Part 1 Prewriting for your dbq essay



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You're in an AP History class and you have a DBQ essay coming up. Don't panic! As long as you've been (mostly) paying attention in class and read these steps, you'll do just fine.

Part 1 Prewriting for your DBQ Essay


Know that you will be given 15 minutes to read the prompt, analyze the documents, and do any pre-writing. When those 15 minutes are up, it is time to begin writing. This section covers those 15 minutes.

  1. Read the prompt. Determine what sort of evidence you will have to find in the documents based on the prompt question. Always circle or underline the specific society (or societies) being asked about, the time period, and the key concepts (like economic or cultural problems) that are mentioned in the prompt. DBQ essays will ask you to do one of the following:

  • Prompt 1: Analyze the extent to which a historical stereotype is true for a given period or concept. Example: Analyze the extent to which the Suffragettes were depicted as manly, uncivilized women during the 1890’s to the 1920’s.

  • Prompt 2: Analyze multiple reasons that cause a particular movement to develop. Example: Analyze the reasons that the Progressive Movement gained momentum during the 1890’s to the 1920’s in the United States.

  • Prompt 3: Compare and contrast differing attitudes toward a concept or policy. Example: Compare and contrast the differing attitudes towards women’s rights in America from 1890 to 1920.

  • Prompt 4: Analyze the degree of truth in a particular statement. Take a stance on the statement. Example: Analyze the degree of truth in the statement: Women’s rights were a major part of the Progressive Era in America from the 1890’s to the 1920’s.

  • Prompt 5: Analyze the impact of an event or concept on some part of American society. Example: Analyze the impact of the Progressive era on American society in the 1890’s to the 1920’s.

  • Prompt 6: Analyze the relative importance of a specific factor or factors on an event or concept. Example: Analyze the importance of women’s roles in WWI to the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920.




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