I. Thesis
II. TS -- Evidentiary Paragraph 1
A. Evidence 1
B. Evidence 2
C. Evidence 3
D. Commentary
III. TS -- Evidentiary Paragraph 2
IV. TS -- Evidentiary Paragraph 3
I. Topic Sentence – should be analytical (i.e.
creates two categories) and one part of your
overall thesis
II. Evidence – should be a concrete detail,
factual (Who, what, where, when, why, and
III. Evidence
IV. Evidence
V. Commentary – can be about causation,
impact (effects), global patterns, or other
Example: “The Roman practice of
Paterfamilias reminds me of my uncle, who is
always trying to boss everybody around.”
This commentary is irrelevant
Example: “The Roman practice of
Paterfamilias fits into a global pattern of
patriarchy that began with urbanization.”
What are the underlying REASONS for the
E.g. “Because both the Egyptian and
Mesopotamian river-valley civilizations had
agricultural surplus, specialization was
E.g. “Underlying belief systems in Han China
and Rome laid groundwork for the inferior
status of women.”
Impact – looks at effects from short-term to
long term
Immediate impact looks at “proximal”
◦ E.g. “The immediate impact of Paterfamilias was to
deny women political participation in the Roman
◦ E.g. “The immediate impact of being situated on a
river-valley was to necessitate infrastructure
Long-term impact looks at extended
consequences (“Distal” effects)
E.g. “The extended effects of Paterfamilias
included a precedent of male dominance
that survived the fall of the Western Roman
empire and became embodied in Christian
E.g. “The distal effects of being situated on
a river-valley included the rise of the first
civilizations in these areas, which became
cultural hearths from which diffusion to
other areas occurred.”
(Three degrees of impact in the statement
Both Islam and Buddhism spread along trade
routes, but Buddhism did not inspire
political powers. Buddhism spread along
the Silk Road and Indian Ocean networks, as
did Islam. The Caliphates, however,
represented political and religious authority
in the Muslim world. Even after the fall of
the Abbasid Caliphate individual states
called Sultanates rose up. Sharia provided a
legal code on which to administer areas.
Buddhism never inspired a governmental
structure. Because Buddhism provided no
legal code and focused on the afterlife, it
was rarely political. Existing trade routes
provided quick paths for the diffusion of
both religions.
In both West Africa and SE Asia a syncretic
version of Islam retained more freedom for
women, however West Africa had centers of
religious authority unlike SE Asia. Women in
SE Asia were traditionally given equal status
and political roles, such as the Troung sisters
of Vietnam. In Ghana women were allowed
public presence and did not wear the veil.
Ghana had a traditional capital as well as a
Muslim-ruled trade city which provided
central authority. There was no such central
authority in SE Asia.
(your causation commentary here)

Commentary in AP World History Essays