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August 2000 English Regents Essay Examples

 

Step 3  Write the Introductory Paragraph

  • The introductory paragraph needs to include a THESIS STATEMENT or focus statement
  • HINT:  Students may restate the thematic background statement, but should attempt to do so in their own words
  • The paragraph should be a minimum of 5 sentences
  • Include general examples and relevant outside information
  • HINT:  define the theme in the intro
  • CAUTION:  do NOT go into any detail for your examples...save this for the body paragraphs

Example of an introductory paragraph -  Writing

      History has shown that human activity has often changed the land people live on.  Quite often, the changes to the physical geography has had both positive and negative impact on society.  From ancient times to the modern day, geography and society have worked together to meet the needs and want of humanity.  Geography may include landforms, waterways, natural resources or climate.  Examples of humanity's altering of their geography include ancient Egypt and their intricate irrigation systems, the Japanese use of terrace farming, Peter the Great's construction of his "window to the west", St. Petersburg and the construction of the Panama and Suez Canals.  Two examples worth examining further include Great Britain's use of natural resources during the industrial revolution and a second example includes the deforestation process surrounding the Amazon basin in Brazil.  Human progress will often alter the environment at a cost.

     

Step 4  Write the Essay Body Paragraphs

  • Include a minimum of 2 fact filled body paragraphs
  • Begin the paragraph with a TOPIC SENTENCE;  that is a sentence that simple states what the paragraph is about
  • Use the Essay Question "Task" as your guide of what to include within the paragraph
  • Depending on the essay question, body paragraphs will often discuss the following categories
    • positive and negative effects
    • similarities and differences 
    • causes and effects
    • political, economic or social traits

Step 5  Write a Essay Conclusion

  • Restate the Theme of the essay
  • Include a sentence for each body paragraph that references the theme and content
  • Conclusion should be a minimum of 3 sentences

 

June 2002 Model Essay:  Geography and Society

HINT:  More model essays can be found within the "Past Regents Exams" link.  Just go to the answer keys.

 

 

Step by Step Guide for Writing a 

Global History Document Based Essay

Approach the DBQ a similar way that you approach the Thematic Essay.  The DBQ adds the step of analyzing historical documents, therefore we will have access to lots of specific historical details. 

Step 1   Pre-writing Planning - Think it Through!

  • Read the task or question
  • Read the task again
  • Begin thinking on how to turn the essay "Task" into your essay focus statement (thesis)
  • HINT:  Students may restate the thematic background statement, but should attempt to do so in their own words
  • Using a highlighter can help identify key words and phrases
  • Make sure you fully understand what the DBQ Essay is looking for

Example from the June 2003 Exam...

 

Step 2  Make a Written Plan

  • Make an outline, block, list or a graphic organizer like a web to BRAINSTORM
  • This is a critical part of tackling the essay.  Many students make the MISTAKE of skipping this step!
  • Commit 5 or 10 minutes for this step.  It is time well spent.
  • Look for "buckets" or "categories" to help organize your essay.
  • You will be awarded points for the ACCURATE details you provide.
  • Common mistakes include the use of incorrect information  or use of inaccurate examples that don't support the theme.
  • GET WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW DOWN ON PAPER FIRST
  • Include OUTSIDE information here to illustrate the theme further.

Example of Scrap Paper - Planning

NOTE:  Outside info is listed first...then the details from the documents second 

Change / Turning Points

Neolithic Revolution

OUTSIDE INFO

- dawn of civilization

- no more wandering, hunting and gathering

-leads to settlements, need for laws, institutions

-farming...

MOSTLY POSITIVE +

...more secure source of food, steady growth, 

 

 

 

 

 

DOCUMENT HELP...

DOC 1, timeline

domesticatio of animals, food source

DOC 2, dialogue...food source

DOC 3  ???NOT SURE???

 

Age of Exploration

OUTSIDE INFO

-from stagnant feudalistic settlements to massive amounts of cultural diffusion

-cultures come together...interdependence

-independent societies living separated...no contact

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE

POSITIVE contact allows more trade, $$$$, goods and ideas exchanged

NEGATIVE

disease, foreign domination, brutality, no respect for other cultures, slavery...

