1 Moogull

2013 Ccot Essay Format

Continuity and Change Over Time Essay

This essay question deals specifically with analysis of continuities and changes over time and covers at least one of the periods in the concept  outline. It can address, for example, any of the course themes, such as technology, trade, culture, migrations, or environment. There may also be some internal choice within the question, so that students
are able to choose to draw their evidence from a case that they know better.

The continuity and change-over-time essay questions require students to demonstrate their mastery of this historical thinking skill.  Moreover, students are expected to construct an argument that responds directly to the question; doing so should cause them to use several of the other historical thinking skills (argumentation, causation, contextualization, and
synthesis).

Our CCOT workshop:

In our CCOT Workshop:

We reviewed what was the essence of a continuity and change over time with the example of Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 
While watching the video analyzing what changed, what stayed the same and why is pertinent to understanding this type of essay.  Below are some notes gathered during a session (your notes may not be exactly the same but these help to illustrate the point.

The Thesis:

A possible thesis for this example would need to reflect both continuity and change, give atleast one specific point and reflect the period of time that is being examined.  One way to do this would be:

Youth culture is directly connected to popular music and this interrelation is evident in the example of 'Dani California', by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who portray the evolution of popular music from the age of Elvis to modern rock and show that though the superfluous aspects of appearance, presentation and performance change to match the conditions of the time and demands of youth; ultimately it is still music which represents the youth of society. 

This is a very long thesis and it may be broken up into shorter sentences - but what is key is that it meets all of the requirements of a thesis.  For those of you that are trying to figure out how to write your thesis - do not fret if it becomes two sentences as long as you are making sure that you are meeting the requirements of change, continuity, why and example. 

A helpful worksheet for use when doing CCOT:

Possible Thesis for the Essay Prompt

One student wrote a Free Response outline that was very good & other than a few minor revisions this is the student's submission:
Gender Roles in India and China diminished the value of women from 8000BCE to 600CE because of advancements in technology and economy added complexity to the society which made the already patriarchal structure increasingly more confining for women and as time went on women lost more and more rights. 

Topic Sentences in this outline

    Men remained in power in a patriarchial system but women were granted less rights and were confined to responsibilities within the home and obediance to males in both China and India.

    Male dominance was consistent throughout the period and women were expected to obey their fathers, husbands and eventually sons in both China and India

    Increased trade created a class that valued poperty and did not value most women's contributions thus women's rights were limited and in India and China women were unable to inherit land or have legal standing in court

    Women's roles in India were even more severe as rural communities had an expectation of 'sati' which is a practice where widows are expected to join their husband on his funeral pyre while he is cremated, this further shows the devaluing of women as they are to be discarded if there is not a male who will provide for them.

    As the role of women worsened, the appeal of Buddhism grew in India and especially China since it provided a measure of freedom for some women from male domination. 

Change:    

Black and White - to - Color

Film style: grainy, to psychadelic, concert footage to music video style

Hairstyles, clothing, overall appearance

Change from dynamic dancing to melancholy candle-lit

Approachable to threatening (some of the punk or metal looking bands?)

Same:

Same song

Members of the band remained and played the same basic roles

Musical performance was not changed

Why:
(remember that why can be for change or for continuity)

Changes in technology could dictate changes in performance (filming, use of electric/unplugged, way people experience music)

Change in the way in which popular music is consumed by the public (youth culture)

Youth culture is always going to have music that it is drawn to and "speaks for them"

Changes in what is considered popular or in style

Changes could have been impacted in time periods by political/social factors (periods where music was used to convey deeper meanings to the audience)

Musicians will perform music at whatever time within their talents

Example provided by the College Board

The time allotted for this essay is 40 minutes, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer.

Directions: You are to answer the following question. You should spend 5 minutes organizing or outlining your essay. Write an essay that:
• Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with appropriate historical evidence.
• Addresses all parts of the question.
• Uses world historical context to show continuities and changes over time.
• Analyzes the process of continuity and change over time.

Analyze continuities and changes in cultural beliefs and practices in ONE of the following regions from 1450 to the present.
 • Sub-Saharan Africa
 • Latin America/Caribbean


What should be found in a good response?

A good response analyzes continuities and changes in cultural beliefs and practices in one of the stipulated regions [Sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America/Caribbean]. “Cultural beliefs and practices” is understood very broadly in world history to include religion, philosophy, ideology, science and technology, education, the arts, literature, and architecture.  Students do not have to address the entire region, but all examples they provide must fall within the stipulated region. Because the central task in this question calls for analysis of continuity and change, acceptable thesis statements need to address both, stating at least one continuity and at least one change. Acceptable thesis statements also need to be explicit, not simply restatements of the question or vague statements such as “there were more changes than continuities.” They also need to be relevant to the time period, beginning in roughly 1450 and ending sometime in the post–World
War II twentieth century.

