How Do You Do a DBQ AP World History?

If you are a student of AP World History, you must be familiar with the Document-Based Question (DBQ) essay. It is an important part of the exam that tests your ability to analyze historical documents and write a coherent and well-structured essay based on them. In this article, we will discuss how to do a DBQ AP World History.

Understanding DBQ AP World History

The DBQ essay in AP World History consists of a prompt that asks you to analyze a set of historical documents and write an essay based on them. The prompt will provide you with a specific topic or theme related to world history, and you will have to use the documents provided to support your argument.

Step 1: Read the Prompt Carefully

The first step in doing a DBQ AP World History is to read the prompt carefully. The prompt will provide you with a specific topic or theme related to world history. You should read it carefully and make sure that you understand what it is asking you to do.

Step 2: Analyze the Documents

The next step is to analyze the documents provided. You will be given several historical documents such as letters, speeches, maps, charts, graphs, and photographs. You should read each document carefully and take notes on their main ideas, authorship, audience, tone, purpose, and context.

Step 3: Organize Your Thoughts

Once you have read and analyzed all the documents provided, it’s time to organize your thoughts. You can use an outline or create a mind map to jot down your ideas and arguments. Make sure that your arguments are supported by evidence from the documents provided.

Step 4: Write Your Essay

Now it’s time to write your essay. Your essay should have an introduction that provides background information on the topic and a thesis statement that presents your argument.

The body of your essay should contain several paragraphs that support your thesis using evidence from the documents provided. Finally, your essay should have a conclusion that summarizes your main points and restates your thesis.

Step 5: Proofread Your Essay

The final step is to proofread your essay. You should check for spelling and grammar errors, as well as make sure that your essay is well-structured and coherent.

  • Make use of transitions between paragraphs to ensure a smooth flow of ideas.
  • Use quotes from the documents to support your arguments, but don’t overuse them.
  • Acknowledge counterarguments and refute them in your essay.


Doing a DBQ AP World History requires careful analysis of historical documents and a well-structured essay that presents a clear argument supported by evidence. By following these steps, you can improve your chances of success on the exam. Remember to stay organized, use evidence from the documents provided, and proofread your essay carefully before submitting it.