Enlightenment DBQ Answer Key

Enlightenment DBQ Answer Key Introduction:

The Enlightenment period is one of the most fascinating events in the history of humanity. This era was marked by the birth of revolutionary ideas and breakthroughs in philosophy, science, art, literature, and politics, which shaped the course of Western civilization. If you are a student of history, you might have encountered the Enlightenment DBQ (Document-Based Question) essay, a popular assessment method that assesses your critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills. In this blog article, we will explore the essentials of the Enlightenment DBQ essay, which documents to analyze, and the tips on creating an excellent DBQ answer key.

Blog Body:

Step 1: Understand the Historical Context

The initial step in acing the Enlightenment DBQ is to recognize the historical context of the period. Enlightenment is the era of the 18th century, which witnessed significant transformation in the origin and nature of power, as well as the role of individuals and governing structures. Hence, you must have a firm grip on the timeline, events, concepts, and people significant of the period. It will allow you to make sense of the documents critically and position them in the context of the period.

Step 2: Analyze the Primary Sources

The next crucial step is to analyze the primary sources. The DBQ typically consists of various documents, such as speeches, essays, letters, books, or paintings. You should carefully read each document, jotting down important information and key terms related to the document’s content and its implications. It’s fundamental to label each document and recognize its author, audience, and purpose. Analyzing primary sources can help you construct a logical argument and provide an evidence-based rationale for your ideas.

Step 3: Construct an Outline

Once you have analyzed the documents, you must create an outline for your response. The outline will help you organize your thoughts, frame your argument, and ensure that you stay on track. Begin by writing down your essay’s central thesis – a clear and concise statement meant to inform the reader of your central argument that answers the prompt. The thesis should be followed by several pieces of evidence taken from your analysis of the documents and specific examples from class lectures, discussion, or assigned readings.

Step 4: Write the Body of Your Essay

It’s time to produce the body of your essay. Begin with an effective hook that grabs the reader’s attention and draws them into your essay. Following the hook, provide an explanation of the historical context that supports your thesis. The central section should provide specific examples and quotes from the documents that support your argument. Remember to select documents that show your knowledge and understanding of historical context and match the evidence with your thesis. The closing tier should restate the thesis and conclude your argument by demonstrating intellectual depth and understanding.


In conclusion, nailing the Enlightenment DBQ requires a comprehensive understanding of the historical context, deep analysis of the primary sources, and logical construction of your argument. A well-crafted answer key will showcase your critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills and will enable you to earn high marks on your assessments. By following these steps outlined above, you will ace the Enlightenment DBQ and secure your place in the annals of history.

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