Thematically Organized Essay Sample

 

  Writing a thematic essay is a required component of every Global History and Geography Regents examination.  While some students may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of writing a thematic essay, all students can learn to master the fine art of thematic essay writing. 

 

  It is important to remember that a thematic essay is an essay based on a particular theme from the Global History and Geography curriculum.  After the stated theme, students are given a task which they must complete in essay format regarding the theme.  Finally, students are provided a list of potential topics to write about regarding the theme. 

 

  Unlike a Document Based Essay Question, a thematic essay does not provide actual documents to answer the essay question.  Instead, students must possess a prior knowledge base to answer the essay thoroughly.  However, given the multiplicity of suggestions, students will invariably find several suggested topics that they can use to effectively write the essay.  Thematic essay writing is possible if students remember several important guidelines for successful writing.  On this page, students will find guidelines as well as outlines of previous Regents thematic essays.

First, the Guidelines!

1.     Read the theme carefully.  The theme is the essay’s big idea.  It is critical that students understand the theme and begin to think about the various ways the theme has occurred throughout history.

2.     Read the task box carefully.  The task box provides the essay’s directions.  It is critical that students understand exactly what they are expected to write about in the essay.  Answering the questions in the task box thoroughly and accurately is more important than merely defending the theme.  The essay is graded based on the writer’s ability to address every task in the task box.

 

3.     Make an outline before you proceed.  The task box will provide the categories necessary for an effective outline.  Students must list the tasks that need to be addressed.  Frequently, tasks have more than one component.  For example, if two individuals are to be included in the essay, make certain that your outline has spaces for each individual.  On this page, you will find many samples of outlines for thematic essays.  Continue scrolling down the page and open the provided links to view effective outlining techniques.

 

4.     Write the essay’s first draft.  Yes, write a first draft of your essay using your outline.  An essay must include an introductory paragraph stating the theme and its importance in world history, several body paragraphs that specifically address the essay’s tasks, and a concluding paragraph summarizing the essay’s main ideas.  Your first draft will include all of the essay’s vital information but may need minor revisions to ensure the highest quality of writing.  Hopefully, if time permits, you can edit it for excellence.

 

5.     Write your final draft.  If time permits, write your final draft.  Edit your writing for greater clarity and grammatical sophistication.  Don’t be satisfied with merely answering the questions.  Strive for excellence in written communication.

 

6.     Lastly, remember that you can write an effective thematic essay.  If you follow the guidelines for successful writing and study your Key Word packets (See the Key Words, Key Connections Page on this site), a brilliantly written thematic essay is possible.

 

Links to Outlines!

  The following links provide outlines to previously assigned thematic essays.  Read the themes and task boxes carefully before examining the outlines.  The outlines are clear reflections of the themes and tasks.

 

Advice on How to Organize an Essay and Write a Strong Body Paragraph 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Obermeier'sSample Paper Files

You are advised to peruse these sample papers previous students have written for my classes. The papers are either pdf files or HTML files, in which I have embedded comments to explain why they are superior efforts. The comments refer to the following sentence, phrase, or word. Clicking on the comment link will bring up the content. You have to close a comment window before proceeding to the next one. Clicking on the header will give you instructions on how to make such a running header for your papers. Because of HTML restrictions, the formatting might appear slightly off. You still need to keep your papers double-spaced with 1/2-inch paragraph indent. Even if there is no specific explanation for a specific paper, the papers generally share the following superior qualities: descriptive and analytical titles; analytical theses; superior analysis of the texts; correct inclusion of quotations and formatting.

For instructions on how to do a running header for your paper in MS Word, click here.

Click on your class in the lineup.

 

For Engl. 250

  • Paper 1 "Sheppard" Characterization
          • This paper has it all: outstanding thought and content, excellent organization, superior sentence structure and diction. This student's command of the language is superb. A few minor problems could have been edited out. The paper received the grade of 96/A.

  • Paper 1 "Girl" Characterization
          • This paper is an excellent example of superior analysis coupled with stylistic economy and succinctness that avoid anything superfluous. The introduction and organization deserve high praise. The paper received the grade of 96/A.
  • Paper 2 Explication of "Sonnet 46"
          • This explication of a Shakespeare sonnet is superbly done. The student outstandingly fused the analysis of the poem with an excellent and virtually error-free style. The paper received the grade of 98/A+.
  • Paper 2 Explication of "Sonnet 42"
          • This is a very good example of a Shakespeare sonnet explication. The student clearly understands the nuances of the sonnet, with great sections on metrical discussion. The paper received 94/A.

            Here are the high-scoring essays for our assignment two. Per announcement in class, these uploads are not following the format as faithfully. I just wanted to get you the info without having to worry about getting everything lined up to MLA standards. Note also that I am providing these examples for the sophistication of the explication, the students' knowledge of technical aspects and detail of analysis; the essays, however, may still contain other weaknesses.

  • Paper 3 Explication of "The Victim at Aulis"
          • The student provides a superbly analyzed and written thematic poetry explication. Notice that the paper is organized around the student's thesis, ie., the major players in the myth and the poem, and not just the chronology of the paper. The paper received the grade of 98/A+.
  • Paper 3 Explication of "Cassandra"
          • This paper is an excellent example of a thematic poetry explication, demonstrating superb intertextual understanding and control of the primary texts. Note the student's concise and honed style. The paper received the grade of 96/A.
  • Paper 4 Synthesis of Millay Poems
          • This paper offers a beautiful synthesis not only of three poems but also two critical approaches: Feminist and Freudian. It is almost flawlessly written and received the grade of 98/A+.
  • Paper 4 Synthesis of Mythology Poems
          • The paper is up, but I am still working on the comments..
  • Paper 5 Shrew Research Paper
          • This is an exquisite research paper utilizing a postmodern approach to Taming of the Shrew. Notice that the critical approach is incorporated into the paper; therefore, there is no extra Barry page. The paper received 98/A+. Sorry, no comment boxes yet.
  • Paper 5 Yankee Research Paper
          • This is another outstanding research paper. It shows the incorporation of the research especially well. Notice that the Barry page is appended after the works cited page.The paper received 98/A+. Sorry, no comment boxes yet.
      • Return to Student Resources Page

For Engl. 304

 

For Engl. 306

For Engl. 351

Paper 1a here was written for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales but also works for Love Visions. To save time, I did not create javascript comment boxes but inserted my comments in square brackets into the actual paper. Notice that the paper has all the aspects an outstanding paper should: original thought and analysis, clear organization and thesis, interesting intro, correct sentence structure, superior diction, and mostly correct MLA format. The paper received a score of 98/A+. Clicking on the header will give you instructions on how to make such a running header for your papers. Because of HTML restrictions, the formatting might appear slightly off. You still need to keep your papers double-spaced with 1/2-inch paragraph and 1-inch block quotation indents. Papers 2a and 2b were written for the shorter Love Visions assignment, 2c for the longer paper; these papers have no comments in them and are in pdf.

For Engl 449/559

For Engl 450/550

For Engl 451/551

For Engl 581

For Engl 650

 

 

 

 

 

 

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