DEALING WITH DOCUMENTS THAT CONTRADICT EACH OTHER 25
WRITING A STRONG THESIS STATEMENT 27
ANALYZING CHARTS 29
WRITING A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE THESIS STATEMENT 31
ANALYZING POLITICAL CARTOONS 34
CREATING CATEGORIES TO ANSWER ESSAY QUESTIONS 38
USING DOCUMENTS AND CHARTS TOGETHER 40
SUPPORTING YOUR THESIS 45
USING DOCUMENTS AND CARTOONS TOGETHER 47
DEALING WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THE STATEMENT OR QUESTION 52
ARRANGING SOURCES INTO CATEGORIES 55
WRITING AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH 58
WRITING A PARAGRAPH FROM DISSENTING DOCUMENTS 60
WRITING A CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH 63
ORGANIZING A DOCUMENT BASED QUESTION 65
IDENTIFYING CRITICAL WORDS IN A PROMPT 3
DETERMINING WHAT DOCUMENTS MEAN 5
FOCUS ON QUESTION: WHAT IS IT ASKING 7
DETERMINING CREDIBILITY: WHOM DO YOU BELIEVE 8
WHICH QUESTION TO WRITE ABOUT? 11
MAKING INFERENCES FROM DOCUMENTS 14
PUTTING ANSWERS INTO A GRAPHIC ORGANIZER 16
USING DOCUMENTS TO SUPPORT AN ARGUMENT 18
ORGANIZING YOUR ANSWER: WRITING AN OUTLINE 20
DEALING WITH DOCUMENTS THAT CONTRADICT EACH OTHER 22
WRITING A STRONG THESIS STATEMENT 24
ANALYZING CHARTS 26
WRITING A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE THESIS STATEMENT 28
ANALYZING POLITICAL CARTOONS 31
CREATING CATEGORIES TO ANSWER ESSAY QUESTIONS 35
USING DOCUMENTS AND CHARTS TOGETHER 37
SUPPORTING YOUR THESIS 41
USING DOCUMENTS AND CARTOONS TOGETHER 43
DEALING WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THE STATEMENT OR QUESTION 48
ARRANGING SOURCES INTO CATEGORIES 50
WRITING AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH 53
WRITING A PARAGRAPH FROM DISSENTING DOCUMENTS 55
WRITING A CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH 58
ORGANIZING A DOCUMENT BASED QUESTION 60
IDENTIFYING CRITICAL WORDS IN A PROMPT
One of the most basic skills in essay writing is determining what the question is asking. As a first step, always look for the important components of the prompt. When examining a prompt ask three questions.
What is the time period of the prompt?
What am I to do with the prompt?
What content is appropriate in responding to the prompt?
Every prompt will have these three elements. The time frame will either be stated very clearly or alluded to; a task will be given to perform; and the content area(s) will be apparent.
Below are some common phrases and words that are likely to appear in a free response.
What to do
Evaluate/assess the validity: This is just a fancy way to ask, “Is this statement accurate or inaccurate about the historical problem.” Weigh the pros and cons of the issues and decide the relative accuracy of the statement.
Analyze the extent to which: Asks for an argument that divides and separated the events and ideas of a problem in order to weigh whether a statement accurately describes a historical period. It is similar to the process of assessing the validity of a statement.
Discuss: consider and argue the pros and cons of an issue. Should present all sides of the debated and make some evaluation of the issue.
Compare: look for similarities between events, causes, persons or ideas.
Contrast: Look for differences between events, causes, persons or ideas.
These are the most common content areas that essay question ask students to draw from as they support their arguments.
Diplomatic: dealing with relations between the United States and other countries
Economic: dealing with financial issues, income, money, business activities, production, and distribution of goods and services
Social: dealing with people living together and their relationships with other people in recreational, educational and communal settings
Cultural: dealing with works of art and literature and their expressions of interest, skills, and dispositions of a time period
Intellectual: dealing with ideas, thoughts, understandings, and reasoning
The following statement has been broken into its three components. After reviewing it, discuss the parts to make sure it is understood.
“Although the thirteen American colonies were founded at different times by people with different motives and with different forms of colonial charters and political organizations, the seeds of democracy grew in America. Assess the validity of this statement.” Time—1607-1734
What to do—decide whether this statement is accurate about colonial development
Look at the statement below and fill out the accompanying exercise. It will be discussed in class.
In the seventeenth century, the cultivation of tobacco made a profound impact on the social and economic development of the Chesapeake colonies. Assess the validity of this statement.” Time Period-- _______________________________________
What to do--________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
One of the critical skills necessary for success in this course is the ability to read and understand primary documents. This requires a basic understand of how to analyze a primary source. Eventually primary sources will be combined with other documents to argue a thesis in a document based question (DBQ).
Analyze primary documents in a consistent and systematic manner. Ask the four Ws.
When was it written? (time or setting)
Who wrote it? (authors)
What is it saying? (Limit this to no more than three major ideas—if not the document will be copied)
Where is the message directed? (audience)
Practicing the Skill
My friends, there is one great God and power that has made the world and all things. This great God has written his law in our hearts, by which we are taught to love help and do good to one another. Now this great God has been pleased to make me concerned in your parts of the world. the king of the country where I live has given unto me a great province, but I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent, that we may always live togther as neighbors and friends…I have great love and regard toward you and I desire to gain your love and friendship by a kind, and peaceable life…
--William Penn to the Delaware Indian Chiefs, 1681
When: 1681, when Pennsylvania was founded.
Who: William Penn, proprietor of the colony and a devote Quaker
A. Good brought the Quakers to Pennsylvania
B. The Quakers wanted to follow the teaching of God
C. Penn wants cooperation and peace with the Native Americans
Where: The audiences are the Delaware Indians and Quaker settlers.
Below are two more primary documents Identify the four Ws for each and discuss as a class.
We the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield… well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God…
1. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that there shall be yearly two General Assemblies or Courts...
4. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that no person be chosen Governor above once in two years, and that the Governor be always a member of some approved Congregation…
--Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, January 14, 1639 When-- ____________________________________________________
Now, dear brother, I will obey your command and give you a short description of the part of the world in which I now live. South Carolina is a vast region near the sea. Most of the settled part is flat…South Carolina is filled with fine navigable rivers and great forests of fine timber. The soil in general is fertile. There are few European or American fruits or grains that cannot be grown here… The people in general are hospitable and honest. The better sort of people are polite and gentle. The poorest sort are the laziest people in the world. Otherwise they would never be poor and wretched in a land as rich as this.