WHAP – Part B: Continuity and Change-Over-Time Essay
This essay question deals specifically with analysis of continuities and changes over time and covers at least one of the periods in the concept outline. It can address, for example, any of the course themes, such as technology, trade, culture, migrations, or environment. There may also be some internal choice within the question, so that students are able to choose to draw their evidence from a case that they know better. The continuity and change-over-time essay questions require students to demonstrate their mastery of this historical thinking skill.
Moreover, students are expected to construct an argument that responds directly to the question; doing so should cause them to use several of the other historical thinking skills (argumentation, causation, contextualization, and synthesis). The generic scoring guide for the continuity and change-over-time essay is shown below; following that, on the next two pages, are a sample continuity and change over time question, the directions that appear in the AP Exam booklet, and a discussion of “What Good Responses Should Include.
Change-Over-Time (CCOT) Essay Generic Scoring Rubric
|BASIC CORE (competence) |0-7 Points | |(Historical skills and knowledge required to show competence) | | |1. Has acceptable thesis |1 Point | |(Addresses global issues and the time period(s) specified) | | |2. Addresses all parts of the question, though not necessarily evenly or thoroughly |2 Points | |(Addresses most parts of the question: for example, addresses change but not continuity) |(1 Point) | |3. Substantiates thesis with appropriate historical evidence |2 Points | |(Partially substantiates thesis with appropriate historical evidence) |(1 Point) | |4. Uses relevant world historical context effectively to explain change over time and/or continuity |1 Point | |5.
Analyzes the process of continuity and change over time |1 Point | |Point Subtotal |7 Points | | | | |EXPANDED CORE (excellence) | | |(Historical skills and knowledge required to show excellence) |0-2 Points | |Expands beyond basic core of 1-7 points. A student must earn 7 points in the basic core area before earning points in the expanded core | | |area. | | |Examples: | | |Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis | | |Analyzes all issues of the question (as relevant): global context, chronology, causation, change, continuity, effects, content | | |Addresses all parts of the question evenly | | |Provides ample historical evidence to substantiate thesis | | |Provides links with relevant ideas, events, trends in an innovative way | | |Subtotal |/2 Points | |Total |/9 Points |
CCOT – Continuity and Change Over Time Essay
Note that the sample continuity and change-over-time essay below is slightly modified from the continuity and change-over-time essay on the 2010 AP World History Exam to make the topic of the question more closely align with the AP World History Curriculum Framework. The time allotted for this essay is 40 minutes, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer.
Directions: You are to answer the following question. You should spend 5 minutes organizing or outlining your essay.
1. 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 continuities and changes over time. • Analyzes the process of continuity and change over time.
2. Analyze continuities and changes in cultural beliefs and practices in ONE of the following regions from 1450 to the present. • Sub-Saharan Africa
• Latin America/Caribbean
What Good Responses Should Include
A good response analyzes continuities and changes in cultural beliefs and practices in one of the stipulated regions [Sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America/Caribbean]. “Cultural beliefs and practices” is understood very broadly in world history to include religion, philosophy, ideology, science and technology, education, the arts, literature, and architecture. Students do not have to address the entire region, but all examples they provide must fall within the stipulated region. Because the central task in this question calls for analysis of continuity and change, acceptable thesis statements need to address both, stating at least one continuity and at least one change. Acceptable thesis statements also need to be explicit, not simply restatements of the question or vague statements such as “there were more changes than continuities.” They also need to be relevant to the time period, beginning in roughly 1450 and ending sometime in the post– World War II twentieth century.
A good response provides analysis of valid continuities and changes in cultural beliefs and practices, supported by specific pieces of evidence from the time period, which provide supporting examples of continuity or change. For example, in terms of continuities, students could point to the continuation of the practice of indigenous religions in either area and also to the continuation of the spread of Christianity in either area or of the spread of Islam in Africa; the ways in which migrants continued their cultures in new environments; the ways in which culture was used by all types of leaders to support political systems; the ways in which language, religion, and social customs provided a sense of identification. In terms of change, for the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, students could examine the development of syncretic forms of religion such as vodun or the cult of the saints, or the way in which the Spanish and Portuguese rulers of Latin America used art and architecture to legitimate their power.
For the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they could discuss the spread of Enlightenment thought in Latin America and the consequences of this; the impact of new racial ideologies, such as Social Darwinism, in Africa; the development of millenarian ideas such as the Xhosa Cattle- Killing Movement; the spread of anti-imperial, nationalist, and communist ideology in either area. For the twentieth century, students could examine the spread of the idea of human rights; the formation of new cultural identities, such as negritude; the ways religion was applied to political issues, such as fundamentalist movements and Liberation Theology; the increasing globalization of consumer culture. Any of these examples would need to be tied into the process of change and continuity, as would any background information that students provide to set up their essays.
A good essay moves beyond a mechanistic “beginning, middle, and end” format and provides solid chronological knowledge across the entire time period. Further, students should think about including dates in their essay to demonstrate that they have the ability to describe with some precision when continuity and change happened. Solid historical analysis explains the reason for or the impact of a specific continuity or a particular change, and a good essay provides specific discussion of cause and impact. For example, the statement “Nationalism grew in Africa in the twentieth century” is a solid piece of evidence about change, but tying this to a cause or effect would generate this superior analysis: “Nationalism grew in Africa, which led to the overthrow of European empires.”
An essay that effectively addresses world historical context might describe an extra-regional connection or a global process to explain continuity or change in cultural beliefs or practices. For this essay, students would need to focus on specific global links relative to the question, instead of focusing on a similar situation somewhere else in the world. For example, saying that “China and Brazil both had Jesuit missionaries” is a comparison, not a connection. Arguing that “European Jesuit missionaries were proselytizing in South America and winning converts. This happened in China as well” does, however, draw an extra-regional connection because the term European Jesuits provides a specific reference showing how European practices affected South American beliefs.
A strong essay would demonstrate greater nuance and sophistication, including the relationship between change and continuity. It might note, for example, that a change in the early part of the long period covered in this question became a continuity for the rest of the period: The introduction of Christianity was a change in Latin America/the Caribbean, but then Christianity’s presence and expansion became a continuity. Similarly, nationalism developed as an ideology beginning in the eighteenth century, but it then became a continuity and has remained so through the present. A specific example of syncretism, such as vodun, could be introduced as a change when it first developed, but the process of the syncretism of different beliefs, ideas, or artistic forms is a continuity across the entire time period. The best essays will be those that do all of this, engaging their own content knowledge with the specific framing of the question.