If we define DBQ, then this is a task that consists of a question. If you are the very student who takes the history exam, you will be asked to write an essay containing a question. Most often, the question is asked by AP US History, AP European History, AP World History. A history essay must be written in one of the three historical periods given, which corresponds to any specific events.
Requirements for DBQ Essay
- Indicate at least two significant events or phenomena related to the selected historical period.
- Write at least two historical figures directly related to the specified historical event. To designate their role and influence on this or that event’s actions and the United States, Europe, or World History.
- Name at least two reasons and connections, according to which these or those historical events arose.
- Using their knowledge or opinions of certain historians, assess this event’s impact on US history’s further development.
- Correctly apply the concepts and terms used in your essay.
This form of writing causes panic in the student because they were not familiar with such an assignment. In this guide, you will find instructions on writing and writing tips in different parts of the text. It is also worth noting that all the rules for AP History exams are provided to you the same, but the documents and questions change every year.
DBQ Essay Writing Plan
To write a correct essay, you need to observe the following points:
- Make the right introduction. An introduction is a characteristic of the period you have chosen, indicating the dates and historical events at that time.
- Accurately and correctly describe the first historical event of this period. It is also necessary to name the reason for its appearance and indicate the historical personality associated with this event.
- Reveal the second historical event of this period, indicating the cause-and-effect relationship of its occurrence and bringing a historical personality that directly impacted the course of events.
- Assess the significance of both events and the entire selected period for the development of the United States of that century.
We will now talk more specifically about each aspect of historical writing.
Algorithm for Working With the DBQ Essay
To correctly write this type of written work, follow the points below:
- determine the period about which you were asked the question;
- determine whose reign is affected by the selected time frame;
- remember what the most significant historical events took place at this time. There must be at least two of them;
- remember what historical figures lived at the time, how they influenced the events you wrote, and the course of history in general;
- reveal the connection between the two events you cited;
- explain the reasons for these events;
- make a plan for your essay. It should have multiple paragraphs;
- write a draft essay based on your prepared outline and written information;
- write the conclusion of your history essay, assessing the events that happened, and explaining their consequences;
- we reread our essay, check it for errors (pay special attention to the factual), and rewrite it on paper;
- use pre-memorized clichés for your essay;
- use a variety of historical terms and concepts that are appropriate for the selected period;
- write in neat and legible handwriting to help the examiner review your work faster and more accurately;
- don’t misrepresent historical facts.
Introduction to DBQ Essay
At this stage, you need to read the question and understand what it is about caring. This is perhaps the most important stage of work, because in the case of misunderstanding of the topic, all your works will go to waste, and 0 points will be given for the essay. To make it easier, try splitting your quote into multiple parts. For example, before you quote, “The policy of waiting and maneuvering between various noble groupings is especially characteristic of the first period of the reign of Alexander I. But as he strengthened on the throne, his policy became more and more definite. He, like his predecessors, sought to consolidate the autocracy. “This quote has several parts:
- The reign of Alexander I can divide into two periods, opposite in content to each other;
- In the first period of his reign, Alexander I pursued a policy of concessions, maneuvering between the noble groups;
- Over time, Alexander I strengthened the autocracy.
As a result of this work, we can determine what your question is about. So, you understand the topic. Now it is necessary to explain what the topic is. Recall that the genre feature of the essay is a personal attitude to the problem or personal interest. Participants often limit themselves to formal general phrases about the great role this period played in the country’s history. Remember that the streams of “water” you pour in your compositions cannot take away from the jury members’ correct course. They evaluate, first of all, your knowledge and ability to operate with knowledge. Therefore, you need to remember books, films, visits to historical sites, guides’ approval, stamps, coins, postcards for the selected period. It is this part of the essay that should be especially emotionally intense.
Body Paragraph to a DBQ Essay
The most important part of the work is the body paragraph. It would help if you did not oversaturate it with theses to argue with pieces of literary works. You don’t need more than two theses per essay. All sentences in the text should be logically interconnected and follow each other without getting out of context.
The central part of the DBQ essay is detailed, disclosed the essay’s main idea, answers to the questions that you were asked. We give proof of our words, be sure to back them up with facts. We try to reveal the composition’s topic more fully, from different sides and another point of view. It will be perfect if you start to reason from different positions. The author’s voice must be present, the essay is your work, you do not need to write other people’s thoughts as your own, but their analysis is encouraged.
With the support of a literary argument, each thesis should allocate in its separate paragraph. It should not be so that a paragraph begins with one thought and ends with another, especially if they contradict each other. The micro lead should be visible towards the end of the main body.
You also need to pay attention to the clear division of the text into paragraphs. Each paragraph is a relatively complete whole. The paragraph should devote to the presentation of one idea. It doesn’t have to start with one idea and end with another. Proposals must be logically linked so that each subsequent one is an answer to the question that the commission has after reading the previous proposal. If the reviewer has to reread a paragraph two or three times, the paragraph is not consistent, and the sentences do not follow logically one after the other. A new paragraph is a new thought, one way or another related to the previous one, so it is necessary to think over competent logical transitions from one thought to another.
