June 2011 Global Regents Essay Template

What is a Thematic Essay?


Beginning in June 2000, the Global History and Geography Regents Examination will require students to respond to a thematic essay question. Likewise, the U.S. History and Government Regents Exam will follow suit in June 2001. While similar to a traditional essay in many respects, the thematic essay also has several unique characteristics. Quite simply, a thematic essay:

· Identifies a specific theme from social studies
· Presents a general statement regarding that theme
·States a specific task which must be addressed in an essay response
·Is graded using a rubric which is not made available to students during the test in the exam booklet.

To see an example of a generic scoring rubric for a Thematic Essay Click Here  use Revised for 2004 example

How do I write a thematic essay?
Thematic essays responses are organized into three sections: the introduction, body, and conclusion. Below is a visual representation of this division:
Step 1: Analyze the question.
What specifically is the task in the thematic essay question asking you to do? Look in the "Task" section of the question for key words such as:

Discussmeans "to make observations about something using facts, reasoning, and argument; to present in some detail."

Describe means "to illustrate something in words or tell about it."

Show means "to point out; to set forth clearly a position or idea by stating it and giving data to support it."

Explain means "to make plain or understandable; to give reasons for or causes of; to show the logical development or relationships of" (Global Studies Regents, June, 1997).

Step 2: Organize the essay.
Organize the information that you want to use in your essay through the use of an outline.

Step 3: Write the introduction.
Compose a thesis statement in which you explain what the essay is about, or what you are trying to prove. Maintain a third person perspective and refrain from using statements such as "this essay will be about..." In the following sentences, introduce the topics of each of the body paragraphs which will follow.

Step 4: Write the body paragraphs.
Write the first body paragraph. Be sure to include all of the following components: topic sentence, supporting evidence in the body sentences, and a closing sentence. Follow this same format as you write the second and third body paragraphs. Compose additional paragraphs if necessary in order to completely answer the essay question.

Step 5: Write the conclusion.
Summarize the subject of the essay. You can often do this by restating the question in a different way. Explain what you concluded about the essay question. Summarize how the information in the body of your essay proves your point.

What is a DBQ Question?

Beginning in June 2000, the Global History and Geography Regents Examination will require students to respond to a DBQ question. Likewise, the U.S. History and Government Regents Exam will follow suit in June 2001. While similar to a traditional essayin many respects, the DBQ question also has several unique characteristics. Quite simply, a DBQ question:

· Requires that students analyze a series of documents from Part Aof the DBQ question and answer a specific short answer question about each document.
·Presents a specific task in Part Bwhich must be addressed in an essay response using information obtained from the documents presented in Part Aand the student"s knowledge of social studies.
· Is graded using a rubricwhich is not made available to students during the test in the exam booklet.

To see an example of a generic scoring rubric for a DBQ Click Here  use Revised for 2004 example

How do I answer a DBQ question?
DBQ questions are composed of two sections. In Part A, documents are provided for students to read, analyze, and then answer questions about each one. In Part B, students are provided with a specific task which must be addressed in an essay response. The essay response can be organized into three sections: the introduction, body, and conclusion. Below is a visual representation of this division:


Step 1: Answer each question in Part A. 
Carefully read or view each document in Part Aof the DBQ question, and answer the question that follows each document. Use factual information and base your answer to each question on the specific document to which it is related, and be sure to compose each answer using complete sentences.

Step 2: Compose a thesis statement.
Read the tasksection in Part Bof the DBQ essay question and analyze it in order to figure out what it is asking you to do. Key words used in the taskmay include:

Discussmeans "to make observations about something using facts, reasoning, and argument; to present in some detail."

Describe means "to illustrate something in words or tell about it."

Show means "to point out; to set forth clearly a position or idea by stating it and giving data to support it."

Explain means "to make plain or understandable; to give reasons for or causes of; to show the logical development or relationships of" (Global Studies Regents, June, 1997).