 

DOCUMENT HELP...

DOC 4, MAP of trade routes

DOC 5,  population shifts...CULTURAL DIFFUSION

DOC 6  --SLAVERY population...

Collapse of Communism/USSR

OUTSIDE INFO

1990's, end of the Cold War

-gorbachev...perestroika...glastnost

-US vs. Ussr conflict ends

-capitalism and democracy have a greater influence

POSITIVE

democracy, freedom, Berlin Wall comes down, unity

less Nuclear war threat..?..

 

 

 

 

 

DOCUMENT HELP...

DOC 7 gorby's policies explained

DOC , 8  NOT SURE HERE?? policy

DOC 9  cartoons...shortages and multi ethnic breakup..nationalism  end of one problem seems to start another...

 

Step 3  Document Analysis - Scaffolding

  • Carefully read the questions attached to each document a couple of times
  • Then carefully read the document a couple of times
  • Take notes in the MARGINS as you go.  These could highlight things like
  • positives and negatives
  • similarities / differences
  • political, social economic traits
  • causes / effects
  • Highlighting the document will help identify key words, phrases, themes and details
  • Develop your answer using your highlighted text, margin notes and document analysis
  • Complete sentences are best to get your point across.
  • REMEMBER... the scaffolding points are weighted as much as the DBQ essay
  • Go to your scrap paper and jot notes from each document that can support your essay

Step 4  Write the Introductory Paragraph

  • The introductory paragraph needs to include a THESIS STATEMENT or focus statement
  • HINT:  Students may restate the thematic background statement, but should attempt to do so in their own words
  • The paragraph should be a minimum of 5 sentences
  • Include general examples and relevant outside information
  • HINT:  define the theme in the intro
  • CAUTION:  do NOT go into any detail for your examples...save this for the body paragraphs

 

Step 5  Write the Essay Body Paragraphs

  • Include a minimum of 2 fact filled body paragraphs
  • Begin the paragraph with a TOPIC SENTENCE;  that is a sentence that simple states what the paragraph is about
  • Use the Essay Question "Task" as your guide of what to include within the paragraph
  • Depending on the essay question, body paragraphs will often discuss the following categories or "buckets"
    • positive and negative effects
    • similarities and differences 
    • causes and effects
    • political, economic or social traits
  • Use parenthetical citation after a sentence to reference the documents  ie.  (doc. #4)
  • Use a majority of the documents within the essay
  • Constantly reference the Essay Task to make sure you are keeping the essay focused
  • Weave the outside information along with the document details.  YOU NEED BOTH!

 

Step 6  Write a Essay Conclusion

  • Restate the Theme of the essay
  • Include a sentence for each body paragraph that references the theme and content
  • Conclusion should be a minimum of 3 sentences

SPECIAL NOTES....

  • Proof-read your essay.
  • Avoid listing summaries of the documents.  This would sound like  "In document 1, it says...   In document 2 its says...Finally, in document 4 it says..."
  • Avoid using 1st person pronouns.  This would sound like... "In this essay I will clearly show you that..."
  • Avoid using abbreviated terms especially those often used on Instant Messenger.  This would sound like..."...+ Slavery was bad b/c, ya know...the gov't..."

 

 

Document Based Question Checklist / Feedback 

Use the questions below to complete a review of an DBQ essay process..

1.  How many times are the documents cited?

2.  List the documents numbers used in the essay.

3.  Identify a topic sentence from one of the body paragraphs by writing it below.

4.  Is it too general or too specific? And why?

5.  List 2 examples of outside information used within the document.

6.  Identify the thesis by writing it below.

7.  Identify the categories or "buckets" used to answer the essay question.

8.  Identify an example of paraphrasing by writing an example below.

9.  List 3 details used within one of the body paragraphs.

10. List 3 adjectives, which describes the essay.

11. List 3 specific ways to improve the essay.

12. Yes or No Are there margin notes found within the documents?

13. % of block / planning completed?

Rubric Score_________ Scored by _____________________

 

 

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Last Updated: July 8, 2011