Tips for the Exam

A Good Response to the  “Identify and State the Significance” Questions

Who: The Arabs in Spain or Al-Andalus

What: The biggest library 400,000 volumes in the Islamic Empire

When: 725

Where: Cordoba

Why: After the Muslims arrived in Spain in 710, the biggest city they established was Cordoba. It was the centre of learning and knowledge in the west, not only having the biggest library but the most mosques of its time. It was the best lit, most modern and developed city in the sprawling Islamic Empire, where the three main religions lived in harmony. Christian women would even cover their hair in public, as was fashion, to imitate the high society Muslim women. It was the beginning of huge intellectual centres in the west.

Mark: 4/4

A Weak “Identify and State the Significance”

This person was important because he said important things.

Who: Aristotle

What: great Greek philosopher

When: Classical Greece

Where: Greece

Why: Aristotle is another very important Greek figure because he was a great philosopher and he said many things that people believed and he was someone that was very well respected because his philosophy said many things that people liked. This is why he is one of Greece’s best philosophers.

Mark: 2/4

Choose what mark you would give to the following examples:

Term: Universal Mobilization


What: Universal Mobilization

When: The first world war

Why: This happened because in WWI the French army needed as many soldiers as possible because the Germans overpowered them because they had way more troops than the French.

Universal Mobilization

Who: The french populace

What: Call to arms of all Citizens of France

When: 1792-1793

Where: France

Why: Greatly univied the French nation during a time of turmoil. It created a sense of patriotism that would be the birth of nationalism. Could work for either radicals or nobles, depending on who won the national congress. It made it easier for those who would seize power later (such as Robespierre or Napoleon) to control the people. Was the first conscription in history and created the world’s strongest army at 1 million strong.


How to improve in-class essay writing:

The main problems with the essay fell into one of the following categories:

  • Weak topic sentences for the body paragraphs. They did not adequately encapsulate the ideas that would be presented in them. Starting, for example with, “The Agora was built in Ancient Greece,” prepares us for a paragraph on its construction. It gives no indication that it will be compared to Templo Mayor.
  • Insufficient detail. ­
  • An obvious (and therefore, uninteresting) thesis.

Marks were allotted according to the following schema:

Here is an example of an effective introduction:

“Politics were developed long ago to achieve peace, stability and control over society. The Agora was one of the first major political spaces in history. It held a courthouse, shops, a race track to train military horses and monuments. The Madrasa was one of the first Islamic places of politics and education. The two buildings are very different and held different religions and beliefs, but they are similar in terms of political structure.”


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