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DBQs

The Document Based Question (DBQ) is an essay that requires you to form an argument about a topic in history. The DBQ requires you to develop a thesis, analyze primary and secondary source documents, and incorporate historical references into a well-developed essay. DBQs can be challenging for many students, but if you work hard on developing your writing skills, you will be able to master this assignment. 

The DBQ Format:
  • Paragraph One: The Introduction
    • Introduce the topic and set the "historical stage." Explain what is going on in America/the world during that time period. 
    • Present your thesis statement- make sure to include 2-3 subtopics (supporting reasons).
  • Paragraph Two: Subtopic One
    • Topic statement that introduces supporting fact one. 
    • Fact #1 to support your thesis
      • Reference a document or use a specific historical reference to show that you understand the topic
    • Fact #2 to support your thesis
      • Reference a document or use a specific historical reference to show that you understand the topic
    • Fact #3 to support your thesis 
      • Reference a document or use a specific historical reference to show that you understand the topic
    • Concluding Statement
  • Paragraph Three: Subtopic Two
    • Topic statement that introduces supporting fact one. 
    • Fact #1 to support your thesis
      • Reference a document or use a specific historical reference to show that you understand the topic
    • Fact #2 to support your thesis
      • Reference a document or use a specific historical reference to show that you understand the topic
    • Fact #3 to support your thesis 
      • Reference a document or use a specific historical reference to show that you understand the topic
    • Concluding Statement
  • Paragraph Four: Conclusion
    • Restate your thesis.
    • Summarize your argument. 


DBQ Writing Tips:

  • Your DBQ should be written in 3rd person. Do not use I, we, us, our, you, your, yours, etc. 
  • You should included specific historical references, or key vocabulary words. 
  • When referencing documents, refer to them by their title, not "Document A," "the picture," "when the guy said," etc. 
  • When you refer to a document, ANALYZE IT! Explain how the document that you've used proves your thesis. 
  • Avoid pronouns! Do not say "It was a bad time in America," "He was a bad president," etc. 
  • Proofread your response to make sure that it makes sense. Don't assume that the reader knows what you're trying to say. 

DBQ Rubric

9th Grade TREX DBQ outline