How to Write a DBQ - Tips for Better Performance

Last Updated: 29 June 2019

A DBQ essay is assigned to students and is an essay that provides them with the documents they use as sources to inform the writing process. Majorly, DBQS test the reading comprehension and analytical skills. So it is never about the knowledge you have as a student.


The skills above are paramount to the attainment of great academic qualifications.


In this article, as a reliable essay writing service, we discuss some of the nuggets on how to write a DBQ, formatting a DBQ, and check a DBQ example.


What is a DBQ Essay?


Many students find themselves wondering “, what is a DBQ?”


Document-based question or data-based question (DBQ) refers to an American Advanced Placement exam, which is a series of short answer questions or an essay constructed by students using their knowledge with support from reliable provided sources.


DBQ essays are part of the AP U.S. History exam abbreviated as (APUSH) and are set by the United States College Board. It is meant to assess the knowledge of the students on certain topics with evidence (both primary and secondary sources) from 3-16 scholarly sources.


Once you understand everything about the APUSH DBQ, you are as good as halfway passed the test.


DBQ Essay Outline/Format


Struggling to learn how to write a DBQ essay can be tough, especially if you are a beginner. We say so because there are millions of websites offering redundant information that can confuse you.


As a website with professional paper writers, we explore how to format your DBQ for your reference as you prepare to ace the exam.


First off, like any other type of essay, a DBQ essay has three parts Introduction with the thesis, body, and the conclusion.


Introduction


Thesis


Body Paragraph 1



Body Paragraph 2



Body Paragraph 3



Conclusion


When concluding your DQB, be sure to summarize your major argument in the entire paper. Secondly, include the major points in the provided scholarly sources. Your arguments should be crisp, succinct, and relevant. Finally, create your concluding sentence or come up with a concluding question that challenges the view or perception of the authors of your scholarly sources.


What is a DBQ Thesis?


You can easily confuse yourself into thinking that the thesis for a DBQ differs with that of other essays. Hell, No!


A DBQ thesis is a statement that you want to prove or discuss in your paper. For instance, it could be “While both the North and South went to the Civil war for mainly on the issue of slavery, the North was particularly focused on moral grounds while the south fought to preserve its institutions.”


This is a sample of a strong DBQ thesis for APUSH that can guarantee you an audience of the markers.


How long is a DBQ essay?


It could be wise first to address the question of how long is DBQ. Well, APUSH is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. In that duration, you are required to answer multiple choice questions or the short answers section and the free response sections. Also noteworthy is the purpose of AP U.S. History Exam. It is meant to test the students’ understanding of historical concepts that are covered in the course units. It also seeks to assess your expertise in analyzing secondary and primary sources and the identification of patterns and links that support historical interpretations.


In terms of planning, we would advise you as follows:



By now, you understand the three sections of the APUSH DBQ as well as how to write a DBQ. We can reiterate the same. APUSH DBQ is divided into:



  1. Historical context. This is a brief paragraph that offers background information on the topic for your essay. It helps you write your introduction.

  2. Task. This is the real deal as it is the question you attempt in the essay. It should shape your thesis statement. Usually, the thesis statement is the first or the last sentence in your introduction.

  3. Documents and scaffolding questions. In this section, you will use 5-7 documents in writing your essay. Every document will have 1-3 questions that you will have to answer before commencing your essay. Scaffolding questions are questions that prompt you to use your analytical and critical thinking skills in solving problems. They help build knowledge from the course units to write a great essay.


Steps in Answering a Document Based Question


So how do you answer DBQ? If it is for success in your APUSH essay, here are the steps.



  1. Analyze the essay topic in deep detail. Make sure you understand the topic before beginning.

  2. Internalize the key terms within the question as all DBQs have different attitudes, reactions, and relevance.

  3. Take note of the period the documents were written. Assess whether they are primary or secondary documents.

  4. Read the documents and answer the scaffolding questions. Make sure you are reading between the lines.

  5. Develop your thesis. DBQ thesis is one sentence. The documents in the DBQ should help you come up with three supporting strong arguments. You are allowed to use external information in the DBQ, but you have to exhaust all the provided documents in your DBQ.

  6. Develop and stick to your DBQ outline as much as possible for proper flow.

  7. Write and develop the body paragraphs

  8. Use the opinions of the authors to support ideas in your DBQ essay.

  9. While studying, familiarize yourself with DBQ essay examples. Apply the same when answering your DBQ essay.

  10. Write the conclusion

  11. Proofread the DBQ essay.


How to Prepare for APUSH DBQ section exam



  1. Time Management

  2. Use excellent reading skills

  3. Include a focused thesis statement for your DBQ.

  4. Use many scholarly sources as possible

  5. The conclusion to your DBQ should be succinct and engaging

  6. Exhibit super great essay writing Skills

  7. Check any typos and grammatical errors.


Final Words


Choosing to ace your APUSH exam is as simple as understanding how to write a DBQ essay.  We have outlined the relevant writing tips and tricks for students seeking to soar high in APUSH exams.


One thing you should be consistent with is time management. Know how to be methodological when answering questions within the provided deadline. When writing, you must have an understanding of the DBQ outline/ structure.


Also, be sure to plan your time. Practice and train daily as well as it makes perfect.


Our advice on how to write a good DBQ will get you to the best grade. However, the sum of your efforts will shape a career ahead and make you a knowledgeable individual. Go out and ace that exam!