How to Write a CCOT Essay
The main goal of every Continuity and Change Over Time (CCOT) essay is to check some of your abilities such as: contextualization, causation, comparison, analysis, and synthesis. Besides, comprehensive knowledge in the field of world history is required. If you have been enrolled to the AP World history course, that means you possess these skills and competencies, and should be ready to demonstrate them.
How to write a CCOT essay – vital tips
You should be well prepared during the classes: read primary sources, browse internet for more information, watch movies or find some photos regarding a given issue. Organize your plans and notes from classes. Before the exam, you may use the following method: write short plans about each of the topics given to you, i.e. definitions, key concepts and terms, historical figures, chronology of events, etc. Then start remembering all these details, and check your knowledge by randomly picking a topic from the list and writing a little about it. There are also official ways for preparation, so don’t hesitate to enroll to an exam simulation. Do not worry that you are good at remembering dates and chronology, but not that good when analyzing commercial relations or trade issues: everyone has their own “specialty.” Show your strengths.
You will have 40 minutes for writing an essay. The first five minutes will be dedicated to planning a draft. In all cases you should use this option in order to construct a good thesis and plan your essay in a consistent way. Write some important dates there, characteristics, events, and personalities; prepare the structure of the essay with several key words. Leave five minutes for revising your essay as well. Half an hour should be enough for you to prepare and write down your ideas.
The essence of this essay is to analyze how a given problem has changed over time, but also what has been preserved. You should justify your thesis with appropriate examples or illustrations (in brief). Pay attention to the determinants and the factors which have led to these changes or modifications. Explain what has changed and in what sense. The same with continuity: why a given process or phenomenon has remained untouched, and how it has developed over time, if it did at all. Always put your analysis in wider context; thus, you will have more arguments and examples. However, don’t write too much about the context, as this will ensue in inability to finish on time. If your essay is incomplete, you will probably receive the lowest mark.
- You should define your issue very well and show knowledge about the given region and the historical era in question.
- If you are not sure about a given date or event, don’t write about it!
- If you do not know the meaning of a term, don’t use it!
- Write down the thesis according to your knowledge of the issue. Therefore, it is not required simply to describe a process/phenomenon, but also to prove the validity of an assertion through examples.
- Avoid employing phrases like “I think”, “I believe”. Personal feelings and thoughts are not welcomed. Deal only with facts and solid evidence.
Your CCOT essay will need a careful revision. Look for logical connection and consistency. The essay should also have clear and well-defined thesis contained in the introduction. Check if you have used everything written in the draft paper. Remember: it is always better to revise your essay, even at the cost of several minutes.
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