17 February 2023

How To Write a DBQ Essay

How To Write a DBQ Essay

Remaining relevant in today's academic and work institutions is getting increasingly difficult. Preparing for your college career requires renewed focus on scoring all the points in each program in your course. Since this is improbable, your best option is to take many Advanced Placement (AP) programs. You will definitely get the college board interested in your resume if this works and you score high points. There is one obstacle to this. Passing the AP exam may involve writing a document-based question (DBQ) essay.


A DBQ is an important part of your college career. Learn how to write a DBQ essay in 5 simple steps.


How To Write A DBQ Essay In 5 Steps

You must have a basic understanding of what DBQ writing looks like before you begin writing your essay. Studying former students' DBQ examples at your library may help you get a glimpse of what is expected. You must note that historical knowledge takes up a small part of the essay question. Rather, your tutor wants to discern your ability to analyze sources and develop an optimal conclusion with relevance to contemporary study.


Your DBQ essay is a concise statement demonstrating you have mastered your course. Follow these steps to avoid unnecessary words and grammatical mistakes that could be costly to your grades.

  1. Read the question several times
  2. Carefully analyze the documents
  3. Create an outline and organize your paper
  4. Come up with a strong introduction
  5. Start writing and edit your essay as you go


As you can surmise, writing a good DBQ essay needs devotion and top-notch time management skills. We'll now look at each step in more detail.


1. Read the Question Several Times

Writing the best DBQ essay among your peers means nothing if you ignore the question. You must demonstrate your point of view on a question. Do not bring in a second argument that does not match the essay instructions. This automatically translates to a deduction of points as your essay is being scored.


Conduct several practice tests using previously written DBQ essays to hammer this routine in your head. ALWAYS REREAD THE PROMPT. This lets you get a better view of the main idea and how your body paragraphs individually contribute to the main argument.


Students rarely get time to finish their assignments, let alone spend their time doing leisure activities. Going through sample DBQ essays from a site like My Custom Essays can prove immensely helpful in managing your time. You get to see how a professional writer focuses on one point in each paragraph. This can help you in the prewriting stage by giving you pointers on how professional writers tackle DBQ essays, a practice you can use in your own essays.


2. Carefully Analyze the Documents

It would help if you ascertained the importance of outside knowledge in strengthening your main idea and overall DBQ essay thesis. A student must selectively choose sources based on their similarities and differences in terms of content. You must also note several things to cite your documents correctly. These include:

  • Time period
  • Author(s) point of view
  • Publication details


Note that this is not the only relevant material you could get from your sources. Carefully weave in supporting document citations within your paragraphs to bolster the strength of your essay.


3. Create an Outline and Organize Your Paper

Creating a brief DBQ essay outline is a good way to capitalize on your limited time. Your DBQ essay must have at least five paragraphs beginning with an introduction and ending with a conclusion. Naturally, this leaves you at least three body paragraphs to push your main idea. A DBQ essay has the structure and format of a typical essay you might get in class, with the key difference being its implication on your college application resume. This structure looks as follows.

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • References


Experts at academic writing organizations such as My Custom Essays recommend taking a step back once you have created an outline. Look at the overall structure to see whether it meets instructions in your essay prompt before .


4. Come up with a Strong Introduction

Other than your thesis statement, the introduction, and conclusion clearly define your stance and the paper's main idea. The introduction includes a thesis statement. Take your time ensuring that your thesis answers the original DBQ and is invulnerable to criticism.


5. Start Writing and Edit Your Essay As You Go

You are finally ready to tackle the paper. Remember to use every opportunity to support your thesis statement using credible information. Take care to use historical sources as references repeatedly.


You must utilize your analytical skills to examine each document's argument and the reason for its conclusion. Wrap up your DBQ assignment with a conclusion and show how the topic you chose to address influenced history.


The Purpose Of A DBQ Essay

It would be best if you came out guns blazing when writing a DBQ that will capture its intended audience. A strong thesis statement goes a long way in setting you on the right path. Writing a DBQ outline can help clarify your main points, effectively aiding you in addressing all the points in your overall argument. You need to consider the following skills as the key focus of your assignment when writing your DBQ. A student shows their ability to:

  • Assess primary sources, including the target audience and author's point of view
  • Connect key points in various documents
  • Create a strong thesis statement and analyze it in the body paragraphs
  • Merge your main point with your knowledge of the historical context it fits to strengthen your case


A DBQ, therefore, aims to showcase a student's prowess in understanding and analyzing information. This specific document can address many topics, such as women's rights, the progressive movement, the first world war, women's suffrage, or any other historically significant topic. You must select the appropriate period in US history and choose strong supporting details to fill your body paragraphs.


