Tampa, FL AP History Tutor Gives Basic Advice on Writing Better History DBQs

Posted on 26th February 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

This week I took on a new Tampa, FL AP History Tutoring client. He wanted help writing better History DBQs.

For those looking to practice DBQ writing, The College Board has been kind enough to publish a list of DBQs from recent AP European History exams.

For a student wishing to improve DBQ writing, what could be better than working actual previous AP exam DBQs?

It’s a basic tip, but worth any student’s time to examine the AP scoring rubric that is included in the PDFs on the College Board website.

Photo by William Murphy and licensed under Creative Commons attribution only. See more of William's photos in his Flickr photostream.

You ought to take a minute to review the DBQ scoring rubric if you are studying for the AP exam and can’t answer these questions:

  • What is the minimum number of documents that a student must use to get credit?
  • How many documents may a student misinterpret and still score on the basic rubric?
  • What types of bias should a DBQ writer look for in analyzing the point of view of sample documents?
  • How are the points awarded for a DBQ?
  • Must the thesis appear in the first paragraph of a DBQ?
  • Assuming a student gets all of the basic points on a DBQ, what are the requirements for earning extra points?

The DBQs from the College Board website include answers written by students. Studying the best DBQ answer essays and knowing the DBQ scoring rubric are good place to start if you want to improve your chances of writing an effective AP History DBQ. Need more help in AP European or American History? Call 813.787.8959 to reach Eric, the Tampa AP History Tutor.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 2/26/2009 12:50 AM


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Tampa Tutor Shares What Students Can Learn From Super Bowl

Posted on 2nd February 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

Focus on the Fundamentals: The NFC and AFC champions do a few basic things very well. Their defenses tackle. Their linemen protect and their quarterbacks read defenses. Before he retired, former Bucs coach Tony Dungy had winning seasons almost every year he coached in the NFL. I still remember how much he talked about playing fundamentally sound football at his post game press conferences.

(Image of Steelers helmet created by Andy Emcee on Flickr and licensed under creative commons attribution only.)

His secret for excellence was doing the basics better than anyone else.

In academics, the most fundamental skills are reading with high comprehension, evaluating evidence and sources, and constructing sound arguments.

These skills are built gradually by putting in the time, by looking up unfamiliar words, by being willing to write a second a third draft of papers. Top students separate themselves from their peers because they have a stronger mastery of the academic fundamentals.

Put in the Time Required:  The athletes in the NFL are an elite group. The NFL has 32 teams, each composed of 53 men. These 1700 athletes are drawn from a country with 150 million men.

Most NFL players are not so naturally gifted that they can compete on game day without having an outstanding work ethic.

Few top students can achieve academic success without working hard.

They don’t skip reading difficult parts of a text. They have the dedication to seek out answers and outside sources when they need them.

Set High Standards: One announcer said the Steelers measure success in terms of Lombardi trophies. They are now the only team with six.

They set lofty standards and expect to meet them.

Average students don’t have any goal beyond doing as well as they can in a class. Excellent students know exactly what they will achieve from day one.

(Image licensed under Creative Commons attribution only and created by San Jose photographer YADH on Flickr.)

Get Expert Coaching: Even the best athletes in the world have coaches. Tiger Woods, easily the world’s top golfer, spends hours with his swing coach. Even AP and IB students can benefit from one-on-one private tutoring.

Just as coaches can help a pro athlete perform better on the field, good private tutors can help a good student become even better in the classroom. To find an English, history, or American Government tutor in New Tampa or Wesley Chapel, FL, call Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959, the Tampa English Tutor.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 2/2/2009 4:38 AM


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