Dbq elements ap world history grouping

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DBQ Elements



  • At Least 3 groups in each DBQ
  • Groupings should be based on the different responses to Buddhism
    • Be as specific as possible in descriptions of groupings
    • Are there any connections between reactions, trends or events and the historical time period?
    • All Documents must be used at least once
    • Documents can be used in more than one grouping!
    • At least two documents in each group


  • Point-of-View statements should analyze how aspects of the author’s character/background or time period influence their statements in the given primary source.
  • Must have at least THREE Point of View Statements

Tips for Writing POV Statements

  • WHY does the author have this opinion
  • What informs the author’s opinion or target audience?
  • Is the document trustworthy? Why or why not?

Examples of POV Statements

  • Unacceptable: Ralph Fitch is biased because he is British.
    • Why this is wrong: You must go beyond a mere description of the individual and explain WHY this fact is significant in the analysis of the document.

Examples of POV Statements

  • Acceptable: “As an English scholar, D’Avenant would certainly have wanted to support England’s own economic gain and any Parliamentary movement that would accomplish this.”
  • Excellent: He Qiaoyuan, a Ming court official wrote to the emperor that the trade ban should be lifted because there are very high prices for Chinese goods on the market. His motives are suspicious since goods from his native provinces are desirable and he stands to gain from the lift of the ban, but this also shows a changing attitude of the Chinese on trade with foreigners.”

Additional Document Recommendation

  • Need to recommend at least one additional document
  • More than one could help you get into an expanded core if done correctly
  • Does NOT have to be a specific author or title of document
  • Can be placed anywhere in your response  Makes for a good conclusion

Question for Additional Document

  • Whose voice is missing from this discussion? What could that additional voice tell you about the topic?
  • Can NOT be someone who is similar to the given authors or information/POV similar to the given sources

Examples of Additional Document

  • Unacceptable: “It would be good to have a document from a peasant”
    • Does not explain WHY it would be good to hear from a peasant? How do you think a peasant might have thought about these issues differently from any of the given authors?

Examples of Additional Documents

  • Acceptable: “It would help to have a document from a Japanese merchant, to see if the effects of the silver trade affected the Japanese economy as much as it did the Chinese and Spanish.”
    • Description and explanation provided

Thesis Statements

  • What Your Thesis Needs to Have:
    • Time
    • Region(S)
    • Topic
    • Groups
    • Previews (brief descriptions of groups)

What Your DBQ Thesis Should NOT Include:

  • References to specific documents
  • Quotes from specific documents

Examples of Thesis Statements

  • Unacceptable: “There were many social and economic effects of the global trade in silver around the world.”
    • Only restates the question  Vague
  • Barely Acceptable: “The global silver trade from the mid-16th century to the early 18th century produced profound social changes in Spain, Ming China, Tokugawa Japan, England and the Netherlands, and geratly reshaped the world economy.”
    • Ok, but so vague that it really doesn’t demonstrate a strong understanding of the topic.

Examples of Thesis Statements

  • Acceptable: “The global flow of silver between 1500 and 1750 CE had many social and economic effects, such as increasing class distinctions in China and Europe, as well as hurting Spain’s economy.”
    • More specific, with distinctions between social and economic effects.
  • Excellent: “The increased flow of silver during the mid-16th century to the early 18th century caused social and economic effects in all regions connected with the trade by increasing the integration of Europeans in the globalization of world trade and creating greater economic opportunities but also growing social divisions within China.”
    • Sums up different social and economic effects facing different regions, and also previews the POV several documents will be analyzed later in the essay. This thesis would likely be eligible for the “Expanded Core” as a “clear, analytical, comprehensive thesis.”

Outline for DBQ

  • 1st Paragraph: Thesis
  • 2nd Paragraph: First Group
  • 3rd: Second Group
  • 4th: Third Group
  • 5th: Conclusion
  • Additional document can go anywhere  most people put it in conclusion
  • Should have at least one POV in each body paragraph
  • Do not mention docs in Intro or Conclusion
  • Do NOT refer to sources by anything other than title or author. Cite sources in Parentheses. Ex (Doc #5)

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