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The Document Based Question (DBQ)

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The Document Based Question (DBQ). Document Based Question (DBQ). Are provided with a essay prompt as well as several primary documents to use as RESOURCES for writing the essay. Same requirements as an FRQ in that looking for a solid thesis, analysis, and substantial support.

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document based question dbq
Document Based Question (DBQ)
  • Are provided with a essay prompt as well as several primary documents to use as RESOURCES for writing the essay.
  • Same requirements as an FRQ in that looking for a solid thesis, analysis, and substantial support.
  • DBQs are NOT essays about the documents – focus on answering the question.
    • Think of them as FRQs but with some extra help… you still need the basic ingredients for a cake, but now you can add sprinkles and icing 
generic rubric for dbq
Generic Rubric for DBQ
  • Contains a clear and well-developed thesis
  • Understands complexity of question; analyzes rather than describes
  • Supports thesis with substantial and relevant information
  • Shows superior analysis; displays well-reasoned cause and effect; evaluates historical change; reaches fully supported conclusions
  • May contain minor errors
  • Analytical use of at least half the documents; balances documents with outside information
steps to a solid dbq
Steps to a Solid DBQ
  • Understand the question
  • Brainstorm relevant outside information
  • Take a look at the documents – what do you know, what can you infer
  • Make connections between the documents and the outside information (Doc. A relates to…)
  • Write a thesis – with clear categories and “so what”
  • Organize your essay; determine what outside information and documents will be used in each paragraph
  • Write 
examining the dbq
Examining the DBQ
  • Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900.
  • Provided Documents
    • Chart of Agricultural Prices
    • Map of Railroad growth
    • Excerpt from The Prairie Farmer
    • Photograph “The Wheat Harvest”
    • Excerpt of sharecropping contract
    • Excerpt from Harper’s Magazine
    • Excerpt from speech by Mary Elizabeth Lease
    • Excerpt from personal communication
    • Excerpt from Oklahoma Magazine
    • Excerpt from William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold speech
evaluating body paragraphs
Evaluating Body Paragraphs
  • Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900.
  • Category: Technology
    • Read each sample – What are your observations? Which do you consider the strongest sample and why?
    • How does each sample utilize the documents?
    • How does each sample incorporate outside information?
    • Where do you see examples of analysis in each sample?
evaluating body paragraphs1
Evaluating Body Paragraphs
  • Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900.
  • Category: Government Policy
    • Read each sample – What are your observations? Which do you consider the strongest sample and why?
    • How does each sample utilize the documents?
    • How does each sample incorporate outside information?
    • Where do you see examples of analysis in each sample?
dbq tips continued
DBQ Tips Continued
  • NEVER quote a document. The reader knows what it says, they’re looking for how you can use it -- so focus on including inferences derived from the document
  • Citing Documents
    • It is best to parenthetically cite after using the document
      • blah blah blah (Doc A).
    • You can also make quick reference to the document in the actual sentence
      • As argued in Document A, blah blah blah
      • John Smith captured the feelings of many colonists when he blah blah blah
  • Pay attention to document information
    • author, date, type of document
    • can assist with assessing potential bias, placing in historical context, and determining purpose
    • documents are always provided in chronological order, which is particularly helpful if essay asks you to contrast and/or evaluate change over time
to close synthesis paragraph
…To Close: Synthesis paragraph
  • Read the provided documents. Use at least two documents in a paragraph that responds to the following question:
  • Should the federal government pass a law that bans all cell phone use while driving?