Once you understand what the task is asking you to write about, compose a thesis statementthat addresses these issues. For example, the sample DBQ below contains a taskthat could be reworded to form a thesis statement such as:

"Many societies have held different viewpoints regarding the process of governmental decision-making and about the role of citizens in the political decision-making process. Therefore, several types of political systems have evolved over time, from those that are controlled absolutely as well as some that follow a democratic tradition. Regardless of the type of government, there are obvious advantages and disadvantages involved in both types of political systems."

Step 3: Organize the essay.
Organize the information that you want to use in your essay through the use of an outline. During this pre-writing step, you should brainstorm as many facts as possible that could be used in your essay. Also make sure that you are addressing the taskas well as the requirements from the rubric.

Step 4: Write the introduction.
A.Revisit the historical context and determine if you can use part or all 
    of this statement in your introduction.
B. Insert your thesis statementfrom step three.
C. If your thesis does not address the body paragraphs that will follow, 
    compose a sentence that briefly introduces each topic.

Step 5: Write the body paragraphs.
Write the first body paragraph. Be sure to include all of the following components: topic sentence, supporting evidence in the body sentences, and a closing sentence. Follow this same format as you write the additional body paragraphs. Compose additional paragraphs if necessary in order to completely answer the essay question.

Be sure to use most of the documents provided in Part Ain order to provide evidence which proves your thesis statement, and to meet the criteria in the rubricto earn a full credit for your essay.

Step 6: Write the conclusion.
Summarize the subject of the essay. You can often do this by restating the question in a different way. Explain what you concluded about the essay question. Summarize how the information in the body of your essay proves your point.

You may want to include citations within your essay as you use the documents to support your thesis. This will help you keep track of the number of documents you use and it will let the person grading your essay see that you have fulfilled the requirements of a DBQ.

There are differerent ways in which to accomplish this:

“In document 1, the author states that …

“In 1917 Athur James Balfour wrote the Balfour Declaration, showing the British support for the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine” (document 1)

GLOBAL REGENTS THEMATIC ESSAY TOPICS AND DBQ SINCE 2001 (Global Regents Review Sheet)

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

NOTE - THE COMPLETE ESSAYS AND EXAMS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOARD OF REGENTS WEBSITE. THIS IS MERELY A BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT THE ESSAYS WERE ABOUT.

2017

January

THEMATIC - Needs and Wants - Select two natural resources and/or products. Explain why they were needed, and how they impacted a civilization, empire and/or a reigion.  (Coal, Oil, Diamonds, Salt, Gold, Tea, Spices)

DBQ - Actions taken by the British Empire to control India, and the impact of their rule on the people and/or region.

 

2016

January

THEMATIC - Imperialism - Select a country that engaged in imperialism, explain why they imperialized, and how imperialism affected the conquered and/or the conqueror. (Britain, Japan, France, Spain)

DBQ - Impact of Laws on society: Tukugawa Shogunate, Nazis, Republic of South Africa.

June

THEMATIC - Geography - Explain how two geographical obstacles were overcome by technology. (terrace farming,  caravel ships over the Atlantic, roads in the Andes, canals)

DBQ - Division of countries and its effect on people: Germany post WWII, Palestine, and British India.

August

THEMATIC - Belief Systems  - Explain two religions and show how they influenced society and/or a region. (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism)

DBQ - Problems caused by pollution and urbanization, and the degree to which these problems have been solved.

 

2015

January

THEMATIC - Geography - choose two geographic conditions and show how they influenced social, political, and/or economic history of a country or region.  (Monsoons in India, Nile Floods, island isolation for Japan, Greek mountains separate each polis, ancient rivers).

DBQ - People who spoke about problems: Bartolome de Las Casas, Robespierre, and Gandhi.

June

THEMATIC - Belief System Movements - Explain a central principle of a belief system, and how that belief system spread and influenced a society or region. (Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or other belief systems)

DBQ - Decline of Empires and the impact on society: Rome, Ottoman Empire, British.

August

THEMATIC - Movement of People and Goods - Explain how two groups or ideas moved from one place to another. Discuss how the movement influenced a group or society. (Religions, sugar, silk, salt, Columbian Exchange)

DBQ - Actions of people looking to increase power: Stalin, Pol Pot, Louis XIV.

