Social Studies Analytical Essay
Was Ancient Sumer a Civilization?
Name___________________________________________________________
Block # ____________________________ Homeroom ____________________
Dear Pearl Parents and Guardians,
Students will be starting their first major Social Studies writing assignment. This will be a five paragraph
analytic essay. Student will can earn up to 40 points for the final paper. Grades will also be given
on various parts of the process which will equal 40 points. Therefore, it will be extremely important
that your child be in attendance or make up any missed work if not in attendance. Work not made up or
passed in will be a zero.
Although much of the work will be done during school time, there will be homework assignments almost
every night during this process. You are encouraged to help your child with corrections.
The next page has information regarding this work. However, please check the Pearl Team Social Studies
Website for further clarifications, explanations, or changes.
Because it will be extremely important to stay organized, it is suggested that each student bring in a
pocket folder (or large envelope) to hold all the materials related to this assignment.
Cut on the dotted line and have your child return the signed slip to Mr. Nemerowicz by Monday 12/8. Please
keep all other papers at home.
Thank you,
Carey Nemerowicz and Lida Tabrizi
Quinn Middle School
December 4, 2014
********************************************************************************
We are aware of the upcoming major writing assignment.
__________________________________________________ date ______________
parent/guardian’s signature
__________________________________________ss block#_____ homeroom ______
student’s name
INITIAL INFORMATION FOR THE
PEARL TEAM ANALYTIC ESSAY
You will soon be writing an analytical essay that answers the following:
Which three of the seven characteristics of civilization best illustrate that ancient Sumer was a
civilization.
INSTRUCTIONS, EXPLANATIONS, CLARIFICATIONS, etc:
 Analytical essays ask you to analyze, or break down and interpret information to answer a question.
 This is a five-paragraph essay with clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
 Each body paragraph must have at least nine to eleven sentences (intro/conclusion paragraphs can be
five to seven sentences.)
 You are required to use supporting evidence when you are discussing the importance and impact of each
example of civilization that you choose (evidence must come from sources utilized in class).
 You must refer to your textbook and Ch. 5 packet to help you choose which characteristics and
examples to write about. (The characteristics are: Stable food supply, social structure, government,
religion, arts, technology, and writing.)
 Student will be provided time in Social Studies to work on their graphic organizer and to write their
rough draft. They will also have the opportunity to peer conference and edit their writing.
 Students are responsible for completing most of the final draft at home.
 Final drafts must be typed, double spaced, in 12pt standard font (Times New Roman), with black ink on
clean paper with 1-inch margins. MLA heading on first page and pages need to be stapled before coming
to class.
 Students are encouraged to take advantage of the after school help sessions. Students need to use
Microsoft Word or Google Docs if they want to type and save their reports at school.
 MLA Guidelines will be followed. Students can refer to Write Source (language arts textbook in class)
for help.
 Following directions and organization will be extremely important to a successful research project.
PASSING IN YOUR WORK (Keep everything as you work.)
Pass in all drafts, graphic organizers, editing sheets, etc.
DUE DATE December 22nd
** Further instructions and information will be provided during the working process. Any revisions to the
above will be clearly stated in class.
Analytic Essay
Social Studies
Ancient Sumer Was a Civilization!
This week you will be writing an analytical essay that answers the following:
Which three of the seven characteristics of civilization best illustrate that ancient Sumer was a
civilization?
(This question asks you to select three of the seven characteristics of civilization. You will describe
them and provide examples from ancient Sumer. You must analyze how these examples affected the
lives of the people of ancient Sumer and show that Sumer was in deed a civilization.)
 Analytical essays ask you to analyze, or break down information that answers the question.
 This is a five-paragraph essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
 Each body paragraph must have at least nine to eleven sentences (intro and conclusions can be five to
seven sentences.)
 You are required to use supporting evidence when you are discussing the importance and impact of
each example you choose (this evidence must come from sources we utilized in class.)
 You must refer to your textbook, interactive student notebook and handouts to help you choose
which characteristics and examples to write about: Stable food supply, social structure, government,
religion, arts, technology, and writing.
 We will complete most of the work for the graphic organizer and rough draft in class.
 We will do peer editing and some self-editing in class.
 You are responsible for completing most of the final editing and draft at home.
 Final drafts are to be typed, double spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman font, with black ink, on
clean white paper. MLA heading on the first page and all pages stapled before coming to class.
Timeline
(Dates are an approximation and as such are subject to change)
1. First class (12/8): Introduce topic, review the seven characteristics of civilization and examples of
each from our text and ISN. Students will fill out a brainstorming diagram and narrow their focus to
the three characteristics they will write about. (HW: finish brainstorming/Prewriting)
2. Second class (12/9): We will review what thesis statements and lead sentences are. Students will fill
out the graphic organizer for the paper. (Homework: Finish graphic organizer )
3. Third class (12/11): We will review our graphic organizers. We will also begin to write the rough
draft of the intro paragraph of the essay.
