AP WORLD HISTORY
Continuity and Change Over Time Essays
A CCOT question is similar to a comparative one, the key difference being instead of comparing between two places during the same time, one is comparing between two times, often in the same place.
The structure for a CCOT thesis is simpler than for a comparative thesis, but shares the following elements:
1. It is clear – it clearly responds to the question and is on topic. 2. It is comprehensive – it addresses the whole prompt, and 3. It is analytical – it establishes clear categories of “continuity” versus “change”.
Compositionally, a CCOT essay is simpler than that of a comparative essay. Your overall structure will look something like this:
I. Thesis that identifies continuities versus changes
II. Topic sentence (sub-argument) that identifies a CHANGE
III. Topic sentence (sub-argument) that identifies another CHANGE IV. Topic sentence (sub-argument) that identifies a CONTINUITY. V. Conclusion the identifies the global context and patterns of the changes in your thesis. You will, of course, offer evidence within each evidentiary paragraph.
Evidentiary paragraphs should be structured as follows:
I. Topic Sentence arguing for a Continuity or Change
II. Evidence supporting the continuity or change (specific example) III. Evidence supporting the continuity or change (specific example) IV. Commentary/Analysis that addresses causes of change.
V. Commentary/Analysis that addresses effects of change.
An example of a CCOT prompt is:
Directions: You are to answer the following question. You should spend 5 minutes organizing or outlining your essay.
Write an essay that:
Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with appropriate historical evidence. Addresses all parts of the question.
Uses world historical context to show change-over-time and/or continuities. Analyzes the process of change over time and/or continuity
Analyze the cultural and political changes and continuities in ONE of the following civilizations during the last centuries of the classical era.
Chinese, 100CE – 600CE
Roman, 100CE – 600CE
Indian, 300CE to 600 CE
On the next page is an example of a well-written CCOT Essay:
From 100 – 600CE China’s culture changed with the spread of Buddhism and development of neo-Confucianism and with the transition from the Han through Tang Rule. Throughout the time period women remained lower status than men and the political influence of Confucianism stayed in place
The spread of Buddhism and development of Neo-Confucianism represented cultural changes in China. Buddhist monasteries gained political and economic influence through acting as advisors to rulers and through generous grants of land. Empress Wu, a ruler during the Tang Dynasty, used Buddhist principles to rule and was considered a Bodhisattva by Buddhists. Pure Land Buddhism offered the promise of a better afterlife while Chen Buddhism emphasized meditation. The increased popularity of Buddhism in China was a result of the political and economic chaos following the decline of the Han. Buddhism was a salvation doctrine that offered succor to the poor and oppressed. Increasing numbers of sons in the gentry class dropped out of society and became monks, which led to an anti-Buddhist backlash during the Song period. Chinese leadership transitioned from the Han through the Tang. After the fall of the Han there was a period of disunity and chaos called the Three Kingdoms period. Eventually, the Sui asserted their rule, building the Grand Canal and invading Korea and Japan. When the Sui fell due to overexpansion, the Tang took power and established a cosmopolitan rule, extending Chinese territory over the Silk Road and integrating central Asian cultural elements such as Polo and wearing pants. The fall of the Han was caused primarily by pressure from outside invaders on China’s Northwest border – the Great Wall proved ineffective....
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