Document Based Questions are an essential part of any curriculum and can intimidate even the most seasoned of teachers. They are quickly becoming the standard for all state educational requirements, and for good reason. DBQs give the students practice with and assess their ability to create a strong thesis while providing support for that thesis with the aid of the documents provided. Other skills practiced and assessed include analyzing sources for document characteristics (such as the author’s point of view, the author’s purpose, the audience, and context), making connections between provided documents, and bringing in outside knowledge to strengthen the arguments the students are making.
This may sound like a tall order, but students are using these skills to make decisions every day. Students will pull up articles to prove why the band they like is better than another, why their choice of computer is the best, and even to convince their parents to allow them to do something they want to do. When executed well, DBQs hone these skills for more academic pursuits and help students to become strong critical thinkers and researchers. DBQs are also the format used on most A.P. exams and are generally a major part of all college curriculum.
The best and simplest way to implement successful DBQ practice is to use a DBQ teaching guide. Everything you need, from introductory power-point presentations, to step-by-step implementation guides, tips for writing successful DBQ’s, DBQ examples, DBQ templates, grading rubrics and much more are all provided within the guides. These guides allow teachers to dive right in to successful practice and to begin seeing student results with the Document Based Questions. Sites like Social Studies MegaStore have guides like this available for your convenience. Click here to be directed to a DBQ Guide that will get you started!