Keys to the Document Based Question Essay

Keys to the
Change & Continuity
Over Time Essay
What is the CCOT (or COT)
 An essay discussing characteristics that
changed and stayed the same in a given
region between two time periods.
(Comparison essay, but across time rather
than region).
 Requires an extensive knowledge of content.
 Change & continuity over time essays require
describing the history of a place.
What is the CCOT essay?
1. Thesis statement
2. Addressing both changes & continuities
3. Supporting the thesis
4. Analyzing the cause of change or continuity
5. Using global historical context
Notice 1-4 are the same points as the
Comparative Essay rubric!
Required Element:
 Restate location & time period boundaries.
 Write a strong statement of 1-2 sentences that
falls at the end of your intro.
 Minimum of two topics (one change and one
 Whenever possible add a third topic (usually
changes are easier).
Required Element:
Answer the Question
 Read the question accurately & plan.
 Identify at least 1 accurate change & 1
accurate continuity.
 Establish a baseline before describing the
changes that occur.
 Outline the steps that lead to the change.
 Establish an endpoint.
Required Element:
Thesis - examples
 2006 EXAM: Analyze the cultural and
political changes and continuities in ONE
of the following civilizations in the last
centuries of the classical era.
– India 300CE to 600 CE
– China 100CE to 600 CE
– Rome 100CE to 600 CE
Required Element:
Thesis - examples
 In the classical era between 100AD and 600AD,
the Roman civilization experienced many
political and cultural changes and continuities.
The Roman government went from a republic to
Empire dominance that crumbled in 476. But
cultural aspects of the Roman Empire remained
the same.
– Between 100 CE and 600 CE, the Roman empire
underwent a change in government as the empire
collapsed due to corruption within. Also, the
influence of Christianity increased greatly.
However, the “Eastern Roman Empire”, the
Byzantines, kept the culture going.
Required Element:
Thesis - examples
 2003 EXAM: Describe and analyze the
cultural, economic and political impact of
Islam on ONE of the following regions
between 1000 and 1750. Be sure to discuss
continuities as well as changes.
– West Africa
– Europe
– South Asia
Required Element:
Thesis - examples
 Between 1000 and 1750, Europe received many
technological and political ideas from Islam,
while Islam remained basically the same, as well
as European opposition to Islam.
 Between 1000 and 1750, European culture was
impacted by Islam through the Crusades, which
exposed Europeans to Islamic scientific
knowledge, and the economy of Europe was
stimulated by contact with Islamic societies.
However, the political impact of Islam had little
effect on Europe’s political system.
Required Element:
 Give multiple, specific examples to support
thesis claims (requires that you know history)
– Don’t be afraid to note exceptions to a trend!
 Have goal of 3 supporting details per body ¶
 Be able to offer analysis as to WHY things
change and WHY they stay the same.
Required Element:
Analyze Reason for Change or
 Identify at least 1 cause of a change or
 Try to aim for the root or underlying theme
driving the change taking place.
 Know the common triggers for change—they
are often used in essays (trade, outside
influence, political collapse…)
Required Element:
Global, Historical Context
 Remember that changes & continuities in a
particular region do not happen in a
vacuum—they are connected to what is going
on outside the region.
 Identify at least 1 development in the broader
world and connect it to your topic.
Practice CCOT - Music
American music through the ages –
Dani California
 Based on the music video, analyze the
changes and continuities in American music
between 1950 and today.
What is the CCOT essay?
Steps to Answering the Question
1. Know how the essay is graded
2. Break down the question
3. Remember the Rule of 3
4. Use solid paragraph structure
Step: #1 Know Rubric
 Split rubric= must get all 7 core points
before earning expanded points
– Focus on 7 core points
 Scored based on value-added= points are
not deducted, they are only awarded for
positive contributions
Step: #2 Understand Question
 Read the question accurately & plan
– Underline directive word= describe v. compare v.
analyze v. evaluate v. to what extent
– Establish boundaries for writing= time period & region
– Recall prior knowledge= note any info that you
remember within the boundaries
 Analysis?
– do not simply look at a situation simply at face
value but look for connections between
– the recognition of patterns, relationships, or
hidden meaning
Step: #3 Rule of 3
 3 controlling ideas in thesis
 3 body paragraphs
 3 supporting details per paragraph
 3 examples of context – 1 per paragraph
 3 causes of change or continuity – 1 per
Step: #4 Paragraph Org
 Topic sentence introducing grouping
 Context
 Baseline
 Evidence (beginning, middle, end of period)
 Cause of change/continuity
Finished Product – Formal Essay
– There are requirements specific to AP, but keep
in mind this is about becoming a good writer
 Proper Organization & Accuracy
– Introduction, 3 body ¶‘s, Conclusion
– Use topic sentences
– Restates thesis in conclusion
 Proper Style & Conventions
– Don’t use I, me, you, or abbreviations
– Aim for proper spelling and punctuation
because errors can cloud your argument
Practice CCOT - HW
 Complete 1 practice CCOT essay
– Need: Thesis, 3 pictures with captions to support
thesis, 1 context, 1 reason
 Options:
– Trace the CCOT in the standards of beauty in the
last 500 years
– Trace the CCOT in your own life