 

 

2014

January

THEMATIC - Human Rights - Choose 2 defenders of human rights, explain how they defended human rights, and the extent to which they were successful. (Gandhi's civil disobedience, Mandela ends apartheid, Locke promotes life, liberty, and property rights in the Enlightenment)  

DBQ - People changing environments (irrigation in Egypt, construction in Mesoamerica, coal mining in Great Britain) 

 

June

THEMATIC - Change - Individuals who Challenged Tradition - Choose two people who challenged tradition and evaluate the success of their challenge. (Gandhi and civil disobedience, Martin Luther and the Reformation, Lenin and Russian Revolution)

DBQ - Turning Points of the plague, Treaty of Nanjing, and assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

 

August

THEMATIC - Change - Leaders who brought change - Discuss how two leaders came to power, one policy or practice of each leader, and how that policy affected the people. (Gorbachev and Glasnost/Perestroika, Napoleon's Code,  William and Mary's Glorious Revolution and Bill of Rights)

DBQ - The global issues of armed conflict, disease, and child labor.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

 

 

2013

January

THEMATIC - Change - Collapse of Governments. Choose 2 government collapses and explain their circumstances and results. (Roman Empire leads to fragmented Europe, execution of Louis XVI ends the monarchy and eventually leads to the Reign of Terror, fall of the Shah leads to Iranian Revolution and rise of the Ayatollah, fall of Communism creates new nations and war in Eastern Europe)

DBQ - Effect of salt, cotton, and sugar on societies and regions.

June

THEMATIC - Change - Revolutions. Choose 2 Revolutions and explain their historical circumstances and effects. (French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Neolithic Revolution, Green Revolution)

DBQ - Technological advances by the Mongols (bow and stirrup), Spanish (caravel ships for exploration), and in India (railroads).

August

THEMATIC - Armed Conflict. Explain the circumstances of two armed conflicts and how they affected a country or specific group. (French Revolution, World War I, World War II, Sepoy Rebellion, Opium War)

DBQ - Economic development leads to change in Mexico, Botswana, and China.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2012

January

THEMATIC - Individuals who developed or modified ideas. Explain the historical circumstances that led to the idea, an action taken because of this idea, and how the idea affected society. (Gandhi's civil disobedience, Martin Luther's 95 Theses, Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto).  

DBQ - Transportation methods unify and/or control regions. (Railroads, canals, and roads).

 

June

THEMATIC - Geography promoting or limiting interactions. Choose two geographic features, and show how they either limited or promoted human interaction. (Island geography isolated Japan, Mountains isolated the Greek polis, Sahara Desert isolated North from Sub-Saharan Africa, Nile River and Mediterranean Sea increased interactions).

DBQ - Autocratic rule helped and hindered a ruler's country. Shi Huangdi, Peter the Great, and Louis XIV.

 

August

THEMATIC - New technology changing existing technology. Describe two innovations and their effects on society or the world. (Gunpowder, printing press, nuclear power, aqueducts).

DBQ - Protest movements and reactions of the government to such protests. Women's Rights in Britain, Anti-Apartheid in South Africa, and pro-democracy in China.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2011

January

THEMATIC - Geographicalfeatures influencing history and development of history. Select 3 features. (Industrial Revolution in England, Japan's isolated island, fertile crescent of Mesopotamia)

DBQ - Heliocentrism, Marxism, and Natural Rights. Choose two and explain the idea, as well as the impact on society.

 

June

THEMATIC - Technology. Show the positive or negative effects of two innovations (astrolobe, nuclear weapons, satellites)

DBQ - Human Rights violations in Ukraine, Rwanda, and Cambodia.

