Regents Prep: U.S. History: Exam Overview:
DBQ Short Answer Questions


 DBQ Short Answer Question Overview

To successfully write a DBQ short answer response, one must carefully read or examine the historical context from Part A, the document, and the question or questions associated with it.

The answer to these questions can often be located directly within the document. Other times, one must refer back to specific information given in the historical context of the DBQ.

It should be noted that the documents upon which short answer questions are based can be textual (e.g., speech, law, etc.) or visual (e.g., political cartoon, map, etc.).

View the examples of documents and short answer questions:
Direct DBQ Short Answer Question
Indirect DBQ Short Answer Question

Exam Sections

Multiple-Choice

Thematic Essay
Short Answer
DBQ Essay

Direct DBQ Short Answer Question

DBQ short answer questions can sometimes be answered based solely on the document upon which they are based. For example, Document 5 from the June 2001 U.S. History and Government Regents Examination:

Document 5

Why are we in South Vietnam? We are there because we have a promise to keep. Since 1954 every American President has offered support to the people of South Vietnam. We have helped to build, and we have helped to defend. Thus, over many years, we have made a national pledge to help South Vietnam defend its independence. And I intend to keep our promise.

To dishonor that pledge, to abandon this small and brave nation to its enemy, and to the terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable wrong...

— Lyndon B. Johnson, April 26, 1965
 
5. According to this document, what are two reasons President Lyndon B. Johnson sent troops to Vietnam? [1, 1]
 

Obviosuly, both of these sample answers came directly from the document itself.


Indirect DBQ Short Answer Question

DBQ short answer questions sometimes require one to consider the historical context of the DBQ essay from Part A as well as the document upon which it is based. For example, Document 3 from the June 2001 U.S. History and Government Regents Examination:

Document 3

STEP ON IT, DOC!

 
3. What United States foreign policy is illustrated by this cartoon? [1]

While one might have known the answer to this question, a variety of United States foreign policies were listed in the historical context from Part A of the DBQ associated with this short answer question.



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