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Writing a DBQ Essay

Writing a DBQ Essay

Many people equate writing a document-based question essay to a six- four-thousand-dollar question where if you give the correct answers, you answer correctly you will score well in your exam. As such, every student in 2023 should learn how to write a DBQ essay after going through the assigned documents. Briefly speaking, you must read through the documents and determine how they connect to each and the trends visible within the selected period. This is because a DBQ essay tests students’ analytical and comprehension abilities while challenging them to think creatively outside the box. These key abilities are necessary for academic qualification. Although this is the case, many students face challenges in answering the DBQ questions because they lack the requisite skills to compose a DBQ essay. Therefore, our essay writing professionals at Fast Nursing Help will outline how to compose one in this article as well as provide tips and an example.

What Is a Document-Based Question (DBQ)

Many students often wonder what exactly a Document Based Question (DBQ) Essay or “Document Based Question”, is.  As is evident from its name, a DBQ essay comprises a number of documents about a specified period of topic or topic. Put differently, it is an academic paper assigned as part of the Advanced Placement United States History Exam (APUSH) and administered by the United States College Board. When tackling the essay, students must demonstrate their knowledge on any given topic by providing evidence from 3 to 16 credible sources in an organized fashion. Because knowing your way around an APUSH DBQ Essay is key to performing well on the exam day you start practicing early on how to write an excellent DBQ essay.

Learning How to Write a DBQ- The Outline

Even after getting to know what a DBQ essay entails, beginners learning the art of writing a DBQ can find it daunting. To help them overcome this challenge, our professional writers have devised a step-by-step DBQ essay format which you can use as preparation for the test. The post How to write a DBQ essay 2023 also has an introduction, thesis statement, body and conclusion – an ideal preparation!


  • A good introduction sentence should grab the audience’s attention.
  • For maximum impact, consider providing some background on the topic at hand by using sources related to a historical event or person as part of your introduction sentence.

Thesis Which claims can you back with evidence?

  • Write a brief summary of the evidence you will include in each body paragraph,
  • along with how your DBQ question will be approached.

Body of Paragraphs

In view of the fact that this is how to write a great DBQ essay following the five-paragraph format, the body of paragraphs comes after the introduction and thesis statement.

First Paragraph

In the first paragraph be sure to include the following;

  • include your strongest arguments which connect back to the thesis (please refer to our thesis statement for help).
  • include an analysis that identifies the strongest arguments.
  • Write a conclusion from an alternative viewpoint with links back to your thesis statement and
  • write transition sentences between paragraphs

Second Paragraph

In the second body of the paragraph, you should ensure that as you expound on your points you;

  • Include arguments that are reasonable and relevant to your thesis statement. This includes any arguments from previous paragraphs that you raised as new arguments in this one.
  • An analysis should identify which are the strongest arguments.
  • Finally, write a conclusion with a fresh take that also refers back to your thesis statement.
  • Transition sentences must be included at the start of every paragraph, particularly so in

 Third Paragraph

By the time you come to your third paragraph, your thesis has probably already well- established so it’s necessary to present two arguments as soon as possible in each body paragraph (including any from previous paragraphs). Similarly, see to it that you perform an analysis to identify strong arguments that support it.


Now that you are composing the last section of your DBQ essay, you should commence by restating your objective as stated in the thesis statement. That is to say that you write a conclusion from an alternative viewpoint, linking back to your thesis statement and providing transitional sentences that provide continuity within your paper.

When concluding your work, create an overview or summary.

Include only essential or key information when citing sources.

Add an interesting final sentence or question that challenges their arguments against these sources

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Learn How to Write a DBQ Essay With Step-By-Step Instructions from Professional Help

Ideally, the preceding sections of this post have given you a rock-solid grasp of how to write a DBQ essay. Be that as it may, we still recognize that students may find writing a DBQ challenging.  If you happen to be one of them, Do Not to worry! Our step-by-step instruction offers easy guidance that covers key points like how to write one, analysis, time management and proofreading. With this in mind, we hope the students who read to the very end will achieve optimal results provided their paper follows the outlined structure.

The DBQ involves:

  • Planning in 15 Minutes
  • Writing: 2 Hours and 45 Minutes
  • Proofreading in 10 Minutes

Effective time management is crucial to attaining top grades on examinations such as the DBQ. On average, this examination takes three and 15 minutes; you should allow 15 minutes for planning, 2 hours 45 minutes for writing, and finally, 10 minutes for proofreading. Our easy step-by-step directions will show you how to successfully write a conclusion, body, and thesis for this type of exam.

