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Writing a DBQ AP World History Introduction

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1 Writing a DBQ AP World History Introduction
The purpose of this booklet and slide presentation is to develop a systematic method for writing a DBQ. Although methods of determining the content of specific documents may vary, the organizational structure should be helpful in allowing students to approach the assignment with an increased measure of confidence. I have found that in addition to the primary objective of performance on the national exam, the process described herein also illustrates effective methods for researching and developing any written project, especially term papers. Note: * denotes slide change.

2 DBQ Analysis and Organization
DBQ # RELIGION and GEOGRAPHY Preparation Students should have the handout which includes a sample DBQ instructions page, the prompt, and the documents to be used. This presentation will focus on question #3 from the book DBQ Practice: AP World History. Dialogue The AP World History exam contains three different types of essays: a COMPARE and CONTRAST essay, a CHANGE OVER TIME essay, and a DOCUMENT-BASED QUESTION. For the next few days, we will focus on the last type of essay, which is commonly referred to as a DBQ. A DBQ requires analysis of primary sources. Let’s look at the sample material provided. We will use a step-by-step method to analyze both the question and the documents provided.

3 DBQ STEP 1: Analyzing the Prompt
Our first step will be to analyze the question or prompt. It is extremely important that we understand what the question requires, so let’s see how we can break it down into its basic parts.

4 What is the prompt (question) asking for?
Religions of common geographic origins tend to differ from those that originate in other areas of the world. How do religions having common geographic origins tend to share somewhat common codes of behavior and views of the nature and reason for existence? What is the prompt (question) asking for? What regions are we looking for? Why do “humans” exist? Why were they put on earth? *Are there any terms or words that you don’t understand? What is the question asking for?* Let’s see what we can eliminate…* Let’s see if we can reduce it further…* We will have to determine what regions need to be addressed…* We need to find “codes of behavior,” what is expected of followers…* Finally, what is the “nature and reason” for existence?* We know what the question is asking for and we will need to organize our response, but before we do that let’s make sure we’ve utilized all of the information provided. What are the “rules” or accepted behavior codes?

5 Historical Background
There were three great geographic centers of religious origin: southwestern Asia (Islam, Judaism, Christianity), south Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism), and east Asia (Confucianism, Taoism). Obvious categories have been provided in the supplemental material DBQs often provide a historical background and we should use that information* There’s some important information here…* There could be possible region groupings…* Or there could be possible religion groupings… ** *just don’t lose an opportunity to use the material. This is where we will end today. Please review the material tonight so that when we begin our discussion you will have a basic understanding of what the documents discuss. Some of them might be difficult, but don’t worry if you don’t fully understand them—just try to get a general idea what religion and what region each one involves. Regions OR Use everything available! Religions

6 DBQ STEP 2: Organizing the Information
We will now discuss Step 2 in the process: organizing the information in the documents.

7 Analysis and Organization
Develop a table or chart Document number Major point of the document Point of view Information needed Certain pieces of information (“universals”) will be the same for every DBQ Note to teacher: Begin by addressing any questions about the documents students reviewed as homework. In order to analyze and organize the documents, it can be helpful to develop a table or a chart. *Some things will be the same for every DBQ. They are: *Document number *Major point of the document *Point of view *Information needed These are usually the general instructions before the actual PROMPT or question.*

8 Nature and reason for existence = R4E
Your Table DOC B SWA SA EA R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT In addition to the “universal” categories, we’ll add… GEOGRAPHIC AREAS Southwest Asia = SWA South Asia = SA East Asia = EA SPECIFIC PROMPT Codes of behavior = B Nature and reason for existence = R4E Preparation You may either have students develop a table in their notebook, or you can use the blank table that appears as a handout at the end of the presentation. Dialogue Here is what an organizational table might look like. The “universals” are document number, needed information, point of view, and the major concept or important point from the document. Now let’s make some short codes for the requirements of the question… *Regions or geographic areas: Let’s use “SWA” *for southwest Asia, “SA” *for south Asia, and “EA” *for east Asia*. The question also asks for “codes of behavior”*—let’s use “B” for this—and for nature and reason for existence*—let’s use R4E* for this. Here’s what our table or chart looks like. Now we need to analyze and group the documents.* We know what to look for in the documents, now we determine how they are linked.

9 DBQ STEP 3: The Documents
Preparation Note that some of the entries on the slides will be very short. Students should be advised to abbreviate, but to make sure that they still put in enough information to use for writing the essay. Each of the “fill-ins” will reflect analysis of the documents. Individual interpretations may vary, but the process of analysis should follow the same pattern. Dialogue Step 3 is to read the documents and to figure out how they fit into our table.

10 Let’s look at the documents one at a time.
Your Table DOC B SWA SA EA R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT Let’s look at the documents one at a time. Number, location, specific behavior noted? (Include specifics in major concept) Reason for existence? (Include specifics in major concept) Complete each document, separated by a line. Here is our table. We’ll look at each document and determine the categories to be checked as we read. Notice that as we complete the table, some items only require a check while others require longer responses. Some of the responses you will see on the slide are very short because of limited space. Your responses should include enough information so that you don’t have to go back to the document. Now we will organize the information from each of the documents.* First the easy stuff:* Number, and then location from either the info on the source or (if necessary) from the narrative.* When reading the document, always keep in mind that you should look for information that relates to the columns (i.e., regions, “behavior,” and “reason for existence”). Remember, don’t try to summarize the whole document—take a “just the facts” approach instead.* When you have filled in the information for a document, draw a line across and start the next document.*

11 DOCUMENT 1 Source: The Bhagavad Gita, (8.03) (Hindu)
The Supreme Lord said: Brahman is the Supreme imperishable. The individual self (or Jeevaatrna) is called Adhyaatma. The creative power that causes manifestation of beings is called Karma. The region is South Asia (SA) It covers codes of acceptable behavior (Karma) (B) The concept here is that individuals are no more than the impression produced by their actions (Karma is the controlling factor). This would be codes of acceptable behavior (B), good and bad Karma. There is an emphasis on the effect of events on the individual, but does not link to the Supreme Lord. The point of view is that of a devout believer taking a position of faith (generally difficult to offer secular rationales). There is a need to know more about the “Supreme Lord”—is it one of many or a single entity as with monotheistic beliefs? Here is the first document. Note that the sections in red relate to the information we need to answer the prompt. (Note to teacher: Take some time to discuss the sections in red.)* Here is the “assessment” for the chart: Check the box “SA,” indicate as briefly as possible the main points that refer to the prompt. “Karma” is a reference to behavior, and note in the POINT OF VIEW section of the chart that the author is a religious person with a particular bias.*

12 Follower with a specific view based upon religious literature
DOCUMENT 1 Your Table DOC SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x #1 There is a supreme being, but the essence of the individual is a result of Karma Follower with a specific view based upon religious literature Need a clarification of “Supreme Lord”— Is it one god or one of many? Now let’s fill in the information. Document #1: The region is “SA.” The major concept that relates to the prompt is “There is a supreme being, but the essence of the individual is a result of Karma.” This concept relates to a specific “behavior.” The particular point of view is that of a devout follower. Under “NEED,” we could enter a note regarding a clarification. Keep in mind that this is your diagram, so put only as much info as you need to help you recall specific points about the document. The idea is that when you begin to write you will not have to go back to the document—the chart should be sufficient.

13 DOCUMENT 2 Source: Qu’ran: Surah 1 (Islam)
In the name of Allah. the Beneficent, the Merciful. [1.1] All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. [1.2] The Beneficent, the Merciful. [1.3] Master of the Day of Judgment. [1.4] Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help. [1.5] Keep us on the right path. [1.6] The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray. Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers. The region is Southwestern Asia (SWA) Existence is based on pleasing the god (R4E)

14 DOCUMENT 2 This document is more specific as to the importance of the specific god and making that god happy with an individual’s actions. There is less of a sense of the influence of “surroundings” and more of an emphasis on pleasing a central authority and knowing what that authority desires. The point of view is again that of a devout believer taking a position of faith.

15 Follower with a specific view based upon religious literature
DOCUMENTS 1 & 2 Your Table DOC SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x #1 There is a supreme being, but the essence of the individual is a result of Karma Follower with a specific view based upon religious literature Need a clarification of “Supreme Lord”— Is it one god or one of many? x x #2 Devout believer taking a position of faith based on religious text Single god, importance of making that god happy with an individual’s actions Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them.

16 DOCUMENT 3 Source: The Analects of Confucius, 1.6 (Chinese)
1:6 Confucius said: “A young man should serve his parents at home and be respectful to elders outside his home. He should be earnest and truthful, loving all, but become intimate with humaneness. After doing this, if he has energy to spare, he can study literature and the arts.” The region is East Asia (EA) The document covers codes of acceptable behavior (Respect for elders, be truthful) (B) This document also stresses the influence of “surroundings” and the idea that one should give weight or emphasis to experience and age as opposed to a single supreme source. Even the “spare energy” is directed to pursuits rather than to a “supreme” guidance. Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers.

17 Experience, respect for elders; no emphasis on a god
DOCUMENT 3 Your Table DOC SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x Experience, respect for elders; no emphasis on a god #3 Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them.

18 DOCUMENT 4 Source: Samyutta Nikaya LVI.11 (Buddhist)
Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth from the house-life. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and there is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble and leads to no good. The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers.

19 DOCUMENT 4 The region is East Asia (EA)
The document covers codes of acceptable behavior (Middle path) (B) The document does not make clear the meaning of Bhikkhus, but we do see again how an individual’s surroundings influence decisions. A “Perfect One” focuses on a balance of the extremes, not on a commitment to a “supreme” direction. Answers center on a prescribed path of action, but are not directly linked to divine control. We are now starting to see a pattern of central direction by a supreme authority and a “path” influenced by earthly surroundings. Although the documents from south and east Asia provide vague references to a supreme direction, they tend to focus more on the importance of choices within an individual’s environment.

20 Experience, respect for elders; no emphasis on a god
DOCUMENTS 3 & 4 Your Table DOC SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x Experience, respect for elders; no emphasis on a god #3 x x #4 Description of two paths for an individual; the middle way is best; no controlling god Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them. Need a clarification of “Bhikkhus”—how does it relate to context?

21 DOCUMENT 5 Source: Genesis 1:26–27 (Judaism/Christianity)
[26] Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. The region is Southwestern Asia (SWA). Existence is based on “managing” creation (R4E). Again, the document centers on control and “authorization” granted by a supreme being. There’s a sense of passing authority or dominion to humans, but no sense of balance or options exercised by humans in relation to their surroundings. This directly contrasts belief systems emphasized by south and east Asian groups. The point of view is again that of a devout believer taking a position of faith, justified by religious text. Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers.

22 DOCUMENT 5 Your Table DOC SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x Devout believer taking a position of faith based on religious text #5 God gives power to humans to manage Creation Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them.

23 DOCUMENT 6 Source: John. 1: 1–11 (Christianity)
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God; [3] all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. [8] He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. [9] The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. [11] He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers.

24 DOCUMENT 6 The region is Southwestern Asia (SWA).
Again, reason for existence is to fulfill the edicts of the creator (B). In this document, there is a similar sense of vagueness as to the meaning of the “Word,” but the document quickly establishes an image of a central controlling authority who has prescribed a “path”—similar to what we saw in documents 2 and 5. This document also introduces a new element—a “messenger” sent to enlighten, but whose “message” might not always be accepted. The point of view is again that of a devout believer taking a position of faith, justified by religious text and not subject to earthly interpretation (as in the case of Buddha and Confucius). Again, note the difference in the approach: one stresses direction by a central authority, the other focuses on achieving a balance or “harmony” with existing realities.

25 DOCUMENTS 5 & 6 Your Table x x x x
SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x Devout believer taking a position of faith based on religious text #5 God gives power to humans to manage Creation x x #6 Devout believer taking a position of faith based on religious text Describes God and the Word; indicates that messengers are sent to provide guidance, but are not always accepted Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them.

26 DOCUMENT 7 Source: Tao Te Ching (Chinese)
The Way that can be experienced is not true; The world that can be constructed is not real. The Way manifests all that happens and may happen; The world represents all that exists and may exist. To experience without abstraction is to sense the world; To experience with abstraction is to know the world. These two experiences are indistinguishable; Their construction differs but their effect is the same. Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way, Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world. Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers. The region is East Asia (EA). The document covers codes or rules for understanding the balance between real and abstract concepts for a more complete existence (B).

