Here we go! Please read the instructions in each post and then move on to the discussion questions below it. If you aren’t sure what’s going on, feel free to email me!


You should currently be looking through the Timeline project and doing the reading as it was sent to you via email. Below this post you will see three posts. Each one is a discussion for question that we would be exploring if we met in section this week. Please consider the question and answer it in a substantial post (one long paragraph or 2 shorter paragraphs), using specific information from your timeline project. Please use your name so I can give you credit!

Everyone should post their initial response in the next two days so we get the conversation going. Then our replies will spill over until approximately Sunday night. From there we can keep the conversation going if you feel like reviewing together online, but I will assign grades for the discussion on Monday.

Following the three questions, there is some bonus material in three posts: one fun one with a Black Adder episode on Queen Elizabeth, a practical post involving tips for writing a strong midterm essay, and finally a list of potential essay questions so you may practice.

Please note that this is not about making you do busy work — by reading through your classmates’ answers, you should begin to construct a good working knowledge of the kind of material that will appear on the exam. This way, we just share the burden of work.

For now, feel free to look through the existing posts and finish your work on the Timeline. See you soon!


Question One

Now that you have completed the Timeline, I will ask you some questions about the material. As everyone selects their own answers, we should be able to create a sense of the important events and interpretations going into the midterm.


Answer the following question with a substantial 1-2 paragraph answer, complete with specific examples. Then look through your classmates’ answers, understand that material, and reply to one or two students with additional material.

“Was Queen Elizabeth a smart, measured politician, or a restricting, cheap monarch that benefited from unmitigated good fortune?” Select two ways you can support your argument — for example, two themes of her reign, or two specific events. As a tip, keep in mind that both views of Elizabeth could be described as accurate, so challenge yourself to see how you could argue both sides in a midterm situation.

Question Two


Please consider the following question. Write a 1-2 paragraph answer using specific examples. Then, when you are done, look through your classmates’ answers and reply to one or two of them using substantial and specific examples.

“What parallels do you see between the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I?” Please use specific themes of comparison so that we end up with an overview, together, of all three reigns. In some ways, they demonstrated how easily England could devolve into chaos; but in other ways, these years showed England’s newly established strengths.

Question Three


Please read the following question and post a substantial answer of 1-2 paragraphs. Use specific examples from the timeline to support your answer. When you have finished, reply to one or two of your classmates, adding analysis and extra information to their own posts.

“How can we describe the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James? Were they two similar monarchs or a study in contrast?” Each answer should choose two examples for analysis.

Midterm Tips!

Here are a few reminders about the best practices of a solid midterm:  Image

1. Take note of the type of question you are asked: a contrast? Evaluate? Explain “How” or “Why”? Or strict narrative?

2. Begin with an outline of your answer. Take a moment to organize your paragraphs as you will not be able to rearrange later on.

3. HAVE AN ARGUMENT! State it in your introduction and draw it together again in your conclusion

4. Use sentences like “This example proves my point because…” or “This demonstrates that…” so that any confusion is cleared up.

5. Insert a paragraph of analysis in the penultimate paragraph, just before your conclusion.

6. Write as clearly as you can! Do not hold your pen too tightly. Speaking of pens, please avoid pencil. And write your section number on the bluebook.

Midterm Sample Questions

Below you will find a handful of essay questions. Good practice for an exam would be to select one and see if you can write an answer to it — or at least an outline — based only one what you have studied so far. I recommend doing this project *after* we have held our online discussion and you have studied for the exam. That way it is truly a test of your preparation.

Sample Questions:

How did the problems posed by Puritanism and Catholicism change between 1558 and 1625?

What were the causes and the consequences of the financial problems which confronted Elizabeth I and James I?

Who constituted a greater threat to Elizabeth I’s government, puritans or Catholics? In what ways did the threats change in the course of her reign?

Contrast the ruling styles of Henry VIII’s children. How successful were their reigns? What major challenges did they face?