Religious development

Religious development

 

and syncretism

 

Religious development and syncretism, 2) elite power and political organization, 3) technological innovations, 4) trade and economic development.

 

There are no tricks to this exam – we will be testing your knowledge of course content (through identifications) and course skills (through writing and analysis).

 

Part 1 – Identifications –  50 points total – 10 points each

You will identify FIVE items in bullet points or a short paragraph.  The identifications will cover material from Unit 3 of the course.  Please remember that you should be drawing on your information from textbooks and lectures for IDs, not Wikipedia, which is full of wrong information, and not other websites, which lend themselves to plagiarism issues.

 

Make sure to identify all from the questions of: who? what? where? when? what is the significance? You will not get full credit without the final question: SIGNIFICANCE. Many students have trouble with the significance of the key terms. This is the most important part of your answer – the part where you show me not just that you can repeat information that you have copied out of the textbook, but that you understand why it is important! Remember, you cannot get higher than a 5/10 on an ID without the significance.

How to Write Identifications:

It is not enough to just know stuff, but you also must tell me what its importance is to global history. Make sure to answer the why/significance question on every ID. The significance of a historical term is the most important part – it is worth half the points. It requires you to put the item in its historical context from your knowledge of events and their importance that you have gained from lecture and in secondary source readings.

 

Part 2 – Primary Source Analysis Paragraph – 50 points total

In the second part of the exam, we will give you a short snippet of a primary source that you have already read in Unit 3 of the class.  You will then write a paragraph (minimum 150 words) analyzing it in light of the questions from the historians’ toolbox about PURPOSE.

 

So we might ask you a question about the purpose of the Instructions from an Egyptian Scribe for understanding the technological and social role of writing, or the purpose of Hammurabi’s Code for organizing Sumerian political power, or Confucius’ spiritual purpose when writing the Superior Man.  In order to study for this, you should re-read the primary sources and make notes about what the source does (what does the author want to accomplish by writing it?) and why he/she does so (why did the author write this?  Does s/he have an argument? If so, how does s/he make his/her case?  What is the significance of this source for understanding the theme in question?)

Part 3 – Cumulative Thematic Essay – 100 points total

 

One of our primary goals for this class has been to improve your analytical thinking and writing skills.  The final exam long essay will be a final test of these critical writing skills. I will set ONE of the four essay questions, which focus on the broad course themes and ask you to create an argument about why that theme is significant and how it changes over time within different pre-modern societies.  This part of the exam is CUMULATIVE – that is, you must utilize evidence from all units of the class, not just Unit 3.  This essay is similar to the argumentative essays that you have been writing all semester, but instead of a close reading of a primary source as evidence, your essay will use examples from the societies and cultures we have studied this term as evidence, then analyze why they are significant and how we can understand the theme from these examples.

 

This argumentative thematic essay should be a demonstration of the critical thinking skills you have gained during the course of this semester.  The essay needs to be sophisticated and argumentative, supported by evidence from pre-modern history, and analysis that comes from your college-educated brain thinking critically about the societies of the pre-modern world.

 

The essay should be a minimum of 400 words

Key Terms:

 

Religious development and syncretism

5 pillars of faith

Thomas Aquinas

First Crusade

Hagia Sophia

Sunni and Shi’a

 

 

Technological innovations

cannon

Yersinia pestis

Columbian exchange

Astrolabe

Dhow

Longboat

cerealization

 

Elite power and political organization

feudal relationships

Mansa Musa

Cordoba

caliph

 

 

Trade and economic development

Skraelings

Henry the Navigator

trans-Saharan caravan network

Timbuktu

Conquistadores

 

 

Primary sources:

 

Religious development and syncretism

9.3  The Qur’an, on women

10.3  Ibn Fadlan, A Viking funeral

13.2  Fulcher of Chartres, Pope Urban II’s Speech at Clermont

 

 

 

Technological innovations

13.4  Giovanni Boccaccio, the Decameron

 

 

 

 

 

Elite power and political organization

9.5 The Pact of Umar

9.6 Al Maqqari, On the Iberian Conquest

10.1  Procopius, Nika Riots

10.2  Einhard, Life of Charlemagne

13.6  Aelfric of Cerne, Three Orders of Society

13.7  Thomas Walsingham, John Ball’s Sermon

 

 

Trade and economic development

11.3 Ibn Battuta, Eastern coast of Africa

11.4 Ibn Battuta, Crossing the Sahara

15.1  Christopher Columbus, Letter from the First Voyage

 

 

 

Thematic Cumulative Essay Questions

 

Each essay must have a thesis statement that addresses the question and argues for a particular point or view, evidence (in the form of examples of the theme from the many societies we have studied this term), and analysis of that evidence that proves your point.

