George Mason University Histo

Essay Questions – History of World Civilizations (112)

DUE: October 10th, SUNDAY at 10 pm.

Late submissions accepted until NOON on October 11th. This is a hard deadline because Professor Harris-Scott only has Monday and Tuesday to complete the grading for this course!

Final Exam – 70 points

This is a test of how much material you’ve learned within our class, in order to assess that you are asked to:

only utilize assigned course materials, and

therefore, additional research is not required and will be grounds for a zero

To best demonstrate how well you’ve understood the materials, examples and information should be summarized (no quotes!)

  • To best show your writing skills and level of professional readiness, the essays should try to ensure college level writing standards.


  • You should only use your notes and assigned readings (including the textbook) to answer the questions. (Videos we watched as part of class are also allowable)
  • All THREE responses should be turned in at once on Canvas (either as multiple files or as a single file).
  • The essays should be saved and submitted as a .doc/.docx or .pdf file.
  • Within the essay, references to page numbers (for the textbook) or lecture topic/date or video title, that follow each example is an important measure of intellectual transparency.        

This first section focuses on historical questions that have many potential examples that could be used to answer the question(s). In each essay you should try to provide a good reflection of the breadth of knowledge covered in this course. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge about World history – so be sure to not answer BOTH essays with the same examples! Each of these essays should be around a page – or around 350-400 words.  (Remember, while the United States is part of the world it is not always a good representative of the wider trends, answers and/or exams that focus too much on the US will not get full credit).                                                                          


  • Choose ONE to answer – 25 points
  • What is one way that the world regions theory stays true into the 1800s and 1900s? How does it get eroded? (be sure to name examples for each!)
  • How did countries in South America maintain connections to Europe in the 1800s and 1900s?
  • How was the Cold War in the late 20th century similar to earlier empire building in the 19th century? What elements do they have in common? How do they differ?

How do empires in the 1400s and 1500s (like the Ming, Ottomans, Aztec or Inca) compare to empires built in the 1800s and 1900s (like the British, French, American or Japanese)? 


Choose ONE to answer- 25 points

What do you think are two elements of continuity between societies in the 1500s and societies in the 1900s? (Be sure to discuss distinct historical examples from different regions of the globe)

How did the movement of people (diasporas) shape global history between the 1500s and today? How did they (or didn’t) maintain connections to their culture or home?

Choose three global regions and identify which half century has seen the greatest level of positive change. (Regions include: North America, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, South Asia/Indian sub-continent, East Asia etc).


For the LAST written response use ONE of the prompts listed below to respond to – for this essay your written response should reflect YOUR experience and thoughts as well as knowledge gained in the course. You should incorporate 2 or so historical examples drawn from the textbook, lecture and other assigned materials (readings, videos or articles). This shorter essay should only be around 250-300 words in length. 15 points

  1. Choose 1 to answer
  2. Do you think of your family’s history as being part of the trend towards globalization? Why?
  3. What is something you encountered or learned about in our world civilization course that provided a new perspective to understanding a modern nation today? Which one? Why?
  4. If you could travel anywhere, what are places that you’d like to visit because of the content we covered in our course?

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George Mason University Histo

Interpretation and Evidence Exercise

Objective: to help students explain their interpretations by integrating evidence more clearly into the analysis of primary source material.

Instructions: complete the following steps in order, separate responses using bullets.

  1. Step 1) write your answer to the question listed below
  2. Step 2) your answer is an interpretation of the material, you got the idea from somewhere, find where in the primary source, find a quote that supports your answer or your interpretation. Be sure to cite your quote using the MLA Citation Guide (Links to an external site.).
  3. Step 3) Explain how your evidence supports your interpretation. Are there certain words in the quote that relate back the idea you had when you wrote your answer?
    • DO NOT simple restate your answer OR the quote.
    • Try using the phrase to begin your explanation: “This quote shows…”

Question: Using ONE author from the primary source set collection in Module Week 6 on Conquest and Commerce (see below for document links), how does the author represent the cultural or social trends present during the period of 900-1400 in the Eastern Hemisphere? How might conquest or Commerce play a role in these perspectives?

Primary Source Material, “Choose Your Own Adventure”, from Commerce and Conquest module

It is recommended that you type your exercise out before submitting it. Please writing in complete sentences.

Examples (Links to an external site.) from previous classes, may be using different sources.

To receive extra credit points, you may submit only one from each of the following (for a total of three submissions):

To receive credit, you must follow the guidelines provided in the linked documents. Please note that submission of only one of the above will not result in the maximum amount of credit. To receive the maximum amount of credit, you will need multiple submissions that indicate a clear understanding of class material.

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