What is a DBQ?

Document-based questions (DBQs) are for all students, from elementary school through high school. They are a type of authentic assessment and a way for students to interact with historical records.

A DBQ asks students to read and analyze historical records, gather information and fill in short scaffolding response questions, assimilate and synthesize information from several documents, and then respond (usually as a written essay) to an assigned task, by using information gleaned from the documents as well as their own outside information.

DBQs help students compare and contrast issues from differing perspectives, reconcile differing positions, evaluate the strength of particular arguments, provide authentic opportunities at a high level of thinking, and develop life skills.

DBQs are a feature on New York state social studies assessment tests (including the Regents).