This is Lesson Five of the forthcoming AP US History Writing and Skills Handbook,
which covers document analysis and pre-writing for a DBQ essay. The lesson can be used to teach initial skills and as a reference throughout the school year.
Sub-sections of the lesson include:
*analyzing a sample pre-write
*creating a pre-write chart
*analyzing the prompt
*analyzing context, audience, point of view, and purpose in documents
*practice pre-writing a full-length DBQ
Content coverage in the lesson is from Period 3—1756-1800 and covers causes of the American Revolution. The lesson references a revised version of an American Revolution Viewpoints DBQ published by the Smithsonian
that has been adapted to fit redesign standards.
The AP US History Writing and Skills Handbook
is designed to teach students in AP US History classes to use historical thinking skills to tackle primary and secondary sources, stimulus-style multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and to write concise and analytical Document-Based Question essays (DBQs) and Long Essays (aka LEQs). It is fully aligned to the revised, 2015 versions of the College Board’s AP US History Curriculum Framework
and the nine historical thinking skills.
The handbook uses techniques from the MOD Writing System, a modular, modeled approach to writing.
Modular: each lesson teaches students to evaluate and then write discrete elements of historical essays. Once students have mastered the elements, later lessons show them how to combine the elements to create a full essay.
Modeled: in order to produce good historical writing, students must first read good historical writing! Each lesson includes numerous good examples of the elements of historical essays, plus multiple full-length sample essays and paragraphs.
Please see the free teacher materials available here
for more information about the program.
Purchase of the lesson includes permission to copy a class set (up to 35). Instructional text is copyright 2014 by Carrie Floyd Cagle. All non-original text in the lesson includes citation information.
Other lessons from the AP US History Writing and Skills Handbook include:
Lesson One: Note-taking
Lesson Two: Specificity, Detail, and SAQs
Lesson Three: Preparing for a Unit Test
Lesson Four: Introduction to DBQs
Lesson Six: Thesis and Contextualization Paragraphs
(offered as a free sample)
Lesson Seven: Basic DBQ Body Paragraphs
Lesson Eight: Writing a Full-length DBQ