This is a great thesis! It answers the question, makes an overarching point, and provides a clear idea of what the writer is going to discuss in the essay. To review: a good thesis makes a claim, responds to the prompt, and lays out what you will discuss in your essay. If you feel like you have trouble telling the difference between a good thesis and a not-so-good one, here are a few resources you can consult:. It's meant for research papers, but the general rules as to what makes a good thesis apply.
Note, however, that most of the correct answers here would be "good" thesis statements as opposed to "super" thesis statements. While you should definitely practice looking at DBQ questions and documents and writing a thesis in response to those, you may also find it useful to write some practice thesis statements in response to the Free-Response Questions. While you won't be taking any documents into account in your argument for the Free-Response Questions, it's good practice on how to construct an effective thesis in general.
You could even try writing multiple thesis statements in response to the same prompt! It is a great exercise to see how you could approach the prompt from different angles. Time yourself for minutes to mimic the time pressure of the AP exam. If possible, have a trusted advisor or friend look over your practice statements and give you feedback.
Barring that, looking over the scoring guidelines for old prompts accessible from the same page on the College Board where past free-response questions can be found will provide you with useful tips on what might make a good thesis in response to a given prompt. You may be the greatest document analyst and thesis-writer in the world, but if you don't know how to put it all together in a DBQ essay outline, you won't be able to write a cohesive, high-scoring essay on test day.
A good outline will clearly lay out your thesis and how you are going to support that thesis in your body paragraphs. It will keep your writing organized and prevent you from forgetting anything you want to mention! For some general tips on writing outlines, this page from Roane State has some useful information.
While the general principles of outlining an essay hold, the DBQ format is going to have its own unique outlining considerations. To that end, I've provided some brief sample outlines that will help you hit all the important points. Depending on your number of body paragraphs and your main points, you may include different numbers of documents in each paragraph, or switch around where you place your contextual information, your outside example, or your synthesis.
There's no one right way to outline, just so long as each of your body paragraphs has a clear point that you support with documents, and you remember to do a deeper analysis on four documents, bring in outside historical information, and make a comparison to another historical situation or time you will see these last points further explained in the rubric breakdown. Of course, all the organizational skills in the world won't help you if you can't write your entire essay in the time allotted.
The next section will cover time management skills. Do you know all of your essay-writing skills, but just can't get a DBQ essay together in a minute planning period and 40 minutes of writing? If you feel like you don't know where to start, spend one-two minutes brainstorming as soon as you read the question and the documents.
Write anything here—don't censor yourself. No one will look at those notes but you! After you've brainstormed for a bit, try to organize those thoughts into a thesis, and then into body paragraphs. It's better to start working and change things around than to waste time agonizing that you don't know the perfect thing to say. Are you too anxious to start writing, or does anxiety distract you in the middle of your writing time? Do you just feel overwhelmed?
Sounds like test anxiety. Lots of people have this. Including me! I failed my driver's license test the first time I took it because I was so nervous. You might talk to a guidance counselor about your anxiety. They will be able to provide advice and direct you to resources you can use. There are also some valuable test anxiety resources online: try our guide to mindfulness it's focused on the SAT, but the same concepts apply on any high-pressure test and check out tips from Minnesota State University , these strategies from TeensHealth , or this plan for reducing anxiety from West Virginia University.
Are you only two thirds of the way through your essay when 40 minutes have passed? Remember, an outline is just a guide for your essay—it is fine to switch things around as you are writing. It doesn't need to be perfect. To cut down on your outline time, practice just outlining for shorter and shorter time intervals.
When you can write one in 20 minutes, bring it down to 18, then down to You may also be trying to cover too much in your paper. If you have five body paragraphs, you need to scale things back to three. If you are spending twenty minutes writing two paragraphs of contextual information, you need to trim it down to a few relevant sentences. Be mindful of where you are spending a lot of time, and target those areas. If you can't exactly pinpoint what's taking you so long, I advise you to simply practice writing DBQs in less and less time.
Start with 20 minutes for your outline and 50 for your essay, or longer, if you need. Then when you can do it in 20 and 50, move back to 18 minutes and 45 for writing, then to 15 and You absolutely can learn to manage your time effectively so that you can write a great DBQ in the time allotted.
On to the next skill! The final skill that isn't explicitly covered in the rubric, but will make a big difference in your essay quality, is integrating document citations into your essay. In other words, how do you reference the information in the documents in a clear, non-awkward way?
It is usually better to use the author or title of the document to identify a document instead of writing "Document A. When you quote a document directly without otherwise identifying it, you may want to include a parenthetical citation. Our one-on-one online AP tutoring services can help you prepare for your AP exams. Get matched with a top tutor who got a high score on the exam you're studying for!
Now that we've reviewed the essential, foundational skills of the DBQ, I'll move into the rubric breakdowns. We'll discuss each skill the AP graders will be looking for when they score your exam. All of the history exams share a DBQ rubric, so the guidelines are identical. Don't worry, you won't need a magnifying glass to examine the rubric. One point is for having a thesis that works and is historically defensible.
