The 2019 AP European History DBQ topic asks students to evaluate the extent to which the Catholic Church opposed scientific advancements in the seventeenth century. Well, technically, it asked students to evaluate whether or not the Catholic Church opposed scientific advancements in the seventeenth century. Personally, I feel like if the test makers want students to write a nuanced essay (in accordance with the expectations outlined on the DBQ rubric), the prompt should ask for a nuanced essay rather than just phrase it as a simple yes or no question.
Is this just a big deal to me? Feel free to weigh in on your preference for the AP Euro DBQ prompt format:
Although I wasn't crazy about the phrasing of the prompt, I liked the accessible topic and how the documents provided room for several different nuanced arguments. I sat down and wrote two sample DBQs in response to this prompt. One of the samples was my own response, which is intended to be a full-credit essay, and the other is an essay designed to score 4 out of 7 possible points. You may download the sample essays here:
On Wednesday, May 22, I will be leading a debriefing session on the 2019 AP Euro Free Response section, in which we will discuss approaches to responding to the SAQ, DBQ, and LEQ prompts. As a result of those discussions, more samples like this will be created and shared with all participants. Click here for more information about the debriefing session.
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