How To Write A DBQ Essay In A Correct Manner


If we decipher the name of the essay, we will come up with the Document-Based Question. If you are engaged in working with AP history exams, you probably know what a DBQ essay is. The task is aimed at assessing the knowledge of a student. Writing this type of essay requires you to prove your sufficient knowledge about a specific issue or phenomenon related to history. This essay can also include the analysis of the current events, which you argue with the documents or official papers.

There are students who are familiar with the task. They start writing immediately without any fear. However, lots of students don’t know what a DBQ essay is and how to cope with it. In most cases, the problem is that there are so many documents to work simultaneously. Thus, the students get confused and lose the direction of thought.

If you feel the same when working on a DBQ essay, our guide will help you. We have prepared you with several useful tips to make the writing easier. These tips and tricks have been tested by many students to ensure successful results. Look carefully at the guide and read it through. The information will definitely help you with DBQ.

Takes only several minutes to get paper writing help and hire our experienced paper writers.

Tips to handle the task at ease

Before you take a pen and start writing, you need to prepare for it. If you let these preparations go, you can come up with a frustrating result. The preparatory stage is crucial for a well-written paper. Furthermore, if you feel uncomfortable with writing a DBQ preparation will make you feel more advanced. Adequate preparation is the key to a well-organized, coherent paper.

We’ve gathered essential tips for every student. These are the instructions to be followed. If you take them into account when writing, you will cope with the task easily.

Read thoroughly the requirements

With the task, there are always several requirements concerning different paper writing aspects. To ensure the correctness go your paper, you have to research the requirements meticulously.

  • Look at the question and try to get the main idea behind it.
  • Define the main keywords to understand what period, place, and culture are to be described.
  • Think of the main challenges touched upon in the requirements, whether it be an economic, political, or cultural issue.
  • What is the evidence to be found in the document? Identify them.

At this stage, you have to think little about the documents. Here your task is to research the initial data to know what you deal with. Initial data will give you their understanding of what epoch and situation you will work with. It will also give you a hint on what questions to address. Documents are a source of important material. You will need them to provide evidence. But for starters, your task is to gather all the relevant info to continue working on the subject matter.

What is your stand?

When you are done with the preparation, you can go further. Now you need to define your stand. This isn’t a harsh part. After working with the initial data, you can already know what the task is about. Choose one of the topics that came up to your mind and start developing this perspective. You will have to adjust your thoughts to the paper.

Work on a thesis

Having researched the initial instructions and prompts, you need to create a thesis. This is what will serve you as a guideline for writing. Think of the main idea and make up a thesis that will help you support the idea.

Read the document

You will have to work with some historical documents. To research them carefully, you will need some time. Take your time and read through the papers. This will help you get the theme discussed in the document. When reading, you will be able to relate the document to your particular topic. Figure out whether your issue and the theme in the document are related. Consider the prompts and see how you can apply the information when researching the document. Making notes will help you stay organized and get more information about each source of information.

Don’t forget to categorize the documents

You will be working on several documents. If you don’t categorize them, you can mess up in the end. Take your time and do the task. Relate each paper to the prompt or issue that you’re going to address.

What is the point of view of the author?

When you start providing the reader with the evidence, you need to define the author’s stand. Different authors have written different documents. Your task is to get it clear what the author of a particular document wanted to convey. Try also to understand why the author thought this way. This will be beneficial for the paper.

Group the document

To ensure clarity, you need to create groups for the documents. These groups have to go hand in hand with the thesis of your paper. Furthermore, the groups are to show the study from different points of view.

Use of additional sources

Nevertheless, you have already received several essential documents for writing, and you need to take one more step ahead. Your task is to make use of another documented example. Make sure that this one surely relates to the topic of your paper.

Enhance the thesis section

Remember you’ve already written the paper? Now you can come back to the very beginning and see if you’re satisfied with the result. If you think that your thesis lacks some important details add them. You have to make sure that your thesis part covers every aspect of the writing and has all the important information.

Time to work on a DBQ outline

Like every other essay type, a DBQ paper has a regular structure but with a few deviations from the norm.


First and foremost, you have to start with the historical context. Your task is to immerse the reader in those times and remind them of the subject’s basic events. Tell in a few words about the period that you will describe in the following parts.

In the introduction, you also need to present a thesis. This is usually a sentence or two to explain the main idea of the paper and the research.

Body paragraphs

When working on the massive part of the paper, you need to ensure fluency. If there is no logical information flow, you will suck with the paper. Here you can work with 2-3 body paragraphs. But each of them needs to have a particular structure. Start with an opening sentence and then develop the idea. Don’t make your paragraphs too short. They need to be informative enough to answer the questions.

In this part, you need to work with citations. You can use ones that you find somewhere else. But the best way is to use the citations from the documents provided. A correct citation will not only show your writing skills. It will also show that you’re an expert in the period of the subject.


Now it is time to finish the writing correctly. Restate the thesis and sum up the information. This should be a brief summary of the paper. Don’t do too much in detail. If you want to add something in the end, it’s better to come back to the body paragraphs and insert the information there.

DBQ paper examples

  1. What was the reason for conservatism to rise in the US in the 20th century?
  2. What made women fight for their rights in 1940-1980?
  3. What can you sit about feminism in America in the 20th century?