Writing a DBQ essay - Baltimore City Public School System

Mr. Williamson - Social Studies
Writing DBQ Essays
1. Answering the DBQ questions
 Read through all documents first.
 Read through each document again and answer the questions.
 Underline important words.
 DBQ answers MUST be in complete sentences.
 Label each document with the topic that it supports.
Document A – Background Info
Document B –
Document C –
Document D –
Document E –
Document F –
2. Writing an Introduction Paragraph – Thesis Statement
- Provide background information/historical context.
Hammurabu’s Code: Was it Just?
Ancient Mesopotamia – Babylon
Religious society
Shared water supply and fertile land
Consider everything you’ve learned about the topic from the documents and current unit.
- You MUST put it in your own words and ADD outside information.
- Your last sentence is your claim/argument. (Start by rewording the main question.)
3. Writing the Body Paragraphs
- You MUST use ½ of the documents PLUS one more.
For example, if you have 10 documents, you MUST at least use 6 documents.
Play it safe…USE THEM ALL!
- You MUST properly cite the documents
o Mention the title or author of the document first
o After the sentence, show the document number
King Hammurabi says, “….” (Doc. 1).
Anything there is outside information, cite it using OI. (OI). This could be something from
your textbook.
o Do NOT cite the document by writing “Document 1 says…” or “In Document
2 it states that….” This is a big no no in DBQ writing. Use the title or author!
- You MUST write a paragraph for each topic discussed.
- Need at least 3 paragraphs… discuss at least 3 laws of Hammurabi’s Code
4. Writing the Conclusion Paragraph
- Restate the thesis statement (claim/argument) in the first sentence.
- Summarize the body paragraphs using examples.