Final Essays

Hist 101: World History To 1500
Fall 2011
Final Exam Essays
25% of the course grade

Final Exam Essays Due Wednesday, December 14th, Noon

You must do Two (2) essays

  1. Compare and contrast three of the following empires: Acheamenid, Byantine Rome, Han, Incan, Mauryan, Song, Mongol, Ottoman, Tang, Umayyad, Western Rome. Which would you consider the most successful, and why? (Convincingly defining “success” is a part of the assignment; longevity helps, but it’s not everything.)
  2. Which region is more important in the development of human civilization up to 1500, China or India? Both are important: which is more important? Choose concrete examples and be sure to cover a broad range of time and space.
  3. Compare and contrast the spread of Buddhism and the spread of Islam.
    Compare and contrast the history of Christianity in the Mediterranean and European region with the history of Confucianism in East Asia.
    How much of their success is due to economic and political factors and how much is due to social and theological factors?
  4. Describe the pre-1500 relationship between the Mediterranean region and China. You need to describe how it begins, how it changes over time, and how things are in 1500; you need to discuss trade, culture, technology, politics and

Both Essays are due no later than noon on Wednesday, December 14th
(At the beginning of the in-class third test for Section 02 [noon])

There will be no extensions or late papers accepted
except in cases of documented medical emergency.

Instructions and Guidance

  • This is a take-home assignment, so I am expecting two real essays, with introductions, thesis statements, paragraphs, conclusions, etc.
    • Don’t assume that “an answer” will be easily found in one section of one book. These essays require careful reading, analytical thinking, and integration of textbook, lecture, and supplemental materials.
    • Be concrete: evidence is always more convincing than generalization or simple logic. In fact, it’s the entire point of the assignment: using evidence to generate an answer to a real historical question.
    • Don’t summarize the reading materials: describe or quote the evidence you need to answer the question, with proper citations so your reader can find your source, but don’t waste your time and your reader’s by repeating easy-to-find and irrelevant material.
  • You may think of it as two essays each worth 12.5% of your course grade; that’s certainly how I calculate it.
    • The grade is based primarily on the strength of your argument as an answer to the question: thesis, evidence (completeness and handling), logic.
    • Polished prose is not required, but basic courtesies like correct spelling and writing in grammatical standard English will be expected.
    • Clarity is crucial; structure is essential to a clear and effective argument.
  • Citations and Plagiarism
    • failure to acknowledge the source of your ideas or information is unacceptable. Plagiarism will result in no credit for the exam. Poor paraphrasing and poor citation will be penalized.
    • These questions can be answered more than adequately with reference to assigned readings and lectures. You are welcome to do more research and include outside sources if necessary, but you must be sure that they are relevant and of sufficient quality to enhance your argument. Using outside sources instead of course materials will result in penalties.
    • A Works Cited or Bibliography page is not required unless you use sources outside of the course readings and lectures. You must cite the source of information and ideas that are outside of “general knowledge,” including information from your course texts. Format of the notes is up to you: I prefer footnotes for my research, but parenthetical citations are fine as well; any format will be fine as long as it is used consistently and it clearly identifies the source and page of your information.
  • Technical Details
    • Make sure that your name, section, e-mail address and the question are clearly indicated at the beginning of each essay, and that each essay begins on a fresh page. Title pages are not required.
    • There is neither a minimum nor a maximum length for these essays, but I would be surprised if you could answer either of them in less than 500 words or needed more than 2000. That’s for each essay, by the way, not total.
    • Double-spacing and title pages are not required, but readable type and font are.
    • Both Essays are due in class at the time of the Final Exam.  There will be no extensions or late papers accepted except in cases of documented medical emergency. Emailed files will only be accepted as proof of completion; printed essays must be delivered no later than 4pm Thursday, and must be identical to the emailed files.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *