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For first timers and experts alike

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1 For first timers and experts alike
DBQ Workshop For first timers and experts alike

2 What is a DBQ? A Document-Based Question is a form of essay that is found in the AP exam which provides both visual sources as well as written sources for analysis around a specific topic Mastering document analysis and then how to group documents into a valid argument will be essential to writing a good DBQ You must use all of the documents provided in your essay as part of your argument

3 Example: DBQ Based on the following documents, analyze the responses to the spread of Buddhism in China. What kind of additional document(s) would you need to evaluate the extent of Buddhism’s appeal in China?

4 Historical Background
Buddhism, founded in India in the 6th Century BCE, was brought to China by the 1st Century CE, gradually winning converts following the collapse of the Han dynasty in 220 CE. Buddhist influence continued to expand for several centuries. Between 220 CE and 570 CE, China experienced a period of instability and disunity. After 570 CE, the imperial structure was restored.

5 What do we do first? Review the documents in the question packet (separate packet – in AP format) Make notes in the brief review of ways that the documents can be related to the question and be used as support What are some ways you could answer the question?

6 Next Step: Grouping In order to make sense of the documents in a thoughtful way you need to group the documents together so as to analyze them in the essay to provide a worthwhile argument DO NOT JUST LIST DOCUMENTS (this is boring and does not show thought or analysis) To understand grouping – the SHOE ACTIVITY When you are grouping the documents, your paragraphs should reflect the relationships between the documents; there should be at least one paragraph for each group.

7 How can this DBQ be grouped?
Possible Grouping Positive responses: Documents 1, 2, 3, & 5 Negative Responses: Documents 4 & 6 Responses during upheaval (pre-Tang): Documents 1, 2, & 3 Traditional Confucian – Xenophobic, historical responses: 4 & 6 (using evidence from 3 & 5) Universalist, individualistic, blending: Documents 1, 2, 3, & 5

8 What voice is missing? In all DBQs there is an expectation that to better answer the question that there is a document or voice that is missing from what is provided You need to articulate both the voice and type of document which might help answer the question – you must explain why this is appropriate Possibilities: Documents from the lower class – journal entries of attendance at a Buddhist temple, letter from a peasant to a family member about impressions of Buddhist monks Documents from Women – Letters or essays from women about their experiences in Buddhist temple or reasons for conversion to Buddhism Charts/graphs/maps which show populations of Buddhist converts over time

9 Point of View In all DBQs there must be acknowledgement of Point of View of a minimum of 2 of the documents Never do the minimum, do as many as you possibly can because the grading is comparative against the submitted works on the day of the test (so if everyone shows POV of 3 and you only did 2, you will get a lower score – I know it is messed up, but get over it and beat them at their own game!) Who wrote it, why did they write it, and what does it mean – do they have an agenda, bias, motivation that should be taken into consideration For this DBQ, which documents can you identify POV?

10 Getting Ready to write the essay
YOU MUST HAVE A THESIS – be sure that the thesis has an actual argument and is NOT a repeat of the prompt You try to create a thesis for this DBQ Make sure that it indicates the major points you will make in the essay Make sure it has an argument Make sure it actually is an answer to the question asked at the beginning

11 Which Thesis is best? There were many responses to Buddhism in China
There were positive and negative responses to Buddhism in China There were more positive responses to Buddhism early in the period than later Buddhism was more acceptable in times of disorder, while in times of stability the appeal of Buddhism lessened in favor of Confucianism In China the introduction of Buddhism led to mixed reactions which included positive reactions, negative reactions, and advocates for blending/coexisting with native religions and philosophies

12 Where do you go from here?
Now you can begin your body paragraphs Make sure to present the reasoning for the groupings you have made Support your argument (your thesis) with specific details from the documents Do not just quote things from the documents but actually analyze and interpret the meanings You must show WHY a document is significant or HOW it supports your thesis Please indicate which documents you are using (i.e. “It is evident in document 6, that during the Tang dynasty Buddhism was not just viewed as a religious alternative but that it was perceived by Tang Emperor Wu to be a threat to the very stability of the empire as he refers to it as a poison, a thief and as the epitome of evil.”

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