A good response provides analysis of valid continuities and changes in cultural beliefs and practices, supported by specific pieces of evidence from within the time period, which provide supporting examples of continuity or change. For example, in terms of continuities, students could point to the continuation of the practice of indigenous religions in either area and also to the continuation of the spread of Christianity in either area or of the spread of Islam in Africa; the ways in which migrants continued their cultures in new environments; the ways in which culture was used by all types of leaders to support political systems; the ways in which language, religion, and social customs provided a sense of identification.  In terms of change, for the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, students could examine the development of syncretic forms of religion such as vodun or the cult of the saints, or the way in which the Spanish and Portuguese rulers of Latin America used art and architecture to legitimate their power. For the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they could discuss the spread of Enlightenment thought in Latin America and the consequences of this; the impact of new racial ideologies, such as Social  Darwinism, in Africa; the development of millenarian ideas such as the Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement; the spread of anti-imperial, nationalist, and communist ideology in either area. For the twentieth century, students could examine the spread of the idea of human rights; the formation of new cultural identities, such as negritude; the ways religion was applied to political issues, such as fundamentalist movements and Liberation Theology; the increasing globalization of consumer culture. Any of these examples would need to be tied into the process of change and continuity, as would any background information that students provide to set up their essays.

A good essay moves beyond a mechanistic “beginning, middle, and end” format and provides solid chronological knowledge across the entire time period. Further, students should think about including dates in their essay to demonstrate that they have the ability to describe with some precision when continuity and change happened. Solid historical analysis explains the reason for or the impact of a specific continuity or a particular change, and a good essay provides specific discussion of cause and impact. For example, the statement “Nationalism grew in Africa in the twentieth century” is a solid piece of evidence about change, but tying this to a cause or effect would generate this superior analysis: “Nationalism grew in Africa, which led to the overthrow of European empires.”

An essay that effectively addresses world historical context might describe an extra-regional connection or a global process to explain continuity or change in cultural beliefs or practices. For this essay, students would need to focus on specific global links relative to the question, instead of focusing on a similar situation somewhere else in the world. For example, saying that “China and Brazil both had Jesuit missionaries” is a comparison, not a connection. Arguing that “European Jesuit issionaries were proselytizing in South America and winning converts. This happened in China as well” does, however, draw an extra-regional connection because the term European Jesuits provides a specific reference showing how European practices affected South American beliefs. 

A strong essay would demonstrate greater nuance and sophistication, including the relationship between change and continuity. It might note, for example, that a change in the early part of the long period covered in this question became a continuity for the rest of the period: The introduction of Christianity was a change in Latin America/the Caribbean, but then Christianity’s presence and expansion became a continuity. Similarly, nationalism developed as an ideology beginning in the eighteenth century, but it then became a continuity and has remained so through the present. A specific example of syncretism, such as vodun, could be introduced as a change when it first developed, but the process of the syncretism of different beliefs, ideas, or artistic forms is a continuity across the entire time period.

The best essays will be those that do all of this, engaging their own content knowledge with the specific framing of the question.





Some Dos and Don'ts for thesis writing

Please Note: that these tips are here to help you and additions will be added from time to time, if you have a specific question or issue please send it to Ms. Hinzman through either the main page comment form or as a comment on the blog. 

Donot just restate the question 

Do make a point/ take a position/ make a statement – that you can prove or justify with your supporting paragraphs

Do make sure that it is clear what type of essay it is: 
        - For comparative essays, your thesis should indicate BOTH the similarities and differences, try to demonstrate this by using words like "shared", "similarly"/ "while", "conversely", and "opposingly"
        - For CCOT essays, the thesis should indicate changes and continuities  this can be demonstrated through the use of wording such as: "evolved", "adapted", "progressed", "matured" / "maintained", "remained", and "held onto"
        - For DBQ essays, the thesis should indicate that the conclusion is based on documents or views presented in documents

Do indicate to the reader the way you are organizing your argument– consider this the ‘preview’ of the rest of the essay

Do avoid using words that are vague (examples: very, some, many, a lot, things, stuff, few… ; these are qualifiers which don’t actually convey information – instead try to briefly state one specific example) 

Don’t include items in your thesis that are never mentioned again in the supporting paragraphs

Don’t be afraid to change your thesis to better reflect the rest of the essay (you may find that your thesis does not match the supporting paragraphs you have written.  If you write your thesis first and then the supporting paragraphs – check back on the thesis to see if it matches the rest of the argument you made, when you find a mismatch you need to make changes so that your essay is stronger)

Don’t worry about constructing the rest of an introductory paragraph, especially during timed testing – the thesis statement is acceptable to stand alone if the supporting paragraphs can meet the rest of the requirements of the essay.   

Do make sure that your thesis addresses all parts of the question being asked – often the prompt for an essay specifies areas of analysis such as political sphere, economic structure, or the influence of religion. Other components to include can be (one or all of these):  time period(s), region(s), and/or specified populations

Do try to show thought or analysis for the reasons for why things have happened or the motivations for actions/ beliefs/ innovations….    The challenge of the AP essay is not only demonstrating knowledge but also indicating depth of thought.  Higher scores are achieved when students have essays which reflect historical thinking skills.

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