AP Comparative Essay – Middle East and Americas

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October 28, 2016 by mrcaseyhistory

2b6cbd3e12a00b78b77939d70975fdebEssay Materials:
Comparitive Essay – Development of Agricultural Societies
How to Write a Compare Contrast Thesis
APWH Comparison LEQ Rubric
AP Historical Thinking Skills

Content Resources:
AP Textbook Chapter 1, 2, 6
Different Continents Different Histories (Geographic Disadvantages of the Americas)
Any other materials from class related to the topic (see past lessons)

Message on Essay Structure:

Hello my wonderful AP students!

I’m sure you all rushed home today in excitement to start working on your first AP World essay, but I wanted to reach out to you to give you some further guidance on how to structure your essay. One of your classmates reached out to me with some great questions about how to organize things, and how to incorporate the requirements into the structure of the essay, so I thought I would share my response with all of you, since I’m sure many of you will have similar questions. Before you read the rest of this, get out those papers I gave you in class so you can follow along…

So with the AP essays, they are in some ways less rigid in structure than regents essays, but of course, sometimes that can make it even more confusing, so here’s a bit more structure.

The main goal is that you answer all parts of the prompt fully (fully meaning hitting all the points on the rubric, which are the same as those listed right under the prompt). Since this is a comparative essay, you have to discuss similarities and differences. So a good way to organize the essay would be to have the first body paragraph discuss similarities, the second body paragraph discuss differences, and the third body paragraph discuss the synthesis with an outside example.

As for how to actually discuss the similarities and differences…

While you will very likely provide many examples that show similarity/difference, they should all connect to an particular overall similarity/difference. You want to focus on at least one major, overall similarity and one major, overall difference, and for each, provide lots of details and examples (evidence) AND do lots of explaining, connecting, and ANALYZING (historical thinking skills).

As you can see from the rubric, you can get 1 point each for B and C by just doing the basics, but you get 2 points each if you take it to the next level.

So the essay should look something like this…

1. Introduction (containing Thesis Statement)

2. Major Similarity (containing lots of evidence and explained with historical thinking skills)

3. Major Difference (containing lots of evidence and explained with historical thinking skills)

4. Synthesis (containing outside example with historical thinking skills)

5. Conclusion (returning to and tying up Thesis)

I hope that helps clarify things a bit, and if any of you guys have any questions, please do not hesitate at all to ask.

Sincerely,

Mr Casey

PS: One more giant piece of advice. When I write all over people’s essays with feedback, two of the most common words I write are HOW? and WHY? As you write, or even after you write your essay, when reading it over, see if there are any places you can ask HOW? or WHY?, and if there are, do you best to answer those questions in the essay. It’s so important to not just state information but to explain it, clarify it, connect it, and when it comes to your argument, show how your examples connect back to prove your point. Happy writing, and sorry for the long post-script!

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“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” -MLK . . . Don’t just think of MLK as a famous American hero loved by the nation. It’s only now that he has a national holiday (and some people still don’t like him). It’s important to remember how disliked he was by so many Americans, and how unpopular his views were in his time. And this was not very long ago. Not at all. Those who are vilified and demonized today for standing up for what is right may be the heroes of tomorrow. Depends how it all goes down. Just don’t forget to broaden your perspective. Sit back to look at the whole timeline. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. #MLKDay #DrKing #KeepDreaming #KeepFighting
#NHS Thank you guys so much for the birthday wishes! I especially appreciated the not one but TWO references to #PewPewPew (seems it still resonates years later) and the observation that I am both hyper and caring, which I consider a most honorable description. Cheers! 🏹 🏹 🏹
Two of our MUNions enjoying the Model United Nations 🇺🇳 conference at Brooklyn Tech! Check out @maspeth_mun for more conference pics! . . . Are you interested in joining the Maspeth Model UN Club? We are now opening up for new members for a limited time only! If you would like to join, come to our next meeting this Tuesday after school in room 404. Model UN is a great club. It requires hard work and dedication but it is also a lot of fun, it looks great to colleges, it makes you a better speaker and communicator, and you get to be part of the MUNion family! Come through (especially #FRESHMEN)!
SHOCKING! But also not that shocking, amirite? The truth about why #PresidentNixon started the #WarOnDrugs. The quote is real and it’s from his advisor. #AdamRuinsEverything 🍃💉
#Mbuti #Pygmies #Foragers #HunterGatherers #Congo #Imperialism #KingLeopold #BelgianCongo #WhiteSupremacy #Atrocity #Boyanga
Thanks for the “Holiday” greetings guys! #CornellNotesForChristmas #Navidad #Saturnalia #SolInvictus #Mithraism #Yule #WinterSolstice 🎄⛪️🏛🌞🗽🌲❄️
Solid example of how to use #synthesis to score the elusive final point on the AP rubric. This was from a DBQ essay on #IndenturedServitude, and this student, having finished addressing the thesis in relation to the documents on the assigned topic, added at the end a connection to a different place and time where there was also a system of semi-free labor not far off from slavery — the #encomienda system in the 16th century Spanish colonies in the Americas. This works because it doesn’t interrupt the main focus of the essay by coming at the end, and because it doesn’t come out of nowhere but rather is woven into the context of the main essay topic, and explicitly linked to that topic and the key points of the thesis argument being presented. There are other ways to earn that point, but synthesis is the most clear and objective.

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