• It is not acceptable to simply say “the two civilizations were similar and different” – specify specifically how they are similar and different • Possible Prompt: Analyze similarities and differences in techniques of imperial administration in TWO of the following empires. – Han China (206 B. C. E. –220 C. E. ) – Mauryan/Gupta India (320 B. C. E. –550 C. E. ) – Imperial Rome (31 B. C. E. –476 C. E. )Example • The political system of Han China is similar to the Guptan Empire in that both included strict laws and stressed the importance of your role in society.
A major difference between these administrations is that in Han China the king was fully in charge, even revered, while in the Mauryan/Guptan Empire priests were at the top of the hierarchy. Example • The imperial administration of Han China and Imperial Rome were similar because they were both headed by an emperor. However, they differed in their treatment of the emperor. In Han China a ruler’s decisions, if detrimental to society, could be questioned. While in Rome, what the emperor decreed could not be questioned. What do I need for my thesis?
• You must address 1 specific similarity and 1 specific difference. • i. e. Both the Empires of China and Rome were ruled by an emperor who maintained imperial control, however, the Chinese instituted a system of scholar bureaucrats that gained their position through merit, while the Romans never achieved such an elaborate bureaucracy. What is a direct comparison? • This is a comparison that is not split between paragraphs or by other sentences. It must be one or two sentences that compare one subject of the comparison to another.
• Your comparisons should be supported by evidence to support your statement. Example Direct Comparison: While both the Roman and Han (or Gupta) Empires left behind many achievements, the Han (or Gupta) were much more technologically and culturally creative. Evidence: – The Romans took much of their culture from the Greeks, such as their religion, artwork and architecture. – While the Romans had aqueducts, roads and other great works, much of this was taken from others and improved upon. The Gupta on the other hand came up with the concept of zero and a base 10 number system that is still in use today.
– The Romans relied on slavery for their source of labor, while the Chinese relied upon free peasants. This led to technological stagnation on the part of the Romans, while the Chinese were able to (insert pieces of specific evidence here). What is analysis? • This is where you explain why. • You tell the reader what caused this similarity or difference to occur. • This is usually a because sentence and the most difficult part of the comparison essay.
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