Skip to Content

HIST1310 Essay Prep


HIST 1310 Examination-for-Credit
Preparing for the Supplemental Essay Exam

To receive credit, the essay must demonstrate not only superior knowledge of the applicable course subject matter, but also superior writing ability by persuasively developing a significant main idea, using ample and effective supporting detail. It shows complexity of thought and development, while sustaining clarity in expression. The language and sentence structure demonstrate a mature command of English well beyond mere competence. The essay has very few or none of the common errors in the use of conventional written English.

The faculty who grade the CLEP essays expect the same level of comprehension, analysis and writing skill that they expect of students taking a final exam for the course in question. They expect analytical essays with cogent arguments providing thorough answers to the questions asked, not lists of facts, names, dates, or simple descriptions of events. It is very unlikely that a thorough enough understanding of the material can be acquired from Wikipedia. Interested candidates are encouraged to conduct a significant amount of self-directed study from multiple academic sources before attempting this exam.

Sample Essay Questions

1. Trace the development of the American economy from 1800-1865. What role was played by the Federal government? How did Western Expansion, the War of 1812, Mexican War, and the Civil War affect the economy?
2. Examine the emergence of the two-party political system from the drafting of the Constitution to the outbreak of the Civil War. Explain how the major issues of the period affected the system.
3. Analyze the institution of slavery as a moral, economic, political, and social issue from 1821-1860. How did the nation react to the institution?
4. Elaborate on the concept of Manifest Destiny relative to territorial expansion. In your answer, explain how it became a political factor in foreign policy, and an ideal that expressed American beliefs.
5. Analyze the impact on the nation of two of the following presidents: a. Abraham Lincoln; b. George Washington; c. James K. Polk; d. Andrew Jackson. In your answer, use as examples the major issues and events of their administrations.
6. Discuss the causes of the American Revolution. What were the major events and issues from 1700-1776 that led to the breach between Colonial America and Great Britain. Did the Colonials really desire independence?
7. Analyze the developing issue of state's rights vs the concept of a strong central government from the Constitution to the outbreak of the Civil War. In your answer, examine the major issues that confronted the nation.