Intro Paragraph: Contextualization and Thesis (0-2 points)

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(55 minutes, 25% of exam score, 0-7 point scale)

Intro Paragraph: Contextualization and Thesis (0-2 points)

  1. Provide contextualization that accurately and explicitly connects historical phenomena relevant to the argument to broader historical events and/or processes (0-1 point). In other words, state the time period and explain what led up to this period along with other major events, trends happening simultaneously.

  1. Provide a thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question (0-1 point). Your thesis should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph and it will be one, complex sentence. It should NOT include specific evidence; it should instead be comprised of organizational categories that you will elaborate upon in your body paragraphs. Be sure to consider what historical skill the prompt focuses on: cause and effect, continuity and change, periodization, or historical argumentation.

Body Paragraphs: Evidence and Analysis (0-4 points)

  1. There is no set number of body paragraphs.

  2. Every body paragraph begins with a claim sentence that directly address the question, introduces a particular category, and takes a position on that category.

  3. Every body paragraph includes specific evidence from the content of the documents as well as outside information. You must try to analyze all but one of the documents AND provide historical examples outside of the documents to earn full credit. Do NOT directly quote a document.

  4. In addition to addressing the content of the document, you must also address one the following four characteristics for each document you use:

    1. Intended audience

    2. Purpose

    3. Historical context

    4. The author’s point of view (bias)

  5. Every document or piece of outside evidence must be accompanied by analysis/commentary to explain how the document/evidence proves the thesis.

Final Paragraph: Synthesis (0-1 point):

  1. Synthesize the topic by providing one of following

  1. Recognize and effectively account for disparate or contradictory evidence from the documents

  2. Appropriately connect the topic of the question to other historical periods, geographic areas, or circumstances in U.S. History (this option is recommended)

  3. Appropriately extend or modify your thesis statement

Sample DBQ


(Examples of contextualization for our sample include salutary neglect, colonists had few objections to the Wool Act and the Molasses Act because they were in place to regulate trade, the Acts

Thesis Sample:

From 1740 to 1766 the French and Indian War caused an increase in the amount of political control exerted by Britain and a change in the nature of the taxes imposed; however most colonists continued to remain loyal to Britain throughout the period.

Claim: As a result of the French and Indian War, England began to exert more political control over land in the West.

Doc A – After the France lost land and Britain gained all territory east of the Mississippi (historical context)

Outside Evidence and Analysis – this caused increased settlement in the West

Doc B – The chief of the Canassetago nation asked the representatives of Maryland and Virginia to stop settlement. He’s expressing his negative POV toward settlement. (POV)

Outside Evidence and Analysis – Westward movement led to Pontiac’s Rebellion and British troop would come in to put this down. As a result Britain passed the Proclamation of 1763 to prevent further settlement west of the Appalachians. This was because Britain did not have the money to send troops to the frontier.

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