How to Write a DBQ in APUSH in
FIVE EASY STEPS

Read the prompt



Brainstorm OI using categories

Read the documents and place in the
categories



Write thesis



Write essay



STEP ONE: Read the questions

Read the question. (What am I supposed to
answer in my essay?)



Pay attention to verbs!



**Review IB terms on the board.

STEP TWO: Brainstorm

Similar to what we do for the FRQ, we
brainstorm for the DBQ FIRST. You are
required to demonstrate a thorough
knowledge of the TOPIC not just the
documents!



You can use the pre-write structure. (T-chart,
venn diagram, etc.)



STEP THREE

Read the documents. Itís a good idea to take
little notes in the margins about the main idea
of each. That way you donít spend time later
re-reading each one.



Be careful to pay attention to APPARTS stuff.
Underline author/date to save time.

As you go, jot down which category each doc
goes into.



STEP FOUR: Thesis

Use the formula to guide you. (X, However A,
B,C therefore, Y)



You need to do TWO things in a thesis:

Say what you are going to write about (this is
where you answer the question- Y)

Say how youíre going to answer the question
(this is where you set up your answer- ABC)

STEP FIVE: Write the body

Each paragraph should have a category.
NEVER write chronologically.

You should answer the question using the
documents AND outside informationÖ DONíT
RELY ON THE DOCS ALONE!



Avoid direct quotes. If you do use them, you
must apply them to the prompt!

Write a conclusion if you have time.

PRACTICE!

Use the 1993 DBQ to practice the steps 1-4.
You are not writing the full essay so ignore
five.



Remember to brainstorm for OI first then look
at the docs.