Comparative Essay #1



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Name ___________________________________________

Ms. K. Demircanli

Global 9 Scholars

Due Date: 30 September 2011


Comparative Essay #1

The first civilizations were labeled river valley civilizations. This was because they all developed alongside of major rivers in order to secure an adequate water supply to aid agricultural production. Compare and contrast politics, technology, religion, and gender roles in two of the following river valley civilizations.


Mesopotamia (Tigris-Euphrates) Civilization

Egyptian Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization

Hwang He (Yellow River) Civilization



World History Comparative Essay Generic Rubric Overview


Basic Core

Historical skills and knowledge required to show competence.

Expanded Core

Historical skills and knowledge required to show excellence.

1. Has acceptable thesis. 1 Point

(addresses comparison of the

issues or themes specified)
2. Addresses all parts of the 2 Points

of the question, though not

necessarily evenly or thoroughly.
(Addresses most parts of the (1)

question: for example, deals with

differences but not similarities)
3. Substantiates thesis with 2 Points

appropriate evidence.


(Partially substantiates thesis with (1)

appropriate evidence.)
4. Makes at least three relevant, 1 Point

direct comparisons between or

among societies.
5. Analyzes at least three reasons 1 Point

for a similarity or difference

identified in a direct comparison.


Expands beyond basic core of

1-7 Points. The basic core of a 0-2 Points

score of 7 must be achieved

before a student can earn expanded

core points.
Examples:


  • Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis

  • Addresses all parts of the question (as relevant): comparisons, chronology, causation, connections, themes, interactions, content.

  • Provides ample historical evidence to substantiate thesis.

  • Relates comparisons to larger global context.

  • Makes several direct comparisons consistently between or among societies.

  • Consistently analyzes the causes and effects of relevant similarities and differences.

Subtotal 7 Points



Subtotal 2 Points





TOTAL 9 Points

BASIC CORE (1-7 Points)

  1. Has acceptable thesis. 1 point

The thesis must be stated directly and located at the beginning of the essay. No split theses. Two topic sentences in 2 separate paragraphs does not make a thesis.
Thesis correctly addresses both differences and similarities. “There were economic similarities but political differences” is minimally acceptable; “There were similarities and differences” is not acceptable.
2. Address all parts of the question. 2 points

Students must acknowledge the task of analyzing all 4 topics: government, economy, religion, and social structure.


Both similarities and differences in the 2 civilizations are addressed. (2 points)
Either similarities and differences are addressed. (1 point)
3. Substantiates thesis with appropriate historical evidence. 2 points

Provides at least 1 examples for each category for both civilizations (2 points)

- 8 examples total

Provides at least 1 example for each category for either (1 point)

- 4 examples total
4. Makes at least two relevant, direct comparisons among or between societies. 1 point
Students must make at least 2 direct, explicit comparisons/contrasts between the two regions to earn this point.
Example: Unlike the Spanish, the Ottoman Empire was…

Cue Words: Also, both, in addition, as well, shared, like, too, however, on the other hand, conversely, disagree, either, unlike, differently, in contrast, in opposition to, in contrast to

The comparisons must be distinct from the thesis. No double-bonuses: e.g., “There were economic similarities and political differences” cannot count for both the thesis and the direct comparison point.


  1. Analyzes at least one reason for a similarity or difference between the empires in the essay.

1 point

Can be an expansion of core point #2 or #4



Example: This was a difference between _______ and ________ because
EXPANDED CORE (0-2 Points)
Expands beyond the basic core of 1-6 points. The basic core of 6 must be achieved before a student can earned expanded core points.
Possible examples of expanded core points include:


  • Has clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis.

  • Addresses all parts of the question: comparisons, chronology, causation, connections, themes, interactions, content

  • Makes several direct comparisons

  • Provides ample historical evidence to substantiate thesis.

  • Shows ability to relate comparisons to larger global context(s), for example:


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