How to Write a DBQ Essay: A Comprehensive Approach

DBQ Essay

DBQ essay is one of the most common writing, in AP history exams. If you are a beginner then it would be really difficult for you to know how to write a DBQ essay. This essay is the most commonly asked question in the Social Studies exams. It is completely based on the understanding of the question and the way of writing.  So here we are going to explore a complete analysis of DBQ essays. Starts with the DB2 essays and how to write a DBQ essay.

DBQ Essay


What Is a DBQ?

If you want to know how to write a DBQ, then, first of all, you should understand what a DBQ is.  If we summarize it then you can say a DBQ essay or Document Based Question is an assigned academic paper. It is assigned from the part of (APUSH)  or you can say AP US history exam. This exam is set by the US college board. It generally requires a student’s knowledge of a specific topic, as well as evidence from three to sixteen credible sources.


What is a DBQ Outline?

If you are a beginner then it would be really difficult for you to understand and know how to write a DBQ essay. This is why we collect the information from the professional writer and listed it here for you for a better understanding of how to write a DBQ. You can choose the writing style as per your references.  But in DBQ you have to follow a simple format like a regular essay which includes an introduction, body part, and conclusion.



An introductory sentence is what hooks your audience’s interest. Explain the topic’s history. At this point, using source-related historical occurrences can be beneficial.



Describe the claims in your paper that are supported by evidence. Make a summary of the evidence that will be used in the body paragraphs. Write a paragraph outlining how the DBQ essay question will be addressed.


Body Part

Body parts contain important information, and this is where you can include your strongest argument. This must be related to the thesis statement. Include a breakdown of the references that are relevant to the strongest argument. Write a statement that summarizes the analysis from a different perspective. Include a link to the dissertation. Create a transition sentence from the previous body paragraph.

To know how to write a DBQ, you would know more about what you can include in a body paragraph. Include a reasonable argument that connects to the thesis, as well as the first argument from the previous body paragraph. Include a breakdown of the references that are relevant to the strongest argument. Write a statement that summarizes the analysis from a different perspective. Include a link to the dissertation. Create a transition sentence from the previous body paragraph.

Include a reasonable argument that connects to the thesis, as well as the second argument from the previous body paragraph. Include a breakdown of the references that are relevant to the strongest argument. Write a statement that summarizes the analysis from a different perspective. Include a link to the dissertation. Create a transition sentence from the introduction to the conclusion. There are some DBQ examples available to help you understand and learn more about it.



The conclusion is located at the end of the DBQ essay and is where you can summarize the entire paper’s argument. Include the main points or key information from the sources. Create a final sentence or question that challenges the point of view that is argued against by these sources.


How to Write a DBQ: Preparation 

In the next section, I’ll give guidance on how to establish a baseline for your essay writing skills and how to build them. After that, I will break down the DBQ rubric and show you how to take another DBQ to see how you’ve improved and what you need to work on. You’ll be acing practice DBQs before you know it!


1. Create a Baseline

The first step is to be prepared to know How to Write a DBQ—that is, to determine where you stand on your DBQ abilities. This will state where you should concentrate your preparation efforts.

To do this, you will take a timed practice DBQ and have it graded by a trusted teacher or advisor using the adequate rubric.


How can you prepare for the baseline?

There’s no need to panic if you don’t know much about how to write a DBQ. Muddle your way through a practice exam. Instead, use this guide to help you establish a baseline. It will allow you to focus on the areas that need improvement during the actual exam. In the following section, we’ll go over how to use this guide to practice for each exam.


2. Develop Foundational Skills

In this section, I’ll go over the fundamental writing skills you’ll need to ace a DBQ exam. I’ll go over how to outline essays and provide some sample outline ideas for the DBQ. Following that, I’ll discuss time management and how to integrate information. For this, you can use the documents in your writing in an unobtrusive manner.


Outlining and Formatting Your Essay

A good outline will state your thesis and how you intend to support it in your body paragraphs. While the general principles of essay outlining apply, the DBQ format will have its own set of outlining. To that end, I’ve included some sample outlines to assist you to hit all the crucial details.


3: Learn the How to write a DBQ Rubric

If you want to know how to write the DBQ Rubric. Hen you should know, it is divided into four sections and these sections are.


A: Thesis – 2 Points

According to the College Board, your thesis should be located in either your introduction or your conclusion. One of the requirements is that it be defensible, which means that it can be supported by documents and historical facts. A simple but effective thesis could be, “This is good: it answers the question and states the two responses to suffrage that will be analyzed.” A super thesis would consider the relationships between the documents (as well as the people behind the documents!).


B: Document Analysis – 2 Points

Make sure you’re not summarizing documents in a list, but that you’re also connecting them to the main points of your paragraphs. If you don’t understand why what you’re writing about a document is relevant to your main point, neither will the AP grader.


