Other Americans and the American Revolution

These resources were developed by high school history teacher Carolyn Latshaw to accompany the DCC collection, Other Americans and the American Revolution, created as part of the 2014 Newberry Teacher Fellowship program.


DBQ Assignment

Requirements for the Essay:

  • Typed
  • Double-spaced, 12-point font
  • 1” margins
  • Page numbers
  • Proper heading
  • Title
  • Must include 5 paragraphs (Intro, 3 body paragraphs, Conclusion)
  • Final draft must incorporate at least 6 documents


Day 1

  • Computer Lab: Introduce question in class. Review OPVL. Begin reading and analyzing documents online.
  • Homework: Read a total of 6 documents using the OPVL guide.

Day 2

  • Computer Lab: Finish analyzing at least 10 documents, organize documents, structure argument, and write thesis.
  • Homework: Write a rough draft of the introduction. Bring to class and email a copy to your teacher.

Day 3

  • Classroom: Peer edit introductions, work on outline using 3 different perspectives.
  • Homework: Write an outline including 3 body paragraphs with 2 sources per paragraph .

Day 4

  • Classroom: Review outlines, work on writing DBQ and check in first body paragraph with teacher.
  • Homework: Continue working on DBQ: rough draft due tomorrow.

Day 5

  • Classroom: Check in rough draft with your teacher. Peer edit rough draft.
  • Homework: Finish final draft.

Location of Sources:

The sources for the DBQ are available on the Newberry Library’s Digital Collections for the Classroom website. To access the sources, go to:


Reading and Analyzing Sources

1) Read introductory paragraph of the DCC collection.

2) Move to a sub topic and using the OPVL (Origin, Purpose, Value, Limitation) sheet, read the sub topic paragraphs and analyze the documents. Remember to always keep the question in mind when you analyze documents! Refer to the OPVL guide as necessary.

3) By the end of the first two days you should have an OPVL analysis for at least 10 sources – the more the better.

Creating an Argument and Thesis

1) After analyzing the documents think about the following:

  • Who is considered to be an American and why?
  • What were the interests (goals, reasons for the Revolution) of the people you consider to be ‘Americans’? Use the information from the sources.

2) Organize your documents: Which ones reflect the fact that the Revolution did serve the interests of Americans, and which documents reflect the idea that the Revolution did not serve the interests of Americans?

3) Think about an answer to the question, Did the Revolution serve the interests of Americans and to what extent? There is a wide range from which to draw your argument. Write a thesis statement that clearly reflects and answers the question. The thesis should include the three perspectives that you will be using in your essay.

Creating an Outline

Create, in bullet point format, an outline for your essay including the following:

* Introduction
* Body Paragraph 1: Perspective 1
  • Topic Sentence
  • Document Title #1
  • Connection to thesis
  • Document Title #2
  • Connection to thesis
* Body Paragraph 2: Perspective 2
  • Topic Sentence
  • Document Title #3
  • Connection to thesis
  • Document Title #4
  • Connection to thesis
* Body Paragraph 3: Perspective 3
  • Topic Sentence
  • Document Title #5
  • Connection to thesis
  • Document Title #6
  • Connection to thesis

Rough Draft

1) Turn your outline into a written rough draft. Make changes as necessary. Do not feel like you have to stick to your original plan; if you come up with a better idea, go with that.

2) Do not forget to include summaries of each piece of evidence along with thorough analysis of each piece of evidence. Also include a ‘wrap up’ sentence in each paragraph to make sure the paragraph and the argument of each paragraph connects clearly to the thesis.

3) Write a conclusion that wraps up the essay, restates the thesis, and even expands upon your ideas.

Final Draft

1) Type the essay. Edit grammar and use of language (history essays always use formal English), spell check.

2) Make sure you have appropriately cited each document. Use parenthetical citations for each source.

3) Include a proper heading and page numbers.

4) Edit, Edit, Edit.