Contextualization vs Evidence beyond the documents

First, can I have some clarification on what they are and, second, can a term be used for both?

Contextualization is explaining the larger historical context of a given document or topic in order to explain why said context is important to an argument. For example, is you were given a prompt about African Americans in World War II, you could talk about women’s successes or black culture in the 20s leading to blacks calling for greater civil rights during the war, or if you saw John Gast’s American Progress, you could explain the craze of Manifest Destiny and its call to expand westward, which led to the production of the picture. Evidence beyond the documents is also called ‘outside evidence’ and is simply evidence not mentioned in the documents the DBQ gives you that you can use to support your argument. Going back to World War II African Americans, if the documents mention nothing about the Tuskeegee Airmen, you can use that as outside evidence, but you must support your argument with the evidence.

Contextualization if I’m not wrong is when you give some sort of broader context about the time period and this shouldn’t be random context. The context should be able to support/connect to your these. Contextualization generally shouldn’t have questions within them, just so your thesis doesn’t get muddled/confused with the other questions stated in your contextualization.

Evidence beyond the document generally is something not already stated that can further back your point. To be on the safe side (of earning that point) I do a small checklist:

  1. Was this connected/stated in a document already stated ? (If yes, try again) For ex. If a document in the DBQ was mainly about the First Continental Congress and it mentioned the Declaration Of Colonial Rights and Grievances. If it didn’t go into detail about it I would use it to further back my thesis. If it goes into what the purpose/cause/context was of the Declaration Of Colonial Rights and Grievances I would be very careful using this in your Evidence Beyond the Document
  2. Is it relevant to the prompt and an you easily connect it back to your thesis (If yes ! use it)
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You cannot use the same information for both points sadly.

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Nevaeh and chipmunkthanos have it covered well. If you still have questions, ask here or wait for the second half for Mr. Lagerwey to go over it in more detail!

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