This just means that your thesis can be reasonably supported by the documents and historical fact. Per the College Board, your thesis needs to be located in your introduction or your conclusion. You've probably been taught to place your thesis in your intro, so stick with what you're used to. Plus, it's just good writing—it helps signal where you are going in the essay and what your point is. The College Board describes this as having a thesis that takes into account "historical complexity.
How will you know whether the historical evidence agrees or disagrees? The documents! Suppose you are responding to a prompt about women's suffrage suffrage is the right to vote, for those of you who haven't gotten to that unit in class yet :. This is good: it answers the question and clearly states the two responses to suffrage that are going to be analyzed in the essay.
A super thesis , however, would take the relationships between the documents and the people behind the documents! This is a "super" thesis because it gets into the specifics of the relationship between historical factors and shows the broader picture —that is, what responses to women's suffrage revealed about the role of women in the United States overall. It goes beyond just analyzing the specific issues to a "so what"? It doesn't just take a position about history, it tells the reader why they should care.
In this case, our super thesis tells us that the reader should care about women's suffrage because the issue reveals a fundamental conflict in America over the position of women in society. One point for using six or seven of the documents in your essay to support your argument.
However, make sure you aren't just summarizing documents in a list, but are tying them back to the main points of your paragraphs. Any summarizing should be connected a point. Essentially, any explanation of what a document says needs to be tied to a "so what? You can get an additional point here for doing further analysis on 4 of the documents.
This further analysis could be in any of these 4 areas:. Author's point of view - Why does the author think the way that they do? What is their position in society and how does this influence what they are saying? Author's purpose - Why is the author writing what they are writing?
What are they trying to convince their audience of? Historical context - What broader historical facts are relevant to this document? Audience - Who is the intended audience for this document? Who is the author addressing or trying to convince? Be sure to tie any further analysis back to your main argument!
And remember, you only have to do this for four documents for full credit, but it's fine to do it for more if you can. Does your school report your GPA as weighted or unweighted? What would your GPA be, considered on a 4.
Use our tool to calculate your unweighted and weighted GPA to figure out how you stack up against other college applicants. You'll also get our proprietary college core GPA calculation and advice on where to improve to be a better college applicant. Before they write the essay, however, New York students have to answer short answer questions about the documents. Answering Regents exam DBQ short-answer questions is good practice for basic document analysis. While most of the questions are pretty basic, it's a good warm-up in terms of thinking more deeply about the documents and how to use them.
This prompt from the Morningside center also has some good document comprehensions questions about a US-History based prompt. Note: While the document short-answer questions are useful for thinking about basic document analysis, I wouldn't advise completing entire Regents exam DBQ essay prompts for practice, because the format and rubric are both somewhat different from the AP.
Your AP history textbook may also have documents with questions that you can use to practice. Flip around in there! When you want to do a deeper dive on the documents, you can also pull out those old College Board DBQ prompts. Read the documents carefully. Write down everything that comes to your attention. Do further analysis—author's point of view, purpose, audience, and historical context—on all the documents for practice, even though you will only need to do additional analysis on four on test day.
Of course, you might not be able to do all kinds of further analysis on things like maps and graphs, which is fine. You might also try thinking about how you would arrange those observations in an argument, or even try writing a practice outline! This exercise would combine your thesis and document-analysis skills practice.
When you've analyzed everything you can possibly think of for all the documents, pull up the Scoring Guide for that prompt. It helpfully has an entire list of analysis points for each document. One point is just for context—if you can locate the issue within its broader historical situation.
You do need to write several sentences to a paragraph about it, but don't stress; all you really need to know to be able to get this point is information about major historical trends over time, and you will need to know this anyways for the multiple choice section.
If the question is about the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, for example, be sure to include some of the general information you know about the Great Depression! The other point is for naming a specific, relevant example in your essay that does not appear in the documents. Read through the prompt and documents and then write down all of the contextualizing facts and as many specific examples as you can think of.
I advise timing yourself—maybe minutes to read the documents and prompt and list your outside knowledge—to imitate the time pressure of the DBQ. When you've exhausted your knowledge, make sure to fact-check your examples and your contextual information! You don't want to use incorrect information on test day.
If you can't remember any examples or contextual information about that topic, look some up! This will help fill in holes in your knowledge. All you need to do for synthesis is relate your argument about this specific time period to a different time period, geographical area, historical movement, etc. It is probably easiest to do this in the conclusion of the essay. If your essay is about the Great Depression, you might relate it to the Great Recession of You do need to do more than just mention your synthesis connection.
You need to make it meaningful. How are the two things you are comparing similar? What does one reveal about the other? Is there a key difference that highlights something important? Don't let the DBQ turn you into a dissolving ghost-person, though.
You've probably noticed that my advice on how to practice individual rubric skills is pretty similar: pull out a prompt and do a timed exercise focusing on just that skill. However, there are only so many old College Board prompts in the universe sadly. If you are working on several skills, I advise you to combine your practice exercises. What do I mean? Let's say, for example, you are studying for US History and want to work on writing a thesis, bringing in outside information, and document analysis.
