/Occasion/Event that caused the need for the DOCS to be written

  • Don’t forget to identify your various groups that you put the DOCS in!

5) 3 or 4 Body Paragraphs

  • EACH paragraph must tie back to the categories (grouping) in the Thesis Statement

    • This is where you discuss each of the DOCS you put in that group and how they support your thesis

  • EACH paragraph explain POV of at least ONE DOC!

    • Explain WHAT might have influenced the Speaker of the Particular Document in terms of POV or BIAS!

6) Conclusion

  • Explain what 2 additional DOCs or Points of View would have helped you support your thesis.

    • HOW would they help

    • Think about whose POV is missing

    • WHY would that POV be important to the question

  • Restate your THESIS in a different way

How to Reference a DOC

  • Marco Polo, European Traveler, in his “collected letters” (DOC 1) stated,”….”

  • The Greek Historian Herodotus in his

    “History of the Persian Wars” (DOC 5) referred to…..

  • The Byzantine Emperor in his “Edict on Taxes” (DOC 3) instructed…..



Follow the path


Break down into parts

Tell about the parts


Read between the lines

What is the hidden meaning


Tell the good and the bad

Judge it



Put together


Tell me about

Paint a picture in words


Back it up



Teach me or show me

Tell the steps


Tell the main idea

Tell the beginning, middle, and end of



Make an educated (smart) guess


Tell ALL THE WAYS they are the same AND All the ways they are different


Tell ALL the ways they are different

Larry Bell’s Twelve Power Words

There are 300 ways to say “SAID”

  • Find a better word for “Said”:

  • Implies, confesses, suggests, contents, declares, remarks, reports, affirms, hints, maintains, proposes, comments, observes, implores, responds, insists, writes, alleges, asserts, admits, discloses, insinuates, reveals, demands, explains, emphasizes, proclaims, insists, acknowledges, concedes, replies, divulges, argues

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