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10/22/09 All Pds. Aim: What are good strategies for answering Regents exam type DBQ’s? Do Now: Copy & discuss how to answer DBQ short answer questions & a DBQ essay.

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10/22/09 All Pds.

Aim: What are good strategies for answering Regents

exam type DBQ’s?

Do Now: Copy & discuss how to answer DBQ short

answer questions & a DBQ essay.

*A DBQ provides the student with an opportunity to weigh significant evidence/documents to reach an informed position and to present the information in response to a question.


1. Read the question carefully. What does the question ask you to do?

* Underline key words, eras, names, issues, or categories used in the question.

2. Brainstorm and write down the facts - names, dates, and events that you know about the topic and time period.

3. Read and analyze the documents:

* Look at the author and the time the document was written.

* Identify the point of view or main idea of the document. Underline key words. Write notes in the margin summarizing each document.

* Respond to the prompt questions after the document. If there are no questions, write down the main ideas.

4. Reread the question. Carefully consider your document summaries and their relationship to the question asked.

5. Plan/Organize your response so that you prove your thesis with supporting evidence and information. (Categorize, block, outline, mind map).

* Identify the main subjects to be discussed in the body select the documents related to each major subject.

* Write down important information from the document and from your knowledge of the issue.

6. Write an organized essay responding to the


Introductory paragraph:

* Take a stand on the question. Respond to all parts of the question.

* Develop your thesis. To what degree is it true?

* Provide background, explanation and definition of terms used in the question.

* Introduce the topics you will discuss in the body of your essay.

Body paragraphs:

* Use a separate paragraph for each topic, issue, or argument.

* Include specific examples to support generalizations or to make distinctions.

* Cite specific evidence from the documents but avoid long quotations.

* Integrate information from the documents and from your knowledge in responding to the questions.

Concluding paragraph:

Restate your position and main ideas that you presented in your essay.

One definite wrong approach to answering a DBQ. An answer is never to be a list of the documents. An essay that runs along the lines "Document A, by whoever, says this...Document B says this...Document C says this..." and so on, is a failed essay. It gets no credit, ever. The documents are to be used in support of an answer to the question asked. They are not the answer.

To receive full credit in a five point rubric the essay will need to:

* thoroughly address all aspects of the task by accurately interpreting the documents plus incorporate outside information related to the documents.

* discuss all aspects of the task and support with accurate facts, examples and details.

* weigh the importance, reliability and validity of the evidence.

* analyze conflicting perspectives presented in the documents. Weave the documents into the body of the essay.

* include a strong introduction and conclusion.

Credit would be reduced if the response:

* did not recognize the reliability, validity, or perspectives of the documents.

* reiterated the content of the documents with little or no use of outside information.

* discussed the documents in a descriptive rather than analytic manner.

* showed little recognition of the tasks, lacked an introduction or conclusion.