Objective: To create an outline for a thematic essay and to write a thematic essay comparing feudalism in Japan and Western Europe



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To Write the Thematic Essay – Comparing Feudalism: Japan and Europe
Objective: To create an outline for a thematic essay and to write a thematic essay comparing feudalism in Japan and Western Europe

Do Now: What are two benefits of creating an outline before writing? ______________________________________________________________________________


A Practice Thematic Essay

Theme: Feudalism

Task: Compare and contrast feudalism in Japan and Western Europe

  • Describe the feudal hierarchy in Japan and in Western Europe

  • Explain similarities in Japanese and European feudalism

  • Discuss differences in Japanese and European feudalism


Suggestions: Consider the role of the Shogun, Daimyo, and Samurai in Japan as well as the role of Kings, Lords, and Knights in Europe and examine the causes and effects of feudalism in both regions.




Analyzing the Directions So That You Think About Something to Write About:

  • What is the essay’s theme?

  • Define the essay’s theme.

  • What will you compare and contrast?

  • How many questions must you address for the essay?

  • What does the word “describe” mean in the directions?

  • What does the word “explain” mean in the directions?

  • What does the word “discuss” mean in the directions?

  • What must you describe?

  • What must you explain?

  • What must you discuss?


Unlike a DBQ essay, a thematic essay does not have documents to help the test taker. As such, the test taker must have information from the class to help answer the question. The thematic essay reminds learners that some information must be memorized in order to excel on an examination. Of course, the best way to memorize information is to practice.



Of course, as the Taoists say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So, let’s take that step and outline the essay before writing.


Let’s take a small step towards understanding what this essay question is asking. See if you can complete the following sentences below using the Word Bank:


Word Bank:

Kingdoms Bushido Knights Daimyo Strong Emperor
Seppuku Loyalty Feudalism Beauty Sin Shogun
Samurai Central Land Chivalry Exchanged Rome





  • ________________ is a political and military system. In this system, land is exchanged for military service.

  • With the fall of ___________, the central government collapsed.

  • Hundreds of ____________ replaced the once great Roman Empire.

  • In Japan, the ________ began to lose his power and control over the nation.

  • Lords or ___________ refused to pay taxes to the emperor in Japan.

  • Whenever the ________ government is weak, feudalism can develop.

  • The most powerful lord in Japan became the _____________. He was a military dictator and controlled the country.

  • __________ were skilled warriors on horseback in feudal Europe.

  • __________ were skilled warriors on horseback in feudal Japan.

  • In Europe, kings __________ land to lords in return for soldiers and service.

  • In Japan, the Shogun exchanged __________ to Daimyo in return for promises of ____________ and service.

  • Samurai adhered to the Code of ___________ or a strict set of rules whereas knights adhered to the Code of ____________.

  • In Japan, if a samurai lost his honor, he could commit __________ to regain honor.

  • A knight was forbidden to commit suicide because the Catholic Church considered suicide a ________.

  • In feudal Europe, women were seen as weak and objects of _________.

  • In feudal Japan, the wives of samurai were expected to be ________ and tough.

Now that we have an understanding of the theme and the task, let’s complete the outline below for our essay:
This outline will have two parts due to the complexity of the question:


The Feudal Hierarchy in Japan

The Feudal Hierarchy in Europe

Description:


Description:




Compare and Contrast Feudalism in Japan and Europe

Similarities:


Differences:


An outline provides a map for the writing of the essay. In the space below, write the essay:

The Essay:

Introduction:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Paragraph #1:

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Paragraph #2:

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Paragraph 3:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Conclusion:

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