Thematic Essay Outline Political Systems Of The World

GLOBAL REGENTS THEMATIC ESSAY TOPICS AND DBQ SINCE 2001 (Global Regents Review Sheet)

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

NOTE - THE COMPLETE ESSAYS AND EXAMS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOARD OF REGENTS WEBSITE. THIS IS MERELY A BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT THE ESSAYS WERE ABOUT.

2017

January

THEMATIC - Needs and Wants - Select two natural resources and/or products. Explain why they were needed, and how they impacted a civilization, empire and/or a reigion.  (Coal, Oil, Diamonds, Salt, Gold, Tea, Spices)

DBQ - Actions taken by the British Empire to control India, and the impact of their rule on the people and/or region.

 

2016

January

THEMATIC - Imperialism - Select a country that engaged in imperialism, explain why they imperialized, and how imperialism affected the conquered and/or the conqueror. (Britain, Japan, France, Spain)

DBQ - Impact of Laws on society: Tukugawa Shogunate, Nazis, Republic of South Africa.

June

THEMATIC - Geography - Explain how two geographical obstacles were overcome by technology. (terrace farming,  caravel ships over the Atlantic, roads in the Andes, canals)

DBQ - Division of countries and its effect on people: Germany post WWII, Palestine, and British India.

August

THEMATIC - Belief Systems  - Explain two religions and show how they influenced society and/or a region. (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism)

DBQ - Problems caused by pollution and urbanization, and the degree to which these problems have been solved.

 

2015

January

THEMATIC - Geography - choose two geographic conditions and show how they influenced social, political, and/or economic history of a country or region.  (Monsoons in India, Nile Floods, island isolation for Japan, Greek mountains separate each polis, ancient rivers).

DBQ - People who spoke about problems: Bartolome de Las Casas, Robespierre, and Gandhi.

June

THEMATIC - Belief System Movements - Explain a central principle of a belief system, and how that belief system spread and influenced a society or region. (Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or other belief systems)

DBQ - Decline of Empires and the impact on society: Rome, Ottoman Empire, British.

August

THEMATIC - Movement of People and Goods - Explain how two groups or ideas moved from one place to another. Discuss how the movement influenced a group or society. (Religions, sugar, silk, salt, Columbian Exchange)

DBQ - Actions of people looking to increase power: Stalin, Pol Pot, Louis XIV.

 

 

2014

January

THEMATIC - Human Rights - Choose 2 defenders of human rights, explain how they defended human rights, and the extent to which they were successful. (Gandhi's civil disobedience, Mandela ends apartheid, Locke promotes life, liberty, and property rights in the Enlightenment)  

DBQ - People changing environments (irrigation in Egypt, construction in Mesoamerica, coal mining in Great Britain) 

 

June

THEMATIC - Change - Individuals who Challenged Tradition - Choose two people who challenged tradition and evaluate the success of their challenge. (Gandhi and civil disobedience, Martin Luther and the Reformation, Lenin and Russian Revolution)

DBQ - Turning Points of the plague, Treaty of Nanjing, and assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

 

August

THEMATIC - Change - Leaders who brought change - Discuss how two leaders came to power, one policy or practice of each leader, and how that policy affected the people. (Gorbachev and Glasnost/Perestroika, Napoleon's Code,  William and Mary's Glorious Revolution and Bill of Rights)

DBQ - The global issues of armed conflict, disease, and child labor.

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2013

January

THEMATIC - Change - Collapse of Governments. Choose 2 government collapses and explain their circumstances and results. (Roman Empire leads to fragmented Europe, execution of Louis XVI ends the monarchy and eventually leads to the Reign of Terror, fall of the Shah leads to Iranian Revolution and rise of the Ayatollah, fall of Communism creates new nations and war in Eastern Europe)

DBQ - Effect of salt, cotton, and sugar on societies and regions.

June

THEMATIC - Change - Revolutions. Choose 2 Revolutions and explain their historical circumstances and effects. (French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Neolithic Revolution, Green Revolution)

DBQ - Technological advances by the Mongols (bow and stirrup), Spanish (caravel ships for exploration), and in India (railroads).

