Document-Based Questions (DBQs)
questions are for all students, from elementary school through high school. They
prepare students to:
consider multiple perspectives
reconcile differing positions
evaluate the strength of particular arguments
develop critical thinking skills
questions require students to interpret historical records and express their
understanding effectively through well-written essays.
Examples of uses for DBQs:
teachers can assess their pupils’ abilities to draw information from a
photograph or written record on a worksheet or through class discussion.
teachers can present a group of historical records to a class with questions
designed to introduce a unit of study.
Middle and high school teachers can hand out a single document and ask
students to relate it to their previous night’s reading assignment.
Take-home DBQs allow students and teachers to break away
from the usual essay format in favor of a lengthier and more developed piece of
writing, based on a wider array of research.
Document-based questions can also be part of a more involved performance task,
which may include the production of work other than essays and may include a
display of student work and discussion of student analysis and evaluation of
documents provide first-person accounts of events and activities, they can
offer great insights into other cultures. They offer teachers a way to compare
and contrast perspectives from various cultures around the globe.
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