Document Based Questions (DBQs) AP European History Magister Ricard

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1 As we wind down the year, we are going to be reviewing while also finalizing our preparation for the AP Exam on May 6 th. One of the last skills you will need to have is writing essays from DBQs or Document Based Questions. Unlike FRQs (Free Response Questions), the answers are all right in front of you. All you have to do is examine the documents, group them together appropriately, and put words to your thoughts. The key thing is, you have to answer the question. For this lesson, you will be working on your own to craft your own DBQ essay. You will be given an explanation about the format of the DBQ, some tips to give you a framework for how to work on the DBQ, and finally, an opportunity to craft your own based on a chapter we have recently studied. Description First of all, there is a 15 minute reading period that is required of students before you are allowed to write. Use this time to read over the documents, organize your thoughts, determine a thesis, and prepare an outline for your essay. There are about primary source documents that accompany your essay question. You will then have 45 minutes to write your essay. Scoring The DBQ is scored on a scale from 1-9. Each point is worth 4.5 exam points (a 9 = 40.5 points, a 6 = 27 points, a 4 = 18 points). A score of a 6 keeps you on pace for an overall score of 5 on the AP Exam that should be your focus. Basic Core Description 1 Provides a thesis that clearly and directly addresses ALL parts of the question 2 Discusses a majority of the documents (at least 7) individually and specifically (cite either its name, number, or its author in your essay) 3 Demonstrates an understanding of the meaning of the documents (may not misinterpret more than one document, usually occurs when document is placed in wrong group) 4 Supports the thesis with appropriate interpretations of a majority of the documents 5 Analyzes the point of view (POV!) or bias in at least THREE documents (try to understand WHY an author expresses a particular point as well as the motive) 6 Analyzes documents by organizing them into at least THREE appropriate groups (a group must contain at least TWO documents, a document can be used in more than one group) Expanded Must have scored a basic score of six to be eligible to obtain up to THREE additional, Core expanded core points Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis Uses all or almost all of the documents Skillfully uses the documents to support thesis Displays an understanding of the nuances or shades of difference among the documents Analyzes the point of view in at least FOUR documents Discusses how key ideas, institutions, and trends change over time Brings in relevant outside information

2 Strategies Have an appropriate thesis Use more than half of the documents in your essay Address the question in its entirety Organize your documents into categories for analysis (at least TWO per category group) Analyze point of view (POV!!!) Writing Prereading (15 minutes!) 1. Begin by thoroughly understanding all aspects of the question look for key words/command words in the question that help you understand what is being asked of you (compare and contrast, analyze, etc.). 2. Review each document thinking about: a. Who? b. When? c. Where? d. What it means in relation to the question asked e. Why was it created? (POV) f. For whom was it created? 3. While reading, underline short passages within the document which are relevant to constructing your answer. Circle key factual information provided in the source selection relevant to understanding point of view. 4. Create categories for analyzing the question and group the documents, by number, in these categories. (You can use multiple documents in multiple categories. A category/group must consist of AT LEAST 2 documents. You need AT LEAST 3 groups. I recommend using a table, see Table for Categorization below) 5. Brainstorm any outside information that you could provide which is relevant to the question. Writing (45 minutes) 6. Introductory Paragraph. Combine the information gleaned from the documents and from the brainstorming (#5) into categories to address in the essay and create a thesis statement that reflects the information, categories, and your position. (Start introductory paragraph with any outside history or information that leads up to this question. End with your explicit thesis thesis should answer the question!) 7. Body Paragraphs. Construct paragraphs that begin with a broad topic sentence addressing one of the categories of analysis chosen (you need at least 3 categories to group your documents into!) and relate back to the thesis. Each sentence in the paragraph should then be used to supplement and support your paragraph s topic sentence. Finish each paragraph with a concluding sentence that summarizes the topic sentence of the paragraph and relates back to the thesis.

3 8. Conclusion. Use your concluding sentences to the body paragraphs to prove your thesis. The conclusion can help show the structure of your essay meets the core scoring system. Use the following method to show that you grouped properly and used the proper number of documents: Documents,, and, illustrate Documents,, and illustrate Documents,, and illustrate Therefore (end with thesis being proven). Ending the essay with what happened next in history may possibly also earn you a bonus. Table for Categorization Use this table when looking over the documents. Come up with at least three of these tables and use at least two documents within each category. This will not only provide the topic sentences for your body paragraph, but it will greatly help you structure your ideas to make a cohesive essay that meets all of the basic criteria. Category Doc # POV Attribution

4 A Specific Example DBQ 14: Dictatorships and the Second World War (Chapter 29) Question: Identify the key concepts that motivated authoritarian governments and rulers in the interwar years ( ), and then explain why those concepts were so appealing. Step One: Fully understand the question. What are the key words or command words in the question? What is the question asking you to do? This is a two part question it is asking to IDENTIFY the key concepts that inspired authoritarian governments and their leaders. It is also asking you to EXPLAIN why those concepts were so popular. You must address both parts of the question. Steps Two through Four: Read and review the documents. Now, you want to begin to look at each document and as you are reviewing, put them into categories. Let s go through each of the 10 documents. Document 1 is a reprint of the revolutionary Spartacist Manifesto written by three communists at the conclusion of WWI. It blames the horrors of WWI on the ruling classes and argues that these same ruling classes will not be able to prevent further conflicts. o POV: This piece was written by German communists at the time of German surrender at the end of WWI. Document 2 is a passage from a speech given by the French philosopher Paul Valery in 1922 Switzerland. He notes economic and political disturbances resulting from the war but asserts the wounds to the human mind are paramount. o POV: Was on the victorious side of the Allies (France) in WWI. Focused more on ideas than material consequences but recognizes the material consequences were horrific. Document 3 is a Nazi propaganda poster found in Germany in Claims that German white and blue-collar workers suffer under the control of a puppet master of Capital, a well-fed and well-dressed Jewish businessman. o POV: Nazi propaganda aimed at building support for the party. Document 4 is a passage from Revolt of the Masses written by a Spanish philosopher in It focuses on a key characteristic of fascism, a new form of authoritarianism that believes decisions are not necessarily based on reason. o POV: A Spaniard writing about the emergence of fascism he has witnessed in Italy and in Germany and maybe brewing in his homeland as well. Document 5 is a passage from a 1931 speech by Stalin to Soviet industrial managers. Focuses on the competition between bolshevism and capitalism: a competition that Stalin believes bolshevism must win or be destroyed. Plays on nationalism of the managers. o POV: Stalin was dictator of the Soviet Union. He presided over a government that was authoritarian because it saw itself in a struggle with capitalism for world supremacy. Document 6 an excerpt from an Italian Encyclopedia article written by Benito Mussolini and published in Emphasizes fascist belief in authority, collectivism, and the state.

5 o POV: Describes important points of fascism in the words of Italian fascist leader Mussolini, who came to power during the early 1920s. Document 7 is a chart providing unemployment figures in Europe in 1932 during the Great Depression. o POV: Statistics are probably reliable unless a case can be made for a bias among the three providers. Document 8 is a passage from a 1935 German racial biology textbook. o POV: Provides insights into Nazi s racial world view from a Nazi era German textbook. Document 9 is an excerpt from The Fate of Man in the Modern World written by exiled Russian philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev. o POV: An exiled philosopher banished by the Soviet Union. Document 10 is a passage from Arthur Koestler s The God That Failed, published in o POV: Be cautious in using this passage as he was a Hungarian émigré writing after the conclusion of WWII and during the early years of the Cold War. Using these documents which you have just reviewed, try grouping them into at least three categories using the charts (you may come up with more than three but you need at least three to meet core scoring). Remember that the categories you choose must support your thesis and your thesis, in this example, must answer BOTH parts of the question: Category: Racism Doc # POV Attribution Category: Nationalism Doc # POV Attribution

6 Category: Disillusionment with 19 th century ideaologies Doc # POV Attribution Step Five: Brainstorm outside information. Remember, it must be relevant to the question. This could refer to Nazi stab-in-back theory, Stalin s Five Year Plans, Socialism in One Country, the fuhrer, historical and religious roots of anti-semitism, a discussion of alienation and dehumanization that resulted from trench warfare during WWI, German hyperinflation and reparations, the Nuremberg Laws, materialism and/or Marxism. Now, you should have everything together it is it time to write! Writing Step Six: Introductory Paragraph. Using the brainstormed information about outside information, start constructing your introductory paragraph and end with your EXPLICIT thesis. Outside Information Thesis

7 Step Seven: Writing your body paragraphs. Use the category groupings to form your three supporting paragraphs. The first sentence should introduce the category. The subsequent sentences will provide support for your category (make sure you use attribution cite by referring to what the person in the document said, In Luther s letter not by simply saying document 1 ). The final sentence should be used to relate your paragraph back to your thesis. Topic Sentence (Using Category) Supporting Sentences (Use proper attribution) Final Sentence (Relates back to thesis) Topic Sentence (Using Category) Supporting Sentences (Use proper attribution) Final Sentence (Relates back to thesis)

8 Topic Sentence (Using Category) Supporting Sentences (Use proper attribution) Final Sentence (Relates back to thesis) Step Eight: Writing your conclusion. The easiest way to write your conclusion is to just follow this simple format: Documents,, and, illustrate Documents,, and, illustrate Documents,, and, illustrate Therefore (end with thesis being proven) You re Done!

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