Enduring Issues Essay (Global History and Geography Exam)

An essential part of the NYS Regent Exam in Global History and Geography II is writing an enduring issues essay. In this article, we will examine its definition, outline, and examples.

An enduring issues essay is a written task where you are to identify and describe a historically significant challenge that has endured across time and has been addressed with varying degrees of success. For this task, you will receive excerpts from five historical documents. Based on that, here’s what you can be expected to do in this assignment:

  • Determine the enduring issue shared by all the documents.
  • Argue the importance of the chosen problem and how it has endured.
  • Base your argumentation on historically accurate interpretation of at least three of the provided documents.
  • Discuss the causes and consequences of the selected issue.
  • Show how it has been developing and changing over time.
  • Use external data: your knowledge or evidence from other documents.

Note: This is what your task sheet can look like.

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First, look through the list of commonly emphasized enduring issues (main category) and their nested problems (sub-categories).

We have prepared an enduring issues list. You can find it after the definition sections. If you want to share the infographic, please indicate this page or our homepage as the source.

What are Enduring Issues?

An enduring issue is an issue that persists throughout the history of humanity and is debated in relation to history, social studies, and anthropology. Humanity encounters them daily. That is why it is critical to discuss and study them in-depth to find possible solutions, and essay writing is one of the ways.

Many communities have tried to deal with and solve enduring problems, and only some have done it successfully. The outcomes of their attempts are documented in historical archives. Students who study global history and associated subjects should encounter this topic, especially when preparing for that Regents exam. So, knowing your way around various databases and archives and having real-life experience can be useful.

Long-lasting challenges are historically significant, and these problems are relevant to various generations, no matter how much time has passed. We can observe evidence of enduring problems everywhere around the earth. To prove that a particular event is historically significant and should not be ignored, a student has to explain how it has impacted multiple societies and caused long-term consequences.

The enduring issues list below is created based on the information by the NYS Education dept.

9 Examples of Enduring Issues (Infographic)

An event is historically significant if it affects many people and has long-lasting consequences. Without specific enduring issues essay examples, it might be hard to understand what that means. Hence, here is a list of enduring issues that students might have to cover:

  • Conflicts
  • Cooperation
  • Power
  • Inequality
  • Innovation
  • Interconnectedness
  • Ideas and beliefs
  • Environmental impact
  • Scarcity

an infographic showing a list of nine general enduring issues and their sub-topics
Download a full-resolution version here.

In each category, it is possible to highlight many nested topics. Such points may include ethnic disputes, lack of food, domestic violence, threats to privacy, gender inequality, usage of child labor, stain on resources, etc. A nested problem refers to a specific category of enduring issues. A student can discuss them negatively, neutrally, or positively based on historical data, facts, and personal life experience and knowledge.

How to Write an Enduring Issues Essay

Writing an essay on enduring issues starts with developing a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is part of an academic or scientific paper’s introduction in which a writer establishes their argument and defines examples that will help them to defend the argument. It should give one an idea of what their anchor paper will cover. It can be longer than a single sentence, but college professors do not recommend making a thesis statement over three sentences long. The formula looks this way: Thesis = Claim + Examples.

Below are three essay thesis examples that will help you better understand this part.

It is critical to remember that a thesis depends on the description of your assignment and questions or prompts for a test like the Global II NYS Regents Exam (Global Regents). Therefore, it is necessary to study the prompt and underline the keywords indicating your objective. The next stage is drafting an outline.

A Detailed Enduring Issues Essay Outline

This enduring issues essay outline is a possible solution to help you develop the constructed response questions. In 90% of cases, a paper on enduring problems is an extended essay. It means it can be a 2-3-page piece with a more complicated structure than a simple essay. Here is a basic structure of an enduring issues essay:

1. The Introductory Part

  • Reiterate the questions from the prompt.
  • List the issues you think are common in at least three docs of your choice.
  • Present your claim. Say which issue is the most important in your opinion.
  • Define the picked issue.
  • Indicate in which documents it manifests the most.

2. Body Sections

Part 1 — Describe how people have been affected by the issue.

  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Example 4

Part 2 — Explain how the issue has been changing and what forms it takes today.

