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Here lies the bane of almost every AP US History student.If you’ve been doing this right, these three letters—DBQ—should send shutters down your spine.
We’ve created this AP US history review on the unavoidable DBQ section because there’s hope yet.
You will come to terms with the DBQ, and we will help you get there.
The question did not ask you to summarize; it asked you to analyze.
Your professor is probably not interested in your opinion of the novel; instead, she wants you to think about it’s such a great novel—what do Huck’s adventures tell us about life, about America, about coming of age, about race relations, etc.?
If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback.
Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own.When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis,ask yourself the following: Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War.You turn on the computer and type out the following: This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information.After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence.This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.Your reader is intrigued, but is still thinking, “So what? Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters.After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write: This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content.You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy.In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing.When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement.When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively.