How to Write a DBQ Social Studies
What is a DBQ? DBQ stands for document based question
One will write an essay forming an argument based on the provided documents One must also include outside information that he/she learned in class to support these claims
What type of documents can be included?
Documents can come from a variety of sources including: Diaries Laws Charts, graphs, and maps Treaties Newspaper articles/editorials Executive orders Speeches Political cartoons Letters
How many documents must be included?
The directions will state the minimum number of documents that must be included. In Example… “Directions: Write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use evidence from at least five (5) documents in your essay. Support your response with relevant facts, examples, and details. Include additional outside information.”
How to Cite Documents When writing and referencing information included in a document, one must cite the document at the end of that specific sentence (Doc. A). When including a quote included in a document, one must cite the document, such as when Mr. Marinaccio said, “Please be on time to class” (Doc. B).
What is the historical context?
The historical context provides background information about the time period the DBQ covers.
Historical Context Examples: “In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the United States underwent significant political development. Part of this growth as a new country involved foreign policy. Many of the first political leaders decided that neutrality would best help America succeed. ” “Prior to 1865, a major issue that faced the United States was the institution of slavery. Some individuals and groups were against slavery, and they promoted abolition in a variety of ways. During the same time, the government attempted to deal with the issue of slavery in other ways.”
Understanding the Task
The task informs the writer what he/she must argue. It is important to know key terms from blooms taxonomy (question words) such as: Explain Discuss Describe Analyze Defend
Essay Format If the task requires two arguments, it may be best to include two body paragraphs. Introductory paragraph Body 1 (first argument topic) Body 2 (second argument topic) Concluding paragraph
Must be at least 5 sentences Include: Background information (restate historical context) Definitions of any important terms associated with the topic Thesis statement One-two sentences answering the essay task
Body Paragraphs Must be at least 5 sentences Include: Topic sentence
Argument supported by documents and outside information Closing sentence
Conclusion Must be at least 5 sentences Include: Restate thesis
Summarize examples Closing sentence
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