When I was in class, my teacher gave us a couple of lists of tips. Here are the ones that I found useful:
1. Take a position and STICK TO IT.
Remember that you need to argue a point in your essay. Nothing is neutral, EVER. It’s fine to note what the opposite argument to the point you’re making might be. However, only do this is you are confident that the way you combat this argument will strengthen your stance.
2. Make your references as specific as possible, but make sure they’re factual. Facts strengthen essays. It shows you know what you’re talking about! However, if you’re not sure about a piece of information in terms of accuracy, leave it out. Don’t harm your credibility.
3. Answer the ENTRIE question in your thesis. The best way I did this was to underline each part of the question, number each part, then cross that number off once I had successfully addressed in my thesis. Then, of course, you just need to facts and analysis to back it up.
4. Use past tense and third person consistently. History has happened, it’s done. Keeping a clear tense will make your essay cleaner. Same situation with using ONLY third person. For as much as your opinion matters in a DBQ, no using “I” to talk about your opinion, nor using “you” to appeal to your reader. You need to do that through third person only.
5. For DBQ’s, use the rule of “Three groups of three” You are required to show your argument from three different points of PERSIA. Let’s say, worst case scenario, you fail to analyze one of your documents correctly. If you only have two documents in a group, and one is wrong, you’re left with one correct document, and one is not a group. You have then lost major points on your essay. However, if you have three documents in a group, and one is wrong, you still are safe with a group of two!
6. Know how to answer the prompt. I present to you the great page of instruction definitions! Refer to this when you’re not sure how to answer what your prompt is asking of you
Causes: militarism, cross-continental alliances, imperialism in Africa, nationalism at home.
There’s another crisis in the Balkans, and tensions are running high among the different Slavic groups. A Bosnian extremist, Gavrilo Princip, shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand while working for the Serbian terrorist organization Black Hand. Austria wants to declare war on Serbia.
Austria asks Germany for backup. Germany says do whatever the fuck you want, here’s a blank check, meaning no matter how much shit you fuck up, we’ll help you.
Austria waits until the French president is out of Russia (he was visiting on diplomatic terms, but you don’t want the guy parked on your Western border suddenly teaming up with the guy parked on your Eastern border. Remember, communication took a while back then - if the French president is all the way in France, chances are low that they’ll be able to respond in time.) and then they send an ultimatum to Serbia.
Their demands are too extreme and Serbia is forced to reject them.
Austria declares war on Serbia and hopes to God they are declaring war only on Serbia.
Nicholas II is like wow, Russians are Slavic, and wow, Serbs are Slavic, so wow, maybe I should help. Can I mobilize just half of my army?
Generals say no, it’s all or nothing.
Nick says okay let’s just send our entire military to protect this tiny Slavic nation.
Germany is like wow okay stop in the next 12 hours or face Premium Ass Kicking
The Russians don’t.
Germany knows that France and Russia are buds and assumes France is probably mobilizing at this point so they come up with the Schlieffen Plan, that diverts more troops to attacking France than fighting off the Russians.
Germany’s like let’s just redeploy to the other side once we’re done kicking French ass
Germany needs to march through Belgium
“Let us march, Belgium”
“But I’m supposed to be neutral-”
“LET US MARCH, BELGIUM”
Britain is sitting quietly, then they see that someone has marched through Belgium.
August 4th, Britain goes to war on the side of France and Russia.
The French and Germans have machine guns and shovels. Trench warfare. Everyone’s getting mowed down. It’s hideous. Probably most bloody war in European history is the Western front. Don’t read books about it. They’re more depressing than Marley & Me. And that was a fucking depressing movie.
Germany and Austria beat the living shit out of Russia until it almost can’t fight anymore because of the number of casualties they suffered.
Russia runs away but Serbia’s ass is thoroughly destroyed.
Battle of Verdun on the Western front, 600k killed.
Germans redirect focus to Western front.
Ugly, ugly war
British colonizers in Arabia convince everyone to revolt against the Ottomans, so on a side note, the Ottoman empire dies. ottomans like
Battles in Africa because of colonization, wonderful
Japan joins so that it can have England and France’s stuff in East Asia?? okay
So the British blockade on Germany stops the Americans from shipping & selling shit which, as we all know, is all the US likes to do, so now they’re pissed too because they want to sell their shit
The Germans start submarine warfare thinking the Americans won’t give a shit
The Americans are angry about not selling shit and also they are friends with Britain, so they declare war in 1917
Britain is starting to sweat, Ministry of Munitions under David Lloyd George mobilizes like everything to make sure they still have artillery
France puts Georges Clemenceau up to bat.
German ass begins to get kicked
All the men are fighting and dying so now women get to do stuff
America - 19th amendment, thanks ladies
Nicholas II starts having internal problems, March Revolution and April Theses
Things really go to shit
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russia and Germany
Russian Civil War
Armistice in 1918 on the Western front
Treaty of Versailles signed
League of Nations
I hope this helps! Let me know if you need anything else.