A DBQ, which stands for “Document-Based Question,” is a type of essay in which you have to look at primary sources and use them to back up your thesis. In history and social studies classes, DBQs are often given, and they need careful planning and preparation. Here are some suggestions for writing a DBQ:
Read the question. Make sure you read the prompt carefully and understand what is being asked of you. Look for words and phrases that will help you narrow down what you are looking at.
Examine the papers. Carefully read through the documents and figure out what they mean. Take notes on each document’s main ideas, arguments, and themes.
Come up with a thesis. Create a thesis statement that answers the prompt based on what you learned from reading the documents. Your thesis should be easy to understand, short, and clear.
Plan your essay. Make an outline for your essay by putting your ideas into clear, logical paragraphs. Use the documents to back up your thesis, and make sure to show how each document supports your claim.
Write your essay. Start with an introduction that has your thesis statement and explains what the analysis is about. Use the body paragraphs to show how the documents back up your thesis. Make sure to look at each piece of evidence and explain what it means. In the end, write a summary of your main points and a restatement of your thesis.
Change and fix. After you finish writing your essay, give it some time to be edited and rewritten. Make sure your writing is clear and to the point, and that the evidence from the documents backs up your point of view. Check your essay for spelling and grammar mistakes and make sure it’s formatted right.
Here’s an example of what a DBQ looks like:
Carefully read the question and look at the documents that are given.
Make a clear, short thesis statement that answers the question.
Make an outline for your essay by putting your ideas into clear, logical paragraphs.
Write your essay, starting with an introduction that includes your thesis statement and sets the stage for your analysis. Use the body paragraphs to show how the documents back up your thesis. Make sure to look at each piece of evidence and explain what it means. In the end, write a summary of your main points and a restatement of your thesis.
Edit and rewrite your essay, making sure it is clear, makes sense, and is correct.
If you follow these rules, you can write a good DBQ that does a good job of analyzing primary sources and backing up your thesis. Remember to carefully analyze the documents, come up with a clear thesis statement, and use evidence from the documents to back up your argument. You can write a strong and effective DBQ if you plan and prepare it well.