AP Notes, Outlines, Study Guides, Vocabulary, Practice Exams and more!

DBQ score 9 help

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
AP Euro Kid's picture
Joined: Dec 2009
DBQ score 9 help


I was wondering if anyone could write up a really advance quide on how to do a DBQ? I want to get a 9 on this.

1) What to include in it.

For Example, Bios, POV or something along those lines

2) How to incorporate all of those things. So, Write a sentence or two for each.

I know that bios is like this man/girl is a noble and it affected her/his view this way. But, that is very basic.

3) DO you have any links to DBQ's that have gotten 9's.

4) Could any one tell me the what you have to do to get a 5? What does the score in multiple choice have to be. etc.


If you can only do one of those things it still would be very very helpful.

AP Euro Kid's picture
Joined: Dec 2009

come on guys! What no one can spend 30 minutes to 1 hour to help me?

AP Euro Kid's picture
Joined: Dec 2009

I was hoping some one could go over the DBQ I wrote and tell me some things I could do better. I am quessing there are a huge amount of mistakes. I am not going for spelling or word choice. I need help on the format of the DBQ. So, if you have any advice in that regard please post it. I know that my thesis is not done very well becuase I couldn't think about anything to write. I don't know how many people will want to look over this if at all. But, even if you responded in a few days going over the DBQ's for 15 minutes one day and the essay another day it would still be helpful.


DBQ 1: Attitudes about Religion in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance(Chapter 12 and 13)
Question: What degree did criticism in the late Middle Ages influence attitudes toward religion during the early Renaissance?

Document 1:
Source: Marsiglio of Padua (Rector of the University of Paris),
Defensor Pacis [Defender of the Peace], 1324.
The Roman bishops wrongly wish to possess excessive temporal goods, and refuse to be subject to the laws and edicts of the rulers or the human legislator, thereby opposing the example and teaching of Christ and the apostles.


Source: The council of Pisa, 1409.
This holy and general Council, representing the universal church, decrees and declares that the united college of cardinals was empowered to call the council and that the power to call such a council belongs of right to the aforesaid holy college of cardinals, especially now when there is a detestable schism. The council further declared that this holy council, representing the universal church, caused both claimants of the papal throne to be cited in the gates and doors of the churches in Pisa to come and hear the final decision [in the matter of the schism] pronounced, or to give a good and sufficient reason why such sentence should not be rendered.


Source: Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486
On man when he came into life the Father conferred the seeds of all kinds and the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow to maturity and bear in him their own fruit. If they be vegetative, he will be like a plant. If sensitive, he will become brutish. If rational, he will grow into a heavenly being. If intellectual, he will be an angel and the son of god. And if, happy in the lot of no created thing, he withdraws into the center of his own unity, his spirit, made on with God, in the solitary darkness of God, who is set above all things, shall surpass them all.

Document 4:

Source: Erasmus, The Praise of Folly, 1509.
As for the theologians, perhaps it would be better to pass them over in silence, “not stirring up the hornets’ nest” and “not laying a finger on the stinkweed,” since this race of man is incredibly arrogant and touchy. For they might rise up en masse and march in ranks against me with six hundred conclusions and force me to recant. And if I should refuse, they would immediately shout “heretic.” For this is the thunderbolt they always keep ready at a moment’s notice to terrify anyone to whom they are not very favorably inclined.

The Late Middle Ages held criticism that influenced the attitude toward Religion during, the early Renaissance. Criticism of the papal wealth, special privileges and superiority in the Late Middle Ages made people want to break away from religion in the early Renaissance.

In, the 1300’s and 1400’s Catholics went to extreme measures to secure wealth disregarded laws and edicts put forth by Church Leaders in the process. Marsiglio of Padua’s Defensor Pacis written in 1324 explains how Roman Bishops opposed the example and teachings put forth by Christ and the apostles. It states that they wrongly wished to possess wealth and would go to extreme measures to obtain it. Going as far as to ignore the laws and edicts set forth by Christ and the apostles. Marsiglio was a Rector for the University of Paris. Rectors are members of the Catholic Clergy put in charge colleges, Congregations, or a religious community. Therefore, he is a much respected man trying to tell other Catholic’s that there are matters needing dire attention. This would cause many people interested in becoming a Catholic to back off. The council of Pisa declared that only the Cardinals were given the right to call the Council in 1409. This gives them immense power; they could easily create and put forth laws that could drastically affect the lives of their people. This could greatly influence people’s thoughts on the Catholic Religion; they would not want to be controlled, not having any decision in how they should be ruled. An additional document by a Christian that holds no power could give us much insight into how regular Christians believed the Catholic Religion was being ran. The 1300’s and 1400’s were a time when the Catholic Religion disregarded laws and went to extreme measures to obtain wealth.