27 DOCUMENT 7 Although Document 7 refers to a “Way,” it doesn’t attribute this knowledge to a supreme authority but to a balance between the real and the abstract. This continues a common theme of balance between two contending concepts. Consistent with Confucian philosophy, experience rather than supreme guidance is the key. Documents 1, 3, 4, and 7 now form a grouping based on ideology and geographical locations, and they are linked by sensitivity to surroundings and an understanding of one’s environment. They also have a limited focus on a powerful central authority providing a specific path. These documents also put less of an emphasis on a rigid point of view linked to the writings of a specific deity.

28 DOCUMENT 7 Your Table x x #7
SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x #7 Refers to a balance between the “real” and the “abstract,” and that experience is key (same as Confucianism) Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them.

29 DOCUMENT 8 Source: Surah 69, The Qur’an. (Islam)
[69.13] And when the trumpet is blown with a single blast, [69.14] And the earth and the mountains are borne away and crushed with a single crushing. [69.15] On that day shall the great event come to pass, [69.16] And the heaven shall cleave asunder, so that on that day it shall be frail, [69.17] And the angels shall be on the sides thereof; and above them eight shall bear on that day your Lord’s power. [69.18] On that day you shall be exposed to view-- no secret of yours shall remain hidden. [69.19] Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he will say: Lo! read my book: [69.20] Surely I knew that I shall meet my account. [69.21] So he shall be in a life of pleasure, [69.22] In a lofty garden, Walk the class through interpretation of this document. Make sure to give students an opportunity to complete the table before revealing the answers.

30 DOCUMENT 8 The region is Southwestern Asia (SWA).
Again, reason for existence is to emulate the model prescribed in the teachings (B). This final document again establishes the importance of supreme guidance and direction. In addition, it emphasizes that human actions are being monitored and will be exposed in a final accounting. The “book” provides the path and the document stresses that there should be no deviation from the path. Point of view again centers on the infallibility of the religious text. Documents 2, 5, 6, and 8 all promote this view, while also emphasizing the importance of a central authority to provide humans with the “proper” path.

31 Devout believer taking a position of faith based on religious text
DOCUMENTS 7 & 8 Your Table DOC SWA SA EA B R4E NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT x x #7 Refers to a balance between the “real” and the “abstract,” and that experience is key (same as Confucianism) x x #8 Devout believer taking a position of faith based on religious text There will be a final judgment; heaven and the alternative; God sees all and will assess your actions as directed by the “book” Walk the class through how to fill in the table; don’t forget to give students an opportunity to figure out the answers on their own before revealing them.

32 GROUPINGS Documents 1, 3, 4, and 7
Documents 1, 3, 4, and 7 follow a general pattern of emphasizing the importance of worldly surroundings. The “path” focuses on balance and experience as the goal. Rather than emphasizing a supreme dictate, the documents stress an evolving understanding of “man’s” relationship to the reality of his surroundings. In terms of how we define religion, the ideologies associated with the south and east Asian geographical regions seem to be more philosophical and flexible to interpretation.

33 GROUPINGS Documents 2, 5, 6, and 8
Documents 2, 5, 6, and 8 center on the religions based in southwestern Asia (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), and they promote a concept of central supreme authority guiding “man” on the proper path through the use of religious texts. Human existence is centered on catering to the dictates of this authority. The documents also tend to consistently express a specific point of view based upon the religious text.

34 Your Table x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x GROUPINGS
DOC B SWA SA EA R4E GROUPINGS x x #1 All documents reflect a specific region. x x #2 All documents describe existence as based upon following the dictates of a single controlling authority. x x #3 x x #4 All documents are associated with religious texts and present a very rigid analysis of an individual’s responsibilities. x x #5 *Now let’s see how we can begin to group our documents for the essay.* Documents can be grouped according to regions They can be grouped according to a specific objective mentioned in the prompt They can also be grouped because they are all guides for behavior that come from religious texts x x #6 x x #7 x x #8

35 Your Table x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x GROUPINGS
DOC B SWA SA EA R4E GROUPINGS x x #1 All documents reflect a specific region. x x #2 All documents describe codes of behavior that lead to a beneficial existence. x x #3 x x #4 All documents place less emphasis on a single deity that controls and monitors human actions, focusing instead on individuals’ interactions with their surroundings. x x #5 *Again, documents can be grouped by region* All documents deal with behavior All documents stress that good things will happen if people behave correctly However, the documents place less of an emphasis on direction by a specific god and more emphasis on a beneficial relationship with one’s environment x x #6 x x #7 x x #8