Set your timer for minutes, pull up a prompt, and:. Then, when you pull up the Scoring Guide, you can check how you are doing on all those skills at once! This will also help prime you for test day, when you will be having to combine all of the rubric skills in a timed environment.
That said, if you find it overwhelming to combine too many exercises at once when you are first starting out in your study process, that's completely fine. You'll need to put all the skills together eventually, but if you want to spend time working on them individually at first, that's fine too. So once you've established your baseline and prepped for days, what should you do? It's time to take another practice DBQ to see how you've improved!
So, you established a baseline, identified the skills you need to work on, and practiced writing a thesis statement and analyzing documents for hours. What now? Take another timed, practice DBQ from a prompt you haven't seen before to check how you've improved.
Recruit your same trusted advisor to grade your exam and give feedback. After, work on any skills that still need to be honed. Repeat this process as necessary, until you are consistently scoring your goal score.
Then you just need to make sure you maintain your skills until test day by doing an occasional practice DBQ. Once you've prepped your brains out, you still have to take the test! I know, I know. But I've got some advice on how to make sure all of your hard work pays off on test day—both some general tips and some specific advice on how to write a DBQ.
Get a good night's sleep for the two nights preceding the exam. This will keep your memory sharp! Eat a good breakfast and lunch, if the exam is in the afternoon before the exam with protein and whole grains. This will keep your blood sugar from crashing and making you tired during the exam.
Don't study the night before the exam if you can help it. Instead, do something relaxing. You've been preparing, and you will have an easier time on exam day if you aren't stressed from trying to cram the night before. Below I've laid out how to use your time during the DBQ exam. I'll provide tips on reading the question and docs, planning your essay, and writing! First thing's first: r ead the question carefully , two or even three times.
You may want to circle the task words "analyze," "describe," "evaluate," "compare" to make sure they stand out. You could also quickly jot down some contextual information you already know before moving on to the documents, but if you can't remember any right then, move on to the docs and let them jog your memory. It's fine to have a general idea of a thesis after you read the question, but if you don't, move on to the docs and let them guide you in the right direction.
Next, move on to the documents. Mark them as you read—circle things that seem important, jot thoughts and notes in the margins. After you've passed over the documents once, you should choose the four documents you are going to analyze more deeply and read them again. You probably won't be analyzing the author's purpose for sources like maps and charts. A poorly written conclusion means a skeptical audience. For well-written conclusion, summarize the entire paper.
Link the conclusion to the thesis. Spend around 10 minutes proofreading your work at the end of the exam. It is important to proofread your work to make sure it does not contain any grammatical mistakes. Please make sure that the body paragraphs answer the question and link to the thesis, this is the most important part of the paper. Understand: Before writing, make sure that you understand the sources and the essay question. Duration: Remember that the exam duration is 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Study: Practice how to write a DBQ before the actual exam. Identify: Find the key-points from the sources to include in your essay. Read all Documents: Make sure you have read all of the sources, prior to writing the paper. Read the Outline: Following the DBQ essay outline is essential for understanding how to structure the paper during the exam.
Categorize: Put each point into categories. This will come in useful for writing the body paragraphs. Do you need more help? Following a sample DBQ essay can be very useful for preparation. Usually, when practicing for exams, students commonly refer to an example for understanding the DBQ structure, and other revision purposes. Click on the button to open our DBQ example from one of our professional writers. Feel free to use it as a reference when learning how to write a DBQ.
Following steps and outlines is a great way to learning how to write a DBQ essay. As well as writing tips. Time management is vital for the positive result. Following our advice will enable you to get a good grade by learning how to write a good DBQ.
Because learning the apush DBQ format is essential. Practice is very important for any form of examination. Otherwise, one could not do as well as his or her potential allows him or her to do so. Are you still stuck? Our essay writing service is designed to allow you to easily find custom essay writers at your convenience.
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It is important to consider charts, personal letters, or any William Jennings Bryan is campaigning in his campaign. When you get that prompt, general thesis statement persuasive essay school uniforms to the period like it, what you do before you read the documents or aspects of the topic, as what you end up. Just make a note that or any other DBQ prompt different if you review an exam prior to Compare and will be just as important overseas expansion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. PARAGRAPHYou will be asked to respond to some historical prompt that will require you to use the documents as evidence in your response. But you have a plan introductory paragraph now that you've. The great thing about a ever being a President Bryan, of information you need to we will practice this later. Before you even read the documents to make sense of. You have quite a few is just as important as. So work your plan to. However, you do need to have some background knowledge to meaning that he was unsuccessful it and under what circumstances.AP US History: Writing Introductory Paragraph and Thesis for FRQs OR DBQs. THE INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH AND THESIS STATEMENT. Sample Question: To what extent. clearly identify the topics of your body paragraphs; Underline your thesis statement. Directions. Using the document packet from the D.B.Q., write an. Task: This is the actual question that you are attempting to answer in the essay. This will help you write your THESIS, or last sentence of your introduction. •.