These are some general issues with the essays:
1. Choice of region for the topic made it difficult to provide strong historical evidence. Certain regions provided more opportunity for discussion than others.
2. Placed emphasis of essay on the wrong theme (i.e. wrote more about the social aspects when your topic was political).
3. Discussed evidence out of chronological order. It is much easier to trace cause and effect and continuity and change patterns when you present them in chronological order.
4. Did not use appropriate evidence to support answer or did not apply the evidence in a meaningful way toward answering the question.
5. Chose only evidence from a narrow portion of the time frame – did not address the issue over a broad time frame (from early centuries B.C.E. up to 1450).
6. Did not include all aspects of the thesis or did so in an overly general way.
7. Failed to discuss, or weakly discussed continuities. A continuity does not always have to be something that persists over the time entire time frame. It can be something that developed during the time frame and still existed or was influential by the end of the time frame.
Below you will see listed possible ideas for what could have been included for some of the essay choices. These are in no way fully developed thoughts – just main ideas! Many of these ideas would have to be explained and discussed in order to qualify as a full response. I may not have included all regions for each theme – just the most commonly chosen regions.
Interaction: ( A comparison of TWO regions)
Middle East and South Asia
How South Asia affected the Middle East: Introduced Arab sailors to Hindi numerals and other mathematical concepts which allowed Arabs to develop Algebra.
How The Middle East affected South Asia : Introduction of Islam (700’s – 800’s) into South Asia alters the nature and fabric of Indian society – Muslims intermarry with Indians blending into new subcastes and/or jati. They often do jobs objectionable to Hindus (i.e. Butchers/tanners). Depite becoming a sizeable group in India – Hinduism prevails as the main religion of India. Bhakti Movement, sufies,etc…
By the 1000’s, Muslims from the North destroy the last vestiges of Buddhism/Sultanate of New Dehli
The Middle East and Africa
Islam enters into North Africa through the Trans-Saharan trade routes (which were facilitated by the introduction of the camel by the Arabs). Gold and slaves enter the Mediterranean and Middle East. African kingdoms flourish as a result of this trade – Ghana, Mali, Songhai. Some of these African kingdoms become devout Muslims, but do not fully adopt all of the cultural practices of other Muslims (i.e. – women comingle with men and do not veil themselves). Many still secretly worship their traditional gods and idols. Discuss the effects and interactions of Mansa Musa and Ibn Battuta.
South Asia and East Asia
Spread of Buddhism from India throughout East Asia. Discuss the early attitudes of Buddhism and its later popularity (during the decline of the Han). The development of syncretic faiths such as Neo-Confucianism. Later Chinese naval technology (sails, etc..) reach India as a result of Zheng He’s voyages. Despite the widespread appeal of Buddhism, it is occasionally discriminated against but generally gains acceptance (see Tang Dynasty). Confucianism prevails (despite Buddhist ideas and Mongol invasions).
Political (Select ONE region)
Should have begun the discussion with the Roman Republic (Twelve Tables) linking it to Athenian Greek idea of democracy). Discuss Rome’s evolution into a dicatatorship/empire. Discuss the influences of Christianity upon the Empire with it officially becoming the official religion (380). The Empire becomes officially divided in 1054 (the Schism). The Byzantine Empire survives until 1453 when it is finally...