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How to Write an Impressive DBQ Essay: Writing Guide

Written by Sarina Jones
Posted: December 5, 2022
Last update date: June 20, 2024
6 min read

Many people are unfamiliar with this term and often ask the question: “What is a DBQ essay?”. Simply put, this abbreviation means “document-based question”. This particular paper is present in the AP United States History Exam. Students are asked to analyze a historical issue that is supported by certain evidence. Individuals should use these sources to draw up a DBQ plan and to complete the given task. Although it may seem arduous at first, we will do our best to explain how to write a DBQ essay, and we will mention all peculiarities associated with this type of paper. In addition, for your convenience, in the end, we will present you with an example of a DBQ essay.

Creating A DBQ Essay Outline

As mentioned earlier, before you start writing a DBQ essay, you need to create a DBQ essay outline. To do this, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the respective topic and create a plan. It is advisable to take advantage of all 15 minutes. If you start the DBQessay writing process earlier, you run the risk of missing important information from the sources. Below, we will present you with a detailed outline and conclude by telling you how to write a conclusion paragraph for a DBQ essay. At first, you will probably write your essay in hours instead of 45 minutes, but we promise that practice makes perfect.


Your DBQ outline should begin with an introduction. The first sentence must be captivating so that it grabs the attention of the intended audience. You should also give a clear indication of the historical context in question.


In this part of your academic paper, you should simply describe your ideas, which you will support with the help of the documents provided. In other words, you will have to introduce your evidence. It is good if your thesis ends with a transition sentence that will make it clear to the reader that you will continue by presenting the main part.


When writing DBQs or diagnostic essays, you should devote sufficient time to formulating the main body section. All your arguments should have a clear link to your thesis. If you use reference sentences, it is advisable to write the name of the document as well as the respective page number. The number of argument paragraphs within the main body can vary but is usually between three and five, depending on the word count required. Writing the body section takes the longest, as this part makes up about 70% of the whole text. In it, you may also include further information about the respective period you are describing.


All DBQ essays should end with a conclusion. Here, you need to end your analysis by summing up the whole document. You can do that by quickly going through the main aspects that have been covered in your exam text, and at the end, you may even add a question that will provoke the reader’s reaction. The latter is quite common when it comes to writing papers. The concluding section is usually as long as the introductory one, so it is not necessary to go into too much detail.

Effective DBQ Essay Writing Tips

Even though you already know how to start a DBQ essay, you probably need a few more tips to create the perfect analysis. Our first piece of advice is to pay special attention to every document provided for the exam. Spend as much time as possible reviewing the writings. In addition, you may also practice at home. This will help you get familiar with the specific DBQ format, and you will sharpen your writing skills.

Even if you know how to write a DBQ essay in the proper format, the theory is never enough. If you need help, you may always use the Papersowl writing service. It is great for inexperienced individuals, and the prices are super fair. In contrast, if you wish to write your DBQ essays on your own, make sure your practice sessions are long enough.

The formulation of the argument paragraph is of great importance. You need to ensure that you can make use of the provided documents and review them in a quick period. When you make a statement, you should always back up your claims by listing the respective document that supports it. Additionally, it is vital to present arguments that relate to the main subject of the essay. You may also include information about another period or event that is somehow connected to your topic.

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Dos and Don’ts in Writing DBQ Essay

Now that you know how to write a good DBQ essay, you probably feel more confident in your abilities for working on exams. Nevertheless, we feel obligated to provide you with a few pieces of advice that will surely make the whole writing process much easier and probably faster.

First and foremost, you should always support every argument of yours with the provided sources. This will not only make your essay trustworthy, but it will also seem utterly professional. Writing a DBQ essay is quite similar to writing a classification essay. Thus, if you know how to compose the latter, you will definitely have no trouble writing the perfect DBQ essay.

In addition, it is advisable to study the potential themes that may be given in advance. This will save you a lot of time when you have to review the documents, and you will be able to formulate your introduction paragraph, body section, and conclusion without delay. Those who need assistance writing their essay may always seek additional assistance. Even if you know how to create a DBQ essay, at first, this may come as a difficult task. Luckily, there are numerous reliable fast essay writing help platforms.

Writing a DBQ essay can seem like a big challenge, but PapersOwl is here to lend a hand. Our team of experienced writers specializes in creating cheap custom essays and has extensive knowledge about all aspects of the DBQ essay. We’re here to provide you with affordable help, whether you need guidance understanding the assignment or assistance with the writing process itself. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for the support you need.

DBQ Essay Example

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Crash, was a period in the United States characterized by a massive drop in stock prices. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most remarkable periods in US history when it comes to the economy. It lasted from September to October 1929, and Black Thursday (October 24) and Black Tuesday (October 29) are dates associated with the Great Crash and are known as the worst days for the stock market in the United States.

Before the Wall Street Crash, America was in rapid growth. People were optimistic, and the rise of the stock market was unstoppable. The Roaring 20’s is one of the periods associated with the greatest economic development in the United States (Roaring Twenties: A Condensed History of the 1920s in America by Jake Henderson). When the market experienced a small crash in March, people began to sell their stocks as quickly as possible, fearing that prices would fall even further. This particular phase led to a drop in steel production and a massive drop in sales.

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Nevertheless, one month later, things were looking up again. Investors’ hopes were shattered again, however, when Roger Ward Babson predicted the crash (The Man Who Predicted the Crash of 1929). October 24 is now known as Black Thursday – the day most stocks were sold off in the US. Black Tuesday (October 29), on the other hand, was the day when more than 15 million shares were traded on the NY Stock Exchange.

The speculations about the occurrence of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 are countless. It is an indisputable fact that the market collapse could have been triggered by a number of reasons. One of them could be the credit tightening imposed by the Federal Reserve (Banking Panics of 1930-31 by Gary Richardson). Those who implemented this policy believed it would be beneficial to the people. Unfortunately, it led to an economic wreck.

Another reason closely related to the Great Crash is the fact that during this period, the number of investment funds and holding companies increased immensely. This, of course, led to higher levels of debt. So people who had taken out a loan to invest in stocks not only lost their investment but also had no way to cover their debt. All of these things marked the beginning of the Great Depression, which eventually spread worldwide (The Great Depression: A History from Beginning to End by Hourly History).

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 is undoubtedly one of the most devastating periods in US history. The consequences did not only affect investors and the various companies. On the contrary, the Great Crash contributed to the rise of the Great Depression period. Many people wonder if such a crash can happen today. Even though experts are sure that the market is much more different today, no one can predict what will happen in the future.

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