Hi Lang Gang!
The team would love to hear everyone's thoughts on a question that came out during this week's meet-up:
Do your students get confused between the Lang Synthesis Question and the APUSH DBQ? How do you explain the different between them?
Please do share your thoughts with the group with a reply below.
I do not have a lot to add here and would love to get some tips from the other teachers. In the past, I have used Ms Effie's PowerPoint to help with the major talking points about the differences and similarities.
On another note, many thanks for the copy of "Union" - received it this weekend. We are being spoiled!
I think the biggest difference is that we are trying to teach the students to write more an essay in AP Lang whereas in US and World the DBQ's are more of responses. I think of it as being more focused in Lang as being argument driven and the student having some voice in their response whether or not they use first person. A lot of the history teachers hate this because they want the students just "to get to the point." I also think in our responses the students are rewarded for commentary (in fact commentary is a requirement) whereas if you look at model responses in DBQ there is no student commentary; it is largely stating facts/events from the sources.
From what I have been able to research and glean from my colleagues and students, the DBQ is a true exam answer task. Use the sources in a certain way; make sure you hit the correct facts and use them all. Meh. The Synthesis question is looking for nuance, finesse. You must "use" three sources, but it is more about HOW you use them in your argument, not just that you have checked the box, if you will.
I think that's a great distinction. I've always thought that the synthesis and argument responses on the Lang exam should be able to stand on their own and interesting and original arguments, as opposed to just exam responses. Now I even feel that way about the rhetorical analysis as we see so much more of that in the media these days.