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Global History Regents Religion Essay


  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 





















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Below you will find a listing of the last NYS Global History Regents topics for both the Thematic and DBQ Essay. While this list can assist you on focusing on topics that have not appeared in a while, you should be aware that topics repeat often over the course of a couple of years such as different versions of Change, and Conflict.

Jun 2017: DBQ and/or Thematic Essay Educated Guesses

  • Revolutions (Political/Non-Political)
  • Conflict (Cold War, WWI, etc)
  • Human Rights Violations/Genocide
  • Political Systems


    • Belief Systems & Geography (at least once before last 6 exams - 2018)

Thematic Essay Topics

Last Thematic TopicsMonthYearGeographyNon-Geography
Needs & Wants (Economic/Geogrpahy)Jan2017X
Belief SystemsAug2016X
Human and Physical Geography & Technological AdvancesJun2016X
Movement of People and GoodsAug2015X
Belief SystemsJun2015X
Human and Physical GeographyJan2015X
Change—Political LeadersAug2014X
Change—Challenges to Tradition or AuthorityJun2014X
Human Rights - Leaders & Their IdeasJan2014X
Conflict—Armed ConflictAug2013X
Change—Collapse of GovernmentJan2013X
Human and Physical GeographyJun2012X
Change — Global IssuesAug2011X
Geographic FeaturesJan2011X
Change - IdeasJune2010X
Philosophers/ leaders/ piece of writing Jan2010X
Belief Systems Aug2009X
Human Rights violations June2009X
Geographic Factors/ Cultural Diffusion Jan2009X
Adapting to Physical Environment Aug2008X
Belief Systems June2008X
Nonpolitical RevolutionsJan2008X
Effects of Political Systems Aug2007X
Political Change June2007X
Human Rights violations Jan2007X
Trade Routes/Organizations effects Aug2006X
Confict between groups June2006X
Philosophers/Leaders ideas and beliefs Jan2006X
Global Problems Aug2005X
20th Century Politcal Events June2005X
Actions of Leaders Jan2005X

DBQ Essay Topics

Last DBQ TopicsMonthYearGeographyNon-Geography
Imperialism - Colonial India to IndependenceJan2017X
Urbanization and IndustrializationAug2016X
Nationalism - Post WWII Germany,Palestine, and British IndiaJun2016X
Laws: Tokugawa Shogunate, Nazi Germany, ApartheidJan2016X
Leaders & Governments: Increase Power & Control PeopleAug2015X
Empires: Roman, Ottoman, and BritainJun2015X
Individuals: Problems Emerged & Wanted to Face - Bartolomé de Las Casas, Maximilien Robespierre, and Mohandas GandhiJan2015X
Turning points: Outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, The Signing of the Nanjing Treaty, and the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand Aug2014X
Geography: Egypt Nile Irrigation, Coal in Great Britain,Aztec & Chinampas Jan2014X
Economic Development: China (1976-Present), Mexico (1980–present), Botswana (1966–present)Aug 2013X
Technological Advancements: stirrup & bow, caraval, railroadsJun2013X
Need for food products salt, cotton, and sugar on societiesJan2013X
Protest Movements: Women's Rights in Great Britain, Prodemocracy China, ApartheidAug 2012X
Autocratic Leaders (Shi Huandi, Peter the Great, Louis XIV)Jun2012X
Transportation Systems - Roads, Canals, RailroadsJan 2012X
Conquests of Mongols/Spanish/OttomanAug 2011X
Human Rights Violations - Ukrainians, Cambodians, and RwandansJune 2011X
Ideas - Heliocentrism, Natural Rights, MarxismJan2011X
Belief SystemsAug2010X
Geographic Factors - Effects on Nations/RegionsJune2010X
Food Production Revolutions Jan2010X
Usage and Control of Waterways Aug2009X
Middle Ages/Industrial Revolution/Age of Globalization June2009X
Da Vinci/L'Ouverture/GandhiJan2009X
Migrations of People- Jews, Africans, Muslims, HindusAug2008X
World Problems-Genocide/Threats to Environment/WMD'sJune2008X
Peter the Great/ Adolf Hitler/Mao Zedong Jan2008
Natural Resources- Water/coal/oil/diamonds Aug2007X
Economic Systems- manorialism/mercantilism/communism June2007X
French Revolution Jan2007X
Cold War- Effects on Europe/Asia/Latin America Aug2006X
Industrial Revolution-Positive/Negative Effects June2006X
Imperialism-Differing Perspectives Colonists vs Colonizers Jan2006X
Wars- Outcomes & Reasons June2005X
Conquests of Mongols/Spanish/French Aug2005X
Printing Press/Steam-power/Atomic BombJan2005X