 

August

THEMATIC - Change - Choose two global issues since WWII, and show how solutions to those issues. (Nuclear Weapons, Deforestation, Terrorism, AIDS, Pollution)

DBQ - Conquest of the Mongols, Ottomans, and Spanish. Explain the reasons for conquest, how it was achieved, and the impact.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

 

 

2010 

January

THEMATIC - Culture and Intellectual Life. Choose two philosophers or leaders, and explain their impact. (Gandhi, Locke, Mao, Napoleon, Aristotle)

DBQ - Agrarian, Green, and Neolithic Revolution.  (Choose 2)

June

THEMATIC - Change. Choose any 2 individuals who changed the world and explain how. Explain the specific idea and how it influenced a group or region. (Locke, Bolivar, Marx, Mandela)

DBQ - Geography. Choose from deserts, monsoons, and cold climates.

August

THEMATIC- Select a Nationalistic movement, explain causes, events, and results. (WWI, WWII, Otto von Bismarck, Bolivar)

DBQ - Belief Systems and their impact on society.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

 

2009

January

THEMATIC - Geography as either a promoter or hindrance to cultural diffusion. Choose 2 examples. (Japan's isolated island, Greek polis affected by mountains, the New World across the Atlantic Ocean)

DBQ - Leonardo da Vinci, Toussaint L'Ouverture, or Mohandas K. Gandhi. Choose 2, and explain achievements and impact on society.

June

THEMATIC - Human Rights Violations. Choose 2 examples, explain the history and why rights were violated, then discuss actions taken to end the violation. (Holocaust, pogroms, apartheid, Tiananmen Square.)

DBQ - Economic and Social Changes during the Middle Ages, Globalization, or Industrial Revolution (choose 2)

August 

THEMATIC - Belief Systems. Choose 2 and explain impact on society. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism)

DBQ - Usage and control of waterways and its political or economic effects.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2008

January

THEMATIC - Change - Describe non-political revolutions (Scientific, Neolithic, Industrial, etc). Discuss the change and impact on society.

DBQ - Russia under the rule of Peter the Great, Germany under Adolf Hitler,and China under the rule of Mao Zedong. Choose 2 and explain impact on society.

June

THEMATIC - Belief Systems. Choose 2 and explain the religion, and the influence on followers life. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism)

DBQ - Genocide, Weapons of Mass Destruction, threats to the environment. Choose 2. Describe the problem, and attempts to end it.

August

THEMATIC - Geography ... Humans modifying lands or environment. Choose 2 (Berlin Wall, Great Wall of China are examples given.)

DBQ - Migrations ... Choose 2. Jews to Palestine and Israel, Hindus and Muslims between India and Pakistan, and Africans to the Americas. Describe impact.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2007

January

THEMATIC - Human Rights Violations. Choose two groups who experienced human rights violations, and the extent to which it was resolved. (Holocaust, Tiananmen Square, Cambodia, pogroms)

DBQ - French Revolution. The causes and impact.

 

 

June

THEMATIC - Political Change. Choose 1 example and explain why a government wanted change, how they changed, and the result. (Meiji Restoration, 5 Year Plan, Rise of Fascism, etc)

DBQ - Manorialism, Mercantilism, Communism. Choose 2 of these economic systems.

August

THEMATIC - Political Systems. Explain 2 systems and how they changed the world. (Communism, Monarchy, Direct Democracy, etc)

DBQ - Natural Resources helped or hindered societies. Coal, water, diamonds, oil.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2006

January

THEMATIC - Change / Philosophers. Choose two philosophers or leaders and explain how they changed one nation. (Bismarck, Lenin, Gandhi, Locke, etc)

DBQ - Discuss imperialism from the point of view of both the imperialist, and the colonized.

June

THEMATIC - Conflict. Explain one conflict, its causes, opposing groups, and resolution. (French Revolution, WWI, WWII, Apartheid, Crusades)

DBQ - Positive and Negative effects of the Industrial Revolution.

August

THEMATIC - Trade Routes. Discuss 2, and explain the positive or negative effects. (OPEC, EU, Silk Roads, Trans Sahara Trade)

DBQ - The Cold War affecting other nations around the world (Europe, Asia, Latin America).

