Grossmont College History Essay
Essays and Reflections I (Chapters 1-3)Please do Parts I and II. At the bottom you will notice “keys to success” for how to do great essays.
Part I. Two Short Essays. Write essays of four or five paragraphs each on two topics below. Include
at least one picture with each essay; explain how the pictures add to our understanding. Essays will
need to be about 1-2 pages each, double-spaced. It is OK to write more.
1. Prehistory. Describe some of the key developments in the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras. How
does an understanding of prehistory help us understand the history that follows? (Chapter 1)
2. Culture. Give examples of how you see culture developing in Chapters 1-3. You may want to
give attention to several factors, such as migration, religion, trade, and written language.
3. Cities. Explain the key factors in the early growth of cities. Compare a few cities we have
studied in Chapters 2-3. How do you see cities forming lasting connections?
4. River Valleys. Compare a few of the river valley societies discussed in Chapters 2-3. What
factors explain their remarkable development? How do these agricultural societies compare to
the migratory societies we studied, such as the Indo-Europeans?
Part II. Reflections. Write about four paragraphs on how you see societies changing in Chapters 2-3.
Please mention at least one selection you see in our supplemental book, Sources for World in the
Making. You may also mention documents or artifacts in the “Reading the Past” or “Seeing the Past”
special sections in our main textbook. Please put the titles of the documents or artifacts you use in bold.
You might also discuss maps and pictures.
Address these questions in your reflective essay:
• What broad changes do you see as most significant or interesting?
• What do we learn from specific documents or artifacts from the societies?
• How do you think think these people saw their own lives?
• How can ancient societies encrich our undertanding of the world or our shared humanity?
Keys for Success:
1. Explain your points simply, like you would to another student.
2. Write in short, well-focused paragraphs.
3. Use specific examples from our reading handouts and discussion forums.
4. Relate your answers to major concepts and trends you see covered in the chapters.
5. When you use pictures, tell how each picture helps us understand the topic.