How To Format A DBQ Essay

We will now show you how to format your essay. Writing a DBQ outline will ease you into the paper and give you a structure to organize your main points. Your history teacher will appreciate a properly formatted essay and reward you with an A+ if you have high-quality historical evidence to support a well-thought-out thesis statement. To this end, you must familiarize yourself with the DBQ format and your essay prompt to avoid losing marks unnecessarily. Scoring high grades in your AP US History exam requires a mastery of several things.

  • DBQ format
  • DBQ outline
  • Essay prompt


The first fifteen minutes are integral to your success. You must read over the documents carefully before you start writing your essay so as not to lose points. Each student has about 40 minutes to write the entire essay consisting of a long essay and a DBQ. You have exactly 90 minutes to come up with a response so your time management skills must be top-notch!


Your AP exam DBQ typically appears first on your essay test. This is Part II of the exam. You'll see the following sections on your exam sheet

  • Instructions (top of the page)
  • Historical documents (second section on the page)
  • Essay question (underneath the instructions in your essay prompt)


Completing both AP exam essays will guarantee a high score in your GPA. You need to visit your university library. Get access to a large pool of research materials that will help you create a defensible claim with irrefutable historical proof to back it up for excellent custom writing that shows mastery of course content.


DBQ Essay Outline

A DBQ essay outline typically follows the Chicago/Turabian citation style. This is because the essay is primarily a requisite in history courses. Your essay should still follow the DBQ format and rubric. You may have encountered a DBQ essay example or two as you researched your topic.


Whether you choose to write on one world war, women's suffrage, women's rights, or any other topic, your DBQ essay outline should clearly illustrate each topic sentence your essay will cover. Let's take a look at the different parts of a DBQ essay.

  1. Part a: thesis - 2 points
  2. Part b: document analysis - 2 points
  3. Part c: using evidence beyond the documents - 2 points
  4. Part d: synthesis - 1 point


1. Part a: Thesis - 2 Points

As you may have surmised from any DBQ essay example you saw in your school's library, this paper has several layers. The first part involves writing a thesis statement supported by your first argument, followed by a second argument with slightly lower strength and so on. Taper your argument from the strongest points to the weakest to convince your reader about the accuracy of your thesis early on in your paper.


This connection to the thesis must be evident in all your all body paragraphs, culminating in a strong conclusion that summarizes and restates your thesis statement. You must do the following to ensure your DBQ essay has a well-structured thesis statement:

  • Clearly describe your claims with supporting evidence
  • Write a short description of the evidence to be used in each body paragraph
  • Demonstrate how you intend to answer the DBQ


2. Part b: Document Analysis - 2 Points

Analyzing your documents helps avoid getting caught off-guard by a critic of your thesis. Each body paragraph must use the strongest evidence available and link it to the main idea.


This stage of the writing process requires you to develop a statement concluding the paper's analysis from the writer's point of view. You should follow this format in each body paragraph and include a transition sentence between them. This will help in maintaining a connection to the thesis statement.


3. Part c: Using Evidence Beyond The Documents - 2 Points

This is the trickiest part of DBQ writing. It is also the most demanding as it does not have a clear manual showing students how to tackle it. The first thing to consider is that each body paragraph posits one point. Whether it's the second or third paragraph, each body paragraph, other than the introduction and the conclusion, must show its relevance to the broader historical context.


A student should carefully analyze and synthesize information from the documents provided and information derived from outside sources to give the argument more weight.


Weaving your creativity and understanding into the DBQ is integral to writing this paper. You should leave your AP history class with the knowledge and tools to tackle real-life problems. In this way, connecting the dots between past and present events in a body paragraph or two shows the depth of a student's understanding of their course and its place in academic study.


4. Part d: Synthesis - 1 Point

Synthesizing information is another crucial stage in writing your DBQ essay. It would be best if you came up with a summary argument for your paper linked to your thesis statement. Including the main ideas and other key issues raised by authors in your sources is prudent to score a point in this section. Finally, write a concluding statement or question that poses a challenge to critics arguing against your sources.


Writing An Effective Thesis

It takes skill and knowledge to put a writer's point across while providing accurate information on your topic. Your DBQ thesis shows your position on a matter that has historical significance. Going through your school's library will undoubtedly lead you to a DBQ essay example or two that will help you adhere to the DBQ rubric. You may find your DBQ focuses on topics such as:

  • Political cartoons
  • Women's suffrage
  • The second world war
  • Women's rights


Basically, you just need a topic on issues that influence society. Getting acquainted with the DBQ essay format and structure will go a long way in improving your time management skills as you look for research materials to support your DBQ thesis.


