Global History from the 1500

Textbook to be used: William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel’s The Essential World History Volume II

Submit a detailed learning journal entry.

The purpose of the assignment is to measure academic reading skills by identifying an argument or theme, locating relevant information to support the theme, and reflecting on the reading. Each entry should be divided into three parts:

a. Theme/thesis: every chapter in our book has a separate theme or thesis, sometimes also referred to as an argument. In other words, each chapter is not just a timeline of events. The author(s) has intentionally organized the material to support his/her theme. It is important to recognize that a history book or documentary film is more than a story or narrative. It is also someone’s opinion. Eric Foner, in the preface to Who Owns History: Rethinking the Past in a Changing World, writes that history is more than just concrete facts but involves interpretations that are constantly changing. In this way, history is made up of ideas that live and breathe.
To locate a chapter theme, read the introduction and conclusion first. You may read the conclusion before the rest of the chapter. This is not a novel. Also skim the chapter before you read. These are pre-reading exercises. And, if you use them, you will read more efficiently and intelligently.

b. Supporting information/relevant narrative: each overriding chapter theme/interpretation is supported by assessments of individuals, events, and the development of ideas. These “facts” are used to defend the authors’ assertions. After locating the theme, search for information that supports it. The introduction and summary state and restate the main themes of the chapter.

c. Reflection: Aside from locating argument and supporting narrative, students must “reflect” on the reading. There are numerous ways to reflect. First, you might link what you know about the present with your reading of the past. In other words, do events or ideas described in the reading resemble what is happening today? Or, do they parallel information from another course? How does one chapter relate to another? Can you evaluate the authors’ argument?

Another piece of advice on completing the journal exercise: give yourself an opportunity to learn.

Only use chapter as reference. NO OUTSIDE SOURCES

Carefully follow instructions and make sure to keep in mind all suggestions.