 

Technological innovations

  1. Explain the importance of technological developments in ancient and medieval societies. How did different social needs spur certain technological developments? How did different technological developments shape certain societies? You must discuss at least three technological developments from three different premodern societies, and their significance to the development of that society. You must discuss at least one ancient (pre-500 CE) and one medieval (post-500 CE) innovation.  You must mention or quote at least one primary source related to this theme from the EWC.

 

Trade and economic development

  1. How did premodern societies develop economically through production (such as agriculture or the manufacture of goods) and exchange (such as trade or the distribution of goods by elites)? How did these economic developments affect the growth premodern society? How did they affect the development of cities and urban spaces?  You must discuss the economic development of at least three different societies, at least one ancient (pre-500 CE) and one medieval (post-500 CE).  You must mention or quote at least one primary source related to this theme from the EWC.

 

Religious syncretism

  1. How did religious syncretism shape the development of ancient and medieval world religions? What kinds of strategies did premodern cultures with differing beliefs and practices use to adapt to one another?  What is the significance of this contact and collaboration?  You must give at least three examples of syncretic relationships between religions from three different premodern societies, and their significance to the development of that faith.  You must use examples from at least one eastern faith and one western faith.  You must mention or quote at least one primary source related to this theme from the EWC.

 

Elite power and political organization

  1. What role did the centralization political authority have on the development of the premodern world? What role did localization (or decentralization) have on this political development?  What tools did elites use to manage and govern 1) empires, 2) territorial states, 3) city-states, and 4) non-states?  You must analyze an example from three of these four categories of political organization.  At least one example from east and west, respectively, and from ancient and medieval, respectively. You must mention or quote at least one primary source related to this theme from the EWC.

 

Practicing Essay Outlining

  1. Argumentative introduction
  2. What is the relevance of theme to the larger ideas of the course? What does the analysis of economy/politics/technology/religion tell us about human society?  What is similar or different in this theme in premodern societies?  What common threads or ideas do you see?  What kind of CHANGE OVER TIME is displayed?
  3. State argumentative thesis statement in a single sentence. In this essay, I argue that…

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1. Body Paragraph 1 – Society/Example #1
  2. Topic sentence – how does this culture/society/idea/ embody the argument I’m making about change, or about continuity, or about similarity/difference, etc. etc.  Connect body paragraph to argument about theme.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1. Evidence – At least 1-2 sentences of specific examples from the material you have learned in this course (including possible mention or quotation of a primary source) that supports your ideas.

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  1. Analysis – At least 2-3 sentences of critical analysis of the evidence from this course that supports your ideas and analysis of significance of the theme to premodern cultures.

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III.         Body Paragraph 2 – Society/Example #2

  1. Topic sentence – how does this culture/society/idea/ embody the argument I’m making about change, or about continuity, or about similarity/difference, etc. etc.  Connect body paragraph to argument about theme.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

  1. Evidence – At least 1-2 sentences of specific examples from the material you have learned in this course (including a possible mention or quotation of a primary source) that supports your ideas.

______________________________________________________________________

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  1. Analysis – At least 2-3 sentences of critical analysis of the evidence from this course that supports your ideas and analysis of significance of the theme to premodern cultures.

______________________________________________________________________

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  1. Body Paragraph 3 – Society/Example #3
  2. Topic sentence – how does this culture/society/idea/ embody the argument I’m making about change, or about continuity, or about similarity/difference, etc. etc.  Connect body paragraph to argument about theme.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

  1. Evidence – At least 1-2 sentences of specific examples from the material you have learned in this course (including possible mention or quotation of a primary source) that supports your ideas.