Regardless of your topic's difficulty, writing a strong thesis statement is the first step in developing a DBQ essay to die for! Mastering how this vital component fits into your argument sets you apart from many students and brings you closer to an A+ grade in this assignment.


AP US History

The AP US History exam requires a mastery of the political, economic, social, and cultural events that have shaped development in the United States since c.1491. A student must visualize sources and analyze texts and other historical information. There are several skills you'll learn in your AP history class that will help you in future assignments.

  • Evaluation of primary and secondary sources
  • Analysis of evidence, claims, and reasoning by source authors
  • Putting historical background in context
  • Making connections between historical background and your main points
  • Creation of a DBQ thesis and supporting it with irrefutable proof in writing


The DBQ is an example of an essay showcasing an understanding of historical notions required to pass this course. You must understand different eras in US history that will be helpful as you write a DBQ essay outline for your final paper. Take a look at the units covered in any AP History class.

  • Unit 1: 1491-1607
  • Unit 2: 1607-1754
  • Unit 3: 1754-1800
  • Unit 4: 1800-1848
  • Unit 5: 1844-1877
  • Unit 6: 1865-1898
  • Unit 7: 1890-1945
  • Unit 8: 1945-1980
  • Unit 9: 1980-present


Your body paragraphs will need information from some of these periods in history. Learning how to write a DBQ that responds to the prompt succinctly will require a lot of research. You may find that your DBQ requires information from more than one school year. Here is a list of the course content you'll cover to get you ready for your finals.


Unit 1: 1491–1607

Students learn about Native American communities, European exploration and colonization of the Americas.


Unit 2: 1607–1754

You learn about the Dutch, Spanish, French, and British colonies established in the New World.


Unit 3: 1754–1800

Students discern events leading up to the American Revolution and subsequent creation of the United States and its early years.


Unit 4: 1800–1848

You'll examine how the USA grew politically, economically, and culturally in this period.


Unit 5: 1844–1877

Students learn about American expansion and the events that led Southern states to secede from the US, leading to a Civil War.


Unit 6: 1865–1898

Students examine demographic and economic shifts as well as their connection to political and cultural changes in this period.


Unit 7: 1890–1945

Students learn about changes in American culture and society. You will also examine the causes and effects of world wars and economic downfalls in this era.


Unit 8: 1945–1980

You will examine the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. Students also learn about the emergence of different civil rights movements. They also analyze the political, economic, and cultural transformations of the USA in this period.


Unit 9: 1980–Present

You will study the advancements in science and technology, growth of political conservatism, and demographic changes with major political and cultural influence.


It's clear that writing a good DBQ requires more than just checking for grammatical errors and missing words. You can go through sample DBQ essays from expert writers like My Custom Essays to get an idea about how to write a DBQ that is guaranteed to get you an A+.


Do You Need Help From A Professional Essay Writer?

The DBQ is an essay question. As such, you need to come up with some paragraphs to respond to the essay prompt. One of the most vital parts of this process is finding your document's place in a broader historical context. You must use historical documents to analyze:

  • Key points
  • Main issues
  • Past trends


Your typical DBQ will require between five and seven documents for analysis. Choose where to draw supporting details for each topic sentence. These can either be primary or secondary sources. Use direct quotes sparingly, as using your own words will demonstrate a mastery of document analysis and synthesis.


Writing a DBQ will take a toll on you mentally, physically, emotionally, and probably financially. Taking time off your busy schedule to ensure you have gathered enough information to demonstrate your point of view and provide specific examples could have disastrous consequences for other aspects of your life.


Many students have part-time jobs. Your boss is unlikely to understand they will be constantly understaffed because of your studies. They are more likely than not to fire you. Is this a risk worth taking? We do not think so. Getting professional writers like My Custom Essays to help you with this task can save you from possible heartache once college admission letters start coming in.


Frequently Asked Questions on How to Write a DBQ

Writing a history DBQ is a complex task that requires a lot of practice to guarantee you score high grades. Here are some questions that many students ask concerning the process. They may be of use to you as you write a DBQ essay at the end of the semester.