C: Using Evidence Beyond the Documents – 2 Points

What, for example, do you need to know about the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression? Look for examples of contextual information about that topic if you can’t remember! This will aid in the filling of knowledge gaps. Pull up your College Board prompts and write down all the contextualizing facts. These examples you can think of to practice your outside information skills.


D: Synthesis – 1 Point

All you have to do for synthesis is connect your argument about this time to another time. It includes some geographical areas and historical movements.  If you’re writing an essay about the depression, compare it to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Make sure to include a few words explaining why the connection is significant!


4: Focus on Your Skill-Building Strategy to know how to write a DBQ

What should you do after you’ve established your baseline and prepared for days? It’s time for another practice DBQ to see how far you’ve come. If you are working on many skills at the same time, I recommend combining your practice exercises. This will help you prepare for the test day. It will have to combine all the rubric skills in a timed environment.


5: Take another Practice DBQ

So you’ve spent hours studying your thesis and identifying the skills you need to improve before taking your exam. Take another time, practice DBQ from a different prompt to see how you’ve improved. Recruit the same trusted advisor to grade and provide feedback on your exam. Work on any skills that need to be improved. Repeat this process as needed until you are scoring your target score. Then all you have to do is keep your skills up until test day.


How to write a DBQ: Final Draft

To know how to write a DBQ essay, you must focus on two main aspects: proper planning and the use of effective methods. In the AP exam, you typically have 15 minutes to read and 40 minutes to write the DBQ essay (the total time given is 55 minutes). You must use the first 15 minutes to comprehend the essay question, reflect on it, and organize the documents. It is not necessary to begin writing before 15 minutes; instead, use this time to plan your paper. Even if this task appears to be a difficult nut to crack, you can easily hammer on it if you follow these DBQ academic writing tips.


1. Read and comprehend the question (15 Minutes)

Determine critical details such as the location, personalities, period, and so on. Underline these items because you may need them if the question is a compare and contrast. Write down your thoughts and any other information that you can connect to this question. Make sure to do the brainstorming before reading the documents because it will be difficult to think about other information while the documents are on your mind. Once you understand the question, you will be able to answer it correctly.


2. Analyze the documents effectively (1 hour)

Although the number of documents varies from exam to exam, you must examine as many as possible. You must also include evidence from beginning to end to back up your claims. Articles, speeches, letters, legislation excerpts, charts, pictures, maps, and diary entries are all examples of documents. Some documents may be well-known, but nearly all will be unfamiliar to you.


3. Write the basic idea of the text (30 Minutes)

Determine who created the document to know how to write a DBQ. Answer the questions about the document as best you can. Make a list of the most significant events mentioned in the documents. Sort the documents into different groups so that you can properly analyze the information. You can use this information when you are writing an essay. Instead of labeling the documents as “document 1” or “document 2,” use the document’s title.


4. Present a thesis statement (30 Minutes)

Make a summary of your essay and determine what you are already familiar with as well as which documents you will use in your paper. Make a separate paragraph for each concept you want to discuss.


5. Write an essay (45 minutes)

Your main goal If you want to know how to write a DBQ. First of all, you should know how to write a good thesis with strong and clear paragraphs supported by evidence that answers the essay question and properly concludes it.



Introduce the reader to the topic. Give a historical context for the topic, as well as the ideas you will describe and present a thesis for.


Body paragraphs

This section usually consists of two or more paragraphs. Each paragraph should only cover one topic. Analyze the documents that you had divided into groups. Begin with the first set of documents, and begin each paragraph with a topic statement. Make use of as many documents as possible. Write down the information that you learned in class and back it up with documents. Check that each point is relevant to the thesis statement and is supported by a suitable document or external information. It is critical to use external information to receive the most credit for DBQ academic writing. Remember that there is no single correct answer for the DBQ essay. You can use the evidence to support your claim.



Begin by paraphrasing the goal of your how to write a DBQ essay and providing a summary of the ideas expressed in previous sections. Discuss the essay questions related to the real world. If you don’t have time to write a lengthy conclusion, end your essay with a few sentences rather than abruptly.


6. Proofread (10 Minutes)

Ideally, to know how to write a DBQ, you should proofread your DBQ essays after writing to ensure that the names, dates, and documents are correct. Also, make sure that the essay flows and that all of the paragraphs are in a logical order.

If you want to feel more confident and improve your chances of writing an excellent timed essay on your AP exam, you should practice more and learn more about the exam. Use these tips to write a DBQ essay and improve your writing skills.


Wrapping Up:

I hope now you completely understand what DBQ is and how to write a DBQ essay. If You are a beginner then you have to practice regularly.

Here we have also discussed how to write a DBQ essay for your final exams. You can do a time division in different parts of essays.  You have to stick to that schedule only.

If you are looking for someone for writing my essay then you can also connect with us. We have a team of professional academic writers.  They can write content as per your university or college norms that help you to get good grades.