______________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

  1. Analysis – At least 2-3 sentences of critical analysis of the evidence from this course that supports your ideas and analysis of significance of the theme to premodern cultures.

______________________________________________________________________

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  1. Conclusion
  2. At least 2-3 sentences that draw together theme, argument, evidence, and analysis, demonstrating how you proved your argument about the significance of the theme to premodern history.

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EVALUATION RUBRIC FOR ESSAYS

 

The Superior Paper

Thesis:  Easily identifiable, plausible, novel, sophisticated, insightful, crystal clear.

Structure:  Evident, understandable, appropriate for thesis. Excellent transitions from point to point.  Paragraphs support solid topic sentences.

Use of evidence:  Primary source information used to buttress every point with at least one example.  Examples support mini-thesis and fit within paragraph.  Excellent integration of quoted material into sentences.

Analysis:  Author clearly relates evidence to “mini-thesis” (topic sentence); analysis is fresh and exciting, posing new ways to think of the material.

Logic and argumentation:  All ideas in the paper flow logically; the argument is identifiable, reasonable, and sound.  Author anticipates and successfully defuses counter-arguments; makes novel connections to outside material (from other parts of the class, or other classes) that illuminate thesis.

Mechanics:  Sentence structure, grammar, and diction excellent; correct use of punctuation and citation style; minimal to no spelling errors; absolutely no run-on sentences or comma splices.

 

The Good Paper

Thesis:  Promising, but may be slightly unclear, or lacking in insight or originality.

Structure:  Generally clear and appropriate, though may wander occasionally.  May have a few unclear transitions, or a few paragraphs without strong topic sentences.

Use of evidence: Examples used to support most points.  Some evidence does not support point, or may appear where inappropriate.  Quotes well integrated into sentences.

Analysis:  Evidence often related to mini-thesis, though links perhaps not very clear.

Logic and argumentation:  Argument of paper is clear, usually flows logically and makes sense.  Some evidence that counter-arguments acknowledged, though perhaps not addressed.  Occasional insightful connections to outside material made.

Mechanics:  Sentence structure, grammar, and diction strong despite occasional lapses; punctuation and citation style often used correctly.  Some (minor) spelling errors; may have one run-on sentence or comma splice.

 

The Borderline Paper

Thesis:  May be unclear (contain many vague terms), appear unoriginal, or offer relatively little that is new; provides little around which to structure the paper.

Structure:  Generally unclear, often wanders or jumps around. Few or weak transitions, many paragraphs without topic sentences.

Use of evidence:  Examples used to support some points.  Points often lack supporting evidence, or evidence used where inappropriate (often because there may be no clear point). Quotes may be poorly integrated into sentences.

Analysis:  Quotes appear often without analysis relating them to mini-thesis (or there is a weak mini-thesis to support), or analysis offers nothing beyond the quote.

Logic and argumentation:  Logic may often fail, or argument may often be unclear.  May not address counter-arguments or make any outside connections.

Mechanics:  Problems in sentence structure, grammar, and diction (usually not major).  Errors in punctuation, citation style, and spelling.  May have several run-on sentences or comma splices.

 

The “Needs Help” Paper

Thesis:  Difficult to identify at all, may be bland restatement of obvious point.

Structure:  Unclear, often because thesis is weak or non-existent. Transitions confusing and unclear.  Few topic sentences.

Use of evidence:  Very few or very weak examples.  General failure to support statements, or evidence seems to support no statement.  Quotes not integrated into sentences; “plopped in” in improper manner.

Analysis:  Very little or very weak attempt to relate evidence to argument; may be no identifiable  argument, or no evidence to relate it to.

Logic and argumentation:  Ideas do not flow at all, usually because there is no argument to support.  Simplistic view of topic; no effort to grasp possible alternative views.

Mechanics:  Big problems in sentence structure, grammar, and diction.  Frequent major errors in citation style, punctuation, and spelling.  May have many run-on sentences and comma splices.

 

The Failing Paper

Shows obviously minimal lack of effort or comprehension of the assignment.  Very difficult to understand owing to major problems with mechanics, structure, and analysis.  Has no identifiable thesis, or utterly incompetent thesis.

 

 


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