If you feel like you have trouble telling the difference between a good thesis and a not-so-good one, here are a few resources you can consult: This site from suny empire has an exercise in choosing the best thesis from several options. Its meant for research papers, but the general rules as to what makes a good thesis apply. M has another exercise in choosing thesis statements specifically for short essays. Note, however, that most of the correct answers here would be good thesis statements as opposed to super thesis statements. So how do you practice your thesis statement skills for the dbq? While you should definitely practice looking at dbq questions and documents and writing a thesis in response to those, you may also find it useful to write some practice thesis statements in response to the Free-response questions. While you wont be taking any documents into account in your argument for the Free-response questions, its good practice on how to construct an effective thesis in general.
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More importantly, how are you going to write an entire essay on how one offhand comment by marie antoinette caused the entire revolution? This is both implausible and overly simplistic. A good thesis answers the question. If latoya writes, The reign of Terror led to the ultimate demise of the French revolution and ultimately paved the way for Napoleon Bonaparte to seize control of France, she may be making a reasonable, defensible claim, but it doesnt answer the question, which is not about. A good thesis makes it clear where you are going in your essay. Lets say juan writes, The French revolution, while caused by a variety of political, skywriting social, and economic factors, was primarily incited by the emergence of the highly educated bourgeois class. . This thesis provides a mini-roadmap for the entire essay, laying out that juan is going to discuss the political, social, and economic factors that led to the revolution, in that order, and that he will argue that the members of the bourgeois class were the. This is a great thesis! It answers the question, makes an overarching point, and provides a clear idea of what the writer is going to discuss in the essay. To review: a good thesis makes a claim, responds to the prompt, and lays out what you will discuss in your essay.
Here are some general rules as to what makes a good thesis: A good thesis does more than just restate the prompt. Lets say our class prompt is: Analyze the primary factors that led to the French revolution. Gregory business writes, There were many factors that caused the French revolution as his thesis. This is not an effective thesis. All it does is vaguely restate the prompt. A good thesis makes a plausible claim that you can defend in an essay-length piece of writing. Maybe karen writes, marie antoinette caused the French revolution when she said Let them eat cake because it made people mad. This is not an effective thesis, either. For one thing, marie antoinette never said that.
You need a stronger foundation than this sand castle. 2: develop foundational skills In this section, Ill water discuss the foundational writing skills you need to write a dbq. Ill start with some general information on crafting an effective thesis, since this is a skill you will need for any dbq exam (and for your entire academic life). Then, Ill go over outlining essays, with some sample outline ideas for the dbq. After Ill touch on time management. Finally, ill briefly discuss how essays to non-awkwardly integrate information from your documents into your writing. It sounds like a lot, but not only are these skills vital to your academic career in general, you probably already have the basic building blocks to master them in your arsenal! Writing An Effective thesis Writing a good thesis is a skill you will need to develop for all your dbqs, and for any essay you write, on the ap or otherwise.
This page was created primarily for the ap european History long Essay question, but the definitions are still useful for the dbq on all the history exams, particularly since these are the definitions provided by the college board. Once you feel oriented, take your practice exam! Dont worry if you dont do well on your first practice! Thats what studying is for. The point of establishing a baseline is not to make you feel bad, but to empower you to focus your efforts on the areas you need to work. . Even if you need to work on all the areas, that is completely fine and doable! Every skill you need for the dbq can be built. In the following section, well go over these skills and how to build them for each exam.
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If they cant help you, they may be able to direct you ordu to resources who can. You could also ask a school guidance counselor to direct you to in-school resources you could use. This is especially helpful if they are familiar with the test, although even if they arent, they can still advise—the dbq is mostly testing academic writing skills under pressure. Again, ideally your trusted advisor will be familiar with the ap, but if you have used your parents for writing help in the past they can also assist here. You might try an older friend who has already taken the exam and did though bear in mind that some people are better at doing than scoring and/or explaining!
Can i prepare for my baseline? If you know nothing about the dbq and youd like to do a little basic familiarization before you establish your baseline, thats completely fine. Theres no point in taking a practice exam if you are going to panic and muddle your way through it; it wont give a useful picture of your skills. For a basic orientation, check out my article for a basic introduction to the dbq including dbq format. If you want to look at one or two sample essays, see my article for a list of dbq example essay resources. Keep in mind that you should use a fresh prompt you havent seen to establish your baseline, though, so if you do look at samples dont use those prompts to set your baseline. I would also check out this page about the various task words associated with ap essay questions.
