How to Write a DBQ
The abbreviation DBQ
translates to Document Based Questions. These are the questions that provide
context (in other words document) that serve as your source of information
which you will need for your writing. All DBQs have a similar structure where
three things are always given. These include:
1. Historical context â€“ This
is the paragraph provided containing the background information for the topic
you will need to write about. The information here will help you come up with
an introduction for your essay.
2. Task â€“ This is the
question that you are supposed to answer. Understanding the question will help
you come up with a thesis for your essay.
3. Documents and scaffolding
questions â€“ There are five to seven documents provided to help you
write the essay. Within these documents, there are approximately three
questions you will need to answer for you to be able to formulate a
well-developed and thought out essay.
Steps to follow when writing a DBQ
Step 1: Read through the
By reading through this
context, you will be able to answer four questions about the DBQ. These are the
who, what, where, and when. By answering these questions, you will have the
basic information needed to respond to the question
Step 2: Read the task
Although the two usually
follow each other, it is important to answer the questions in step one before
moving on to read the task. Once you are done with that, you can read the task
which is usually instructions on what you are supposed to with the information
you have already read. This is also the step that helps you come up with a
thesis of your essay. It is important to know that a thesis is the most
important part of your assignment as it gives a direction to your reader on the
goal of your essay.
Step 3: Read the
documents provided and answer the scaffolding questions.
This is probably the most
important step. Therefore, you'll need to take your time at this stage. Read
through the documents and answer the questions. Make sure that you also note
key points and the source of the information before you move on to the next
Step 4: Write an outline
for your essay.
Writing an outline is
important as it helps you organize your thoughts. An outline helps you
categorize your discussion points in order of importance. This is from the
strongest points as you go down to your weakest. On outline, therefore, helps
you with the flow of your essay such that you don't get stuck in the middle of
Step 5: Write your essay
Now that you have all
that you need to develop a fully formed essay, you can get down to writing. If
you follow the outline you already developed, you will be able to complete your
essay within no time.
Step 6: Proofread your
After you're done writing
the essay, you will need to go back and reread your essay. This will help you
spot any grammatical errors you will have made and correct them.
Key Takeaway Points
For you to be able to
produce a great DBQ, learn how to write an effective thesis, develop time
management skills for essay writing, and learn how to cite because you will
need these skills. Finally, DBQs are common in history tests, practice working
on these assignments before walking into an exam room. You will be able to
master all these skills and so much more, which will give you all the
confidence you need to handle similar cases.
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