The Catholic people thought of themselves as being superior to others. They were not open to any other ideas or thoughts other than theirs. Pico della Mirandola’s Oration on the Dignity of Man written in 1486 puts forth the idea that if adopt the Catholic Religion then you shall surpass everyone else. Pico della Mirandola is a Catholic male that is trying to convert others to Catholicism. This could greatly influence people’s attitudes toward Religion. Some people would be put off by the idea that the Religion they were going to adopt believed they were superior to others. Erasmus author of The Praise of Folly written in 1509 explains how the Catholic people would raise an army and march up against him if he went against god. They would force him to deny his original thoughts or he would be a heretic. This was ready at a moment’s notice if any one went against their beliefs. Erasmus is considered to be the most influential person of his time. His abilities to influence people could cause this document to become invalid. He could be trying to convince people to reconsider their beliefs and turn to his. An additional document by a normal non-Christian could help to see how regular people viewed the Christian people. During, the early Renaissance Christians believed they were superior and weren’t open to other ideas or thoughts.

Criticism of the Bishop’s undeniable need for wealth, special privileges and superiority of Christians in the Late Middle Ages greatly influenced people’s views toward religion in the early Renaissance. The bishops of the 1300’s went to great measures to obtain wealth disregarding laws and edicts put forth by leaders of the Church in the process. Catholics also thought of themselves as superior to others and weren’t open to other ideas or thoughts. As, you can see religion in the early Renaissance was greatly influenced by Criticism in the Late Middle Ages.

valerierose's picture
Joined: Feb 2010

Hello, I know it's a little late and you've probably already done your dbq already, but take this as a guide for Ap euro dbqs, although I'm not exactly the perfect writer or an AP grader. Fortunately, I have taken APEH, and have recieved a 5 on the exam.

Not exactly about the DBQs, but I want explain about the AP exam. First off, your teacher will explain to you the best techniques to use, and what to expect on the test. There are always curves for the AP, and any other collegeboard exams, so based on the year that you are taken it, the curve can be extremely high, or it can be barely noticeable. It may be just me, but the AP exam last year was pretty hard, so this year is most likely going to be easier. Furthermore, there is no set number of how many mc questions you need to get to get a certain score, they vary year by year. Sometimes, you need more, sometimes last. A special trick that my teacher told me last year was that the questions were in a special order, in chronological order for groups of questions. There are 80 MC questions, and they advance in difficulty question by question.

Ok, now onto the essay sections, I think there's something along the lines of 2 hours or so for 3 essays: 1 DBQ, 2 FRQ. The DBQ is the most important out of the essays, and you are given about 45 minutes for it, and about 30 mins for each of the FRQs. I think the writing section is difficult for this reason -- you need to control how you spend your time wisely.

I'll explain the DBQ afterwards, I have a practice SAT tomorrow in the morning, and I should be heading off for bed.

valerierose's picture
Joined: Feb 2010

Ok. So, I didn't exactly read the DBQ at all (I'm sorry!), but immediately I have spotted some issues. First off, on the AP exam you get about 45 mins for the DBQ, more or less depending on how you want to divide up your time. The DBQ needs to be your best work out of the essays, and so I suggest you write 3 body paragraphs instead of 2. Save the 2 paragraphs for the FRQs (trust me, the 2 paragraph method saves time as far as the FRQs go). Secondly, the main focus of the DBQ should be on the Documents themselves. You need to implement the documents into the essay. Always, no matter what, cite what documents you used-- either in "According to Doc #", or "In Doc #" form. Sometimes, you can write so and so person said this, and end with (Doc#) at the end of the sentence. Anything works as long as you state what documents you used. I"ll explain this concept later on when I explain the grading procedures.

Here is the 2009 APEH Free Response Question (Yes, the one I took!) Relatively easy question, but that's just me speaking. Here's the link if you want to see it yourself:

Collegeboard has scoring guidelines available online, so check those out.

OK. So continuing on, this is going to be the scoring guideline -- what the AP graders grade your essays on. I'm not going to explain every little detail, but what the main idea is.

There are two sections: The Basic Core (6 points available) and the Expanded Core (Extra points up to a total of 9 points.

The Basic Core includes the following things that you must provide;
1. Provides an appropriate, explicitly stated thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question. Thesis must not simply restate the question.
The thesis must address both attitudes and motives, and with some degree of specificity (beyond general analytical categories) for at least one part of the prompt. The thesis must suggest a minimal level of analysis drawn from the context of the documents, though a student does not necessarily need to use both the terms “attitudes” and “motivations” explicitly. The thesis may
appear in the final paragraph.
2. Discusses a majority of the documents individually and specifically.
The student must use at least seven documents—even if used incorrectly—by reference to anything in the box. Documents cannot be referenced collectively in order to get credit for this point (e.g., “Documents 1, 4, and 6 suggest . . .”) unless the student goes on to discuss them individually. Documents need not be cited by number or by name.
3. Demonstrates understanding of the basic meaning of a majority of the documents
(may misinterpret no more than one).
A student may not significantly misinterpret more than one document. A major misinterpretation is an incorrect analysis or one that leads to an inaccurate grouping or a false conclusion.
4. Supports the thesis with appropriate interpretations of a majority of the documents.
the documents used in the body of the essay must provide support for the thesis. A student cannot earn this point if no credit was awarded for point 1 (appropriate thesis). [[GOLDEN RULE: 1/2+1 : use more than half of the docs. Say you had 12 docs -- use 7 docs]]
5. Analyzes point of view or bias in at least three documents.
The student must make a reasonable effort to explain why a particular source expresses the stated view by:
• Relating authorial point of view to author’s place in society (motive, position, status, etc.) OR
• Evaluating the reliability of the source OR
• Recognizing that different kinds of documents serve different purposes OR
• Analyzing the tone of the documents; must be well developed
6. Analyzes documents by explicitly organizing them in at least three appropriate
A group must contain at least two documents that are used correctly and individually.