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2005

January

THEMATIC - Change / 20th Century. Choose 2 20th Century political events, explain them, and show their impact on society. (Rise and Fall of Communism, Cultural Revolution, End of apartheid, Berlin Wall construction or dismantling, etc)

DBQ - Conquest of the Mongols, Spanish, and French. Choose 2. Show the political, social, and/or economic impacts of their conquests.

 

 

June

THEMATIC - Global Problems. Explain causes of a global problem, and ways it has affected a nation or region. (Desertification, spread of disease, deforestation, overpopulation, etc)

DBQ - Causes and outcomes of Wars.

August

THEMATIC - Change / Leaders. Choose two leaders who created change. Explain the situation, how change occurred, and how it affected society. (Gandhi, Bolivar, Lenin, Napoleon, Mao Zedong)

DBQ - Printing Press, Steam Power, Atomic Bomb. Explain how technology changed the world. Choose 2.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2004

January

THEMATIC - Change (Individuals) Choose two historical figures, explain their ideas, and how they positively or negatively affected the world. (Gandhi, Bolivar, Stalin, Locke, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Gutenberg, Mandela, Mao, Aristotle)

DBQ - Neolithic Revolution, Scientific Revolution, Green Revolution. Choose two and explain the changes resulting from them.

 

June

THEMATIC - Turning Points. Choose two turning point events, explain them, and explain their impact. (French Revolution, WWI, WWII, Renaissance, Crusades)

DBQ - British Imperialism. Discuss the causes, and negative effects.

August

THEMATIC - Economic Systems. Identify one society and one economic system used in that society. Give two features of that system, and show its impact on the society. (Industrial Revolution in England, Communism in the USSR.)

DBQ - World Epidemics. Describe why they spread, and the impact on a society or societies.

  ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2003

January

THEMATIC - Change, Revolutions. Choose a revolution. Give the causes, effects, and changes that resulted. (French Revolution, Russian, Iranian)

DBQ - Geographic features affecting Japan and England.

June

THEMATIC - Conflict. Choose 2 ethnic, cultural, religious, or political conflicts. Show the causes and effects. (Crusades, Holocaust, Tiananmen Square Massacre)

DBQ - Neolithic Revolution, Age of Exploration, Fall of Communism. Choose 2 and explain why its a turning point, and if that turning point was positive or negative.

August

THEMATIC - Geography Physical and Human. Choose one society before 1500 AD, and explain how it was influenced by a geographic feature. (Mountains in Greece, Monsoons in Asia, Ganges River in India, Nile in Egypt, Fertile Crescent) Do the same for a people after 1500 AD. (England is an island, the Industrial Revolution began there. Russia could not be invaded by Napoleon or Hitler.)

DBQ - Nationalism and a positive or negative influence around the world.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2002

January

THEMATIC - Geography. Choose 2 nations or regions and show how geography affected their history. (river valleys of Egypt or Mesopotamia, Monsoons or Himalaya Mountains in Asia)

DBQ - Economic changes to society.

 

June

THEMATIC - Geography. Human activity has altered the land. Show the change to the environment and how it helped or hindered society. (Irrigation, terrace farming, canal systems, use of nuclear power.)

DBQ - Human rights violations after WWII.

August

THEMATIC - Change. Choose two individuals who brought about change, and explain the effects of that change. (Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Locke.)

DBQ - Mass movement of people. Political, economic, and social implications. 

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2001

January

THEMATIC - Economic change. Show how industrialization affected 1 nation. Show 2 ways that it led to changes for workers. Show how workers, reformers, or the government responded to these changes.

DBQ - French, Chinese, and Iranian Revolutions. Choose 2, and show the causes, results, and degree of success.

June

THEMATIC - Geography. Select 1 geographic feature and how it affected the development of a society. (Fertile crescent, Japan isolated on an island, natural harbors of England, etc)

DBQ - Industrialization leading to environmental problems.

August

THEMATIC - Turning Points. Show 2 turning points in history. Show the causes and impacts. (French Revolution, Neolithic Revolution, WWI)

DBQ - Women in society. Social or political impacts on women in different societies.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

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