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HIST1971 Take-Home Exam 2021
For this exam, you are required to pick any two (2) questions from the list of 8 below and write
an essay on each of them. Each essay should be 750-1000 words long. This is a strict word
limit; essays outside this range will lose marks. The essays should be based primarily on
lecture content. You are permitted to refer to readings from the course, but you should do so
sparingly; you are not expected to include material from assigned readings.
Try to refer to multiple lectures in each essay; the goal is to synthesize material that you’ve
learned throughout the course. It is recommended that you address different topics in each of
the essays rather than repeating topics. This will allow you to demonstrate knowledge of more
course material.
Your essays must be written in complete sentences and paragraphs. Each essay should include a
thesis (or main argument), stated as clearly as possible, toward the end of the introduction. If you
are unsure how to write a thesis statement, consult the link guide to thesis statements posted
under the Week 12 module on Brightspace.
Please remember: the exam you submit must be entirely written by you. No collaborative
writing or unacknowledged borrowing from outside sources is permitted.
The exam, which is to be submitted through Brightspace, is due April 6 at 11:59 (ADT). Late
exams will not be accepted. In the file that you submit, please indicate which questions you
have answered.
1) Consider the role of engineers in relation to government and the military. How has this
role changed over time?
2) Which historical engineer covered in this course best exemplifies the qualities that an
engineer should have? What are those qualities?
3) Consider the three main ethical theories that we’ve studied in this course:
consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. Which ethical theory is most useful to an
engineer in the 21st century, and why?
4) This course has included several examples of human suffering caused by technology,
engineering, and/or urban planning in the past. What has been primarily responsible for
these negative effects, and how can they be avoided?
5) How would you characterize the historical relationship between science and engineering?
Has it changed over time?
6) Throughout history, have economic and business concerns generally helped or hindered
the work of engineers? Explain how.
***CONTINUED ON P. 2***
7) This course has featured several lectures related to NASA and the exploration of space.
Based on these lectures, how much credit do engineers deserve for NASA’s successes,
and how much blame do they deserve for its failures?
8) Consider the history of people’s attitudes toward the environment, and also consider
present-day ideas related to conservation and environmentalism such as IPCAs and solar
geoengineering. What are the key connections between the past and the present of
environmentalism? How does the history of environmentalism help to explain its current
state?
HIST1971 Take-Home Exam Rubric
Each of the two essays will be graded in these categories:
Knowledge
of lecture
content
(3 points)
Argument
(3 points)
Synthesis of
topics
(2 points)
Writing Style
(2 points)
A
Explains key concepts
from lectures with
consistent clarity and
accuracy. Includes
specific and relevant
details with minimal
errors.
B
Explains key concepts
from lectures with
clarity and accuracy in
most cases. Includes
specific and relevant
details with few errors.
C
Explains key concepts
from lectures with
clarity and accuracy in
some cases. Details are
included but are
sometimes vague and/or
irrelevant, or there are
too few of them.
Argument is very
logical and convincing.
Essay question is
answered directly.
Thesis statement
expresses the argument
with excellent clarity.
Argument is mostly
logical and convincing.
Essay question is
answered directly.
Thesis statement
expresses the argument
with good clarity.
Makes several logical
and meaningful
connections between
topics in different
lectures.
Makes multiple
connections between
topics in different
lectures. Connections
are mostly logical and
meaningful.
Argument is partly
logical and convincing.
Argument responds to
the essay question, but
indirectly. Thesis
statement expresses
argument with partial
clarity.
Makes at least one
connection between
topics in different
lectures. Connections
are sometimes illogical
and/or trivial.
Writing is consistently
clear, precise, and
concise. Almost
entirely free of
grammatical errors.
Writing is generally
clear, precise, and
concise. Few
grammatical errors.
Writing sometimes
lacks clarity, precision,
and/or concision. Some
grammatical errors.
D
Key concepts from
lectures are not
explained with
clarity or accuracy.
Some details are
included, but they
are mostly vague
and/or irrelevant, or
there are very few of
them.
Argument is neither
logical nor
convincing. Essay
question is not
answered. Thesis
statement is unclear
and/or difficult to
identify.
Makes at least one
connection between
topics in different
lectures, but the
connections are
illogical and/or
trivial.
Writing consistently
lacks clarity,
precision, and/or
concision. Many
grammatical errors.
F
No effort to
explain key
concepts. No
specific,
relevant details
included.
No argument.
No thesis
statement.
No connections
between topics
in different
lectures.
The essay is
unintelligible.

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