Thematic Essays


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Thematic Essay

Thematic essays will require students to write a coherent essay that has an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. Note that the current SED social studies essay is divided into multiple sections, which invite independent responses. Currently, students can receive full credit without writing an introduction or conclusion.

Thematic essays:

  • focus on concepts and themes in the Social Studies Learning Standards.
  • go beyond recall and reiteration of facts.
  • emphasize critical thinking skills.
  • ask students to make connections and linkages.
  • are criterion referenced and employ a 5 point scoring rubric.
  • require students to move beyond responding to the separate tasks in the question, and consider the connections between sections of the question.

To receive full credit in a five point rubric scale, an essay would need to:

  • show a clear understanding of the theme.
  • address all aspects of the task.
  • show an ability to analyze issues and events.
  • write a cohesive, cogent essay that uses a rich variety of details.
  • summarizes key arguments and points made in the essay.
  • include a strong introduction and conclusion.

Credit would be reduced if the essay:

  • failed to address all aspect of the task.
  • lacked depth or accuracy.
  • used faulty analysis of the theme or lacked any analysis of the theme.
  • lacked focus, concrete examples or historic details.
  • lacked an introduction or conclusion.

Link to

On-Line Guide to  Thematic Essays 

Social Studies Themes

Thematic Essay:
Grade 10



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