History 151 (Jolly) Fall 2008
Midterm Study Guide

Format and Grading expectations:

The Midterm is worth 100 points and is divided into two parts: essay (80 points) and identifications (20 points). For the essay, you will have a choice of two questions, drawn from the list of topics below. For the identifications, you will choose two from a choice of five drawn from the list below.

The essay should combine general statements (defining terms, discussing issues, making comparisons) with specific statements (supplying data, citing examples, and giving evidence).

The T.A.s will grade your essay looking for the following three things:

  1. A strong thesis and arguments (take control in the introduction).
  2. Content knowledge and good use of evidence (cite documents, names, dates).
  3. Clear organization of ideas and information (each paragraph should start with an argument and be followed by supporting evidence).

The identifications should start with a clear definition of the item, identifying who or what, when, and where, and then explain WHY it is significant (what does it tell us about that society?). This last is the most important--the T.A.s can make allowances for "circa" (around) dates, but the lack of discussion on why something is significant means that answer will receive no better than a C- grade (7 points).

Study Guidelines and Test-taking Hints:

Essay strategies and hints:

Identification strategies and hints:

Test-taking strategies

Midterm Data


Two questions will appear on the test, you choose one to write on. The questions will be based on the following themes or issues discussed in lecture and lab. The question will ask you to discuss the issue comparatively, specifying regions or cultures that you should include.
  1. migration and human lifestyles in different environments
  2. origins: how we know about the past
  3. complex urban societies and empires
  4. worldviews: religions and philosophies
  5. cross-cultural interactions and spread of ideas
  6. gender and social classes
A typical question will ask you to discuss the issue and use examples from at least three cultures or societies from a list of regions. For a sample question (not on the test) and guidelines on how to construct an essay, go to the Outlining strategy.


Five of the following items will appear on the test. You will choose two from the five to identify and give their significance (15 points each). This list is drawn primarily from the Encounters readings book and T&E boxed readings (some are in both).
  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  2. Purusha Hymn
  3. The Book of Genesis
  4. Popol Vuh
  5. Kumulipo
  6. The Great Hymn to Aten
  7. (Zhou) Book of Songs
  8. Code of Hammurabi
  9. 1 Samuel
  10. The Ramayana
  11. The Instructions of Yi
  12. Confucius, The Analects
  13. Han Fei Tzu, The Five Vermin
  14. Pericles' Funeral Oration
  15. Sophocles, Antigone
  16. Socrates' View of Death
  17. The Bhagavad-Gita
  18. The Teachings of the Buddha
  19. Zarathustra, Yasnas
  20. The Book of Isaiah
  21. Sun Tzu, The Art of Warfare
  22. Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian
  23. Tyrtaeus, Praise of the Virtuosity of the Citizen Soldier
  24. Archilochus, Elegy
  25. Arrian on the Character of Alexander of Macedon
  26. The Achievements of the Divine Augustus
  27. Josephus, The Jewish Wars
  28. Asoka, Rock and Pillar Edicts, Asokavandana
  29. Homer, The Odyssey
  30. Livy, History of Rome
  31. Tacitus on Corruption in the Early Roman Empire
  32. Ban Zhao, Lessons for Women
  33. Jesus' Moral and Ethical Teachings (Sermon on the Mount)
  34. The Martyrdom of Perpetua
  35. Code of Manu