ESSAY EXAMINATIONS


Question:  The fifteenth- and sixteenth-century voyages of exploration produced lasting changes in the political and social structure of Western Europe.  Would you say that these voyages tended to hasten or to delay the growth of national states?  Explain.

A GOOD ANSWER:

 -Starts with a direct answer to the question:
The explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries hastened the growth of national states.  The reasons have to do with danger, wealth, trade, and pride.

-Preoutlines the topics and order:
One of the prime ingredients for the beginning of national states was a common danger from the outside.  Because countries went to war over the right to control certain colonies and trade

-Starts one of the reasons:
routes, they had to unite within order to fight off an aggressor.

-Transition
 Other forms of competition between one country and another contributed to the growth of national states.  Competition for land and wealth was fierce.  The resources of the new lands (such as

-Specifics given:
coffee, spices, minerals) were considered valuable.  Each country was eager to gain land because the products of land meant more wealth, as when

-Adds a phrase to show relevance of the point to the question:
Cortez conquered the Aztecs.  A united country could best succeed in this form of competition.

-Adds an afterthought added to make sure the relation of the point to the question is clear:
 These resources brought about by the new discoveries increased the power of mercantilism.  With the opening of new trade routes, the Northern and Western European states were able to break the Venetian-Arab trade monopoly with the Indies.  The colonization led to a system involving a state-controlled market between the colony and the mother country.  This permitted the nations of Europe to become economically separate units, with no common market existing.

-Amplifies with an example:
This condition fostered nationalism.  It is interesting to note that Italy, which did very little exploration, took longer to become a united nation than did the other countries of Europe.

-Transition to a new point which came to mind during the writing of the answer:
Another feature in producing national states was the national pride these voyages tended to produce.  The voyages were financed by a national government.  Any new discovery was associated with the sponsoring government and added to the spirit of nationalism.



PRINCIPLES OF WRITING ESSAY EXAMINATIONS KEY TERMS IN ESSAY EXAMS

1. IDENTIFICATION TERMS:  These words direct you to  present the bare facts:  a name, a phrase, a date; in  short, to provide a concise answer.  Examples are:   cite, define, enumerate, give, identify, indicate,  list, mention, name, state.

2. DESCRIPTION TERMS:  These words direct you to tell  about a specific topic with a certain amount of detail.   Examples are:  describe, review, discuss, summarize,  develop, outline, trace, diagram, illustrate, sketch.

3. RELATION TERMS:  These words direct you to describe the  similarities, differences, or associations between two  or more subjects.  Examples are:  contrast,  differentiate, distinguish, analyze, relate.

4. DEMONSTRATION TERMS:  These terms direct you to show  (not state) why something is true or false.  Examples  are:  demonstrate, explain why, justify, prove, show,  support.

5. EVALUATION TERMS:  These evaluation terms ask for your  opinion or judgment on a subject.  Examples are:   criticize, assess, comment, evaluate, interpret,  propose.

Prepared by John Thames, California State College, Los Angeles, Counseling Center.
 

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