  1. How do you write an introduction for a dbq?
  2. Which AP History Exams Include A dbq?


1. How Do You Write An Introduction For A DBQ?

Your DBQ's introduction's format does not differ from that of an introduction written for any other type of paper. You must write an introductory statement with the intention of hooking your audience. Use several tried-and-tested ways to accomplish this. These include:

  • Anecdotes
  • Sharing a related personal experience
  • An interesting fact or observation connected to the question
  • Comedic statement
  • Interesting historical event related to the DBQ essay


Hitting the ground running is a routine many custom writing experts recommend to elicit interest in your reader. A DBQ essay tests whether a student understands and can analyze information. You must also demonstrate creativity in writing to pass this test. A DBQ with a thesis statement that shows its place in a broader historical context will score more points than one without such a connection to history. Your introduction should, therefore, state the background of your topic.


Creativity and in-depth knowledge of history are crucial to developing a good thesis statement that captures what you intend to prove to the reader. Use historical evidence to support your DBQ essay's key points. Professors are intent on knowing whether your text adds any knowledge to the existing literature. You must remember to tie each of your points in the document based question to credible articles written by experts in the field.


2. Which AP History Exams Include A DBQ?

Only some AP students encounter document-based questions. These only appear on several exams. For instance, you will definitely take the DBQ if you take AP World History, AP European History, or AP US History. All AP History exams have one DBQ that follows a standard format. An AP History student must learn how to write a DBQ to boost their GPA and guarantee their place in a higher learning institution of their choice.


A good DBQ essay will ensure the college board in each school you apply to rushes to secure a slot in their higher learning institution.


Key Take

Writing a DBQ essay is not a walk in the park. You can take advantage of academic writers from professional sites like My Custom Essays to help you with the DBQ essay. You may also use the information we have provided to deal with the DBQ essay when it's time for your finals.


Good luck!




Related Articles

  1. Allegory of the cave | Summary, Symbolism and Quotes
  2. Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson: Symbols & Imagery
  3. Of Mice and Men: Themes and Character Analysis
  4. Why Is Grendel a Flat Character in Beowulf?
  5. Writing an Informative Essay about Making Sacrifices | Guideline
  6. How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  7. How To Write a 3000 Word Essay
  8. How To Avoid Self Plagiarism
  9. Why Is Grendel a Flat Character in Beowulf?
  10. Writing a research based informative essay about language | Guideline




chemical engineering expertsbuy a lab reportmovie review writing 
mba admission essay writing psychology essay writinggre exam helpers
mba essay editing servicesbiology research paper take my proctored exam for me
thesis essay outlinebuy a book report argumentative essay writing service
ib essay writing servicephilosophy paper writing servicereview writing service



Recent Posts

100+ Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
166 Interesting Persuasive Essay Topics
101 Engaging Expository Essay Topics
242 Engaging Informative Essay Topics
180+ Fascinating Satire Essay Topics
How To Write a Synthesis Essay | Complete Guide
Uncover the truth about Roberto Nevilis and homework
The Best Synthesis Essay Topics
181 Unique Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Interesting 201 Criminal Justice Research Topics
Top 150 Chemistry Research Topics
Thought-Provoking Reflective Essay Topics For Your Paper
The Best Psychology Dissertation Topics
268 Engaging Psychology Essay Topics
The Best Dissertation Topics in Education
Top Argumentative Essay Topics
Captivating Marketing Dissertation Topics
Heart of Darkness Summary, Motifs, Themes, Symbols, and Characters
The Catcher in the Rye Summary, Themes, Characters and Symbols
Catchy Hook Examples for Essays
The Best Political Science Research Topics
The Best Business Speech Topics for Students
Exploring the Causal Analysis Essay
Unmasking the Mystic Monks Coffee Scandal
The Ultimate Guide to MBA Dissertation Topics
Discovering Rich Nursing Dissertation Topics
218 Narrative Essay Topics
100+ History Dissertation Topics
Are Athletes Overpaid?
How to write a short essay | Guide
How to Cite a Poem in APA, MLA, and Chicago Citation Styles
Lord of the Flies: Summary, Themes, Characters, Quotes, and Literary Devices
Original Critical Thinking Essay Topics for College Students
A Complete Guide on How to Cite a TED Talk
Allegory of the Cave Summary, Symbolism and Quotes
Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson: Symbols & Imagery
Of Mice and Men: Themes and Character Analysis
How to Write an Argumentative Essay
How To Write a 3000 Word Essay
How To Write a DBQ Essay
How To Avoid Self Plagiarism
Why Is Grendel a Flat Character in Beowulf?
Writing an Informative Essay about Making Sacrifices | Guideline
Writing a research based informative essay about language | Guideline