REWRITING the Thematic Essay: Neolithic Revolution

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November 1, 2014 by mrcaseyhistory

frustrated_writer_no_textHello my little Hemingways,

So this is your weekend to become better writers.

You have all received your graded essays complete with plenty of feedback in the form of my notes all over your papers as well as the breakdown of points according to the rubric. I was tough in my grading of these essays because I want to challenge you to become better writers. You have the opportunity to rewrite the essay for full points, meaning your newer better grade will completely replace the old one. I want you to really dig into these essays. Don’t just rewrite by going in order and trying to fix each error I pointed out. Read over it in its entirety, and then come up with a plan for going forward.

You will need a few things to do this right. First, below you will find the actual essay task sheet and the essay prep graphic organizer I gave you when we first started with these essays. You will definitely want to use the task sheet to make sure you are on task, and if you have some serious rewriting to do, the prep organizer might be useful.

Thematic Essay – Turning Points Neolithic Revolution
Neolithic Thematic Essay Prep

Second, you have the two documents you received from me in class this week. The guide for rewriting the essay has two functions. On one side it gives advice on correcting common mistakes made on many essays, and on the other side it gives you the abbreviations I used on many of your essays when I made comments. So when you see “TNA!” or “O…” or “WP” you’ll know what it means.

Rewriting the Thematic Essay
Regents Thematic Rubric

Third, these are the PowerPoints from the two lessons most closely relate to your essay. The first one on the Neolithic Revolution is mostly related to your first paragraph, and the second one on the Dawn of Civilization is mostly related to your second paragraph. Some of you were writing about other theories for how farming started, and it’s fine to bring those in (AS LONG AS THEY ARE ACCURATE AND NOT MADE UP), but I would like you to bring in what I taught you in class.

Neolithic Revolution
Dawn of Civilization

Fourth, I know many of you will, and during the first writing probably did, review the PowerPoints and feel you needed more information. Admittedly, the slides are an overview, since I add more explanation and elaboration while teaching. Some of you turned to the textbook and got yourself more confused, spending all your time talking about irrelevant issues like the size of hunter gatherer bands and stone hand axes. The textbook is more helpful for the second paragraph (use Chapter 1 Section 3) but for the first paragraph, the textbook (Chapter 1 Section 2) doesn’t have all you need, especially about HOW farming started. Luckily for you, I found a GREAT resource online about the Natufians and the birth of agriculture in the Levant! It’s much more detailed than the slides and explains in depth, so if you felt you need to become more familiar with that part of the story, check it out! I’ve posted the sections separately so you can more easily find what you need.

The Origins of Civilization:
From Hunters to Farmers: A Revolution in Human History
The “Neolithic Revolution”
Domestication of Plants and Animals in Global Perspective
The Consequences of Sedentism: What Happens When Mobile Hunter-gathers Settle Down?
Environment and Culture: How Do We Best Explain How Societies Change?


With all of that, you should be able to produce a much improved essay, and become better writers through the process. If you have any questions, as always, shoot me an email at and I will do my best to respond promptly.

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