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Document Based Questions. What is a DBQ? DBQ Essays. What is a Document Based Question?.

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document based questions

Document Based Questions

What is a DBQ?

DBQ Essays

what is a document based question
What is a Document Based Question?
  • DBQ, document based question, is a question that focuses around one or more documents. The documents can be a graph, cartoon, short excerpt, picture, etc, basically anything that you can get information from.
purpose
Purpose

The purpose of a document based question is to assess your ability to formulate and support an answer based on documentary evidence.

breaking down dbq s
Breaking Down DBQ’s
  • These are some tasks you could be asked to do in a DBQ:
    • Analyze: Break a topic down into separate parts and discuss each one.
    • Criticize: Make judgments. Evaluate comparative worth.
    • Define: Explain the exact meaning, specific to the course or subject.
    • Describe: Give a detailed account, listing characteristics, qualities and parts.
    • Discuss: Argue the pros and cons of an issue.
    • Evaluate: Give an opinion or cite the opinion of an expert.
    • Illustrate: Give concrete examples.
    • Summarize: Give a brief, condensed account, including conclusions.
how to write a dbq essay
Read carefully and make sure you understand the question being asked

Quickly jot down the major themes/events/ people you associate with this topic.

Read over the documents, noting the year, author/source of each one.

Write a preliminary thesis and outline of your major points.

Respond to a question that isn’t asked

Use statements such as “I think that Document A portrays..”

Summarize the documents

Quote long passages from the documents.

Try to impress the reader with big words that are used incorrectly.

How to Write a DBQ Essay

Do

Don’t

how to write a dbq essay1
Remember to weave the documents into your answer.

Include your knowledge of the era along with the analysis.

Be sure to include your own perspective/analysis.

Be assertive and forceful when making your points.

Keep an eye on the clock so that you have time to re-read your essay.

Spend so much time reading and underlining the documents that you have to rush your writing

Begin writing your answer until you have a good sense of your thesis and approach

Write, “I ran out of time”.

How to Write a DBQ Essay

Do

Don’t

example question
Example Question
  • The relationship between the United States Government and American Indians has gone through many changes. How did the United States Government policies change over time and how did that affect the Native Americans?