2 What Is It?An essay that requires you to interpret primary source documents to be able to answer a questions.Documents might include the following:Newspaper articles/editorialsLetters/diariesSpeechesLegislationPolitical cartoonsCharts and graphs
3 What Are the Documents for? To discuss events and ideas with which you are familiar.To support or refute the essay questionsFocus around the essay topic
4 I Have the Question, Now What Do I Do? Getting Started Read Historical Background. Very useful for introductory paragraph.Read the question THREE timesIdentify the historical period being discussedDo NOT move on until you fully understand it
5 Identify the Task Identify the task by circling the main words For example: assess the validity, compare and contrast, evaluate relative importance, analyze the significance, etc.Ask yourself “WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE”
6 Gather Outside Information Make a list (outline) of outside informationList all relevant issues, historical terms, names, and eventsTake 2 or 3 minutesDecide what you can and cannot use
7 Reading the DocumentsWhen you first look at a document, ask yourself the following questions:WHO is the author of this document?WHAT audience is the document written for?WHEN was this document written – what time period in history does it fit with?WHERE is the document from – a newspaper, textbook, diary, etc.? Is it a primary or secondary source?WHY is this document important – what is the purpose of the document – what does it tell us?HOW is the document important?You may not be able to answer all of these questions for every document, but the more information you can gather before answering the document based questions, the easier they will be able to answer.
8 Reading the Documents Cont. Underline any key words or phrases that you may use later.In the margin take notes about the documentsPay attention for InconsistenciesNot all documents agreePresent different view pointsRecognize inconsistenciesAnswer the scaffolding questions for each document in COMPLETE SENTENCES
9 Thesis Development Read question one more time Develop an argument you can prove- YOUR THESIS!!!!!Make sure your thesis addresses all pertinent aspects of the question
10 What is a THESIS?A thesis is a statement that reflects what you have concluded about the topic of your paper, based on a critical analysis and interpretation of the source materials (documents) you have examined.The thesis, is the HEART of your paper. It presents what you have concluded about the topic under discussion, and provides the focal point for the rest of the essay.
11 IfThenYour “thesis” statement does no more than repeat the topic you are writing aboutIt is NOT a thesisYour “thesis” statement poses a question without proposing an answerYour “thesis” statement merely states a fact or series of factsYour “thesis” statement simply reflects a personal belief or perferenceYour “thesis” statement: proposes an answer to the questionANDDeclares a conclusion with which a reader might disagree, and which can be supported by evidence from the sourcesIt IS an effective thesis
12 Getting Started Cont. Reread the task Use this to organize your essay.Decide what documents you will use and where you will you use themThe documents you use need to support your thesisYou need to use at MINIMUM 1 more than half the total documentsChoose your outside information and where you will you use itIt must support your thesisOrganize plan of attack by creating an outline of both the documents and your essay.
13 Getting Started Cont.Your essay will follow the standard writing formulaIntroductory Paragraph with a thesisOpening sentenceRephrase questionYour thesisIntroduce your argumentsBodyAt least 2 full length paragraphsTypically a paragraph for each part of the taskYou need to use the majority of the documents to backup your argumentThe more you use, the better your essay if they are used correctlyConclusion
14 Write Your Essay Get to the point Back thesis up with facts, solid evidence not fluffopening statement with your opinion, restate the question and 3 argumentsMake sure you are addressing the questionRefer back to the question several timesDon’t quote documentS – ANALYZE AND INTERPRET IT
15 Key Points to RememberStart with outside information first and write it down; then read documents; then construct a thesisUse as many documents as you can as long as they fit your thesisDon’t explain documents – that is not your task! Use documents to reinforce your main points and outside informationDon’t rewrite large portions of documents. Try to limit quotations to 1 sentence or lessReference author’s you are citing (i.e. “In the letter by Abraham Lincoln…)Cite every document used (Doc. A), (Doc. F)
16 CAPTAIN ESSAYThis will help you write an essay. It will LITERALLY give you a guide to write a DBQ sentence for sentence. That means you should probably USE IT!
17 Paragraph 1- Introduction Sentence 1- HOOK THE READER- interesting opening sentence about the topic. Make it a personal statement.Sentence 2- Topic background information IYOW- take from historical backgroundSentence 3—5?- Introduce task 1,2,3,4 etc- no details, no “I am” statements. SIMPLY restate the taskSentence 6- Thesis- YOUR opinion about the topic
18 Paragraph’s 2-4- Answer Task 1,2,3 etc.. Sentence 1- Introduce Task 1- NO “I” statements. Basically same as intro sent. 3Sentence 2- 1st answer to task 1- use general knowledge factSentence 3- Prove Answer- use one of the documents for PROOF! Remember to cite the document (doc 3).Sentence 4- Outside information- use OI from class.Sentence 5- 2nd answer to task 1- use general knowledge fact.Sentence 6- Prove answer- use one of the documents for proof. Remember to cite.Sentence 7- Outside informationSentence 8- Segue- Lead into the next paragraph. Tie each task together.
19 Paragraph 5- Conclusion Sentence 1- Re-state Thesis- DEFINENLTY USE different words.Sentence 2- Introduce Task 1, reword from intro sentence 3.Sentence 3- Best answer from paragraph 2.Sentence 4- Intro task 2, reword from intro sentence 4.Sentence 5- Best answer from paragraph 3.Sentence 6- Introduce task 3, reword from intro sentence 5.Sentence 7- Best answer from paragraph 4.Re-word thesis again. REMEMBER: “TIE UP” your conclusion so the rest of the essay wont “spill over.”