writing tow essays


You will submit your answers, in the form of short essays (approx. 750 words each) in a SINGLE WORD DOCUMENT

1. Ancient World: Identify how the cultures of the ancient Western World (for our purposes, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome) shaped Western forms of government, society, and religion and explain what impact these contributions had in the development of a “Western Civilization.”

2. Medieval West: Discuss how three institutions shaped life in medieval Europe: the manor, the church, and the village. Use evidence and examples from your textbook, primary sources, and Judith Bennett’s A Medieval Life.

Your exams will be graded according to the following criteria:


“Roadmap” Must tell me what you’re discussing in the essay.

Thesis Statements-10%

Single statement laying out the argument or main point of each of the essays. Should be

obvious to reader.

Primary Source Evidence-15%
Use primary-source documents listed on the syllabus and used in lectures to support your arguments.

Secondary Source Evidence-25%

Must include and use a secondary source (textbook, reputable website, database

information) to support your ideas, including Bennett’s A Medieval Life


Correct and consistent citations of ALL materials used (both paraphrasing and direct



Tells the reader what you’ve argued and how you’ve proven your point

Accuracy, Organization & Style -20%

Information is correct. Command of course information and readings should be evident.

Proofread. Formal.

Your essays should have an introduction that helps your reader (me) identify your response to the essay prompts. Think of the introduction as a roadmap—it will tell me exactly what you plan to talk about in your exam. Make sure you have a main thesis statement—one sentence that describes what your essay will argue—for each essay you write (three for this exam).

Each part of your answer should follow in supporting paragraphs. Each of these must have an easily identifiable topic sentence that describes how the paragraph supports your main point. Each paragraph should also provide evidence. Evidence must be drawn from the primary sources listed above. For this exam you must provide primary source evidence in the form of paraphrasing AND direct quotations from some of the primary sources listed on the syllabus. Supporting, or secondary, evidence must come from your textbook and lectures, (and from library resources if you need them) and Bennett’s A Medieval Life. That is how you’ll fill in the chronology and background information.

Every time you use a piece of evidence, either in the form of paraphrasing, summary, or direct quotation, you need to provide me with a citation—a reference that indicates where you got the information, who wrote that information, etc. A guide to proper citations for history papers is available on Moodle. You must use this guide as your write your exam. If you do not cite your sources properly, you will receive no credit for that portion of the exam.

Finally, your essay should have a conclusion. The point of a conclusion is to summarize your main argument. It reminds the reader of what your main point was and how you demonstrated the correctness or viability of your argument. Just as the introduction tells a reader where you’ll be going in the exam, the conclusion should tell the reader where they’ve just been. It can feel repetitive, but it is important for you as a writer to reflect on what you’ve just accomplished, and it is important for the reader to have a nice wrap-up of your argument.

Your essay will also be evaluated on accuracy and organization and style. This means that I’m looking for proofreading. Are all of your statements true? Do you display understanding and command of the information in the texts? Do all of your paragraphs have topic sentences? Do they all provide evidence to your reader? Are all your words spelled correctly? Is the essay written in a formal manner? Did you avoid informalities? Is the essay grammatically correct? Is the punctuation right? Part of convincing your reader to take you seriously means taking time with spelling, grammar, and style.

Remember, the point of an essay exam is to do the following:

· Show you understand concepts that provide the basis for the course

· Show you can use those concepts to interpret specific materials

· Show you can make connections, see relationships, draw comparisons and contrasts

· Show you can synthesize diverse information in support of an original assertion

· Show you can justify your own evaluations based on appropriate criteria

· Show you can procure relevant secondary evidence to support your claims

· Show you can argue your own opinions with convincing evidence

· Show you can think critically and analytically about a subject

Your grade on the exam overall will be based on your ability to accomplish the points listed above.

You will submit your exam through Moodle. To do this easily and properly, you must save your exam, which you’ll produce in a word processing program, as a (.doc) or a (.docx) file compatible with Microsoft Word.