The continuity and change over time ccot essay
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The Continuity and Change Over Time (CCOT) Essay. About the CCOT.

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The Continuity and Change Over Time (CCOT) Essay

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The Continuity and Change Over Time (CCOT) Essay

About the CCOT

  • The CCOT essay looks at how something is similar or different than something else. In the CCOT essay, the similarity is how something did not change and the differences are the changes. The important element is WHY things did or did not change.

About the CCOT

  • The most important elements of the CCOT essay are that the student must show what has changed and what has remained continuous throughout those changes from the beginning to the end of the time period given. The continuities must be substantial, not obvious (Mexicans remained Mexicans), nor can change be continuous.

About the CCOT

  • Primary purpose of CCOT is to test students’ mastery of their historical thinking skills (argumentation, causation, contextualization, synthesis).

  • Time allotted for this essay is 40 minutes (5-10 of which should be spent planning/outlining).

CCOT Prompts

2002 CCOT

  • Choose TWO of the areas listed below and analyze how each area’s relationship to global trade patterns changed from 1750 to the present. Be sure to describe each area’s involvement in global patterns around 1750 as your starting point.

  • Latin America

  • East Asia

  • Eastern Europe

  • North America

  • South/South East Asia

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Middle East

2003 CCOT

  • Describe and analyze the cultural, economic, and political impact of Islam on ONE of the following regions between 1000 CE and 1750 CE. Be sure to discuss continuities as well as changes.

  • West Africa

  • South Asia

  • Europe

2004 CCOT

  • Analyze the changes and continuities in labor systems between 1750 and 1914 in ONE of the following areas. In your analysis, be sure to discuss the causes of the changes and the reasons for the continuities.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Russia

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

2005 CCOT

  • Analyze the social and economic transformations that occurred in the Atlantic world as a result of new contacts among Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas from 1492 to 1750.

2006 CCOT

  • Analyze the cultural and political changes and continuities in ONE of the following civilizations during the last centuries of the classical era.

  • Chinese (100-600 CE)

  • Roman (100-600 CE)

  • Indian (300-600 CE)

2007 CCOT

  • Analyze major changes and continuities in the formation of national identities in ONE of the regions listed below from 1914 to the present. Be sure to include evidence from specific countries in the region selected.

  • Middle East

  • Southeast Asia

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

2008 CCOT

  • Analyze the changes and continuities in commerce in the Indian Ocean region from 650 CE – 1750 CE.

2009 CCOT

  • Analyze the continuities and changes in patterns of interactions along the Silk Roads from 200 BCE to 1450 CE.

2010 CCOT

  • Describe and explain continuities and changes in religious beliefs and practices in ONE of the following regions from 1450 to the present.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Latin America/Caribbean

2011 CCOT

  • Analyze changes and continuities in long-distance migrations in the period from 1700 to 1900. Be sure to include specific examples from at least TWO different world regions.

2012 CCOT

  • Analyze continuities and changes in trade networks between Africa and Eurasia from circa 300 CE to 1450 CE.


The Thesis


  • Because the central task in the question calls for analysis of continuity and change, acceptable thesis statements need to address both, stating as least one continuity and one change.

  • Thesis statements also need to be explicit, not simply restatements of the question or vague statements, such as “there were more changes than continuities.”

Thesis, cont.

  • Thesis Musts

    • Address Prompt

    • Place/Time

    • 3 Categories

    • 1:2 Ratio (1 or 2 Continuities / 1 or 2 Changes)

Thesis, cont.

  • “From this date to that date, X changed in A, yet remained the same in B and C.”

  • “From this date to that date, X remained the same in A, yet changed in B and C.”

  • “Even though A changed in this place at this time, B and C continued to happen.”

  • “Even though A remained the same in this place at this time, B and C changed.”


2012: Analyze continuities and changes in trade networks between Africa and Eurasia from circa 300 CE to 1450 CE.

  • From 300 CE to 1450 CE, trade relations between Africa and Eurasia showed consistency in the basic types of exports and imports as well as the importance of coastal cities, but also showed changes in the arrival of Islam, the extent and degree of trade, and the rise of new and powerful empires in Eurasia.

The Order

  • Introduction – Thesis and Definitions (categories)

  • Section 1 – Category 1 (how it changed/continued from beginning to end)

  • Section 2 – Category 2 (how it changed/continued from beginning to end)

  • Section 3 – Category 3 (how it changed/continued from beginning to end)

  • Conclusion

What Order?







In case time is not to your advantage, always organize your essay according to the top row.

  • What Good Responses Should Include

  • Provides analysis of valid continuities and changes

  • Moves beyond a mechanistic “beginning, middle, end” format

  • Provides solid chronological knowledge across the entire time period

  • What Good Responses Should Include, cont.

  • Include dates to demonstrate the ability to describe with some precision when continuity and change happen

  • Describe an extra-regional connection or a global process to explain continuity or change

2006 CCOT

Marking it up

  • Friday – 2006 CCOT due

  • Write it at home and annotate the following parts

  • Thesis – bold

  • Categories– underline

  • World History Context (Evidence) - italicize

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