36 TOPIC SENTENCE 1st paragraph Documents 2, 5, 6, and 8 center on southwest Asia and religions that stress the importance of a single god. The “fill-in” sentences will contain specific references to each document that support its use. Our next step is to develop an opening sentence for each of our paragraphs. The topic sentence should give a general idea of what we will discuss relating to the information requested by the prompt. Here we can open with the documents from a particular region (southwest Asia) that stress a specific characteristic (a powerful, directing god). Additional sentences for this paragraph can center on a piece of information (major point) that supports your decision to include this document in this paragraph. You should use this process for each of the groupings, making sure that you have included all of the documents. Note to teacher: It is important at this point to allow students to complete the process for each of the groupings either during class or as a homework assignment.

37 DBQ STEP 4: Needs, Thesis, and Review
The last step is to develop a thesis, address the need for additional documents to allow for a better assessment of the prompt, and then review the process we have completed.

38 Is there additional information that would be valuable?
WHAT’S MISSING? Is there additional information that would be valuable? Although the question seeks a link between religion and geography, there are no documents indicating how religious beliefs and practices fit with physical surroundings. Can geography help explain, justify, or somehow offer a method of how people dealt with their surroundings? What geographical characteristics might have produced similarities between each of the religions for that specific region? Let’s look at what kind of information might help us get a better “picture.” Is there a bias we need to balance? Is there something that would make the assessment more accurate or balanced? In this case, since we are trying to establish a link between geography and religious belief it would be helpful to know if something about the land might have influenced religious beliefs. Southwest Asia is predominantly desert—might that have influenced belief systems in that region? Missing information can often provide the source for an effective conclusion. Note to teacher: Keep in mind that students may develop other interpretations and theses which should be encouraged and analyzed by the class as a whole.

39 Do you need other information? Is there an opposing view?
THESIS AND CONCLUSION IS THERE… Then you have a thesis A PATTERN? EXAMPLE A RATIONALE or CONCEPT? Religions associated with southwestern Asia center on a single supreme authority and seem to be more dogmatic and less flexible regarding interpretation. A QUESTION or DILEMMA? Religions associated with the south and east Asia seem to be more philosophical in nature, less dogmatic, and ultimately more flexible regarding interpretation. The last and most difficult step of any writing process is the thesis. Can you find a pattern, a rationale or concept, or a question or dilemma? Is there something else that strikes you after reading the documents? Was there a group that seemed to have a biased approach to the topic? Any thesis that requires you to use the documents to support your position can be an effective. Remember, on the AP World History exam, the thesis must be derived from the documents and the documents must be used to support the thesis. For the question we have analyzed during this presentation, the SWA region seemed to fit a pattern, while religions associated with the other regions seemed to have a different emphasis. This slide shows a thesis which you might use as your first paragraph. Do you need other information? Is there an opposing view?

40 PROCEDURE 1 DISSECT THE QUESTION OR PROMPT 2
What does the prompt require? Use all of the information available USE A TABLE OR CHART TO ORGANIZE 2 Universal categories Specific categories GROUP AND LINK DOCUMENTS 3 DEVELOP A TOPIC SENTENCE 4 Let’s review the process. (Note to teacher: Click through each of the steps and read them to the class.) Remember, the more we practice this process the easier it will be to focus on the important parts of the documents. It will help make your essays meaningful, effective, and enjoyable to read. This process can also be used for developing effective term papers. The major difference is that for term papers, instead of someone presenting you with a topic you will come up with a topic or thesis on your own and then go look for documents to support it. Think of each reference for a term paper as a document that can be analyzed using the same methods we discussed in this presentation. Organizing the sources for your term paper in a chart can make it easier to separate the information you have gathered from your research into its component parts: thesis, body of factual information, and conclusion. Body paragraphs Fill-in sentences DEVELOP A THESIS AND A CONCLUSION 5 Links to prior knowledge

41 QUESTION: ______________________________________________________
NAME: ____________________________________ DATE:______________ PER:____ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ DOC NEED P of V MAJOR CONCEPT This is a sample slide for the chart. Each time students complete a DBQ, this basic information will remain the same. The actual prompt will determine the additional columns that will be entered between “DOC” and “NEED”.


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