DBQ Essay: Step-By-Step Guide

The first question that students have is “how to write a DBQ essay?” The student will have 15 minutes to read a paper, take notes, then 45 minutes to write an essay. Sounds a little complicated? No worries. We’ve prepared an essay writer step-by-step guide for you to help you complete this challenge for the highest score.

Step 1. Analyzing the Documents Before Starting a DBQ Essay

If you are on an AP exam, you will have 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the hint and document for writing a DBQ essay. During this short period, you need to read an essay tip carefully (we recommend re-reading it several times), analyze the attached documents, and develop your argumentation. Document analysis is the first and most crucial step in writing a DBQ essay. Be sure to highlight the question before you for yourself because you risk losing points even for the most adequately structured and competent essay if it does not answer the question posed in the tip.

Step 2. Create Your Thesis for DBQ Essay

After reading an essay recommendation, you will need to highlight a DBQ thesis. Make sure your thesis is a well-founded statement that responds to a clue rather than just repeating it. There should be several arguments in the thesis itself.

Let’s suppose that the question is, “Why did the movement for women’s suffrage start in the 20th century?”. “Thanks to the significant contributions of women in support of the war, formed a movement for women’s suffrage to the right” is a strong thesis. In this case, the thesis speaks of participation in hostilities during the First World War. Therefore, it will be easier for you and the reader in the future to form an opinion when reading your work.

Support your arguments with six documents. Always highlight one of them whose vision of the situation is closer to you.  Thanks to your thesis, you will decide on the main answer question and read the documents.

Step 3. Read the Documents and Note the Details Before Writing a DBQ Essay

As we said above, correctly highlighted abstracts are the key to successful DBQ essay writing. Be careful when reading the information. Read the documentation carefully and take your time looking for answers. Some recommendations for you:

  • Indicate the document author, his audience, and point of view
  • Determine the percentage of reliability of this source and try to determine what influenced the author’s opinion (perhaps this is a  particular historical period that will help you in further analysis)
  • Highlight key points such as “evaluate,” “analyze,” and “compare and contrast.” Also, look for keywords such as “social,” “political,” and “economical,” as well as information about the period and society in question (it is convenient to take notes in the document margins so that you can return to the desired passage)
  • Kindly note that not all sources will be written documents. Sporadically, you will come across diagrams, maps, or political cartoons. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the nuances of reading primary sources in advance.

Step 4. Create a DBQ Essay Outline

Before you start writing the text:

  • Make a brief DBQ essay outline
  • Organize your brief and write your central thesis at the page top
  • Write a possible structure for your document
  • Next to each item, write one statement that does not contradict your view

If you indicate the sources as a confirmation to the sections, it is recommended to draw up an essay in chronological order. Kindly note that an essay structure should not be broken. Start with an introduction, then write at least three paragraphs with arguments. An essay ends with a conclusion in which you again repeat your thesis, only in an affirmative manner.

Step 5. Write Your DBQ Essay

Oversee the timing when writing DBQ essays. Remember that you will have 45 minutes to complete the entire paper. We recommend that you plan how much time you are willing to spend on each of the sections. Be sure to take a few minutes to correct your essay at the very end. DBQ essay has a clear structure that cannot be deviated from introduction, body, conclusion. We will tell you more about what each section should include later in this review.

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