The second part of Section II of the AP exam contains three long essay questions—you must respond to one. The AP U. History long essay question assesses your ability to apply knowledge of history in a complex, analytical manner. In other words, you are expected to treat history and historical questions as a historian would. This process is called historiography—the skills and strategies historians use to analyze and interpret historical evidence to reach a conclusion.
AP US History DBQ example 1
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How to Write a DBQ
You will have 55 minutes to complete the essay. You will be presented with an essay question, followed by a series of documents typically 7 related to the theme of the question. These documents can be any combination of primary and secondary source texts, maps, photographs, political cartoons, or other artwork. You will need to use information from the documents as well as your outside knowledge to construct an essay response to the question. Your response should be a persuasive essay and must include a thesis statement backed by evidence.
Advanced Placement AP. For the DBQ essay, you will be asked to analyze some historical issue or trend with the aid of the provided sources, or "documents," as evidence. The DBQ is an unfamiliar type of in-class essay for many students, but it does not need to be a source of dread or panic. In this guide I'll go over the DBQ's purpose and format, what the documents are and how to use them, how this type of essay is scored, and how to prepare.