This is a handbook designed to teach students in World History classes to write precise, concise, and analytical historical DBQs (Document-based Questions). I have successfully used these lessons with my 10th-grade on-level World History students for three years. The handbook could be used in the second semester of full-length survey World History class, or the first semester of a Modern World History class beginning with 18th-century revolutions.
The MOD Writing System is student-centered and cooperative, and is based on 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 numerous full-length sample essays and paragraphs.
Please see the free teacher materials available here
for more information about the program.
The Modern World History DBQ Handbook includes four lessons designed to be taught once per unit.
Lesson One—DBQ Elements
Students evaluate sample DBQ essay and discuss its components. They then analyze and organize a deconstructed DBQ in a kinesthetic activity. Curricular coverage is of American, French, and Industrial Revolutions.
Lesson Two—Pre-writing and Grouping
Students learn the procedures for grouping documents by first grouping everyday objects. Then they apply these principles to the documents of an actual DBQ. Curricular coverage in documents is of the Age of Imperialism.
Lesson Three--Document References
Students learn how to correctly interpret documents and reference them in a DBQ. Curricular coverage includes World War I and the Great Depression.
Lesson Four--Writing a Full-length DBQ
Students learn how DBQs are scored, then how to synthesize all of the essay elements they have learned in previous lessons to write a DBQ. Curricular coverage in the documents is over WWII.
Purchase of the handbook includes permission to copy a class set (up to 35). Instructional text is copyright 2011 by Carrie Floyd Cagle. Some DBQ excerpts in the document are original; others include citations and links to sources.