Essay Strategies

The social studies intellectual skills are taken from the commencement-level performance indicators found in the Learning Standards for Social Studies. Students apply these skills in the thematic essay and document-based question (DBQ) essay included on the Global History and Geography Regents examination.

Thematic essays require students to write in-depth about one of the themes identified in the global history and geography section of the Social Studies Resource Guide with Core Curriculum. In the thematic essay, students are asked to compare and contrast events, analyze issues, or evaluate solutions to problems in a comprehensive and cohesive essay that includes a clearly articulated introduction statement and a logically drawn conclusion.

Document-based questions require students to identify and explore multiple perspectives on events or issues by examining, analyzing, and evaluating textual and visual primary and secondary documents.

The thematic essay, the scaffolding portion of the DBQ, and the analytic essay of the DBQ will be scored holistically using clearly defined criteria described in the scoring rubrics. The following links provide instructional strategies and guidance on developing and scoring both types of essays, along with an explanation of the holistic scoring process.  

Thematic Essay: Regents Review

DBQ Writing Skills

An Introduction to the DBQ  

Revised Sample DBQ: Comparative Political Systems

photo of the coliseum in Rome



 ©2008 NYSED