Learning How to Write a DBQ Essay -Step One: Planning (15 Minutes).

Reading all sources provided during an exam is of utmost importance. Aim to set aside 15 minutes prior to beginning, with three-hour exams being three-hour exams. Take note of any key points from the sources provided, taking note and listing them alphabetically: introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion.

Learning How to Write a DBQ Essay -Step Two: Introduction (5 minutes).

First impressions count. Keep your introduction short and sweet; do not answer directly the question asked in this section of your paper, instead write an overview of it all for an effective introduction that includes an opening phrase.

Incorporating the Thesis Statement -Step Three: Thesis (20 minutes).

A thesis for a DBQ should be divided into three distinct paragraphs. You should include claims made in your paper which can be supported with evidence in one of them, while in the second you should describe your paper and in the third you must explain how you plan to answer the question posed.

The thesis statement is the heart of any DBQ format. APUSH exams do not require more than two sentences as their thesis statement; at minimum two or three paragraphs should comprise it.

Learning How to Write a DBQ Essay -Step Four: Body time required: two hours and 16 minutes


Create well-organized, categorized paragraphs. Each should contain one idea without mixing thoughts within paragraphs; be sure to answer your question along with providing documents as evidence; it is also crucial that each paragraph supports your thesis statement.

Learning How to Write a DBQ Essay –Step Five: Concluding Remarks (10 minutes).

The conclusion is the final part of your essay and plays an integral part in persuading readers. A poorly written conclusion could cause your audience to doubt you; a summary should include summarizing the entire document. Also, answer the question in summary with a sentence that sums up the “main idea”.

Step Six: 10 Minutes of Proofreading as the Last Step of Learning How to Write a DBQ Essay –

Spend 10 minutes after each exam proofreading what you’ve completed. Proofreading your work is crucial in order to avoid grammatical or writing errors which can compromise a student’s grade. Your body paragraphs should address both the question posed as well as connect back to the thesis statement; this part of your paper is most vitally important.

Tips for Writing an Outstanding DBQ Essay

To be precise, if you follow the steps outlined above, you can rest assured that your success will be impressive.  Nevertheless, incorporating these additional tips will only bolster your chances even higher.

Before beginning writing, make sure you fully

Comprehend both sources and essay questions.

Duration Be aware that this exam lasts 3 hours 15 minutes.

 Study Practice writing DBQs before the test day arrives.

Recognize and Include Key Points from Sources In Your Essay

Insert an image on Writing tips to success with Your DBQ

Read Between the Lines: Focus on writing about what’s implied within passages rather than simply what was read outright.

All Documents Before Starting Writing Your Papers Ensure that all relevant documents have been reviewed before starting to draft your paper.

Read Outline: Being able to successfully structure an essay during an examination relies heavily on understanding its outline.

Its Sort: Group all items into categories which will assist when writing body paragraphs.

Write an Author’s Opinion Prove that you understand their perspective by writing an author’s opinion essay.

Create a temporary DBQ thesis: Doing this will assist with writing the paper.

Study DBQ Essay Examples: Learning more about this form of assignment by looking at examples can be very helpful.

If you still want to enhance your chances of an excellent DBQ essay all you need to do is to practice more and learn more about these essays. Most importantly, perfecting your skills in how to write a DBQ essay has no substitute.

Need extra assistance in writing your DBQs?

When in doubt, use an example as a starting point. Students often utilize examples to understand the format and practice for exams more efficiently. Click on our button below and read an example written by one of the writers at our company. Feel free to use this as a resource when learning how to craft DBQs yourself!

DBQ Essay Example

Both World Wars were instrumental in expanding women’s rights. During World War II, Britain encouraged women to perform tasks usually performed by men.  Examples of these tasks growing crops and butchering livestock which were typically considered male jobs. “Dig for Victory” became an effective slogan to motivate individuals during times of rationing and ensure people had sufficient food supplies.

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Having taken you through all the steps on how to write a DBQ essay we reiterate that practice holds the key now. As you will find out, following our steps and outline for custom writing to learn DBQ is an effective way of managing time wisely and producing quality writing work. By following our advice, you will achieve high grades and write fantastic DBQ essays! It is vital to familiarize yourself with its format before any exam in order to perform optimally and fulfil your potential.

This form of essay is known as the Definition Essay.

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