Comparative Essay – Step By Step STEP 1 – Diagnosis • Read the Question and break it down in for what it is asking • In the Margin, determine all of the information that you know about it o Start from broad to specific (time period, location, concepts, events, etc. . . ) STEP 2 – Organization and Planning • Find three topics that you can group together into paragraphs • Plan out your essay into a brief skeleton that you can draw upon as you write STEP 3 – Creation • Write your essay following the point structure below and paying attention to the examples. POINT 1 – Thesis If you don’t have one you can’t gain this point or point #3 for supporting your thesis o Consider the thesis to be the essence of the paper, it is your essay in one or two sentences o Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence linked to the thesis o The thesis MUST address Similarities AND Differences in either the introduction or the conclusion to get full credit • The thesis can only be counted as the thesis and not also as a direct comparison • You don’t need to write an introduction, so don’t. Leave blank space to come back and write one if you have extra time.
POINT 4 – Direct Comparisons • 1st Sentence for each body paragraph should be a comparative (a direct comparison sentence) o Remember you must make Direct Comparisons, (apples to apples) so make it very clear to the reader your comparing in your sentence ? Use linking comparative words such as “whereas” to help set up direct comparisons ? For Example: “Both the Haitian and Russian revolutions drew considerable strength from the subjugation of the under classes into oppressive conditions, slaves and serfs repectiveley. POINT 5 – Analysis for Direct Comparisons • 2nd sentence then explains/analyzes the direct comparison in the first sentence. ? For Example: “The Haitian Slaves were worked in the demanding sugar market in a foreign continent without a demographic representation that allowed for stable familial ties that had been a strong part of their culture, without the widespread allowances to have families the choice was clear, “rebel now and maybe die, or be worked to death slowly”.
While Russian Serfs were allowed few more rights than a slave, they were bound to the land the worked for their elite Boyar ‘Little-Princes’ while the influences of the enlightenment and liberalization of Western Europe had long since freed their equals to the west. As the wars of their absolutist Czars brought Russians into contact with western ideas it was only a matter of time that the lower classes would demand a change. Thus the regimes dominating these two classes created a ‘powder keg’ in their much larger in population under classes. POINT 3 – Historical Evidence Then subsequent sentences in the paragraph should provide at least 2 prior knowledge statements/evidence in each paragraph. o You will do this for each of the body paragraphs in the paper so at least six will be written o This content should be from your coursework and can POINT 2 – Addresses all parts of the question • Must address similarities AND differences for a full 2 points • Address Comparisons, Chronology, Causation, Connections, Themes, Interactions, and Content EXTENDED CORE • You have already written yourself into the extended core if you have followed the step by step!!! If in the comparative question there is a parenthetical qualifier such as (political, economic, cultural), it is not required that evidence is given for each. This parenthetical qualifier helps students think about what to write. AP World History Comparative Essay Generic Rubric Overview |Basic Core |Expanded Core | |Historical skills and knowledge required to show competence. |Historical skills and knowledge required to show excellence. |1. Has acceptable thesis. 1 Point |Expands beyond basic core of | |(addresses comparison of the |1-7 Points. The basic core of a 0-2 Points | |issues or themes specified) |score of 7 must be achieved | | |before a student can earn expanded | |2. Addresses all parts of the 2 Points |core points. |of the question, though not | | |necessarily evenly or thoroughly. |Examples: | | |Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis | |(Addresses most parts of the (1) |Addresses all parts of the question (as relevant): comparisons, | |question: for example, deals with |chronology, causation, connections, themes, interactions, content. |differences but not similarities) |Provides ample historical evidence to substantiate thesis. | | |Relates comparisons to larger global context. | |3. Substantiates thesis with 2 Points |Makes several direct comparisons consistently between or among | |appropriate evidence. |societies. | | |Consistently analyzes the causes and effects of relevant | |(Partially substantiates thesis with (1) |similarities and differences. |appropriate evidence. ) | | | | | |4. Makes at least three relevant, 1 Point | | |direct comparisons between or | | |among societies. | | | | |5. Analyzes at least three reasons 1 Point | | |for a similarity or difference | | |identified in a direct comparison. | | | | |Subtotal 7 |Subtotal 2 Points | |Points | | TOTAL 9 Points
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