Reading Journal for World History

 
Reading Journal for World History
Your journal includes reflections and observations on the reading. This is an opportunity to share your perspective on the topics you find most interesting. You may also want to share your insights on the type of questions historians address and how we attempt to understand societies.
Starting with Chapter 2 you will notice a particular feature called “Sources from the Past”. Please use two or more of these sections each time you turn in your journal. Put the title of the document in bold so I will know which documents you read. For example, you might have read selections from the Epic of Gilgamesh or Hammurabi’s Laws. Relate the document to the events in the chapter.
I also encourage you to write about pictures, maps, or other features you find in the reading.
You do not have to write about every chapter. Usually you get the best results if you take on one or two topics each time you turn in the journal. It helps if you label the topics. You may use any style, but please divide your writing into paragraphs.
You can earn 50 points for two and a half solid pages (double spaced) of quality writing. You are welcome to write more and you can earn up to 60 points for each time it is assigned. I mainly consider how much you have thought about topics in the reading and how you use the documents or other evidence available in the chapters.
Suggested Journal Prompts
Here are some prompts that you might want to use:

1.What did you find most interesting or surprising (in a particular section)? How does the material relate to what you learned earlier, perhaps in other classes?
2.What trends do you seen in this chapter that have shaped the world we live in today?
3.If you did a movie set in the time period of this chapter, what would be the key elements in your movie? Tell how you imagine some of the characters, and what challenges they would face.
4.Describe the time span covered in this chapter. How does the span relate to key events? Why do you think the authors chose this span of time? Would you arrange it differently?
5.How might we understand the history differently from someone living in the time period? Do you think people will react to this chapter differently, depending on their cultural background?
6.When examining a document: What is the historical context? What do we know about the source? How can the document help us understand the society in that time and place?

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Exam VI (Chapters 19-21 and Themes)
Please choose four of the topics below. Write four essays, with about 1.5 pages of writing for each essay. Please also include one or more pictures with each essay. Please make sure you answer the questions in a clear and concise way, with short to medium sized paragraphs. You may use information from our course reading and also from the Websites and Videos section.
The first four questions relate to Chapters 19-21. The last four questions relate to the course as a whole; for those questions you will need to examine various time periods.

Europe. Describe some of the political, social, cultural and economic changes in Europe in the era from 1000 to 1500 CE. Which changes do you think were most important for shaping the European society we have seen in more modern times?
The Americas. How do you see the societies of North and South America developing in the centuries before European contact? In what ways is their history similar Eurasian or African history in this era? In what ways is their development remarkably different?
Oceania. What do you find most remarkable about the Oceanic societies? How do you see these cultures changing in the era from 1000 to 1500 CE? In what ways are they similar to the societies of North and South America in this era? How are they different?
Expanding Horizons. How do you see the world coming together in the era from about 1000 to 1500? Discuss how long-distance trade and cross-cultural interaction impacted three different parts of the world (such as Europe, China, Africa or North America).
Cultural Awareness. Discuss what you have learned about three of the cultures we have studied in this class. What were the roots of these cultures and how did they develop over time? From studying these cultures, what insights do you get about your own culture?
War and Peace. Examine the dynamics of war and peace in three different time periods. What are the causes and consequences of war? Which societies achieved the most stability? Are peaceful societies more prosperous? Use specific examples to develop your points.
Economics. Compare and contrast the economies of two different historical regions (Mesoamerica, India, Oceania, etc.). Tell how the economies grew and changed over time. How did new inventions, agricultural techniques, and business practices change these regions?
Comparative Cultures. Compare the cultural development of two societies, on two different continents. Discuss how factors such as family, gender, religion, or community life, played a role in the history of each society. How are these societies similar to our own society today?

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New York University
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