Expanded Core: Extra bonus points added to your final score, oh my!
Expands beyond the basic core of 1–6. The basic score of 6 must be achieved before a student can earn expanded core points. Credit awarded in the expanded core should be based on holistic assessment of the essay. Factors to consider in holistic assessment may include:
• Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis
• Uses all or almost all of the documents (11–12 documents)
• Uses the documents persuasively as evidence
• Shows understanding of nuances of the documents
• Analyzes point of view or bias in at least four documents cited in the essay
• Analyzes the documents in additional ways (e.g., develops more groupings)
• Recognizes and develops change over time
• Brings in relevant “outside” information

I'll explain this in the next post.

valerierose's picture
Joined: Feb 2010

OK. My explaination on the scoring guidlines. Produced by a student, so following this does not automatically get you a 9 on an essay. May be different from APUSH, but the APUSH DBQ average is about a 3 if I remember correctly. These things are hard, and the graders should understand that in 45 mins, this thing is a DRAFT.

Getting back on topic:
Basic Core Information
1. All that stuff about the thesis? Remember English class. What's the one thing you need to do for a good grade? Have a killer THESIS. This will address what you're writing about, and in order to get at least a 6, your thesis needs to be acceptable. In fact, if your thesis is good enough, bonus point in the expanded core. Note that the thesis should not be restating the question, make sure you are taking a stand. Then, state what your paragraphs are going to be able. "The French Revolution .... due to ____,_____,______" You know the drill.

2. The Documents being discussed. Ok, this should be easy points. Basically, if you're going to talk about the documents, make sure that you're analyzing it. I put this in the wrong section, but make sure you follow the golden rule, "1/2 + 1". ALWAYS. This is easy points!

3. AP Graders are nice...Somewhat. So, they're providing you an escape. Make a mistake, it's ok! ONE MISTAKE that is. This goes for the gigantic mistakes--you know, misinterpretation of the document. You can make 2 SMALL mistakes. So 1 point for making sure what you're writing is good stuff.

4. Listen to your english teachers. Stay on topic, write about what you wrote in your thesis. Yes, if your thesis is horrible, guess what? You loose 2 points! You're arguing for your thesis, don't go off topic.

5. Ok, the point of view or bias section. I understand that some people have difficulty understanding what this means -- and this can be the most difficult part of the essay. You need to do this for at least 3 documents. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY thinks a certain way, and it should show in the writing. Point of view is exactly what that is. You're alerting the readers where this person is coming from, and why he/she sees things in this way. Such as "____ feels that ______, because he is from the upper class" or something from those lines. The bias is a bit harder, you need to see why the source is unreliable. "However, this document is unreliable because __________" or "The writer displays bias about this subject in that ____________". Whatever works for you. If you need more help, let me know. This needs practice to truly work. But, once you get it, it'll be such an asset to your essay!

6. 3 groups. Ok, this is when the whole three paragraphs thing comes in. THis is basically 3 things that can explain your thesis. Except you need to put them in groups based on similarities. They can be a grouping within a grouping. Such as, grouping 1: social Grouping 2 in Grouping 1: a certain group. Groupings can be broad or whatever you choose it to be, just make sure you can place documents within them. In the past, I have used the following groupings the most: Social, political, economical, religious, intellectually, artistic, and such and such. Sometimes, "attitudes' can work wonders.

Expanded Core summary: In order to get these points, you must recieve all the points in the Basic Core. I don't really think I need to explain this right?

madcogy's picture
Joined: Sep 2010

thanks man

sirking79's picture
Joined: Jul 2015

Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists.
how to get more instagram followers free
more likes on instagram

Need Help?

We hope your visit has been a productive one. If you're having any problems, or would like to give some feedback, we'd love to hear from you.

For general help, questions, and suggestions, try our dedicated support forums.

If you need to contact the Course-Notes.Org web experience team, please use our contact form.

Need Notes?

While we strive to provide the most comprehensive notes for as many high school textbooks as possible, there are certainly going to be some that we miss. Drop us a note and let us know which textbooks you need. Be sure to include which edition of the textbook you are using! If we see enough demand, we'll do whatever we can to get those notes up on the site for you!