August

THEMATIC - Armed Conflict. Explain the circumstances of two armed conflicts and how they affected a country or specific group. (French Revolution, World War I, World War II, Sepoy Rebellion, Opium War)

DBQ - Economic development leads to change in Mexico, Botswana, and China.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2012

January

THEMATIC - Individuals who developed or modified ideas. Explain the historical circumstances that led to the idea, an action taken because of this idea, and how the idea affected society. (Gandhi's civil disobedience, Martin Luther's 95 Theses, Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto).  

DBQ - Transportation methods unify and/or control regions. (Railroads, canals, and roads).

 

June

THEMATIC - Geography promoting or limiting interactions. Choose two geographic features, and show how they either limited or promoted human interaction. (Island geography isolated Japan, Mountains isolated the Greek polis, Sahara Desert isolated North from Sub-Saharan Africa, Nile River and Mediterranean Sea increased interactions).

DBQ - Autocratic rule helped and hindered a ruler's country. Shi Huangdi, Peter the Great, and Louis XIV.

 

August

THEMATIC - New technology changing existing technology. Describe two innovations and their effects on society or the world. (Gunpowder, printing press, nuclear power, aqueducts).

DBQ - Protest movements and reactions of the government to such protests. Women's Rights in Britain, Anti-Apartheid in South Africa, and pro-democracy in China.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2011

January

THEMATIC - Geographicalfeatures influencing history and development of history. Select 3 features. (Industrial Revolution in England, Japan's isolated island, fertile crescent of Mesopotamia)

DBQ - Heliocentrism, Marxism, and Natural Rights. Choose two and explain the idea, as well as the impact on society.

 

June

THEMATIC - Technology. Show the positive or negative effects of two innovations (astrolobe, nuclear weapons, satellites)

DBQ - Human Rights violations in Ukraine, Rwanda, and Cambodia.

 

August

THEMATIC - Change - Choose two global issues since WWII, and show how solutions to those issues. (Nuclear Weapons, Deforestation, Terrorism, AIDS, Pollution)

DBQ - Conquest of the Mongols, Ottomans, and Spanish. Explain the reasons for conquest, how it was achieved, and the impact.

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2010 

January

THEMATIC - Culture and Intellectual Life. Choose two philosophers or leaders, and explain their impact. (Gandhi, Locke, Mao, Napoleon, Aristotle)

DBQ - Agrarian, Green, and Neolithic Revolution.  (Choose 2)

June

THEMATIC - Change. Choose any 2 individuals who changed the world and explain how. Explain the specific idea and how it influenced a group or region. (Locke, Bolivar, Marx, Mandela)

DBQ - Geography. Choose from deserts, monsoons, and cold climates.

August

THEMATIC- Select a Nationalistic movement, explain causes, events, and results. (WWI, WWII, Otto von Bismarck, Bolivar)

DBQ - Belief Systems and their impact on society.

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2009

January

THEMATIC - Geography as either a promoter or hindrance to cultural diffusion. Choose 2 examples. (Japan's isolated island, Greek polis affected by mountains, the New World across the Atlantic Ocean)

DBQ - Leonardo da Vinci, Toussaint L'Ouverture, or Mohandas K. Gandhi. Choose 2, and explain achievements and impact on society.

June

THEMATIC - Human Rights Violations. Choose 2 examples, explain the history and why rights were violated, then discuss actions taken to end the violation. (Holocaust, pogroms, apartheid, Tiananmen Square.)

DBQ - Economic and Social Changes during the Middle Ages, Globalization, or Industrial Revolution (choose 2)

August 

THEMATIC - Belief Systems. Choose 2 and explain impact on society. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism)

DBQ - Usage and control of waterways and its political or economic effects.

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2008

January

THEMATIC - Change - Describe non-political revolutions (Scientific, Neolithic, Industrial, etc). Discuss the change and impact on society.

