Example Assignments and Sample Test Items


Example of a one-page paper: This example comes from HIS 241 where the assignment is, After reading Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (in its entirety), answer the following question in a one-page paper. What were some of the causes for the rift between the "fathers" and the "sons?" Note how the introduction is short and clearly identifies three thesis points (philosophy, manners, lifestyle). Note also how those exact thesis points also appear in the topic sentences of the relevant paragraphs; that makes it easy for a reader to follow the structure of the paper. Each thesis point is covered in its own paragraph, and each paragraph has generally two short quotes of evidence to support the point.

Example of a short paragraph assignment: This example comes from HIS 241 where the assignment is, After reading the excerpts from the Russian Primary Chronicle, answer the following question in a paragraph. Citing specific evidence from the Primary Chronicle excerpts (not from the textbook), what were some of the main features of the political system (or lack thereof) of Kievan Rus'? You should note how sentence one clearly establishes a thesis point (ruler had the ability to dictate religion of the people). This writer chose to focus on one issue but could just have easily picked two ideas to cover in the paragraph. The paragraph itself then explains the thesis and includes two pieces of quoted evidence to support the thesis.

Sample Test IDs (based on the unit key terms): Here are two good examples of test ID answers; one is a bit longer than the other, but they are both excellent. A good answer to a test identification should include answers to these basic questions: who, what, where, when and why important. It is especially important to focus on why the identification term is important. Please also note that you can use other sources, in addition to your textbook, as you study your key terms for the course.

Sample Test Timeline: This example comes from HIS 135. A good timeline should have an exact (or approximate) year date for each event on the timeline. There should be a description of the event and a short assessment of the importance of that event. While this timeline example spans a relatively short period of time (HIS 135 only covers 1945 to the present), a timeline in HIS 101, 102, 111 or 112 should span a much longer time frame.

Sample Test Surprise question (based on the unit questions to consider): This example comes from HIS 102. While there are some small technical problems with the answer, it is a pretty good example of the detail needed and the length of a good response to the question.

Example of answers to extra credit document study questions: Throughout the course you will find in the unit extra credit options, a set of document study questions (usually for a book like Gilgamesh or Hard Times but often for specific documents such as the US Declaration of Independence or the Hadith). This example shows an absolutely superb set of answers to questions from HIS 112; you might be expected to provide about a paragraph for each study question (a bit less than what is shown here).


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