January 7, 2013

Document Based Questions

By now, you should have heard about DBQs, or Document Based Questions.  There will be one of these questions on the AP Exam and can be a challenge for some students at first.  We have just completed our first DBQ, but we will be doing several more in the spring semester.  Each has between 10-12 short documents which must be used to answer the question.  Here are the guidelines for answering the DBQ.  1.  Provide an appropriate, explicitly stated, thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question.  The thesis MAY NOT simply restate the question. 2.  Discuss a majority of the documents individually and specifically.  3.  Demonstrate an understanding of the basic meaning of a majority of the documents.  (may misinterpret no more than one)4.  Support the thesis with appropriate interpretations of a majority of the documents.  5.  Analyze point of view or bias in four of the documents.  6.  Analyze documents by explicitly organizing them into four appropriate groups.  Success on the AP exam is largely determined by the students ability to follow these guidelines, so go over these with your child.  I have already conferenced with each student individually on their writing and will continue to do so until they master these concepts. 


One of the challenges of an AP course is that the AP exam date is already set and does not change, even if we have snow days.  Therefore, we must cover all of the content of the course before Friday, May 10th.  Hopefully, we will be lucky, and this will not be an issue, but if we do have several snow days this winter, it might be a good idea to use this opportunity to review for the exam.  Students may review key terms by making flash cards, take practice tests, etc.  I will be providing more review strategies in the next newsletter. 


Trouble with the website

The district is currently experiencing difficulties with the wordpress sites, so please be patient as I have been unable to update the website since before Christmas break.