Articles of Confederation dbq directions



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Articles of Confederation DBQ
Directions: This will be your first attempt at constructing a response to a Document Based Question (DBQ). For your sanity, you will not be writing an entire response for a full set of documents. You will be given four documents related to the Articles of Confederation and the accompanying prompt. From that material you must construct an introductory paragraph (with thesis), two body paragraphs which support your thesis, and a conclusion. Feel free to discuss the documents, your thesis, and your arguments with your classmates; you must, however, write a unique essay.
Things To Keep In Mind (adapted from the College Board website):
- Be prepared to define or explain central terms (such as “major change”, “progressive”, “conservative”, etc.) that may appear to be obvious but can be ambiguous.
- Start with a clearly stated thesis in your introduction.
- In addition to having a strong thesis, it is a good idea to have a guiding organizational principle—a stated agenda for making your point. Try to integrate your outside information into your response. Your exam shouldn't read as if you threw in a few tidbits of outside information at the end.
- Many good essay writers demonstrate a sense of complexity in the documents, showing that most of the evidence may point in one direction but that part of the evidence points in a different direction. It is better, however, to support a clear, simple thesis than to create artificial complexity that you cannot support using the documents or outside knowledge. Almost every essay prompt is designed to allow the student to agree or disagree with the statement. Your ultimate goal should be to present a well-argued and well-supported thesis, not merely to give the people scoring the essay what you think they want.
- The best essays are those that marshal the positive arguments in favor of their position but that also refute or answer possible rival theses. Even if you think a statement is completely true, it is better to confront and negate the evidence that seems to refute it than to ignore the counterevidence completely.
- Integrate the documents and your analysis. Do not merely explain what is stated in the documents. Rather, use the documents as part of an integrated essay in support of your thesis.
- It is unnecessary to quote large portions of the documents. The readers of the essays are already familiar with the documents. You can quote a short passage or two if necessary, to make your point, but do not waste time or space reciting them.
- Select the questions you are best prepared to answer. The questions that invite the easiest generalizations are not always the ones you should answer. As you read through the questions and make your choices, ask yourself for which of the questions are you best prepared to support your thesis.
Document Based Question (DBQ) Analysis:

The Articles of Confederation

Assess the accuracy of the following statement: “From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government”.
The above topic comes from the 1985 DBQ. Using this topic and the provided documents you must construct a short response which includes a well constructed thesis, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You must also incorporate at least two of the documents into your writing. There is no “correct” method for citing the documents, but you must clearly identify which document you are quoting or referencing. I recommend simply placing the document letter (e.g. “(Doc. A)”) in parenthesis at the end of the quote or analysis.

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