Overall structure of a DBQ

Hello, I was wondering how overall I would write my DBQ. Like how many paragraphs should I be writing, how many sentences should each one be, and whether or not I need a conclusion. Sorry for such a broad question, but I’ve seen DBQs done so many ways, and I don’t know which is right.

There’s no overall structure for how long each paragraph has to be, but I would recommend splitting your documents into 2 groups and writing at least one paragraph for each of the two groups. In addition, you should write an introduction with context, and for a conclusion, I would recommend at least restating your thesis.

tldr: at least 2 body paragraphs, intro w/context, and maybe a conclusion (but restate your thesis at the minimum)

Hope this helps!

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This depends on the prompt. You should write as many paragraphs and sentences as you need to get your point across. Conclusions are not required, but they’re a nice way to restate your thesis.

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The reason you’ve seen DBQs done so many ways is that there’s really no “right way” to do it, per se. The goal is that you make a point, argue it, and prove your argument. All of that said, ONE WAY you can format it is the following:

Paragraph 1 (Intro): Contextualization/Thesis, set up your argument and then deliver it in miniature.

Paragraph 2 (Body Paragraph 2): The first major point of your thesis including the documents that support your argument and sourcing of those documents and Outside evidence that supports that point.

Paragraph 3 (Body Paragraph 3): The second major point of your thesis including the documents that support your argument and sourcing of those documents and Outside evidence that supports that point.

Paragraph 4 (Conclusion): Tie up your argument in a nifty little bow while restating your thesis in a different way.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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I’d add that as a Reader, there have been MANY times where I give the student the thesis point based on their conclusion, and not the intro. Remember that you’re essentially writing a draft, so many times, your thesis is better at the end because you’ve found your way there more concretely.

Moral of the story: write a conclusion, even if it’s hasty.

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