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Writing the Comparative Essay

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1 Writing the Comparative Essay
AP World History Writing the Comparative Essay

2 Foundations comparison essay
Compare and contrast the use of technology and the dynamics of trade in TWO of the following regions for the periods mentioned: China during the Qin and Han Dynasties ( 3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE) The Mediterranean Basin during the Roman Empire ( 1st century BCE to 4th century CE)

3 Foundations essays Compare the political and social structures of two early civilizations, using any two of the following: Mesopotamia Egypt Indus Valley Shang Dynasty Mesoamerican and Andean South America

4 Foundations Essay Compare the role of women in TWO of the following belief systems: Buddhism Christianity Confucianism Hinduism

5 Foundations Essay Compare Hinduism with Confucianism in regard to their role in creating a social hierarchy within their respective societies

6 Topics commonly in comparative essays come from the “six themes” of World history
Technological advances and developments Social and economic impact of warfare Gender issues and treatment of minority populations Evolution of political systems and structures International trade and exchange Labor systems, trade migrations

7 Focus of comparative essays
Broad patterns of historical development that affect all societies throughout history Balance the similarities and differences. Use the five paragraph essay format

8 General tips for essay writing
Develop a thesis and state it clearly Your thesis must be explicit! Write a short introductory paragraph Your thesis statement can be more than one sentence. Students usually put their thesis statement in the introductory paragraph

9 General Tips Continued
Read the directions and follow them closely- each essay has its own specific rules and rubric for evaluation of the essay. Look at the prompt’s key verb: Defend or refute, Assess the validity of.. Evaluate, describe, discuss, or detail, analyze or examine, compare and contrast

10 More General tips Write neatly and clearly.
Divide your essay into paragraphs and clearly indent them Turn in an answer of an appropriate length Quantity does not mean quality! Two full pages-minimum length Reread your essay if time permits

11 Writing the comparative essay
Compare / contrast how two or more civilizations / nations have undergone or have responded to a historical event. Some comparison essays offer students a choice: Which regions to compare?—pick those regions that you know the most facts about and relate them to the question

12 Look out for “Big Picture” ideas and themes as we cover the time periods of history
How different societies responded to each other or other societies or events. How different societies changed—or didn’t change—in response to some event How different societies developed How different societies responded to new technologies or new ideas.

13 Writing Tips You have 40 minutes to write your essay.
Spend 5-10 minutes organizing your ideas and planning. Make sure that you have read the prompt at least two or more times You must answer all parts of the prompt to get full credit on your essay Write only direct comparisons!

14 Analyze the Reason(s) for the Similarities and / or differences
State clearly in your essay the reasons why the similarities or differences existed in the societies being compared / contrasted. Listing the items in common or the differences is not enough to earn the core point for analysis

15 Show both similarities and differences in your essay
The comparison essay asks: what is the same and what is different between two or more regions Put as many facts as possible in your body paragraphs. Fact must be relevant and pertain to the regions being compared Weave comparisons within each paragraph

16 Using comparative words
You should use plenty of comparative words as logical connections between the regions. The most commonly used words are: ALSO, AS WELL AS, FURTHERMORE, LIKEWISE, ON THE OTHER HAND, HOWEVER, TO THE CONTRARY Write paragraphs in which BOTH regions are discussed together.

17 Don’t do the following! Favor one region to the exclusion of the other. Mention facts that are not focused on the topic or question Discuss each region in isolation Do not rewrite the essay prompt when writing your thesis or write a thesis that states: “ There are many similarities and differences between ….

18 Generic Scoring Guide: Basic core- up to 7 points
Has an acceptable thesis- 1 point Addresses all parts of the question- 2 points Addresses most parts of the question- 1 point Substantiates thesis with appropriate historical evidence- 2 points Partially substantiates thesis with appropriate historical evidence.- 1 point Makes at least two relevant, direct comparisons between or among societies- 1 point Analyzes at least ONE reason for a similarity or difference identified in a direct comparison.- 1 point

19 Generic Scoring Guide: Expanded Core:1- 2 bonus points
Analytical thesis Addresses all parts of the question and includes- comparisons, chronology, causation, connections to today, themes, interactions etc Ample historical evidence to support the thesis Relates comparisons to the larger global perspective Makes several DIRECT comparisons consistently between or among societies Analyzes the causes and effects of the relevant similarities and differences.

20 The learning curve Study and memorize your rubric
We will practice writing comparative essays all year and by the end of this semester, you will be able to write a good essay! By the end of second semester, you will be writing timed essays.

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