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HIST1320 Essay Prep

HIST 1320 (US HISTORY II) 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.


1. Discuss the relationship between the foreign and domestic policies of any two of the following presidents: a. Theodore Roosevelt; b. Franklin Roosevelt; d. Dwight Eisenhower; e. Lyndon Johnson; f. Richard Nixon; g. Ronald Reagan.

2. Analyze America's rise as a world power and its role in world affairs from 1898-1945. Make sure to detail the contribution of the United States in major events of the period.

3. Discuss the origins and the nature of the peculiar international political condition known as the Cold War. Trace its development from the Truman through the Reagan administrations. What were the characteristics of the Cold War?

4. Trace the issue of civil rights from the turn-of-the-century through the Johnson administration. Focus on one minority group (African Americans, Mexican Americans, European immigrants, Asian Americans, women) to discuss in specific detail.

5. Analyze the changing relationship between big business, big labor, and big government from 1900-1970. Explain how these relationships affected the nation's economy.

6. Examine the role of technology in American society. Choose four of the following and discuss its economic, political and social impact on Americans: railroad, automobile, telephone, antibiotics, radio, television, computer.

7. Americans periodically attempt to reform their society. Compare two of these reform movements: the progressive era (1890-1917); the New Deal era (1933-1938); and the 1960s (1955-1975).