Dbq Some Tips

Topics: Essay, Writing, Periodization Pages: 11 (2362 words) Published: March 11, 2013
An AP U.S. History
Document-Based Question
What is a DBQ?

{Material borrowed from Collegboard.com}

The AP U.S. History test consists of a multiple-choice section and an essay section. There are three essays to answer on the test, one of which is the DBQ.

The DBQ an essay question that requires you to answer the question using the sources provided.

You are given a mandatory 15-minute reading period at the beginning of the free-response section, and most of that time is to be spent analyzing the documents and planning your answer to the DBQ. It's recommended that you spend 45 minutes writing the DBQ essay.

What kind of documents are in the DBQ?

Although confined to no single format, the documents contained in the DBQ rarely features familiar classic documents like the Emancipation Proclamation or Declaration of Independence, though the documents' authors may be major historical figures. The documents vary in length and format, and are chosen to illustrate interactions and complexities within the material. In addition to calling upon a broad spectrum of historical skills, the diversity of materials will allow students to assess the value of different sorts of documents.

When appropriate, the DBQ will include charts, graphs, cartoons, and pictures, as well as written materials. This gives you the chance to showcase your ability to assess the value of a variety of documents.

What is the purpose of the DBQ?

The DBQ usually requires that you relate the documents to a historical period or theme and show your knowledge of major periods and issues. For this reason, outside knowledge is very important and must be incorporated into the student's essay if the highest scores are to be earned. To earn a high score it's also very important that you incorporate the information you learned in your AP U.S. History class. The emphasis of the DBQ will be on analysis and synthesis, not historical narrative.

Your DBQ essay will be judged on thesis, argument, and supporting evidence. The DBQ tests your ability to analyze and synthesize historical data, and assess verbal, quantitative, or pictorial materials as historical evidence.


Part A
(Suggested Writing Time — 45 minutes)
Percent of Section II score — 45

Directions: The following question requires you to construct a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents A-J and your knowledge of the period referred to in the question. High scores will be earned only by essays that both cite key pieces of evidence from the documents and draw on outside knowledge of the period.

“Discuss the changing ideals of American womanhood between the American Revolution (1770’s) and the outbreak of the Civil War. What factors fostered the emergence of ‘republican motherhood’ and the ‘cult of domesticity’? Assess the extent to which these ideals influenced the lives of women during this period. In your answer be sure to consider issues of race and class.”

Use the documents and your knowledge of the time period in constructing your response.

Document A

Source: Letter written by a Philadelphia woman, 1776.

I will tell you what I have done . . . I have retrenched every superfluous expense in my table and family; tea I have not drunk since last Christamas, nor bought a new cap or gown . . . [I] have learned to knit, and am now making stockings of American wool for my servants, and this way do I throw in my mite to the public good. I know this, that as free I can die but once, but as a slave I shall not be worthy of life.

Document B

Source: Benjamin Rush, Thoughts Upon Female Education, 1787.

The equal share that every citizen has in the liberty, and the possible share he may have in the government of our country, make it necessary that our ladies should be qualified to a certain degree by a peculiar and suitable...
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