How to Write a CCOT Essay

CCOT essays help identify trends.
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CCOT stands for "change and continuity over time." The focus of a CCOT essay is to compare the state of affairs in a geographical region from two points in time. For example, a CCOT essay assignment might be to compare the percentage of U.S. high school graduates in 1965 who go on to attend college with the percentage in 1985. The precise format required for a CCOT essay will vary. There are techniques common to all formats that you can follow to write a CCOT essay, however.

State the dates and locations pertinent to your essay in the introductory paragraph. Describe the state of affairs about which you are writing. Give specific examples that show how the state of affairs was continuous between the two points in time and examples of how it changed. Propose an explanation for each instance of change and continuity.

Write a paragraph for each instance of change in the introduction. Briefly restate the change in the topic sentence, then provide evidence that the change occurred. Make arguments in support of your proposed explanation for the change in the body of the paragraph.

Write a paragraph for each instance of continuity in the introduction. Restate the example of continuity in the topic sentence of the paragraph, then offer evidence that confirms the continuity. As with the change paragraphs, offer arguments that support your proposed explanation for the continuity.

Summarize the set of changes and continuities and your explanations for them, in the concluding paragraph.

Sam N. Austin began writing professionally in 1990, and has held executive and creative positions at Microsoft, Dell and numerous advertising agencies. Austin writes on health and well-being as well as linguistics and international travel, business, management and emerging technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Texas where he is a Master of Arts candidate in Romance linguistics.