Some words of "wisdom" from a haggard former student of American History...
When preparing for an exam, and the ID/essay portions of your exam, you will need to define and discuss key terms and ideas to support your discussion of the essay prompt.
To help you do this, try this approach.
There are basically four elements of identifying a historical person, place, issue, or event:
2.Time period (when?)
4.Significance (why is this important? significant?)
The most difficult part of this (in my opinion) is the why, or the significance. There are lots of different ways a person or event (or concept) can be significant. Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to figure out WHY something is significant:
- Did it cause something to happen? What resulted BECAUSE of it?
- Is it an example of an activity that was going on? Does it represent an idea or practice of the time period? (In other words, what does it tell us about this time/place in American history?)
- Was it the first/last time for something to occur in American history?
- Was it something that failed, thus leading to another approach being taken?