I advise you to save all these links, or even download all the Free response questions and the Scoring guides, for reference because you will be using them again and again for practice. Ap european History for this exam, youll be given a 15-minute reading period and 45 minutes of writing time. The college board has provided practice questions for the exam, including a dbq (see page 200 in the linked document). If youve already seen this question, the only other questions available through the college board are in the old format, because the 2016 dbq is in a new, seven-point format identical to the ap us history exam. Just be sure to use the new dbq rubric if you want to use any of the old prompts provided by the college board.
(DBQs are in the documents titled Free-response questions.) i advise you to save all these links (or even download all the Free response questions and the Scoring guides) for reference, because you will be using them again and again for practice. Who knows—maybe this will be one of your documents! Ap world History for this exam, youll be given a 15-minute reading period and 45 minutes of writing time. . As for the other two history exams, the college board has provided practice questions. See page 166 for the dbq. If youve already seen this question, the only other questions available through the college board are in the old format, because the 2017 World History dbq is in a new, seven-point format identical to the ap us history and ap european History exams. So be sure to use the new dbq rubric if you want to use any of the old prompts provided by the college board. Finding a trusted Advisor to look at your Papers A history teacher would be a great resource, but if they are not available to you in this capacity, here are some other ideas: An English teacher. Ask a librarian at your school or public library!
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Youll be acing practice dbqs before you know it! 1: Establish a baseline, the first thing you need to do is to establish a baseline— figure out where you are at with respect to your dbq skills. This will let you know where you need to focus your preparation efforts. To do this, you will take a timed, practice dbq and have a trusted teacher or advisor grade it according to the appropriate rubric. For the ap us history dbq, youll be given a 15-minute reading period and 45 minutes of writing time. A selection of practice questions from the exam can be found online at the college juan board, including a dbq. (Go to page 136 in the linked document for the practice prompt.) If youve already seen this practice question, essay perhaps in class, you might use the 2015 dbq question. Other available college board dbqs are going to be in the old format (find them in the Free-response questions documents). This is fine if you need to use them, but be sure to use the new rubric (which is out of seven points, rather than nine) to grade.
Preparing for the dbq, the general preparation process is to diagnose, practice, test, and repeat. First, youll figure out what you need to work on by establishing a baseline level for your dbq skills. Then, youll practice building skills. Finally, youll take another dbq to see how you've improved and what you still need to work. In this next section, Ill go over the whole process. First, Ill give guidance essay on how to establish a baseline. Then Ill go over some basic, foundational essay-writing skills and how to build them. After that Ill break down the dbq rubric.
earliest. Another factor is how much you need to work. I recommend you complete a baseline dbq around early february to see where you need to focus your efforts. If, for example, you got a six out of seven and missed one point for doing further document analysis, you wont need to spend too much time studying how to write a DBQ. Maybe just do a document analysis exercise every few weeks and check in a couple months later with another timed practice dbq to make sure youve got. However, if you got a two or three out of seven, youll know you have more work to do, and youll probably want to devote at least an hour or two every week to honing your skills. The general flow of your preparation should be: take a practice dbq, do focused skills practice, take another practice dbq, do focused skills practice, take another practice dbq, and. How often you take the practice dbqs and how many times you repeat the cycle really depends on how much preparation you need, and how often you want to check your progress. Take practice dbqs often enough that the format stays familiar, but not so much that youve done barely any skills practice in between. He's ready to start studying!
Reading the question and Documents. Planning your Essay, writing your Essay, key takeaways. What Should my dbq study timeline be? Your ap exam study timeline depends on a few things. First, how much time you writing have to study per week, and how many hours you want to study in total? If you dont have much time per week, start a little earlier; if you will be able to devote a substantial amount of time per week (10-15 hours) to prep, you can wait until later in the year. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the earlier you start studying for your AP test, the less material you will have covered in class.
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The dbq, or document-based-question, is a somewhat unusually-formatted timed essay on the ap history Exams: ap us history, ap european History, and ap world History. . Because of its unfamiliarity, many students are at a loss as to how to even prepare, let alone how to write a successful dbq essay on test day. I, the dbq wizard and master, have a wealth of preparation strategies for you, as well rainbow as advice on how to cram everything you need to cover into your limited dbq writing time on exam day. When you're done reading this guide, you'll know exactly how to write a dbq. For a general overview of the dbq—what it is, its purpose, its format, etc.—see my article. What is a dbq? Table of Contents, what Should my study timeline be? Preparing for the dbq, establish a baseline. Foundational skills, rubric Breakdown, take another Practice dbq, how Can i succeed on Test day?