DBQ - Russia under the rule of Peter the Great, Germany under Adolf Hitler,and China under the rule of Mao Zedong. Choose 2 and explain impact on society.

June

THEMATIC - Belief Systems. Choose 2 and explain the religion, and the influence on followers life. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism)

DBQ - Genocide, Weapons of Mass Destruction, threats to the environment. Choose 2. Describe the problem, and attempts to end it.

August

THEMATIC - Geography ... Humans modifying lands or environment. Choose 2 (Berlin Wall, Great Wall of China are examples given.)

DBQ - Migrations ... Choose 2. Jews to Palestine and Israel, Hindus and Muslims between India and Pakistan, and Africans to the Americas. Describe impact.

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2007

January

THEMATIC - Human Rights Violations. Choose two groups who experienced human rights violations, and the extent to which it was resolved. (Holocaust, Tiananmen Square, Cambodia, pogroms)

DBQ - French Revolution. The causes and impact.

 

 

June

THEMATIC - Political Change. Choose 1 example and explain why a government wanted change, how they changed, and the result. (Meiji Restoration, 5 Year Plan, Rise of Fascism, etc)

DBQ - Manorialism, Mercantilism, Communism. Choose 2 of these economic systems.

August

THEMATIC - Political Systems. Explain 2 systems and how they changed the world. (Communism, Monarchy, Direct Democracy, etc)

DBQ - Natural Resources helped or hindered societies. Coal, water, diamonds, oil.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2006

January

THEMATIC - Change / Philosophers. Choose two philosophers or leaders and explain how they changed one nation. (Bismarck, Lenin, Gandhi, Locke, etc)

DBQ - Discuss imperialism from the point of view of both the imperialist, and the colonized.

June

THEMATIC - Conflict. Explain one conflict, its causes, opposing groups, and resolution. (French Revolution, WWI, WWII, Apartheid, Crusades)

DBQ - Positive and Negative effects of the Industrial Revolution.

August

THEMATIC - Trade Routes. Discuss 2, and explain the positive or negative effects. (OPEC, EU, Silk Roads, Trans Sahara Trade)

DBQ - The Cold War affecting other nations around the world (Europe, Asia, Latin America).

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2005

January

THEMATIC - Change / 20th Century. Choose 2 20th Century political events, explain them, and show their impact on society. (Rise and Fall of Communism, Cultural Revolution, End of apartheid, Berlin Wall construction or dismantling, etc)

DBQ - Conquest of the Mongols, Spanish, and French. Choose 2. Show the political, social, and/or economic impacts of their conquests.

 

 

June

THEMATIC - Global Problems. Explain causes of a global problem, and ways it has affected a nation or region. (Desertification, spread of disease, deforestation, overpopulation, etc)

DBQ - Causes and outcomes of Wars.

August

THEMATIC - Change / Leaders. Choose two leaders who created change. Explain the situation, how change occurred, and how it affected society. (Gandhi, Bolivar, Lenin, Napoleon, Mao Zedong)

DBQ - Printing Press, Steam Power, Atomic Bomb. Explain how technology changed the world. Choose 2.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2004

January

THEMATIC - Change (Individuals) Choose two historical figures, explain their ideas, and how they positively or negatively affected the world. (Gandhi, Bolivar, Stalin, Locke, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Gutenberg, Mandela, Mao, Aristotle)

DBQ - Neolithic Revolution, Scientific Revolution, Green Revolution. Choose two and explain the changes resulting from them.

 

June

THEMATIC - Turning Points. Choose two turning point events, explain them, and explain their impact. (French Revolution, WWI, WWII, Renaissance, Crusades)

DBQ - British Imperialism. Discuss the causes, and negative effects.

August

THEMATIC - Economic Systems. Identify one society and one economic system used in that society. Give two features of that system, and show its impact on the society. (Industrial Revolution in England, Communism in the USSR.)

DBQ - World Epidemics. Describe why they spread, and the impact on a society or societies.

  ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2003

January

THEMATIC - Change, Revolutions. Choose a revolution. Give the causes, effects, and changes that resulted. (French Revolution, Russian, Iranian)

DBQ - Geographic features affecting Japan and England.

