Discussion Assignment (World History)

timer Asked: Apr 29th, 2016

Question description

Your assignment is to CHOOSE a problem that is currently confronting the world. This problem must be global, and specific in terms of time and space (as explained in the lecture video for this Unit). You must then identify historical causes (actions and/or decisions taken by human beings in the past) that directly relate to your chosen problem. You must also find a primary source related to one of the causes you have identified and use it to illustrate and/or explain the cause. Finally, you will reflect on lessons learned.

NOTE: this problem can be geo-political, military, economic, or any kind of global issue that you find interesting and/or important. Examples include: North Korea, nuclear proliferation, political turmoil in the Middle East, etc.

Make sure that your problem is global and not centered or focused on the United States!

ALSO note that historical problems are defined as SPECIFIC in terms of time and space.

For example, “poverty” is not a historical problem. For “poverty” to be a historical problem, it must be localized and temporalized. “Poverty in the 1990s in sub-Saharan Africa” is a historical problem. NOTE how the problem is defined in terms of space (sub-Saharan Africa) and time (1990s).

Please research the problem and then write an essay in which you complete each of the following steps:

1)Briefly describe the modern problem and/or challenge you are discussing in your essay. Make sure you choose a problem with clear historical causes; be careful NOT to choose a problem whose causes are exclusively biological, medicinal, or scientific.   Make sure your problem is specific in terms of time and space. Provide citation information to support your claim that this is a problem in the world today. (Min: 50 words)

2)Discuss the historical causes of this problem.   (Be sure to touch on all 4 of the “Ws” of historical writing: who, when, where, and what). Make sure you answer this question: “What actions and/or decisions made by human beings in the past caused this problem?” Look at the sample post for an example. Make sure your causes are HISTORICAL and not biological or scientific!!   PLEASE note that historical causes are ACTIONS or DECISIONS made by human beings in specific times and space. So for example, “war” (general) would not be a historical cause. However, the “Boer War” (specific) would be a historical cause. (Min: 150 words each // 300 words total)

3)Name one primary source that helps us to better understand the historical roots of this problem. Be sure to give us the web address of the source. Clearly identify the author and discuss how the source relates to one of the causes you have identified. (NOTE: you will have to do web research to find the primary source. See the document in the Unit 6 folder on I-College for some good places to start your research.) PLEASE note that your primary SOURCE must pre-date 1990! (Min: 150 words)

4)Finally, reflect on how knowing more about the historical roots of the contemporary problem can help us better understand how to begin to solve the problem as a world community. (Min: 50 words)

NOTE 1: Be careful NOT to write a scientific essay in which you describe the natural causes of a problem; this is a historical essay in which you concentrate on explaining the historical reasons (the actions and/or decisions of human beings in specific places at specific times) for the problem and/or challenge.

NOTE 2: Be VERY careful to find and use a PRIMARY SOURCE. Remember what we have learned about the difference between a primary and secondary source. Make sure your source is a primary (and not a secondary) source. Also note the requirement that your primary source date from 1990 or before.

NOTE 3:  In an essay this short, it is impossible to discuss ALL of the historical causes of a modern problem or challenge.  Concentrate only on 2 clearly identifiable historical causes.

NOTE 4: Your essay must be a minimum of 450 words (not the usual 250 words)

NOTE 5: Follow this PATTERN in posting your essay. Make sure you include the headings in your essay post! See the example post for details.

1:  The Problem (min: 50 words)

"put your analysis here"

2:  The Causes (min: 100 words each // 200 words total)

"put your analysis here"

NOTE: Make sure you include the following sentences in this section. “Historical Cause 1 is ___________.” “Historical Cause 2 is _____________.”

3:  The Primary Source (min: 150 words)

"discuss your PS here and explain how it supports your list of causes … make sure you include a quote (typed out sentence) from the primary source"

4:  My Understanding (min: 50 words)

"put your analysis here"


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