APWH Comparative Essay The comparative essay focuses on developments between at least two regions or societies. It generally relates to G-SPRITE categories. Comparative questions always require an analysis of the reasons for the identified similarities and differences.
Comparative Structure for Essay I Introduction
Thesis with roadmap (see below for more information)
II 1st Sentence for each body paragraph should make an explicit and direct (but somewhat general) comparison. Use connecting words such as both, although, while, whereas, etc. Elaborate as necessary (explain, analyze) with additional sentences.
Then, subsequent sentences in the paragraph should provide at leasttwo pieces of evidence. Introduce each piece of evidence with “for example…”
At the conclusion of your paragraph, analyze a reason for one of your similarities or differences. Use words such as reason or because to make it clear that you are attempting the reason point.
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.)
Thesis Statement Construction
Before writing your thesis, circlethe action words in the prompt, underline other key elements. Pay close attention to these elements as you construct your essay.
Fully address the prompt (be sure to include the years from the prompt!).
Include at least one similarity AND one difference within your essay. An “although” thesis statement works well to set up this structure.
Provide organizational categories to support your position (these categories will be the subject of the topic sentences in the main body paragraphs).
Unacceptable: “There were more similarities than differences between classical China and India…”
Acceptable: “China and India in the classical era shared similarities in x and y, yet differed in z as techniques for administering their empires…(*you must thenelaborate by referencing some examples or by developing these ideas a bit more)”
Keep in Mind:
Make direct comparisons within each paragraph, using linking words such as “whereas” to help set up direct comparisons.
Write a traditional 5 paragraph essay, with 3 body paragraphs (and therefore 3 categories/arguments).
Include at least 2 pieces of evidence within each paragraph.
If in the prompt there is a parenthetical qualifier such as (political, economic, cultural), it is not required that evidence is given for each. This parenthetical qualifier helps students think about what to write.
Essays gain evidence points for specificity. An example of a mediocre statement would be "Both Maurya/Gupta India and the Roman Empire had large armies and expanded their borders." An example of a stronger statement would be "Both the Maurya/Gupta and the Romans used their armies to maintain control within their borders and to attack neighboring states.”