Based question requirements for the Essay and Point Values for Each

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Requirements for the Essay and Point Values for Each:

  1. Has acceptable thesis 1 point

    1. Thesis may be in multiple sentences in the first (introductory) paragraph / last (conclusion) paragraph

    2. Thesis must fully respond to all parts of the prompt. Simply restating the prompt is unacceptable. Demonstrate analysis of the documents in light of the prompt by synthesizing your own thesis.

In other words, the thesis is your answer to the prompt.

    1. Thesis cannot count for any other point

  1. Addresses all of the documents and demonstrates understanding

of all or all but one document 1 point

    1. In no case should documents simply be cited and summarized in a list; reference to the documentary material must always be closely tied to the essay question. Stay focused on the task at hand!

    2. There are no irrelevant or deliberately misleading documents.

  1. Supports thesis with appropriate evidence from all or

all but one document 2 points

    1. Analyze a short phrase or characteristic in/of each document in a way that supports your argument. (Direct quotations may be used but do not count without analysis! Keep direct quotes at maximum 5 words long!)


(Supports thesis with appropriate evidence from

all but two documents) (1 point)

  1. Analyzes point of view (POV) in at least THREE documents 1 point

    1. Awareness of the documents’ sources and their authors’ points of view requires students to demonstrate the analytic skills of understanding context, point of view, and frame of reference.

    2. Pay attention to both internal evidence (the content and tone of each document in relation to the others) and external evidence (identification of author, purpose or intended audience, and the date when each document was written).

    3. Simply restating a source’s author and background does not constitute analysis of a document’s POV.

    4. To receive credit for analyzing POV, you must identify and explain the likely perspective of the three sources.

    5. Ask yourself if the information given in the document is: Credible? Legitimate? Reliable? Biased? Why or Why Not? ”; If you state this and explain = POV CREDIT!!!

  1. Analyzes documents by grouping them in three ways,

depending on the question 1 point

    1. You can group or juxtapose documents in a variety of ways (for instance, according to their ideas or points of view)

    2. Groupings that are sorted by common geographical links or time periods will not be counted as acceptable.

    3. Identify each grouping in each body paragraph’s topic sentence, e.g. “Han and Roman government authorities used their power to their own advantage (Docs. 2, 7, & 4).”

  1. Identifies and explains the need for two types of appropriate additional

document or source to better fully answer the prompt 1 point

    1. This may involve discussing what relevant points of view are missing from the set of documents.

    2. Your explanations must show recognition of the documents given and the reality or the types of sources available from the past. (It does not have to be a specific historical document (ex. Magna Carta))


EXPANDED CORE (excellence)

Expands beyond the basic core of 1-7 points.

****A student must earn the 7 points in the basic core area before earning points in the expanded area.****


  • Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis

  • Shows careful and insightful analysis of the documents

  • Uses documents persuasively as evidence

  • Analyzes point of view in most or all documents

  • Analyzes the documents in additional ways – groupings, comparisons, syntheses

  • Brings in relevant “outside” historical content

  • Explains why additional types of document(s) or sources are needed

SUBTOTAL 1 or 2 Points

(at teacher’s discretion)



Things to Note About DBQs:

  • Topic sentences (1st sentence in each body paragraph) must clearly reveal in what way you are grouping the documents.

    • It helps to identify to the reader what documents you are going to use in supporting that grouping by referencing them after the topic sentence.

      • ex. “Roman women were expected to be ___________ (docs. 1, 2, and 3).”

  • Groupings are developed using evidence from 2 of more documents.

  • Do use documents in more than one grouping if you can. This reveals sophisticated thinking!

  • You do not have to use the entire document to gain evidence to support your argument.

  • Quotations are not encouraged on DBQs. State the point you want to make and explain how it supports your grouping.

  • To reference sources in DBQs:

    • “Document 1 states that…”

    • “Seneca says… (doc. 1).”

  • Merely stating a document’s creator and their position DOES NOT count as point-of-view analysis.

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