Writing a dbq essay Scaffolding questions

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Writing a DBQ Essay

Scaffolding questions

  • These can earn you a lot of points on your Regents!
  • Even if the document is long, look at the question that goes with the document and scan through the document to try and find the answer
  • Document 1-Rome entered a period of peace during the reign of Augustus Caesar called the Pax Romana.
  • “Everywhere roads are traced, every district is known, every country opened to commerce.… the fields are planted, the marshes drained. There are now as many cities as there were once solitary cottages. Villages and towns have lost their terrors. Wherever there is a trace of life, there are houses, well-ordered governments and civilized life.”
  • What was life like in Rome during the Pax Romana?
  • How did the Romans create such a sense of peace?

The TASK Always make sure you address all aspects of the Task

  • DBQ- Greece and Rome
  • Historical Context:
  • Throughout history different civilizations have contributed to the cultural and intellectual life of humanity. These periods are often called Golden Ages, as a society enjoys not only cultural and intellectual achievements, but also stable government and a strong economy.
  • Task:
  • Using the documents, describe and analyze at least TWO achievements of each civilization- Greece and Rome
  • Explain how the accomplishments of these civilizations have impacted other societies throughout history and today
  • Which civilization made the most impressive achievements, Greece or Rome? Explain.

How many documents should I use in my essay?

What is the purpose of the introduction?

Body Paragraphs

  • Use the task of the essay to determine the number of body paragraphs to have in your essay
  • Information from the Documents:
    • The documents are there to provide you with ideas
    • Documents must be cited as you discuss them in your essay
      • Cite the documents in any of these ways
        • According to Document 1, blah blah blah
        • In Document 1, blah blah blah
        • Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah (Document 1).

Body Paragraphs

  • Outside information:
    • Any information which is not in the documents
    • Comes from your knowledge of the subject
    • You need a good amount of outside info in order to get a 3 on your essay!! Without outside information the highest score you can get on your essay is a 2!!!


  • Restate the main ideas of your essay in a new way
  • You can use the Historical Context again


  • Includes outside information in the essay
  • Cites the documents used in the essay
  • Uses the proper # of documents in the essay
  • Essay is organized
  • Essay contains analysis (“because”)
  • Essay addresses all parts of the Task
  • Essay has an Introduction and Conclusion (does not simply rewrite the historical context)


  • Uses “I” in the essay
  • Essay doesn’t have outside information
  • Essay doesn’t discuss the proper # of documents
  • Essay lacks organization
  • Copies the historical context word for word as the Introduction and/or Conclusion

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