June

THEMATIC - Conflict. Choose 2 ethnic, cultural, religious, or political conflicts. Show the causes and effects. (Crusades, Holocaust, Tiananmen Square Massacre)

DBQ - Neolithic Revolution, Age of Exploration, Fall of Communism. Choose 2 and explain why its a turning point, and if that turning point was positive or negative.

August

THEMATIC - Geography Physical and Human. Choose one society before 1500 AD, and explain how it was influenced by a geographic feature. (Mountains in Greece, Monsoons in Asia, Ganges River in India, Nile in Egypt, Fertile Crescent) Do the same for a people after 1500 AD. (England is an island, the Industrial Revolution began there. Russia could not be invaded by Napoleon or Hitler.)

DBQ - Nationalism and a positive or negative influence around the world.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2002

January

THEMATIC - Geography. Choose 2 nations or regions and show how geography affected their history. (river valleys of Egypt or Mesopotamia, Monsoons or Himalaya Mountains in Asia)

DBQ - Economic changes to society.

 

June

THEMATIC - Geography. Human activity has altered the land. Show the change to the environment and how it helped or hindered society. (Irrigation, terrace farming, canal systems, use of nuclear power.)

DBQ - Human rights violations after WWII.

August

THEMATIC - Change. Choose two individuals who brought about change, and explain the effects of that change. (Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Locke.)

DBQ - Mass movement of people. Political, economic, and social implications. 

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2001

January

THEMATIC - Economic change. Show how industrialization affected 1 nation. Show 2 ways that it led to changes for workers. Show how workers, reformers, or the government responded to these changes.

DBQ - French, Chinese, and Iranian Revolutions. Choose 2, and show the causes, results, and degree of success.

June

THEMATIC - Geography. Select 1 geographic feature and how it affected the development of a society. (Fertile crescent, Japan isolated on an island, natural harbors of England, etc)

DBQ - Industrialization leading to environmental problems.

August

THEMATIC - Turning Points. Show 2 turning points in history. Show the causes and impacts. (French Revolution, Neolithic Revolution, WWI)

DBQ - Women in society. Social or political impacts on women in different societies.

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THEMATIC ESSAY ... Scariest Part

CLICK HERE FOR MR. KLAFF'S SUMMARY OF GLOBAL THEMATICS AND DBQs SINCE 2001

(Global Regents Review Sheet)

 

NOW FOR SOME THEMATIC TIPS.

NOTE: The Thematic and DBQ Essays are graded on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

 

Tip #1:  Depth and Analysis

    Do you remember when someone in your past told you that "it's not quantity, it's quality"? They lied. It's both which you need.  You could answer a thematic essay in two sentences and be sort of correct ... but that doesn't mean you will get a good grade! You need to offer details ... DETAILS!!! Let's assume you have the following part of a question:

Explain how 1 geographic feature impacted a region.

Well, you could answer it one of two ways:

 a) "Britain is an island, and is therefore isolated. It was safe from Napoleon."

Wow, two sentences. One of those was five words long!! That's not ANALYSIS. You need to analyze, or in simpler terms ... you need to make a detailed examination using plenty of relevant facts.  Maybe you are better off saying:

b) "Britain is an island, and therefore it could not be taken over by land or air. First, in the early 19th Century, Napoleon couldn't defeat Britain despite the Continental System and Battle of Trafalgar. A century later, Hitler attempted to defeat Britain with a blitzkrieg, but later lost in battle. It was the geographical isolation of Britain which made both adversaries powerless to mobilze a military victory."

Do you see the difference there? Both are correct, but (b) is SO MUCH BETTER! It offers specifics, history, and context.

Tip #2: Choose what you can write a lot about!

    I know it sounds obvious, but you really need to write about a topic you know very well. After the question, the Regents will offer you different options as to what you can write about (though you are not limited to their choices). For instance, if the  essay is on "Revolution and Rebellion," then choose what you can write the most on. To me, I would think you could write much more on the Industrial Revolution than the Sepoy Mutiny. Don't choose something that you can only write a few sentences about!