Conclusion in a DBQ Essay
The conclusion should summarize all your work, logically complete your reflections on the topic of the essay. The conclusion, like the introduction, should be organically linked to the main text. Note that inference is not a simple repetition of arguments, as is often the case in student work. This is necessarily new information of a general nature. How you can finish your essay:
- Generalization of the written. The most typical and logical ending of the composition. We often return to the composition’s main idea, expounding it more broadly and emotionally in such an ending. For example: So, as history and fiction tell us, a high life goal encourages a person to improve the world and himself, does not allow him to stop on the path of the eternal striving for the ideal.
- A rhetorical question. An interrogative sentence, including a rhetorical question, at the end of the essay, returns the reader to the main problem contained in the subject of the essay, emphasizing its relevance. For example: So, for millennia, people have been fighting. Hundreds, thousands, millions of people die in wars. Perhaps war is the most terrible phenomenon in the world, and few can dispute it. And even in the 21st century, humanity cannot avoid military conflicts. Will the wars never end?
- Quote. It should remember that not every quote will be appropriate in conclusion. This should be a statement that fully expresses your idea. “He who is cruel is not a hero,” Peter I aptly said. It is difficult to disagree with this idea. As the experience of fiction shows, cruelty does not make a person not only great but also internally devastates him, condemning him to painful loneliness.
- Appeal to the reader. A request, an appeal to the reader, focuses attention on the essay’s main idea, encourages the reader to change his attitude to the problem. For example: Finishing my paper, I want to ask you: look around you, think about whether there are people nearby who need comfort, help, just a kind living word. Think: who do you want to be – an indifferent egoist or a sympathetic person who brings good to others?
Phrases for Historical Essays
When writing your essay, you can use the following phrases:
- The period (dates) refers to the reign …
- (Date) is the period of the reign of such and such a king/emperor/leader …
- This time is the era …
- During the reign of (Name of the ruler), many events took place (a large number of transformations) …
- For this period, it is typical …
- Let’s name the most significant events.
For the central part:
- At a given time, an event such as (war, reform, invasion, etc.) occurred …
- The reason for the outbreak of war/adoption of reform/invasion of such territory … became …
- (A) (name of the historical person) played a special role in the development of this event …
- Let’s look at the reasons that are common to the two above events …
- Historians do not have an unambiguous opinion about the events of this period …
- (Name) is convinced that …
- When (name) has the opposite opinion about …
- These historical events are marked by (describe the consequences) …
- The result of these events is such …
- The board/actions (name of the historical person) cannot assess unambiguously. One side…. On the other hand…
- This era has become a period …
Using the phrases given, compose an essay template for yourself, which you will use in further work with the essay, and memorize it.
Example DBQ Essay From an Expert
Question: What causes contributed to the African American Civil Rights Movement from 1950 to 1970?
Since the mid-1950s, the struggle for equal rights became a mass phenomenon. In 1955, 42-year-old Rose Parks in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger – she attacks. After that, the black population boycotted all urban transport for a year. And Parks has become one of the symbols of the struggle for equality.
In 1962, riots took place in Mississippi – a black resident James Meredith tried several times to enroll in a local university, but he refuses. His case considered by the US Supreme Court – and ruled to enroll him. The state authorities refused to comply with this decision; the ensuing unrest led to the state’s declared martial law and introduced a national guard. In 2006, a monument to James Meredith appeared at the university.
In 1965, mass demonstrations began in the Los Angeles suburb of Watts after police arrested the entire family of a young man who suspects of driving while intoxicated. The riots continued for a week, 34 people were killed, more than a thousand were injured.
In 1967, a similar story happened in Detroit; the mass demonstrations lasted five days, 43 people were killed, the police arrested 7,200 people. On April 4, 1968, American human rights activist and preacher Martin Luther King – the main fighter for blacks’ rights in those years – was shot dead in Memphis. Protests and disobedience took place throughout the country.
Through the 1960s movement, the first generation of black politicians emerged in the United States. Segregation officially ends, but inequality, including economic inequality, remained.
Why did it explode in the 1960s? Several serious prerequisites at once. Dogs hounded Rosa Parks, and this especially angered Jewish youth and rabbis – too direct associations with Nazism and concentration camps. This is how the equality movement gained new adherents.
In the early 1970s, sociologists, conservative sociologists, so to speak, began to cite research data that inequality leads to society’s degradation. People who received artificial financial support were not motivated to work. There was a law on preferences in education: black children were sent to white schools. Only parents, for example, in Boston, staged almost an uprising because of this.
These were extremely difficult and traumatic steps forward – perhaps now it can view as such. This lasted from the 1970s to the present day.
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