4. Fourth class (12/12): We will review our rough draft of our intro paragraph. We will begin writing
our first body paragraph. These paragraphs will take the most time and effort to write. You will
choose which three characteristics of civilization best illustrate the fact that Sumer was a
civilization. You will also need to provide supporting evidence (examples) about how these
characteristics affected the lives of the people of ancient Sumer. (Homework: Finish rough draft
for the first body paragraph and make edits to intro)
5. Fifth class (12/15): We will review our first body paragraphs and start to write our rough drafts of
our second and third body paragraphs. Don't forget to use supporting evidence. (Homework: Finish
rough draft for the second and third body paragraphs.)
6. Sixth class (12/16): Students will review how to write a concluding paragraph for the essay. They will
write rough draft of their concluding paragraph. (Homework: Completed rough draft due next class)
7. Completed rough draft due (12/17): We will be peer conferencing on this day in social studies
class. Final essays will be due in social studies on December 22nd. After December 22nd, your
paper will be considered late and points will be deducted (one half letter grade per day late).
Papers will not be accepted after December 23rd!!!
Focused Free Writing
Take the next 10 minutes to do the following: 1. Summarize the topic in a phrase or sentence;
generate a free flow of thought. 2. Write anything that comes to mind, whether on topic or off, for the period of time
you chose. 3. Don't pause, don't stop, don't rush; work quickly Don't review. 4. Use both sides of this paper if
you need to.
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Topic:
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Free write:
Prewriting web: Think about the characteristics that best illustrate the fact that ancient Sumer was a
civilization. Fill the boxes with facts and examples for each characteristic.
Stable food supply
Religious system
Social structure
Ancient
System of government
Culture/Arts
Sumer
Highly developed written language
Advances in technology
Other
Analytical Essay Graphic Organizer
Introduction. Follow the steps below to form your complete paragraph.
Hook-Write a creative hook that will draw your reader into reading your essay
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Background –Write 2-3 sentences that broadly discuss the prompt and provide background on
the subject. YOUR ANSWER TO THE QUESTION (THESIS) SHOULD NOT BE
MENTIONED
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Write a thesis statement. This sentence should answer the question and include a topic for each
of your three body paragraphs.
(Basic sample thesis: “Ancient Sumer was a civilization because they had ______________,
___________________, and __________________.”)
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BODY #1
Statement/Topic Sentence/: This sentence should connect to your first reason from your thesis and explain what the
paragraph is going to be about.
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Proof- TRANSITION to your proof smoothly, then write your quotation, (cite page #)
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Analysis: This is 4-6 sentences explaining why your evidence supports your argument.
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BODY #2
Statement/Topic Sentence/: This sentence should connect to your second reason from your thesis and explain what the
paragraph is going to be about.
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Proof- TRANSITION to your proof smoothly, then write your quotation, (cite page #).
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Analysis: This is 4-6 sentences explaining why your evidence supports your argument.
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BODY #3
Statement/Topic Sentence/: This sentence should connect to your third reason from your thesis and explain what the
paragraph is going to be about.
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Proof- TRANSITION to your proof smoothly, then write your quotation, (cite page #).
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Analysis: This is 4-6 sentences explaining why your evidence supports your argument.
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CONCLUSION
Thesis re-stated: _______________________________________________________________
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Summary- write one sentence to summarize each of your body paragraphs. (This means that
you should have THREE sentences- one per body paragraph.)
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Clincher- this is a broad statement that leaves the reader thinking. It may connect back to your
hook.
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Analytical Essay Rubric
Name:
Category
Due Date:
4
3
2
Teacher
Introduction is clear,
states the main topic,
provides background and
includes hook, and a
thesis statement
The topic is broken down
into smaller parts and
helps reader to increases
understanding
Introduction states main
topic but it is inadequately
developed or it does not
focus the topic, or both.
Thesis is present.
The topic is broken down
into smaller parts but it
explains very little.
The essay has no clear
introduction or thesis
is missing.
Each body paragraph has
at least one quote and
additional facts, and
paraphrasing, which
support the topic
sentence.
Essay has very few errors
in punctuation,
capitalization, spelling
and sentence structure
Body paragraphs have
quotes but the essay
contains few supporting
details
The supporting details
of the essay are either
missing or very vague.
Essay has some errors in
punctuation, capitalization
spelling and sentence
structure
Essay has many errors
in punctuation,
capitalization, spelling
and sentence structure
Conclusion is interesting
and leaves the reader
thinking.
Conclusion is neither
interesting nor does it
give the reader much to
think about.
There is no clear
conclusion.
MLA Format
MLA heading on first
page. 12 pt. Font. All
rough drafts and graphic
organizer turned in.
Missing one required
formatting element.
Missing two required
formatting elements.
Structure
Words
Uses 8-10 structure
words.
Uses 6-8 structure words.
Uses 4-6 structure
words.
Introduction
/lead
_____ points
Analysis
X2
_____ points
Supporting
Evidence
X3
_____ points
Mechanics
and Grammar
_____ points
Conclusion
_____ points
Comments:
The essay fails to
break down the topic
into smaller parts.
Total:
.
__/ 40
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Analytic Essay Social Studies Ancient Sumer Was a Civilization!