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Differences Between Euro DBQ and US DBQ

So i've said this once and i'll say it again--less outside information is usually expected from you on the Euro DBQ as opposed to the APUSH test.
My Euro DBQ for the 2006 exam was on the Sports of Europe in the early 19th century. Honestly, i thought it was a joke when i first read it, but that's another story. Although the essay was on a subject i knew *nothing* about, i believe i scored pretty well on it because i only had to use the information listed in the prompt. As with any DBQ i had to understand the writer's bias/agenda in their passage and then write a well written argument supporting what i thought Sports' role was in Europe at the time--no sweat, right?
I was able to BS and essay on a subject that i didn't even know *existed* before the test because I had developed the correct DBQ skills.
In 2007, the DBQ for the US History Exam was (without looking this up, too lazy) about the agricultural movements of early 19th century America. On this exam, documents were brought up the Grange Movements and the Cross of Gold Speech. However i was not told *any* of this, rather, i was forced to infer what movements/events the articles were talking about based on my own prior knowledge of US History.
For instance, in the last Document, the only clues given to me wwere that writer was W.J. Bryan and then an excerpt from the Cross'o'Gold speech was presented. It was up to me to put a name to the speech and then refer back to its meaning during this time in American History using only what i knew.
While i am sure that you can probably BS a pretty fine essay without knowing any background info, in order to score that 6+ essay, you really need to have a solid understanding of basic American History. Furthermore, you have to feel comfortable enough in filling in the gaps on your DBQ essay with your own info and be savvy enough to connect the dots where it is needed.

As for the APUS FRQ's, i can't say they're particularly special. You're given for each Question number two essay prompts to choose from; you then pick one and write. Whatever you do, write on the essay you know *more* about. This may seem silly to say, but i've known people who chose prompts only to realize in horror after the test that they wrote on the wrong thing.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)

So are you still expected to evaluate biases and all that on APUSH dbqs? So far in my actual class I've not been doing anything that was required for APEuro, but then again the teacher doesn't really grade our work.
Feb. 14th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Hmm, i've never thought about it. I suppose in Euro, bias is much more important as the DBQ requires you to understand how the Documents work together to tell a story. The US History DBQ focuses much more on using the smaller pieces (Doc's) to tell the bigger story.
I think Bias will always play a huge part in DBQ's; graders want to see how you, as a pseduo-AP-historian, understand why these Documents were written and what motivated the people behind them. Even the you Lang and Lit DBQ requires to see past the words and discover the motives behind the Documents.
Try to always include some reference to bias in any DBQ you write; it'll add more depth to your writing and will probably score you that extra point that separates the 6-7's from the 8-9's.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )