you’re a history student about to write an exam or assignment. and you want to prepare. that’s fantastic. if you’re one of my students, these are questions that have either showed up already or may in the future. you are certainly welcome to use any of them as assignment topics as long as they are within the subject and time of the course. i have arranged these according to the section of becoming human, the new textbook currently in pre-publication. they are mostly chronological but sometimes separated by area or topic where chronology doesn’t quite fit the narrative as nicely. while the units and subunits are mostly in chronological order, however, the questions are not. they are simply questions about that period of history and their order is unimportant. please enjoy.
a few other things to keep in mind. some questions are more general and are placed in their categories for convenience but span much larger time periods. most of these questions can be answered as one-thousand-word essays, five-thousand-word papers, be the subject of fifty-thousand-word dissertations or entire books. one of the most important skills to develop as a student of history is to know how much detail is necessary to answer the question effectively in the time and space available. this list has become too large for a single page to be reasonable with many sections containing more than a hundred questions. select a time period (unit) to see its questions.
- general questions (comparative or more than one period)
- unit 1 – our beginnings (-550bce)
- unit 2 – age of empires (550bce-570ce)
- unit 3 – spread of ideas (570-1054)
- unit 4 – interconnections (1054-1492)
- unit 5 – trade & exploration (1492-1765)
- unit 6 – industrialization (1765-1894)
- unit 7 – modern war (1894-1945)
- unit 8 – nuclear age (1945-1989)
- unit 9 – imperfect peace (1989-today)
- unit 10 – tomorrow