|15 – STEP DBQ ESSAY PROCESS – DBQ #2
The following is the “plan of action” used to maximize the strength of each student (regardless of skill level) in their essay writing, especially that of the Document Based Question. The DBQ should be looked at as a “regular essay” only with helpful hints. Many feel that the DBQ is the easiest of the 3 essays on the AP exam; you need to get into that mind set.
COMPLEX SENTENCE writing: all identifications should be done in this manner:
Term+ identification phrase + interpretive commentary = analytical (complex) sentence(s).
Example: The Stamp Act, a tax on legal documents during the colonial era, united the colonies in protests against British policy. This was the beginning of several protests leading to the American Revolution.
2. READ the QUESTION: write it over verbatim then highlight or underline the key terms.
Five points to deconstruct an essay question:
Mode (what are we asking them to do with the subject)
Time Period (how long?)
Number of Parts to the question
Terms? – only the ones where it could be misconstrued…
3. WHAT is the question asking: write one sentence DESCRIBING WHAT the question is asking.
4. BRAINSTORM factual evidence that would answer the question (nouns - specific).
Use association chains to trigger more factual support. Write factual evidence in chronological order from 1815 to 1825.
5. HIGHLIGHT documents in the DBQ for main ideas.
*STEPS 1-5 DUE Nov. 5th – 10 points*
6. WRITE events, names, concepts next to each document in the DBQ as the idea comes to mind, in other words: “What ideas are triggered in your mind as you read each document?”
7. Write a working COMPLEX THESIS STATEMENT that will answer the question.
The thesis should demonstrate that there was accuracy in the statement or not and state why or why not.
8. Write a short paragraph explaining how you would approach PROVING your thesis.
9. SUB-TOPICS: break down the essay into two to four sub-topics, three is average.
10. Write SUB-THESES: use the sub-topics to create analytical sub-thesis statements-each one should be a direct answer to the question. Your sub-theses should be at the beginning of each body paragraph.
11. Write an INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH that will include some background information, a time frame reference, a thesis, and categories (sub-topics).
12. REVISE your COMPLEX THESIS.
13. Group FACTS (from brainstorming) by sub-theses. [You might not use all of the facts you had brainstormed.]
*STEPS 6-13 DUE November 11th – 15 points*
14. Write the FIRST DRAFT & have it revised by PEER REVIEWER. (The peer review will be done in class.)
15. Write the FINAL ESSAY. *It is due on November 20th – 50 points*
In total, this assignment is worth 75 points. You may hand-write Steps 1-13, but steps 14 & 15 must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font (Times New Roman, Georgia or something similar).