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DBQ essay

Critically examine the contents of the documents before you write DBQ essays

In order to understand how a DBQ essay needs to be written, it is first necessary to understand a Document Based Question completely. This is a kind of exercise that a research scholar is expected to master. In fact, in many colleges today students are tutored on how to glean information from documents and answer questions that are based on them. It might sound easy to most people. Unfortunately, many students think that this is another form of writing comprehension. In reality, it is a lot more complex than that. One cannot hope to work on a Document Based essay if you are not familiar with the steps that researchers have to follow.

A few points to be remembered while answering Document Based Questions

1/-       The main prerequisite of this kind of task is to look at the documents provided, with a critical eye. It could also be referred to as a critical analysis essay or a critical lens essay. The student cannot merely refer to the document in his essay. Instead, he has to ensure that the document is studied in depth and understood likewise.

2/-       The student could be called upon to make comparisons or even draw analogies in the course of writing such DBQ essays. It is not enough if the document is studied in isolation. There should be correlation between the document given and other similar or related documents that the student would have to collect as resource material. It would be considered a very bad essay if the student was not able to connect the given document to others that were relevant to the study.

3/-       Essays based on documents should assess and evaluate the relevance and worthiness of the data presented in the documents. If the student limits himself to describing the document, it would be insufficient. Instead, he should be able to garner the required info and also mention in what way the same is relevant to the topic.

4/-       A good DBQ essay also analyzes two or more perspectives that are diametrically opposite to one another, in the document. This would indicate that the student has understood the contents of the document completely and hence is able to pit one perspective against the other and come up with a skillful analysis. This is possible only when you are able to critically examine the document and also relate it to other materials or resources on the same subject.

5/-       When you answer a question that is based on a document given, it is important to write it as a mere description. An analysis is required; this needs to have a proper format with an intro, a body and a conclusion. It is therefore necessary to understand this particular essay writing technique well before getting into the task of writing a Document Based Question essay.

If you feel a bit diffident about this specific writing task, please get in touch with us. We can give you tips on critical thinking and writing and thus ensure that your DBQ essays are good in all respects.

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