 

 

 

Tip #3: Answer every bullet equally!

   The question will give you 2-3 bullets to answer. If you write 10 pages on one bullet, and nothing on the others ... that's bad! Don't forget to answer every part. Let's say you get a question that says

     Choose two global conflicts:

      - Describe two causes regarding the conflict.

      - Discuss two effects of that conflict (short-term and/or long-term).

Notice, they are asking you 6 things in total! For this type of question make the following grid. Though you only need two, here are some suggestions:

This type of grid will ensure that you won't miss or mix up a question. Now that you are organized, you can write the essay with EVEN MORE details!

Tip #4: Be Careful!

   NOTE: You CAN NOT write about US History. For crying out loud!! Martin Luther was NOT Martin Luther King, Jr. Also, the thematic sometimes says ... "You can not write on certain topics." Topics in the DBQ are usually off limits for the thematic essay. Make sure you read the bold words under the question! 

 

Tip #5: What to Study?

The thematic is scary ... but not scary if you study the right things. KNOW THE FOLLOWING FIVE THINGS, AND YOU HAVE A GREAT CHANCE OF KNOCKING THIS OUT OF THE PARK. Historically, the following are the topics found most often on thematics.

1. I would know a couple of the impacts of Geography on world history ... Ex.  Britain is an island -- and couldn't be attacked my Napoleon or Hitler. Also, England's natural harbors allowed the Industrial Revolution to start there.  Scroll down to get the low-down on geography!

2. I would know two Revolutions REALLY WELL. Go French Revolution ... or Russian ... Peace, Land, and Bread! Studying both would cover you for the Political Systems of Absolutism (overthrow of) and Communism! Also, know a non-political one such as the Industrial Revolution! By studying Industrial, you are covered for the Economic Systems of capitalism and socialism. A revolution is GREAT for the Thematic, because it can be used for: Change, Conflict, War, or Turning Points. The Regents has asked that type of question often in recent years.

3. Human Rights Violations -- Study 2 of these very thoroughly: Holocaust, Khmer Rouge, Tiananmen Square, Apartheid.

4. Know a few individuals REALLY well. Pick two who are seen in a favorable light, and two who aren't. Scroll down on this sheet for a list of the major people of the course. When in doubt, Gandhi and Locke are easy to write about.

5. A pretty fun topic to write about is technology. But remember: WRITE ABOUT A TOPIC THAT YOU CAN DISCUSS IN DEPTH. The atomic bomb, Sputnik, or gunpowder are topics that fit this theme. Other choices include the astrolabe, aqueducts, and the printing press.

Low Percentage Thematics include: Economic and Political Systems (mentioned above), Movements of People and Trade Organizations (OPEC, NAFTA), Collapse of Governments (Fall of Louis XVI & Soviet Union), Nationalism (WWI and WWII), and Global problems such as pollution and deforestation.

BUT IT REALLY COULD BE ANYTHING! See the entire list of the thematic history by clicking the link above.

Tip #6: How many Paragraphs?!?!!?

Students are always scared about how many paragraphs they should write. Well ... according to the state standard you need to do the following:

Have a logical and clear plan of organization. Also, have an introduction and conclusion that doesn't just restate the theme.

Hmmm ... it doesn't say how many paragraphs to write! The number of paragraphs is usually determined by the amount of bullets in the question. But usually, if they ask for two religions as shown above, a body paragraph for each religion will do. Suppose you have SO MUCH information on both ...  then you can write 4 body paragraphs. That's a paragraph per religion for each bullet (or square on the above chart). Does that mean you can't get a good grade with 2 body paragarphs? It doesn't mean that! According to the state standard, you can get a 5 if you have very good organization, you analyze and answer all parts thoroughly, and include a lot of facts, examples, and details. Perhaps, you can even create new information based upon your knowledge.

