How to Write A DBQ Essay – Regents Prep Global History

How to Write A DBQ Essay

DBQ stands for “Document based question” where there will be a number of documents provided with the essay question to analyze and use when presenting your thesis, as well as in your main point paragraphs. The documents contain bias, and it helps to point it out during your essay.


  1. Copy the Historical Context
  2. Add an outside sentence after each sentence within the Historical Context.
  3. Define a word from the Historical Context if you cant’ think of anything else
  4. Look at the TASK bullet or bullets and put them into a sentence by removing the discuss or describe and adding “there are “ or anything that makes sense to you.

Body Paragraphs

  1. Make sure you have labeled each document with a task number.
  2. Copy your answers directly from the constructed response in the task Numerical order.  Put all the 1”s first then the 2’S… depending on how many tasks there are.
  3. You can make a separate paragraph for each constructed response or if there are only a few of one task you can put them together in a paragraph.


  1. Rewrite the Historical Context
  2. Add an outside sentence after each sentence within the Historical Context
  3. This time instead of defining a word as you did in your introduction add key phrases from your body paragraphs

Wenzel’s World – How to write a DBQ

How to Answer a DBQ

What do you do once you open the DBQ package?

  1. Read the historical context and determine the theme of the documents
  2. Read the Tasks and number each bullet point
  3. Begin the documents

How do you read a document?

  1. Read the caption or the title
  2. Read the question
  3. Look at the document for the answer
  4. Underline what you think is important and the answer to the question

How do you answer a document correctly?

Begin with –

  •    According to
  •    Based on
  •    As it can be seen
  1. Rewrite the caption or title
  2. Transform the question into a statement
  3. Write answer from the document
  4. Add any outside information to flesh out the answer
  5. Decide which “task” the question belongs to and write the number
  6. Decide which “task” the question belongs to and write the number next to the question.  Then answer the ”Task” question with regards to that particular document.  This will be your last sentence

If there is only one part to a question, do steps 1- 6

If there are two parts to a question

  • Steps 1-4
  • Steps 3-6

*In a two-part question, you may find that the second question answers a different task than the first question.  If this is the case, complete step 6 to both questions.

Examples of DBQ Essays…..

thank you Sharon Ritch

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