Reasons in Road Map must pass the because test



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WORLD STUDIES Reminders for Next DBQ Essay
Reasons in Road Map must pass the because test
Each stated reason in your Roadmap must be actual support for the Thesis. To make sure this is the case, plug in the information to the following formula:
Thesis + because + roadmap reason
If this does not result in a true statement for every reason, or the alleged reason is only a concept and not specific and accurate justification for the Thesis, you need to develop another reason.
EXAMPLE: In the following Thesis and Roadmap, the reason the “sun god protected the crops” does not pass the “because test”.
Aztec agriculture should be emphasized as historically significant because it represented great innovation, it fed the growing population, and the sun god protected the crops.
EXAMPLE: In the following Thesis and Roadmap, the reason “and caused the crops to grow successfully” does not pass the because test.
The predominate characteristic of Aztec culture is definitely human sacrifice. Human sacrifice expanded the empire, made the military powerful, and caused crops to grow successfully.
Thesis and Roadmap must be specific, detailed, and argumentative
NO = Historians should emphasize human sacrifice because it involved many deaths and is related to religion, and expansion.
YES = Historians should emphasize human sacrifice because it caused killings on a mass scale; it was inextricably tied with Aztec religion; and it played a significant role in Aztec expansion.
NO = Agriculture should be emphasized more because it showed that the Aztec people were intelligent, productive, and they had a strong community.
YES = Historians should emphasize Aztec agriculture because it represented an innovative and complex system of farming; it resulted in a food surplus for an ever growing population; and it fostered a sense of unity and harmony in the Aztec community.
Thesis and Roadmap appear sequentially (one after the other) and they are the last sentences in the Introduction
NO = Historians should emphasize human sacrifice. It was the life-blood of the community. It should be emphasized because it caused killings on a mass scale; it was inextricably tied with Aztec religion; and it played a significant role in Aztec expansion.
YES = Historians should emphasize human sacrifice. Human sacrifice caused killings on a mass scale; it was inextricably tied with Aztec religion; and it played a significant role in Aztec expansion.

The Mini-Thesis must be the first sentence in a Body Paragraph. Exception: The first sentence is a hook, in which case the Mini-Thesis is the second sentence in the Body Paragraph.
NO = The Aztecs worshipped over 128 different gods. Human sacrifice is historically significant because it was very much tied to Aztec religion. The Aztecs believed that the sun god required blood every day so that it would make the sun rise the next day. Without the sun, the Aztecs feared that they would live in darkness. . .
The sentence in bold is the Mini-Thesis, and therefore should be the first sentence in the Body Paragraph. The evidence supporting the Mini-Thesis comes after the Mini-Thesis.

The Mini-Thesis is an argumentative restatement of the main Thesis and the Roadmap to which it relates. The Mini-Thesis must take a position.
NO =
Thesis and roadmap read: Aztec agriculture should be emphasized because it involved an ingenious method of farming called the chinampas; the system resulted in a food surplus; and it provided work for everyone in the community.
Mini-Thesis in Body Paragraph #1 reads: The Aztecs used chinampas for their farming.
YES =
Change Mini-Thesis to say: Aztec agriculture is historically noteworthy because the chinampas represented an innovative farming system unlike any other of the time period.
NO =
Thesis and Roadmap read: Historians should emphasize human sacrifice because it was based upon strong religious beliefs; it played a large role in Aztec rise to power; and it even contributed to the Aztec’s fall.
Mini-Thesis in Body Paragraph #1 reads: The Aztec believed in many gods, the most important of which was the sun god.
YES =
Change Mini-Thesis to say: Human sacrifice should be emphasized by historians because it was a practice that their religion compelled them to complete. [The sentence “The Aztec believed in many gods. . . “would come after the Mini-Thesis]

The analysis that follows the Mini-Thesis must be evidence that supports the Mini-Thesis. Do not talk about things that do not relate to the Mini-Thesis.
NO = Aztec human sacrifice should be emphasized because it resulted in mass killings of victims. In any given ceremony, over 2300 persons could die. The video mentions that 20,000 died in one day during one festival. The Aztecs needed blood for the sun god every day, so it is plausible that they engaged in sacrifice every day. They sometimes prepared their victims for a year treating them like a king. The people were sad to see the victim go when it was his time.
Language in bold does not support Mini-Thesis about number being killed, and therefore, it should be removed from the paragraph.

End all Body Paragraphs with an Argument
The Argument links the evidence to the Mini-Thesis. It “closes the deal” in your particular Body Paragraph.
NO ARGUMENT =

Aztec sacrifices were significant because they were done on a huge scale. Document D states that “two thousand three hundred men were killed and their blood bathed the entire temple and stairway.” The video also mentions that sacrifices resulted in thousands being killed at one time. All these persons were sacrificed in one day alone! The sacrifices were carried out at the high temples so that everyone could see the sacrifices occurring during the festivals.


TO ADD AN ARGUMENT, THE PARAGRAPH COULD END BY SAYING:

Given this evidence and that sacrifices occurred for many years, there is no doubt that human sacrifice resulted in thousands being killed over time.
NO ARGUMENT =

The need for victims to sacrifice brought the Aztecs new lands constantly. Prisoners were captured to serve as future victims. The map in Document A shows all of the areas that the Aztecs conquered during the time of many rulers. The map even includes areas where they reserved for future “flowers” or victims.


TO ADD AN ARGUMENT, THE PARAGRAPH COULD END BY SAYING =

A great empire needs a lot of land. The Aztecs were a great empire and had lots of land. Human sacrifice was what prompted them to acquire the majority of it.

NO ARGUMENT =

The Aztec human sacrifice was inextricably tied to their religion. They believed in the sun god who had to be given blood every day to make the day come. The sun god wrestled with evil every night and needed human blood to be strong and appear the next day. The Aztecs needed sun every day and made lots of sacrifices to the sun god.


TO ADD AN ARGUMENT, THE PARAGRAPH COULD END BY SAYING =

In essence, Human sacrifice became the Aztec religion.

Avoid overly broad statements in DBQ essays


Too Broad

More Qualified

The only reason the Aztecs engaged in warfare was to acquire victims.

A principal reason why the Aztecs engaged in warfare was to get more victims.

There was no one else in the world who farmed like the Aztecs.

The Aztecs farming was innovative and revolutionary for the time.

The Aztecs’ entire life was based upon human sacrifice.

Human sacrifice played a large role in daily Aztec life.



Maintain an objective tone in DBQ Essays


Not Objective Tone

More Objective Tone

The Aztecs were a bloodthirsty people who engaged in gruesome and horrifying acts of murder.

The Aztecs engaged in bloody human sacrifices.

Or

The Aztecs engaged in gruesome human sacrifices.





The Aztecs were a vicious people.

The Aztecs were aggressive when it came to human sacrifices to please their god.


Maintain a formal tone in DBQ Essays

NO PERSONAL PRONOUNS IN A DBQ ESSAY.

NORMALLY, NO EXCLAMATION POINTS.


Too informal

More Formal

They sure made great agricultural advances.

They made great agricultural advances.

Well that is exactly what the Aztecs did.

That is what the Aztecs did.

I believe that historians should emphasize human sacrifice

Historians should emphasize human sacrifice.

You would think the Aztecs committed sacrifices every day.

It seems plausible that the Aztecs committed sacrifice every day.

We need to learn from the past.

Learning from the past is important.

They killed so many in one day!

They killed an extraordinary amount in a single day.


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