Change Over Time (COT) Essay Writing Tips
The comparative essay will ask you to analyze changes and continuities over a
specified period of time within one or more regions. Essentially you will discuss
the evolution of a region with respect to traditions that will continue but recognize
the important forces and impacts that cause change.
When writing this essay focus on the following points:
1. Formulate a Game Plan: Take 5 minutes to sketch out a basic plan and key
points that you want to make. (Do not underestimate the importance of this
2. Thesis:
a. Write a relevant thesis that outlines your major points of change and
continuities. Indicate by example those points of change and
continuities that you will explain in your body paragraphs.
b. Include dates/time period(s) where appropriate
c. Use 3 SPECTs unless instructed otherwise to organize your points of
similarities/differences i.e. - “technologically and culturally this
region experiences change with respect to …. However continuities
are found politically due to …..
3. Body Paragraphs:
a. Answer all parts of the question as evenly and with as much accurate
historical detail as possible. Your goal should be roughly to spend
50% of your essay on change and 50% on continuities. (This is a
rough estimate/guide).
b. Make your points of change and continuities as direct as possible i.e.
economically high volumes of trade were maintained that led to
increase government taxation and wealth for nobles but peasant
dissatisfaction. Remarkably, a difference was the technology of
society B enabled them to take advantage of improvements in oceanic
navigation and ship design thereby projecting political power and
increasing wealth …
c. Analyze/explain the reasons for change and/or continuities at least
twice in your essay.
d. Don’t forget to use as much accurate historical detail as you can i.e.
vocabulary, description of events, dates, people etc…
4. Conclusion: Finish with a basic 3 sentence summary conclusion.