 

 

 

 

DBQ

Your Score on the DBQ will be largely based on you answering “yes” to the following questions:

1. Did I put the documents into proper groups and analyze them? (DO NOT SUMMARIZE)

2. Did I use the MINIMUM amount of documents which they suggest?

3. Did I answer the bullets SPECIFICALLY as to what is asked?

4. Do I have a detailed thesis?

5. Is my outside information impressive?

NOW FOR SOME TIPS.

 

Tip #1:First, the Scaffolding Questions 

Do you know how important those little questions are after the documents?  They are worth BIG points. They count the same as multiple choice questions. So, make sure you TAKE YOUR TIME with them. I know, it's hot outside and you want to go swimming. The pool can wait! If you see 2 lines, write 3 lines! Answer in full sentences. Give all you know! My recommendation would be to first scan the document. Notice who is speaking, what the year is, and the focus of the document. Then, read the question so you know specifically what is being asked.

 

Tip #2: Organize

They will give you a few sets of documents. Usually there's about three topics in a general category such as human rights violations, change, turning points, or technology. Organize the documents by topic so you know which ones will fit in the same paragraph when you write.

 

Tip #3: Outside Information

Use extensive outside information.

No Bull, you need to have a lot of outside information. As you go through each document, jot down notes in the margins. Your documents should be drowning in ink by the end of the hour! Give anything...ANYTHING...relevant that is not in the documents. For example, consider a document that deals with John Locke. In the margin write down “Enlightenment,” “Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire’.” Any note about thinkers of that era would be a great addition of outside information. Cite your Outside Information (O.I.) as well as your documents (Doc 1) (Doc 2). Be warned ... your teachers are pretty smart! Don't write down ... Russia is big and cold. (O.I.) That's not the outside info we are looking for!

 

Tip #4: DON'T SUMMARIZE! Discuss, Describe, Explain.

If you just copy over the documents, you'll have a really long and TERRIBLE essay. The documents are there to guide your argument. If they are asking about thechanges brought on by the Scientific Revolution, and you just summarize the Heliocentric Model without focusing on the question, you are NOT doing it correctly! If they say:

Describe - It means to tell about it.

Discuss - It means to make observations using reasoning and present detail.

Explain - It means to make understandable and provide reasons, causes, or results.

If they ask to Discuss change, then show that you understand how the heliocentric model brought about change and why it can be considered a turning point. Thus:

The heliocentric model of Nicolaus Copernicus was an important contribution of the Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth century. The model illustrated that the Sun was the center of the solar system and the planets revolved around it. This was great change, as for centuries people believed in the geocentric model whereby the Earth was the center of the universe. Galileo looked to prove the heliocentric theory by using a telescope to observe the moons of Jupiter. The Church didn't take kindly to Galileo's work. He was convicted of heresy and forced to live under house arrest. Still, the Scientific Revolution was a turning point as scientists continued to question ancient teachings from those such as Aristotle. A new era of scientific observation and experimentation took over Europe.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to answer their questions with analysis (or detailed examination). If you just summarize documents without focus, the essay will be in big trouble!

 

 

Tip #5: How many Paragraphs?!?!!?

TO REPEAT FROM ABOVE IF YOU'RE TOO LAZY TO SCROLL BACK UP:

Students are always scared about how many paragraphs they should write. Well ... according to the state standard you need to do the following:

Have a logical and clear plan of organization. Also, have an introduction and conclusion that doesn't just restate the theme.

Hmmm ... it doesn't say how many paragraphs to write! The number of paragraphs is usually determined by the amount of bullets in the question. But usually, if they ask for two religions as shown above, a body paragraph for each religion will do. Suppose you have SO MUCH information on both ...  then you can write 4 body paragraphs. That's a paragraph per religion for each bullet (or square on the above chart). Does that mean you can't get a good grade with 2 body paragraphs? It doesn't mean that! According to the state standard, you can get a 5 if you have very good organization, you analyze and answer all parts thoroughly, and include a lot of facts, examples, and details. Perhaps, you can even create new information based upon your knowledge.

 

(Global Regents Review Sheet)

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