A. Exam 1 will be given on Monday, October 11, 1999.

B. Exam 1 will cover:

  1. All lectures from September 10 (Nationalism and Isolationism after the War of 1812) through October 6 (Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft).
  2. Jones, Quest for Security, 1:88-287. Use the text to answer questions which occur to you as you study other materials. Use the text to cover topics we have not had time to discuss in class. Use the text to reinforce in your memory the material we cover in class.
  3. The exam will NOT cover the following topics and materials:
    1. Jones, Quest for Security, 1:1-87, and other class materials on the period before 1814.
    2. The discussions of the Cuban Missile Crisis on October 1 and 8.
  4. Generally you should give priority to studying lecture notes, since we have covered most of the important topics in class.
  5. One sign of a good exam is that the essays give some evidence of reading and thinking beyond class discussions. If you are intellectually engaged with the course materials, including both class discussions and outside readings, your essays will naturally reflect issues and subjects which we have not had time to talk about in class. Don't hesitate to work into your essays material from the readings if appropriate and topical. (Don't put in material from the readings just to put it in. The material must be a natural rather than a "forced" fit.)

C. Structure Of Exam 1

  1. You will answer three essay questions: two worth 33 points, one worth 34 points.
  2. For each essay you are to write, you will be able to choose between two or more possible topics.
  3. The exams will be written in blue books provided by Dr. Tallant. You do not need extra paper.

D. Question Formats:

The following questions illustrate the formats of questions commonly asked in History 325. (These sample questions, of course, will NOT appear on the exam.) While these are the question formats I most commonly use, other formats not listed below may be occasionally used. Notice that the questions are large in scope. Many of you will know enough about the questions that you could easily take two hours or more to complete the exam. However, you have only 50 minutes. You will need to be selective in what you say while making sure that you cover the key points. You may want to spend a few moments before each question jotting down a brief outline to make certain that you say everything you need to.

  1. Discuss questions. The point of this question is to assess your knowledge of a particular subject. Typically the announcement of the subject (Discuss this subject . . . ) will be followed by a series of subordinate questions designed to prompt you toward addressing issues which a good essay on the subject needs to cover. Please do not feel limited by these questions. You do not have to deal with them in rote order and you do not have to confine your essays to these sub-questions alone. Filter these questions through your own intelligence and make them the product of your understanding and creativity.

    Sample question: Discuss British mercantilism and its impact on the development of colonial America. What were the major assumptions of mercantilism? What impact did British mercantilism have on the economic development of the American colonies? How did British mercantilism create the preconditions for the American Revolution before 1763?

  2. Defend-or-refute questions. The point of this question is to assess your ability to draw conclusions about issues and present an argument on behalf of your position. Typically these questions present you with a controversial statement and ask you to defend it or refute it. You must marshal compelling evidence and convincing arguments on behalf of your position. Notice that making an argument in an essay involves not only showing the strengths of your position but also the weaknesses of the opposing position. Your grade will be based not on whether your position matches Dr. Tallant's but on the quality of your argument.

    Sample question: Defend or refute the following statement: The political theory of republicanism caused Americans to misinterpret and misperceive the actions of the British government after 1763. Although Americans claimed they wanted to resolve their grievances and remain part of the empire, the Americans' republican misperceptions caused them to believe that American liberties could be preserved only outside the empire. The Revolution occurred for the wrong reasons. If the Americans had been more objective in their outlook, there would have been no Revolution.

  3. Hypothetical questions. The point of this question is to assess the quality of your thinking about and knowledge of a subject. Typically these questions will pose a "what-if" scenario and ask you to respond. These are questions for which there ultimately may be no verifiably correct answer. Nevertheless, it is possible to tell a great deal about a person's mind and acquisition of knowledge by observing them grapple with hypothetical questions.

    Sample question: Put yourself in the position of an adviser to the British prime minister in 1763. What new conditions and problems do you see facing the British Empire which call for the reorganization of Britain's colonial system? Recommend and describe a hypothetical program for reorganization which would both address the problems of the British Empire and avoid major protests from members of Parliament or the American colonies.

  4. Compare-and-contrast questions. The point of this question is to assess your conceptual grasp and knowledge of issues. The questions asks you to assess the similarities and differences between two things. The example below includes the request for your opinion on an issue. Note that while I am seeking your thoughts, your opinions must be based upon rational analysis and empirical evidence, not upon a strong feeling or hunch unsupported with evidence.

    Sample question: Compare and contrast James Madison's Virginia Plan and the U.S. Constitution. How are they alike? How are they different? What considerations prompted the Constitutional Convention to alter Madison's plan? Did these alterations so thoroughly change the Constitution that it should not be considered Madison's handiwork? In your opinion, would the unaltered Virginia Plan have been a better framework of government for the U.S.? Why?

| This page was last updated on 11/8/99 | Return to History 325 Supplements | Site Map |

Dr. Harold D. Tallant, Department of History, Georgetown College
400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 863-8075