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How to get the Sourcing Point on the DBQ

The Basics:

  • There are 5 different approaches you can take to source your document.
  • You must source at least three documents. 


Using the acronym “HAPPY” is a great way to easily keep track of your sourcing options and streamline your thought process when sourcing your docs during the DBQ. 

Historical Context 🌏 :

  • What are the immediate historical events occurring at the time of this document/led to its creation? 
  • What is the situation/environment of ideas or emotions that led to the creation of the doc? 

Audience 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 : 

  • Who was this document’s intended audience? 
  • How could the audience affect the attitude, content, style, etc. of the document, and why is that important? 

Point of View 🔍 : 

  • Who is the author of the document/ where does it come from?
  • How could this shape their opinion or emotions as expressed in the document?
  • Determine possible bias and why that bias could exist. 
  • Identify any influences on the author and how they may have shaped the document. 

Purpose❗ : 

  • For what reason or why was the document created?
  • What was the author trying to achieve by creating the document? 


  • How does the document affect/support/discredit/shape/reflect popular arguments on the subject?
  • How does the document reflect continuity or change over time?
  • What are the limitations of the document?
  • Why is the document significant? 


  • Source as many documents as you can, time permitting, but at least one extra just to be safe. 
  • You don’t have to vary your sourcing types, but it is good practice to do so.
  • Try to choose the sourcing option best suited to the document. Don’t try to make a stretch. Do whichever option is quickest and easiest. 
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