3. Conclusion

  • Present counterclaim
  • Reiterate your claim

If you stick to this enduring issues essay outline, you will have a better chance of getting a passing score. However, it’s not the only way to structure your writing. Check the video further in the article to learn another way of organizing this task.

Note: You can read more about creating outlines for essay and check some other outline examples here: How to Write an Outline

Enduring Issues Essay Prompts Examples

Most prompts for such an essay look more or less similar. Here are some examples:

  • Define an enduring or nested issue by providing its historically accurate explanation contained in 3 docs.
  • Identify the problem with the help of the evidence from 3 documents.
  • Explain why the issue matters and needs to be studied.
  • Show how the topic impacted society or was influenced by it.
  • How has the issue developed over the years?
  • What’s the problem like today?

Integrate information from external sources, especially those pertaining to global history and social studies, reinforcing your arguments with evidence from the provided materials.

The structure above should be sufficient if it’s a homework essay assigned to you. More specific prompts may include something like this:

  • Why are human rights violations a significant enduring issue?
  • Discuss the causes of the rising competition for natural resources.
  • Inequality through the prism of The French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.
  • Investigate the enduring issue of gender inequality from ancient civilizations to today.
  • Discuss the challenges of nation-building and identity in post-colonial societies.
  • Explore the implications of technological advancements on societal norms and values.

You can start by identifying a problem and its origins (when it was observed for the first time and why it occurred). You should also ask yourself this question, “Does it have continuous negative or positive effects?” Study prior works to determine what generations of people did about the problem and conclude why those measures were insufficient.

When crafting an enduring issues essay, it’s essential to combine analytical depth with historical breadth. This ensures a comprehensive understanding of the topic and its lasting significance.

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Free Enduring Issues Essay Examples

A great way to prepare is by studying enduring issue essay samples. It is more complicated than your simple essay, so investing a couple of hours in sample reading is a good idea.

Content-Specific Rubric Samples (2018)

This first file contains thirteen samples of enduring issues essays written by students. Their text was left intact, meaning all mistakes are also present there. The document also includes a generic rubric, a table showing what issues can be found in every doc, and scoring rubrics with detailed analysis for “Acceptance or Rejection of New Ideas” and “Impact of Westernization.”

Every sample is followed by a thorough review and an overall verdict.

Video Sample Analysis by Matthew Foglino

Below is a video walkthrough by Matthew Foglino, a historian and member of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). At the end of his video, he offers an organizer for an enduring issues essay.

Final Writing Tips

  1. Evidence-Based Argumentation: Every claim or argument you make should be substantiated by evidence from credible documents or class material. The strength of your essay lies in how convincingly you can connect your issue to the provided sources. Spend quality time analyzing the given documents, seeking patterns, and corroborating facts that can help you identify a clear and compelling enduring issue.
  2. Be Open to Exploration: While the prompts and examples provided can serve as guidelines, don’t restrict yourself to them. If, after thorough analysis, you identify an enduring issue that hasn’t been explicitly listed, feel empowered to explore and write about it. Remember, the key is how you justify your choice, not just the choice itself.
  3. Specificity Over Generality: Avoid choosing broad or generic categories as your central issue. While they might seem appealing due to their vast scope, they often lack the depth required for a meaningful analysis. For instance, rather than focusing on a general term like “conflict,” delve into more nuanced issues such as “disputes over socio-economic status” or “tensions arising from cultural differences.”
  4. Stay Objective and Analytical: An enduring issues essay isn’t about your personal opinion but rather an objective analysis based on evidence. Maintain a balanced perspective, and avoid letting personal biases influence your writing.
  5. Clarity and Structure: Ensure your essay has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Start by introducing the enduring issue, delve into its historical context and significance in the body, and conclude with its implications and relevance today.
  6. Proofread and Revise: Before finalizing your essay, take the time to read it through for clarity, coherence, and grammatical accuracy. Consider asking a peer or teacher to review it for feedback. This step can help refine your argument and eliminate any ambiguities or redundancies.

Remember, the enduring issues essay evaluates not just your knowledge but also your analytical and interpretative skills. Approach the task with a curious and open mind, aiming to uncover deeper insights and connections in the provided material.

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